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5 years ago

Velocity 103 Availability Announced

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Velocity 103 Availability Announced

Remember back in April when we showed you the Velocity 103 and how sweet it looked. Well today they are announcing the retail availability of it. It will be sporting Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional, Velocity Over The Air updates (Vota), and its own GUI. The Vota is something special because they built it on top of the Windows Mobile platform. What that means is that consumers no longer need to worry if they have the latest software because it can get pushed to them automatically through the network. Kind of like Windows Mobile Update except this one might actually get used. Velocity says that they can update pretty much anything that isn't core to WM.

If you want to take a sneak peak of the interface action check out the video, but remember to put your bib on as were not responsible for any drool covered keyboards. Other specs include:

-Odyssey Interface -Qualcomm msm7201 chipset -Gsm/gprs/edge and umts/hsdpa/hsupa -WiFi -TV/VGA out -2.0 megapixel camera -256 MB ROM 128 RAM

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5 years ago

Sony Ericsson Opening Up the Xperia's Panel UI?

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Sony Ericsson is talking about opening up the sliding panel interface to the community so that developers can have a crack at it. The man we can thank is Ramanth Bhat of Sony Ericsson who is talking about releasing the whole UI to the developers.

We guess Sony believes in the whole sharing is caring and we love him for that. Or maybe they just realized the chances of building that developer community around panels they spoke about 6 months ago was precisely zero if it were only available on the X1.

As of what to expect from this, we're actually a little hopeful. We have already seen what can happen when developers get their hands on a little code. Hopefully if all goes well we can see Sony Ericsson

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5 years ago

Motorola Q9h Global, Hands On with the Silver Pinstripes

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Now, we're not going to apologize for our previous, ah, reservations about the Motorola Q9h Global in silver pinstripes (Rule #1: never be sorry about snark). However, it turns out there's slightly more to this Q9h story than meets the eye. The silver pinstripes really do look pretty slick and on the back of the device they're actually textured to add grip and, yes, a bit of class to the device. So that's fine and, dare we say, dandy (ahem).

But there are actually a couple new, hard-to-find features on this Q9h that we weren't aware of. We detail those and give you a handful of images after the break!

This Q9h Global earns the “global” part by supporting 3G worldwide. Additionally, it is AT&T's first WinMo phone to ship with 6.1 out of the box. Another first: it's the first to fully utilize AT&T's newly launched, full-on Assisted GPS sysem -- Moto claims they can get hotfixes in as little as 10 seconds with the device. Helllooo Nurse!

One last interesting bit, Moto tells us that there's a new Over-the-Air update system they've put into place with this Q9h -- something that isn't the under never-utilized Windows Mobile Update utility in Settings but about which the details are as-yet unclear. Things being slightly unclear with the Q9h line ain't exactly new, but we'll try to get the full deets on what exactly may be new here for ya as soon as we can.

We wouldn't recommend current Q9h-owners make the switch to Silver, but if you're in the market for a Q9h the Silver-edition looks to be the right choice. A few more shots for those of you on the fence:

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5 years ago

SkyData Tosses Your Social and Business Contacts into one app

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SkyData is introducing a new way to stay connected. SkyData plans to take all your Linkedin, Facebook, and even emails and put them in one place. No more hopping from one web site to another or opening five different apps for social networking. Two editions will be supported. The first is the free edition supporting things like Yahoo, Plaxo, and Google. The second is the paid version giving you access to Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Salesforce, and much more. They have a 30 day free trial in order to see if the centralized mayhem is right for you. If you decide to stay with the basic edition then you can socialize all you want at no cost. The Business edition on the other hand will cost you $9.99 a month.

I think this app could have potential. Then, again, if it doesn

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5 years ago

Sprint Touch Pro: Hands On and Video

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Sprint Touch Pro: Hands On and Video

Sure, we just fed you the specs on the HTC Touch Pro on Sprint earlier today when it was officially announced, but they bear repeating: A WM6.1 slider with a 640x480 screen, EVDO, WiFi, 1340mAh battery, Opera 9.5, 512mb RAM and 288mb ROM, microSD for expansion, and a 3.2mp camera all make the Touch Pro the Touch Pro. Above, just a very quick little video of the new device.

So should you drop your $299.99 (after rebates) on October 19th? Well, we can't exactly tell you that, but we can give you our initial hands-on impressions and a photo gallery after the break.

Impressions

The Sprint Touch Pro is classy and professional, full stop. The back of the device has a silver, matte finish and is gently curved to improve the feel in the hand. The sides are finished with chrome and look really slick, and the front, while still a fingerprint magnet, is still fairly hot. The keyboard seems like a small step up from the Mogul in terms of tactility and usability, though I do think the keys are a tiny bit smaller. Notable: no more physical soft buttons on the front or when the device is open.

