You heard it here first folks
Just in case people are confused as to what device we're talking about, here's a pic:
MDA_IV.jpg 85.87KB 2123 downloadsSo first of all, let's start with analysis of the picture!
We can deduce from this image the following:
- This is a non-working prototype, the screen image is cut in, and the base connector at the bottom appears to be missing.
- The shape of the base-connector hole appears to indicate this device will feature the same connector as previous models (Wallaby, Himalaya, Blue Angel etc.), and not the more standard Mini USB found on the HTC Magician (aka iMate Jam, MDA Compact, XDA Mini etc.)
A close look at the keyboard on the device reveals an usual configuration on the top row of the keyboard. The green and red call begin / end buttons are present, but there is also a Windows key (which one can assume will open the start menu, as on desktop machines), and an OK key, which one can assume will select the 'OK' (close-ish) button on a Pocket PC application. The other two keys are something of a mystery... they appear to be Smartphone like soft-keys, however the current Pocket PC OS doesn't support these.
One thing the picture doesn't make clear is the size of the device. The device is comparable in size to the Blue Angel (XDAIIs / SPV M2000), which is by no means small, but should be considered a fair compromise for the power-pack of features
Here's what we know for sure so far:
- Tri-Band GSM Radio (900/1800/1900) (odd, not Quad Band?)
- 3G UMTS Support
- Reversible VGA Screen (640x480)
- Internal and External Cameras
- 520MHz Intel Processor
- QWERTY keyboard
Pretty awesome i'm sure you'll agree, but I'm looking forward to hearing more specifics, memory size, WiFi B or G etc. etc.
So that's the official line on the hardware... what's coming through on the Rumour Mill?
Rumours say that current devices have WiFi B compatability, an internal VGA camera and an external 1.3MP camera and 128MB memory.
How about the software?
Sources tell us that the HTC Universal will ship with the new 'Magneto' Windows Mobile operating system, and will not under any circumstances be offered with the current version of the OS. This is interesting as it puts it at immediate advantage compared to one of it's likely rivals - the long-delayed Motorola MPx - that will ship into European markets soon with Windows Mobile Pocket PC 2003 Second Edition.
With the business user and the 'mini-laptop' scenario very much in mind, the HTC Universal will include a rich suite of functionality. As well as the 'Pocket Office' suite bundled into the Operating System, the device will include other vital functionality such as PDF viewing, and Push E-Mail.
Push E-Mail will be provided by 'Blackberry Connect', the software offering from RIM providing direct connection into BES Servers, making the HTC Universal an indispensable business tool.
Network connectivity is managed a lot more intelligently on the Universal than on current devices... when in range of a WiFi Internet connection, traffic will automatically be routed through that, dropping back to 3G then GPRS as required... At last!?!
Availability dates for the device are of course very fluid at this time, but our sources indicate Q3 availability, with a raft of Operators across Europe set to announce the device over the coming months.
Watch this space for the latest info as we get it
I can't wait to get my hands on one of these... it looks awesome!
The lack of Quad Band seems bizarre given the Blue Angel's Quad Band radio, and the obvious advantages that brings to the American market. I also have reservations about whether the device is going to work 1-handed, so I get the feeling I might be carrying this and my next-gen-QVGA Smartphone around at the same time....
My only other reservation... how much is one of these babies going to cost? :shock: