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BenQ P50

 BenQ P50 Discontinued
2nd February 2006

Initially announced two years ago, the BenQ P50 is a supremely late mobile phone - initially slated for release back in late 2004, and then with a release date that slipped so many times that most people safely assumed that the P50 was vapourware.

The main problem with the BenQ P50 is most likely that the specification was so far ahead of its time in 2004 that it's taken a while for technology to catch up.

It's a Windows smartphone with a 240x320 pixel touch sensitive display, a QWERTY keyboard, WiFi, a 1.3 megapixel camera and SD/MMC memory card expansion that also supports SDIO peripherals.

It runs Windows, so it

It's quite a large device, at 170 grams and 122x60x20mm, but bear in mind that it has a large 2.8" display plus a keyboard. The overall design of the BenQ P50 seems to be straightforward and practical, and it's certainly distinctly different from the type of Windows handset that HTC produce.

At first glance, the BenQ P50 seems to have impressive specifications.. but there are several features that show the P50's age. For a start, the P50 doesn't support 3G or EDGE data, so it you're not connected to a WiFi network then internet connectivity is going to be slow. Then there's the operating system, the snappily named Microsoft® Windows Mobile™ 2003 Pocket PC Phone Edition Second Edition - most recent Windows phones run the much improved Windows Mobile 5.0 operating system instead. Compared to rivals such as the Symbian-based Sony Ericsson P990, the BenQ P50 compares poorly on battery life, weight, camera resolution and 3G capabilities.

We're not saying that the BenQ P50 is out of date though - inside is a 416MHz Intel PXA 272 processor that's found in many other similar handsets, the internal memory is a fairly typical 64Mb and just about everything else is pretty much on the button for that market sector. But had the BenQ P50 been launched in 2004, or even 2005 then it would have been significantly ahead of most of the competition.

However, it's a competitive handset.. and BenQ's recent acquisition of Siemens Mobile open up the possibility that the P50 might reach a wide audience. From what we can tell of the BenQ P50, it certainly deserves a look.. regardless of how late it is.

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BenQ P50 at a glance

Available:

Now

Network:

GSM 850/900/1800/1900

Data:

GPRS + WiFi

Screen:

240x320 pixels, 65k colours

Camera:

1.3 megapixels

Size:

Large candy bar
122x60x20mm / 170 grams

Bluetooth:

Yes

Infra-red:

Yes

Polyphonic:

Yes

Java:

Limited

Battery life:

4 hours talk / 5 days standby

 

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