The thickness is, well, the thickness. It's thicker than I'd like by about half. The curve on the back of the device helps. However, comparing this to the Mogul is just night and day. HTC has trimmed up the width of the Touch Pro and it makes all the difference in the world. With the slider closed, the sucker feels like a phone, which is not something I've typically been able to say about WM Pro sliders with a straight face before.

Given that both the Touch Pro and the Mogul are .7“ thick, one might be tempted to say there's not enough innovation here. One ought not be -- going from 2.3” wide to 2“ wide while simultaneously adding a higher-resolution screen is feat enough and, again, I'm not fooling when I say it feels good in the hand. In the pocket, maybe not so much.

TouchFLO 3D, HTC's custom interface, is as snappy as I've ever seen it with the possible exception of the Sprint Touch Diamond I handed earlier today. It's darn good. One of my chief fears was that Sprint would muck it up like they did with the original TouchFLO and those fears have mostly been allayed. Everything is standard TouchFLO 3D here with two exceptions: they've added a Sprint TV shortcut (fine) and they've changed TouchFLO's music player to work with Sprint's instead of WMP. Now, Windows Media player on WM isn't much to begin with, so maybe it's no great loss, but Sprint's media player is worse, so that's disappointing. The good news is that you can still play the music direct through the TouchFLO Interface.

Gallery

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5 years ago

Toshiba G810: Hands-on

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Toshiba G810: Hands-on

Don't laugh at the specs on the Toshiba Portege G810:

  • Windows Mobile 6.1 Pro.
  • Quad-band GSM (850/900/1800/1900).
  • 3MP auto focus camera.
  • 256MB ROM/128MB RAM, plus micro SD.
  • WiFi b/g, Bluetooth, and AGPS
  • A 520MHz Qualcomm processor.
  • 500MaH battery.

You may laugh, guffaw even, at the 'buttons' at the bottom of the device, however. They are all touch, no tactility at all, and given the inevitable tiny delays that you see with Windows Mobile they don't inspire much confidence at all. Stil, it's not a bad try for Toshiba, they get bonus points for including SPB Mobile Shell on deck as well as an FM Radio for those who are afraid of internet radio.

We gotta ask, though: given how freaking sweet the Toshiba G900 is, who was in charge of the G810?

More images after the break!

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5 years ago

Hands-on with the Techfaith Vista 850

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One last hands-on for the day (We'll bring you a couple more tomorrow): the Techfaith Vista 850. Spec-wise, it's not especially impressive and hasn't changed a whit since we first saw it in March. Well, this version is a nice black as opposed to the earlier white. Also unchanged, the “Vista” moniker, which we're going on record as calling “a bad idea.”

  • Windows Mobile 6.1 Stnadard
  • Quad-band EDGE
  • 200 MHz OMAP processor
  • 64MB RAM, 2 Gigs of ROM
  • 3.3 hours of talk time.

The only real new bit here is Techfaith is joining every other Windows Mobile maker in adding their own customizations on top of Windows Mobile. The transitions above are nice, but in terms of functionality the above doesn't hold a candle to the standard WinMo Sliding Panels in 6.1.

We'd say we're still intrigued by the 2 gigs of onboard memory, but we'd be liars -- the Diamond has stolen that thunder quite handily. What's left is a respectable low-end WinMo smartphone for Techfaith, one we don't really expect to get much play beyond this here post you're reading right now.


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5 years ago

Hands-on with the Velocity 83

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Hands-on with the Velocity 83

We're hoping to see more of Velocity -- ever since we first saw them back in March at the other CTIA, we've been hoping they manage to get their stuff out to market. We'll find out more soon, but for now take a look at their latest offering, the Velocity 83. It's a Windows Mobile 6.1 Pro device (the “Standard Slab,” as Malatesta calls them) with a few twists.

Twist the first: their interface, demo'ed above, called Odyssey -- it's basically a quick list of shortcuts you can scroll through plus some weather. Velocity is quick to point out that it's updatable over the air, so we may see some other features added.

Second twist: two microSD card slots. Nice.

Third twist: it does pack an accellerometer, which you see me valiantly trying to get working in the above video. It does happen, eventually, but apparently there's a knack to it.

