3GSM 2006: HP, HTC & nVidia

More big boys come out to play.

The process of panning and shifting continues. After yesterday evening’s mix even more manufacturers were desperate to force their offerings front and centre as 3GSM enters its last day. Making an early push for the front was HP.

It chose to officially announce the iPAQ hw6900 confirming previously leaked specs to show a Quad-band device with integrated Bluetooth and wireless, running Windows Mobile 5.0 and featuring the usual QWERTY thumbboard. The large 3in touch sensitive display has 64k colours and a 1.3 megapixel camera is fitted too. The whole device is powered by a nifty Intel PXA270 416MHz CPU and though standard memory is stingy at just 45MB it can be increased via removable flash memory. The hw6900 comes to Europe this spring, but HP hasn’t put a price on it instead recommending users check with their local carriers.

Implementing a design I having been begging manufacturers to develop for ages is HTC. Its Smartphone slides from a horizontal rather than vertical aspect allowing for the introduction of a full QWERTY keypad. The display also takes full advantage of this new layout by automatically switching between landscape and portrait modes depending on how it is held.

WiFi and Bluetooth come as standard on the Quad-band & EDGE device and it packs a chucky 128MB SDRAM on top of 64MB of flash. A 1.3 megapixel camera is an added bonus and the best news yet is that T-Mobile has already agreed to pick it up and put it on sale before the end of the month under its own branding. From what I hear on the grapevine, T-Mobile may not be the only telco showing an interest in HTC’s little design masterpiece either…

”Update:” Told you it wouldn’t be long, here’s the Orange version (dubbed the SPV M600) decked out in the classic black and orange paint job. It’s also ready now.

Being the fully fledged mobile graphics guru that it is these days, nVidia has also been out in magnum force at 3GSM to promote its GoForce 5500 handheld GPU which it hopes will drive the next generation of handsets and PDAs.

I can’t see any reason why this should not be the case as (combined with the DiBcom DIB7000H demodulator it is being packaged with) the solution will not only be able to receive DVB-H television signals but also play them along with H.264, WMV9 and Mpeg4 video formats back at 30fps at up to 700 x 480 resolutions. ISDB-T and DMB network compatibility is also offered and the 5500 provides the industry’s first handheld surround sound processor.

Cross fade and multi-stream technologies have been implemented to smooth mixing between audio tracks and the 3D capabilities are now said to be triple that of the previous generation GoFroce 4800. This apparently makes the chip good enough to smoothly run Quake III Arena, something I would love to see in action.

Furthermore, imaging gets a boost as the 5500 supports rapid multi-shot photography and images up to 10 megapixels, all the while – you guessed it – running on less power than its predecessor. Hats off…

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