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MWC 2008: HTC: Evolution Not Revolution

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I'm pretty sure I'm not alone in thinking HTC seems somewhat stuck in a rut...

Perhaps restricted by the obvious limitations of Windows Mobile 6, the smartphone giant has spent recent times incrementally improving existing designs rather than wowing us with anything particularly revolutionary. Sadly, this was again the case at the MWC.

Headlining the news is - yep - an upgrade. Still, it's a pretty good one. HTC has announced the successor to its monstrous Advantage, dubbed the 'X7510'. With a sleek(er) new design and 16GB of onboard memory this is one mean (if gigantic) smartphone. It also comes preinstalled with Windows Mobile 6.1, Opera Mobile 9 to replace the rubbish IE Mobile, the latest version of the previously iffy TouchFlo interface and Google Maps.

Elsewhere all as is with a 5in VGA display, GPS, 624MHz CPU, HSDPA, Qwerty keyboard, WiFi, Bluetooth, 256MB ROM / 128MB RAM and (at last) proper ATI video acceleration. This monster will be coming over the hill next month.

Next we have the 'P3470' - a GPS touting WM6 smartphone with quad band EDGE connectivity, 256MB of internal storage (128MB RAM), a 2MP camera with autofocus, a microSD slot and optimised video drivers. Yep, it's not exactly a thrill ride. Still, with a talk time of up to 350 minutes (or 10 days on standby) and reasonable 16mm thickness the P3470 is practical. It launches later this month for the steep sim-free price of €449.

Lastly - and in more of an FYI - we come to the HTC Shift which was announced at roughly this time last year. The news is that the massively delayed UMPC will finally-definitely-we-promise ship this week. The Vista running device had first been expected midway through the year, then in November... then January. It will arrive via Orange in the UK, but as yet pricing and contracts remain a mystery - don't expect either to be for the faint-hearted.

All in all, finger's crossed HTC has a few more aces up its sleeves for MWC over the next few days otherwise this is something of a let down. Again.

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