HP goes launch crazy

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HP has announced four new iPAQ models, the most interesting of which is the company’s h6340 smartphone. The Pocket PC-based smartphone is obviously designed to be a direct competitor for O2’s xda II, and comes with quad-band GSM/GPRS, WLAN and Bluetooth.

Judging by the pics, we’re not convinced that the h6340 is going to be good enough to loosen the xda II’s grasp on the smartphone market – especially not if the rumours about the xda III are to believed.

The design is pretty boxy – and that protruding aerial leaves a lot to be desired. It uses a 200 MHz Texas Instruments OMAP 1510 processor, compared to the 400MHz Intel PXA263 processor on the xda. The 64MB of memory can’t compete with the xda II’s 128MB, but the VGA camera and 16-bit TFT display match the xda II’s.

The other PDAs announced are the high-end iPAQ hx4700, the consumer-friendly iPAQ rx3000 series, and the entry-level rz1710. Expect to see them in the UK in September. The h6340 should cost around £470 SIM-Free.

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