Otherwise specs are as you' expec(t) on a low-to-midrange:

  • Windows Mobile 6.1 Pro
  • GPS, WiFi
  • Quad-Band Edge (but no 3G)
  • 2mp Camera
  • 400MHz Processor
  • 240x320 screen
  • 64mb Rom / 128 RAM

Unfortunately, it looks like it's dropped the trackball we saw on previous Velocity models. Price, availability, etc are unknown. What is known by now is the drill -- find a few more shots after the break!

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5 years ago

Hands-on with the Touch Pro (GSM)

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Hands-on with the Touch Pro (GSM)

Here's a few shots (after the break) of the Touch Pro on GSM. There's not much we don't yet know about the device, of course, including exactly when we'll see it with official support for US 3G bands (that's still the story on the Samsung Omnia too, by the way). You know the TouchFLO 3D, you may know that it turns into something quite a bit more basic when you open the slider (see the photo below). What you may not know is that I hereby apologize for ever calling the thing brick-like.

Sure, it's still relatively thick, but the fact that they've made it much less wide really changes the feel of the thing in your hand. This is easily the best-feeling slider I've ever held and the most phone-like when it's closed. We still haven't had a chance to really put the Touch Pro through any paces on either GSM or CDMA, but having finally handled one here at CTIA we're looking forward to doing just that a little more than we were before.

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5 years ago

AT&T gives your GPS a boost

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AT&T gives your GPS a boost

AT&T has flipped the switch on its Autonomous GPS service, which should help your aGPS enabled phone connect to the satellites much more quickly. (Surprisingly, AT&T hasn't had this enabled until now.)

"But Phil," you ask, "I already have GPS on my phone. What's aGPS going to do for me?"

To answer that question, we return to everyone's favorite WM Expert, Malatesta, who in January brought us a great tutorial on the kissin' cousins of the Global Positioning System.

Read GPS vs. aGPS: A Quick Tutorial.

Then step outside, fire up your favorite mapping app, and let us know in the comments if you can see a difference.

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5 years ago

Hands-On with the Sprint Diamond

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Hands-On with the Sprint Diamond

It's announced, it's coming in a matter of days, but until then, the best you can get is our hands-on gallery and impressions.

Those impressions now: Yeah, it's not as shockingly small as the GSM Touch Diamond, but it's still plenty wee. We prefer the finger-print-friendly paint on Sprint's Touch Diamond and are also digging the red color (seriously!). TouchFLO 3D seems ever-so-slightly snappier than we've seen it in the past, but without a full-on review don't take that as gospel.

One other note -- although I like the fancy zoom-in / zoom-out touchy-feely features of the d-pad (towards the end of the video), the standard up/down/left/right feel of it is a little sub-optimal -- a bit hard to distinguish from the surrounding area.

After the break -- some more images as well and a quick comparison to the current generation Touch.

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5 years ago

HP 910C Hands-on, with Bonus Treo Pro Comparison

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Not much more to say about what we have for you here, the first of our galleries of what Microsoft is showing off at CTIA this year. We've already reviewed both the Treo Pro and the HP 910C, two Windows Mobile 6.1 Pro devices that are pretty much in the exact same category: Front-Facing QWERTY, Touchscreen, 3G on GSM, and only available unlocked.

We're giving the slight edge to the Treo Pro here, but only based on size and the slightly larger screen resolution (320x320 vs 320x240). If you're looking to power through a lot of email, though, the 910 ain't no slouch and has a bigger keyboard.

Meet us after the break for more images!

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5 years ago

CTIA Keynote Day 1: Livebogging

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CTIA Keynote Day 1: Livebogging

We're live at CTIA 2008 in San Francisco and the Keynote is set to begin in about 10 minutes. On tap is Marco Boerries of Yahoo's "Connected Life Division," plus CEOs of T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon, plus the Chairman of Clearwire.

What to expect? We're hoping for new software from Yahoo (Yahoo Go 4.0 would be nice), maybe a mention of the Kickstart from T-Mobile, and perhaps a surprise or two from Verizon and Sprint -- i.e. it's be nice if Hesse talked up Windows Mobile this year instead of the silly Instinct.

Anyhow, it will be relatively low-key, but hit us up after the break for what news we can gather!

New updates at the top, Yo.

The Liveblog

10:30: Alright, show floor time. We'll catch you guys soon -- more as we find the gadgetry out in the booth sea.

10:28: No more "one more thing" expected, folks.. or not -- They've created an SDK within the iPhone SDK with Blueprint.

10:26: It also includes a new yahoo-developed, cross-platform mobile browser -- sort of. Companies can basically make 'apps' of their websites that are essentially mini-browsers.

10:25: Yahoo Go is built on blueprint. You can develop Yahoo Go widgets with Blueprint.

