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HTC Advantage X7510 Preview

 HTC Advantage X7510 Discontinued
11th February 2008

We first saw the original HTC Advantage (aka Athena) last year, badged as the T-Mobile Ameo. The Advantage met with limited success in the marketplace, presumably because it sits in an awkward market niche - much bigger than a mobile phone, but not as well specified as a notebook PC, the Advantage didn't quite make the breakthrough that it might have done. So, HTC have reworked and upgraded the Advantage and have come out with a new model, the Advantage X7510.

Given the launch date for the X7510 is March, we are pretty sure that this will ship with Windows Mobile 6 plus the TouchFLO interface used on the HTC Touch.  However, HTC's press release refers to a  "future version of Windows Mobile", which we guess means Windows Mobile 7. Think of this as Windows Mobile for the iPhone generation, with a hugely improved interface and superior user experience, and you might see what Microsoft are rumoured to be working on. We suspect that the X7510 may therefore come with Windows Mobile 6 at launch with an upgrade path available later.

 HTC X7510 This is a large device - the HTC Advantage X7510 measures 133 x 98 x 21mm and weighs 375 grams with the keyboard. Taking the keyboard off removes 85 grams of weight and 5mm thickness. Most of the size of the new Advantage is taken up by the 5" 640 x 480 pixel display, plus of course the large QWERTY keyboard.

The display is touch-sensitive, but we are surprised to see that it is only a VGA resolution panel when even smaller devices can manage a higher pixel count. We think that 800 pixels is the minimum you need for web access, and 640 pixels might cause a few problems. Internal storage is a whopping 16GB of Flash memory (the old Advantage had an 8GB hard disk), and this can be expanded using microSD cards. On the back is a 3.1 megapixel camera with autofocus - although this is nice to have, a 13 ounce device like the Advantage X7510 does not easily lend itself to digital photography.

 Advantage X7510 The keyboard is worth looking at in some more depth. The chicklet keyboard in the original advantage has been replaced with a flat, touch-sensitive keyboard with haptic feedback to simulate the feel of a mechanical keypress. Quite how good that will be to use remains to be seen. It certainly looks sleek. Remember that the screen slides to cover the keyboard completely, allowing the Advantage to be used as a compact tablet PC.

The HTC Advantage X7510 is a 3.5G device, supporting UMTS (3G) and HSDPA high-speed data. It comes with tri-band WCDMA 850 / 1900 / 2100 MHz , in addition to quad-band GSM with GPRS and EDGE data, plus 802.11b and g WiFi. If this doesn't mean much to you, don't worry - it simply means that the X7510 will work pretty much worldwide. In addition, the X7510 supports GPS. Inside is a 624 MHz Marvell PXA 270 processor with 128 MB RAM.

At the heart of the Advantage X7510 is its software package. Running on Windows Mobile 6.. or Windows Mobile 7, it supports the TouchFLO interface, comes with pocket versions of Microsoft Office applications, TomTom Navigator 6 software and the Opera Web browser. Windows Mobile is a pretty familiar operating system to most of our readers, so we'll assume that you have at least a passing familiarity with it.

On top of all this, the HTC Advantage X7510 comes with TV output, a USB connector, Bluetooth and a 3.5mm jack plug for audio output. The 2100 mAH battery can drive the Advantage for up to 5 hours of talktime on 3G, with up to 12 days standby time. In real world use, you can expect the battery to drain more quickly if using WiFi, Bluetooth or any processor intensive applications.

No pricing information is available, but we would expect the HTC Advantage to retail at around £600 / $1200 / €900 or so at launch. HTC say that it should be available from next month.

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HTC Advantage X7510 at a glance

Available:

Q1 2008

Network:

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

Data:

GPRS + EDGE + UMTS + HSPDA + WiFi

Screen:

640 x 480 pixels

Camera:

3.1 megapixels

Size:

Compact subnotebook
134 x 98 x 21mm / 375 grams

Bluetooth:

Yes

Memory card:

microSD

Infra-red:

No

Polyphonic:

Yes

Java:

Limited

GPS:

Yes

Battery life:

5 hours talk / 12 days standby

 

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