Exciting? Windows Mobile? Did I just use these two phrases in the same sentence? Yes and it is not a mistake. As I have stated in a couple of previous blog entries, I am in the market for a Windows-Mobile powered smartphone. I need a Windows-powered phone in order to maintain and review some stories for this blog. As I am researching for a qualified phone, I am seeing some interesting options coming up in the pipeline. These phones seem to have unlocked the potential in Windows Mobile by adding some layer of widget-like functionality to a plain-jane OS (ie. Touch Flo, Custom Menu, VGA grid display). Lets begin:
1. SonyEricsson Xperia X1 (est. $999, avail Q3, 2008) - is the first windows mobile powered smartphone in its line up. This is a features power-house: 3G international (850 /900 /1700 /1900 /2100MHz), WiFi, aGPS, 800x600 resolution, 400MB memory, MicroSDHC, QWERTY, Bluetooth, FM Radio, 3.2MP Camera/Camcorder. This is an absolute gem and I want it so badly. If the price tag is approaching $1,000, it would make it very difficult to justify. Around $500-600 seems more reasonable.
2. HTC Touch Diamond (est. $750, avail June 2008) - is one of the sexiest smartphone to be released by one of the biggest smartphone ODM in Taiwan. HTC must have pulled all the tricks out of the hat on this one. With a slim design and slick finish, this phone is going to be hot. Aside from its elegant "Touch Flo 3D" UI, this phone packs 3G Euro/Asia for now, VGA resolution, WiFi, GPS, WinMo, SDHC, 4GB internal memory, Bluetooth, 3.2MP camera, etc. Its a phone with very high potential. The only thing missing from this phone is a 3.5mm headphone jack. Kind of an achille's ankle to most HTC phones.
3. Velocity 103 (est. ?, available Q2 2008) - A relative new comer to the smartphone scene has a mystery-like presence. Its minimalist design with a glossy black finish spells elegance and high end design. With a host of amazing specifications such as GPS, 3G (850/1900/2100MHz), WiFi, VGA resolution, Bluetooth, . It doesn't look like TouchScreen is available so all of the commands are done through the trackball which can make it quite difficult to perform simple tasks (ie. dialing number, select a menu icon, etc.)
Potential Contender: Samsung BlackJack II (SGH-i617). This phone has the perfect size and form. With 3G data, full QWERTY keyboard and GPS at the cost of $319 without contract from Newegg.com, I am almost ready to commit except that it lacks WiFi which is still an important function to have.