...Now you an make standalone apps for Windows Mobile, Java, and Symbian. Develop for all three platforms with one language. That's actually pretty cool. Available as a developer preview today.

10:20: Blueprint as a new mobile platform. "The best way to create mobile internet services." It's not another mobile OS, not a platform for games, not proprietary, not limited to Yahoo.

It offers a very quick mobile services development platform based on XML. Basically it's a large set of XML setup you can program a mobile app in and it will display very nicely on different platforms -- iPhone, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, Symbian, etc. They are opening it up for anybody and anybody can distribute however they'd like. Yahoo would prefer you use Yahoo's ads on your apps, but not requiring it.

10:15: Demoing oneConnect. Socially connected addressbook is pretty sweet. Come on, Microsoft, you need to get this sort of stuff done on WinMo.

10:12: OneConnect for the iPhone. A socially connected address book. Nice to see somebody at CTIA admit the iPhone exists, eh?

It works with Yahoo Messenger and can fall back to SMS-based Messenger, all integrated. pretty cool.

Post status to facebook, twitter, etc. "Pulse" like Friend Feed -- includes a bunch of social network feeds into a neat iPhone screen. Should be available in the App Store any minute now.

Sigh -- bring this to Windows Mobile, okay, because I think Yahoo Go is still a big disappointment.

10:11: It's too bad that Microsoft didn't take these guys over -- Ballmer gives a lot better speech than this. Yahoo's OneSearch powers AT&Ts MEdiaNet search now. They're going to launch a Today Screen Search Bar for Windows Mobile soon (it's on Nokia now).

Talking up Yahoo Go very briefly.

10:10: OneConnect and Yahoo Blueprint is on the agenda. Both appear to be ways for 3rd parties to use their Yahoo Go! platform. The stuff is cross-platform, so they hope folks will target it instead of targeting individual platforms.

10:08: Marco Boerries of Yahoo takes the stage. Whoa, he's low key.

10:06: The chat is over. Next up: Video introducing Yahoo Mobile.

10:06: Dobson: BlackBerry isn't open, but it has the best email experience in the mobile world (I beg to differ)... Making the point that closed can be good.

10:05: Do you want to put any device and any software on any network? Scattered applause (I whooped). "We need to be careful not to all run to the same side of the ship." Um... Talking about how people go to Verizon for support for their phone but don't go to their cable provider for support for their desktop computer.

10:04: Verizon/McAdams: We get another bite at the Apple with the release of LTE. (Wokka Wokka Wokka!)

10:01: Consumers rights to have unfettered, Open access to the web on mobile devices -- why not on T-Mobile (aka: I hate you T-Zones)? Dobson -- standard answer about how the experience sucks on a two inch screen. They'd rather make the mobile internet fit what consumers want. (Pah! Don't try to figure that out, T-Mo, it changes too quickly.)

9:58: McAdams wants to put cell radios in Thermostats, medical devices, airplane engines, etc. Plenty of opportunity to expand the industry -- hm, these embedded devices might actually be a great way to actually utilize Verizon's Open Initiative.

9:55: Why not use any phone on any network, eh? Dobson: well Europe has it. In the US we have CDMA vs. GSM. People who put a random, unlocked phone on a T-Mobile network don't have an optimal experience. Hm.. oh, he's referring to data and MMS setup, ok sure. (Well, the solution is to FIX THAT and MAKE IT EASIER, not to lock it down... it looks like Dobson might agree...)

9:54: Dan Hesse "there's such a thing as too much choice." 1 in 5 cell phones given as gifts last Christmas were returned.

9:52: What's up with the Open Initiative on Verizon? McAdam says we're seeing results of it now. (Tell that to VX6800 owners!). Showing off a random featurephone and a wireless router that you can plug a Verizon card into and it makes it into a WiFi network (meant for insurance agencies for emergency hotspots). That last is pretty cool.

9:50: Walled Garden or Wild West. Does the "wild west" hurt customers? Dobson says you need to have "stewardship and control." Dobson hating on municipal WiFi because of the security and variability of the network. "Walled Garden sits in the past" and that helps innovation explode. Talking about that balance. Ok, fine.

9:47: McAdam of Verizon (will this be rich?). Hm, "What the carrier thinks of open is irrelevant." Ok... "Opening up the doors and protecting the network [..] is the only thing we have to do." He's talking up their new open initiative. Put the risk on developers to place bets on new ideas.

9:45: Dobson of T-Mobile's turn. Most important piece is unleashing innovation. (Come on, Dobson, stick it to everybody else over Android and openness. Come on). http://developer.tmobile.com for getting everything you need to develop apps for T-Mobile. Ah, here he mentions Google. But only in passing. Chicken.

