We sat down with Qualcomm to look at one of the first reference designs built around its Snapdragon chipset. Snapdragon enables devices to host a wide range of air interfaces and services that make them super-powered connectivity and media devices.
The model they had on hand was a large, UMPC-sized device that featured a big screen and sliding form factor that revealed a full QWERTY keyboard. This particular device, built by Inventec, was running Windows Mobile 6, but Snapdragon will support multiple mobile platforms including Android.
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The device really had everything on board. It was a smartphone with MediaFLO mobile TV capabilities, full audio and video playback functions, GPS navigation, Bluetooth, etc. To be truthful, this piece of hardware was too large for daily use. It is far too big to fit into a pocket, and would server more as a temporary laptop replacement or add-on. The large LCD was a touch screen and because of its size, using your finger was easy and natural for accessing the Windows Mobile 6 features.
Other than the touchscreen, this device had seen better days. The sliding hinge was loose and definitely not a final design. The keyboard felt similar to those you might find on an HTC smartphone.
Qualcomm told us that it envisions high-end devices to be the first with Snapdragon on aboard, and it will filter down to mid-range and lower-end devices over time. It really believes that the mobile Internet and media playback functions will be the hallmark features of this technology.