Feb 15, 2007, 2:40 PM by Eric Lin & Rich Brome
Our report from this year's 3GSM event in Barcelona. Hands-on with hot new phones from HTC, Sony Ericsson, Samsung, and Nokia, plus Windows Mobile 6, roll-up displays, and LG's Prada phone.
HTC's most interesting new announcement at 3GSM this year is the phone formerly known as the Vox. The new, official HTC name is the S710, although that's only how it will be branded on the unlocked phone market, since each carrier that offers it will call it something completely different. Therefore the "Vox" code-name remains a handy, generic way to refer to this device.
The Vox is a bit of a Transformer with it's 2-in-1 design. It's designed to combine the best of a regular bar-style phone form factor with the best features of today's advanced smartphones.
Looking at it as a phone, it's small and pocketable, and it has a regular numeric keypad with large keys for easy number dialing and one-handed T9 texting. Comparing it to a Hermes (Cingular 8525, etc.) the Hermes is much larger, and doesn't offer any way to enter text one-handed since it lacks a standard number pad when closed.
Snap open the sliding keyboard, however, (and it does "snap" open quite nicely,) and you have a full QWERTY keyboard and landscape QVGA display, just like a Motorola Q or Samsung BlackJack. Like both of those phones, the Vox runs the Standard edition of Windows Mobile (what was known as "Smartphone" edition under version 5.)
The form factor is very similar to the LG F9200, and also has traits in common with LG's enV. What sets this apart from the LGs is the real smartphone OS on the Vox. In that category, the Vox will compete against phones like Nokia's E70.
The Vox feels fantastic. It's a great size and weight, and it feels solid all-around, including the spring-assisted slide action. The screen is wonderful: clear and very bright.
I did find two small gripes, though. First, the keys would really benefit from being more raised. It's not a bad keyboard, but it's not the best I've tried. Secondly, its 200 MHz OMAP processor doesn't make it the speediest phone out there; it felt pretty sluggish to me. However, the software I tried is still beta at this point, so the final version may be snappier.
As for other specs, most of them are about what you'd expect: Windows Mobile 6 Standard edition, quad-band GSM, EDGE data, microSD memory card slot, and a 2 megapixel camera. One feature that stands out is Wi-Fi.
HTC has been pitching the Vox to US GSM carriers, but according to VP Todd Achilles, none have bitten yet. T-Mobile's Dash is a very similar device in terms of features, so it's understandable that T-Mobile would pass on the Vox. It's less clear why Cingular would pass up such a promising phone.
On the bright side, HTC has previously discussed a CDMA version called the Libra, which they confirmed was still on track for release with a major US carrier later this year.
Q9 for VZW?
Q9 + Wi-Fi?
where is sophia???
Which carrier will have the blackberry 8800?
WHAT CARRIER WILL CARRY THE PRADA PHONE??
Touch screen UI and N2
Thanks from all of us
Could you give us any time frame for the release of these new smart phones from Moto, Nokia, Samsung and HTC?
Also which carrier will have these beauties?
Ultra Music Suprise
Is the big suprise color choices? If not, what?
Later we were able to reveal that a CDMA version is coming to the US. That was pretty much the "surprise".
Vox or S710