Faster time-to-market, speeds and feeds, somehow that helps with openness. Ah, open source can speed up time to market. KK, we'll buy that.

GSM: Advantages and disadvantages of being open via SIM-swapping. Up to 30% of devices in NYC are on non-T-Mobile locked devices (!). Dobson says he wants to ensure 4G LTE has that same SIM-swapping ease.

9:42: Hesse starts is up as you'd expect: "Open is not regulation." Open applies in three cases: to the customer, to the developer, to the device. In the 3 and 4G world, there's less need for 'walled gardens' because data is faster. Hesse talks up full HTML browsing across all of Sprint's devices. Of course, he mentions the "Simply Everything" plan. Today Sprint launches "One Click" (hi Amazon, now is when you file the lawsuit). They're 'tiles' for shortcuts to "voicemail, email, text, google search, a website, etc." Gawsh, we hope he's talking about featurephones there, because we've managed that fine.

For developers, "Open means making it easy to put apps on the network." Yes please.

For devices (please stick it to Verizon...). Mentions that GSM has it easier to switch because of SIM cards (holla!), but at least Sprint allows for MVNOs (what?). He does mention that with WiMAX you can more easily 'bring your own device.'

9:40: Larget introduces the CEOs: T-Mobile's Robert Dobson, Sprint's Dan Hesse, and Verizon's Lowell McAdam. It looks like they're all going to share the stage and have a nice little coffee chat about Openness.

9:35: Video telling us how much wireless companies have done for us. Now Largent is talking about how wireless is rocking and rolling despite the fact that the economy as a whole hasn't been doing so hot.

Here comes the stats:

  • Data Revenue: 14.8 billion in the first 6 months of 2008. It's more than 20% of overall carrier revenues.
  • America has just pulled ahead of Western Europe in Mobile 3G adoption - that's a big shift. 28% percent of US consumers have a 3G device.
  • Text messaging is huge. 75 billion text messages every month. 160% increase over last June. 2.5 billion texts a day.
  • More fun stats at http://ctia.org

9:30: Steve Largent, President and CEO of CTIA is up. Get ready for wireless stats. He's talking up how incredible the last year has been -- we fully agree, just think about how much awesome we've had. Ah, here comes the campaign to "influence legislators."

9:27: About to start. One thing I forgot to mention that we're expecting: plenty of political talk about how regulation of the Wireless Industry is evil and bad. He we go!

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5 years ago

HTC Touch HD -- Edge to Edge Screen-age!

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HTC Touch HD -- Edge to Edge Screen-age!

We bet you thought the leaked BlackBerry Thunder video with the tiny preview of the HTC Touch Pro would be today's biggest HTC news. Or maybe you figured it would be tha actual news of the Diamond and the Touch Pro making their way to Sprint. So did we, actually, until we saw this as Modaco: The HTC Touch HD.

Specs:

  • Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional
  • Qualcomm 7201A processor @ 528MHz
  • 512MB ROM / 256MB RAM (+32MB on processor)
  • 480 x 800 (fixed), WVGA, wall-to-wall screen action

Yes, it's so good that even over at our sister-site, CrackBerry.com, they're talking it up and posting images. Our initial impressions: we're swooning over the thinness and the screen, but a little leery of the lack of a 5-way dpad. More info as we get it in!

Thanks, Paul!

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5 years ago

HTC Diamond and Touch Pro Get Official on Sprint

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No surprises here, folks, just good news confirming what we all knew: Sprint will, in fact, be the first US carrier to officially carry the new hotness from HTC. Coming up first is the HTC Diamond in “September” for $249.99 after $100 mail-in rebate and a 2 year contract (we still expect it next week). That same contract and rebate also applies to the Touch Pro, which will clock in at $299.99 afterwards and be available October 19th.

So yeah, exactly what we were expecting, but good to see there wont be an surprises. Although we all know exactly what the specs and looks of the Diamond will be (thanks, Telus!), the Pro's CDMA flavor has been a little cagier. No more:

  • 4.01“ x 2” x .71“
  • 2.8 inch display with 640 x 480 resolution
  • 512 MB ROM, 288 MB RAM (ships with a 1gb microSD card too)
  • 1340mAh battery good for 3.75 hours of talk time
  • 3.2 Megapixel camera with flash
  • Included software is all the usual suspects: TouchFLO 3D, Office, Sprint Navigation, Opera 9.5, etc. One new bit: a business card scanner.

WMExperts is at CTIA today, assuming either Sprint or HTC has these mamma-jammas on the floor, we'll bring you the hands-on.

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