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T-Mobile Ameo (HTC Advantage) Preview

 T-Mobile Ameo Expected March 2007
27th January 2007 (updated March 2007)

Positioned almost exactly halfway between a mobile phone and a laptop, the T-Mobile Ameo is a Windows-based smartphone based on HTC's Advantage (codename "Athena") design.

The Ameo can be regarded as a step up from the likes of the T-Mobile MDA IV, but a step down from the compact UMPC platform. It features a very large 5" display, UMTS and HSDPA 3G/3.5G connections, WiFi, GPS, an 8Gb internal hard drive, miniSD expandable memory plus a detachable QWERTY keyboard.

On the back is a 3 megapixel digital camera, plus a secondary camera for video calls, a video out port and stereo speakers for multimedia playback. It's a Windows Mobile 5.0 device, so the T-Mobile Ameo comes with a comprehensive range of multimedia and productivity applications. This combination of features means that the Ameo can challenge subnotebook PCs in terms of usefulness.. you can even use it to drive a projector to present PowerPoint slides. The Ameo also supports BlackBerry push email plus Microsoft's DirectPush system.

 T-Mobile Ameo The screen resolution is reported to be 640x480 pixels, with the T-Mobile Ameo weighing in at a hefty 350 grams or so. The internal 8Gb hard disk should be sufficient for almost all users, and the wide range of connectivity options should mean that users of the Ameo will have no difficulties in moving their data around.

The keyboard is pretty cool - it attaches to the bottom of the Ameo using a magnetic strip, so you can detach it completely when not in use. The other primary control is a stylus, so users can access the Ameo's software like a traditional PDA. There's not an awful lot more going on in terms of controls, which could make the Ameo a little fiddly when it comes to telephone operations.

The inbuilt GPS functions on the Ameo can be used with T-Mobile's Navigate satellite navigation software. Alternatively, you could load on the SatNav software of your choice.

 T-Mobile Ameo The T-Mobile Ameo is reported to be a quad band GSM 850/900/1800/1900 device with UMTS 2100 or UMTS 850/1900 configurations. HSDPA, EDGE and GPRS data is supported on mobile networks, and the Ameo also supports 802.11b and 802.11g WLAN connections.

It's a hugely impressive device, but whether or not there's a general market for this type of high-end smartphone or low-end ultracompact PC isn't clear. There are some obvious drawbacks though - it's about 25% heavier than the MDA IV/HTC Universal, it lacks any obvious phone controls and the reported 640x480 pixel resolution is not as impressive as the 800 pixel wide display on the Nokia N800.. and of course, the T-Mobile Ameo is huge for a mobile phone, and here the Nokia N800's is an interesting alternative way of doing it.

T-Mobile say that the Ameo should be available from March 2007 at around 500 on a new Relax 100 call plan.

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T-Mobile Ameo (HTC Athena) at a glance

Available:

Q1 2007

Network:

GSM 850/900/1800/1900 + UMTS

Data:

GPRS + EDGE + UMTS + HSDPA + WiFI

Screen:

640x480 pixels

Camera:

3 megapixels

Size:

Very large smartphone
133x97x24mm / 350 grams

Bluetooth:

Yes

Memory card:

microSD

Infra-red:

Not specified

Polyphonic:

Yes

Java:

Limited

Battery life:

Not specified

OS:

Windows Mobile 5.0

 

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