Networking

HTC HD 2 heads CES smartphone debuts

HTC's HD 2 smartphone got its big North American debut at the Consumer Electronics Show this week and will be released this spring as the first Windows Mobile phone to run on the 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor.

The phone is notable for its large 4.3-inch touchscreen with a 480 x 800 pixel WVGA display. With its Snapdragon processor, which runs at 1GHz, the phone has the highest processing power of any Windows Mobile device released so far. The HD 2 will be released in the next couple of months and will be available in the United States on T-Mobile.

The HD 2 is the second smartphone running on the Snapdragon processor to be released so far this year. Google this week announced that its first official phone, the Nexus One, will also run on the 1GHz processor. Although the Nexus One was not available for viewing on the CES showroom floor, Network World's Keith Shaw got a sneak peak at the “super phone” last night during a special press event.

Of course, the HD 2 and the Nexus One weren't the only smartphones to make their CES debuts. Another intriguing smartphone came from Saygus, whose VPhone is an Android-based device that specializes in video calling. The current VPhone runs on CDMA networks only, although Saygus CEO Chad Sayers says that the company plans on having a GSM-based version out in the second quarter of 2010 and that the company is still negotiating with American wireless carriers about letting the device on their networks. It is highly likely, however, that the CDMA version of the phone will be available on the Verizon network since the phone was developed part of Verizon's Open Development initiative.

From a specifications standpoint, the phone runs on an 806MHz Marvell PXA310 processor and features a 3.5-inch touchscreen with a 800 x 480 WVGA display. Sayers says that the phone is unique in that it can deliver two-way video calling over 3G networks without clogging up network traffic.

And finally, Intel was showing off a device from OpenPeak that lies somewhere between a smartphone and a netbook. It can make calls and it has a touchscreen, but it is too large to be carried around in a pocket. OpenPeak's multipurpose OpenFrame device is being called a “media phone” and is described by Intel as a sort of “command center” for home devices. The OpenFrame makes calls using Wi-Fi-enabled VoIP that go through home broadband connections. Intel says that no service providers have picked up the OpenFrame to run on their networks yet, but that the device should be available to American consumers shortly.

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