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CTIA 2007

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HTC was hyping their new line of micro-laptops at CTIA, although it's hard to classify them as "phones", so we'll leave coverage of those devices to the general gadget sites.

Though there was no press release or major announcement, HTC also quietly took the wraps off a new pair of CDMA Windows Mobile devices with sliding QWERTY keyboards. These are extremely similar to GSM models already announced or shipping, simply for CDMA networks.

The S720 is very similar to the S710 that was announced a month ago and we covered in our 3GSM article. This is a new form factor designed to provide full functionality in both one- and two-handed scenarios.

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The two devices are very similar. The S720 is slightly wider and taller than the S710, a difference that is exaggerated by a blockier shape. The two phones are a similar thickness on the bottom half, but the S710 has a bulge at the top that the S710 does not, making the S720 slightly thinner on average.

The S720 has a great set of keys on the front, including function keys that are thankfully not fingerprint-collecting chrome like on the S710. The assisted slide mechanism feels great.

The S720's big brother is the P4000, which will probably be called something else when it reaches the US.

 

The P4000 is essentially a CDMA version of the 8525 currently offered by Cingular. Since it's a newer device, though, it improves a little on the GSM version with a considerably thinner profile and an assisted slide.

The P4000 for Telus has an unfortunate d-pad that feels cheap and is tricky to use, but HTC often changes such things on versions for different carriers, so we hope the US version(s) will improve in that area.

Here are some side-by-side photos for size comparison:

 

Both the S720 and P4000 will ship as standard EVDO devices, although they can be upgraded to support EVDO Rev. A, if carriers choose to offer such an upgrade. The S720 will ship with Windows Mobile 6. The P4000 will have the older version 5 at first, although it is upgradeable.

HTC is going after the US market aggressively these days. They claim to have captured about 20% of the smartphone market in the US in 2006. To grow that even more in 2007, this year they plan to do a better job addressing the CDMA market with more timely model updates.

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