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HTC Shift Preview

 HTC Shift Expected Q3 2007
27th March 2007

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HTC have a pretty good reputation as the leading Windows smartphone manufacturer, but the HTC Shift takes the company in a slightly different direction. Although it shares many features with the likes of the HTC Advantage, this is in fact a fully blown PC running Windows Vista in an ultra compact package.

The HTC Shift is very much in the smartphone tradition though with a touch-sensitive 7" panel, integrated GSM, EDGE, UMTS and HSDPA data, Bluetooth and WiFi. It's not a large device compared to a laptop - HTC say that it is about the same size as two DVD cases, so approximately 190 x 130 x 30 mm. That's much smaller than a laptop, but significantly larger than even the largest current mobile phone that we know of.

The operating system is Microsoft Vista Business, so it's a fully fledged OS and HTC's publicity shots seem to show it running the Aero interface, which is surprising in such a small device. The exact technical specifications of the HTC Shift are not known, but we do know that it has a 30GB hard disk and a USB connection so an external optical media device can be connected.

 HTC Shift As with a few other HTC devices, the Shift features tri-band UMTS with HSDPA, so it can be used in the US as well as the rest of the world. Quad-band GSM with GPRS and EDGE mean that the Shift should usually be able to get some sort of wireless connectivity when roaming, and of course there's the option of WiFi.

Even if the HTC Shift can make voice calls (and this hasn't been specified), the device itself it too big to use as a mobile handset (you can try this for yourself by putting two DVD boxes together and giving it a go). Although it may be possible to make calls through the Shift with a Bluetooth headset, and there is also the possibility of VOIP services such as Skype, in reality you would want a more normal mobile phone to go with the Shift. This isn't a bad thing though, because it means that you can leave the Shift in the office or at home and carry a normal phone instead, something that owners of the Nokia 770 and N800 find refreshing. Of course the Shift requires its own SIM card to operate and this is a device that would suit a dedicated data tarriff.

HTC said that they would confirm the exact details closer to the anticipated Q3 launch, but crucially there is no indication of pricing although our guess would be that this will come in at roughly 1000 / 1600 / $2000 give or take a very wide margin.

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HTC Shift provisional specifications

Available:

Q3 2007

Network:

GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
UMTS 850 / 1900 / 2100

Data:

GPRS + EDGE + UMTS + HSDPA + WiFi

Screen:

Not specified

Camera:

Not specified

Size:

Ultra-compact portable PC
190 x 130 x 30 mm approx

Bluetooth:

Yes

Memory card:

Not specified

Infra-red:

Not specified

Polyphonic:

Not specified

Java:

Not specified

Battery life:

Not specified

OS:

Windows Vista Business

 

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