updated 12:15 pm EDT, Mon September 8, 2008
ASUS intros smartphone
ASUS on Friday announced it will soon release its first handset, the P552w smartphone, or what the company calls a PDA phone. While closely resembling the HTC Touch with a pseudo-3D touchscreen user interface that also looks very close to HTC's TouchFLO -- nicknamed "Glide" by ASUS -- the ASUS smartphone features a faster 624MHz processor versus the HTC's 201MHz CPU. ASUS also equipped its phone with 3.5G HSDPA data access, a GPS receiver that works with Google Maps in some countries outside of North America, and an 802.11b/g Wi-Fi module.
Like the HTC device it resembles, ASUS' P552w runs on the Microsoft Windows Mobile 6.1 operating system. ASUS includes custom applications collectively called Multi-Home that make tasks such as EziPhoto and EziMusic that make viewing photos and listening to music, respectively, easier thanks to the touch interface. Other apps will give users easy access to RSS newsfeeds, YouTube content and Flickr photos. In supported markets, the unique ASUS SMS Location Link feature allows users to locate each other via Google Maps by clicking on URLs embedded in text messages.
Bluetooth 2.0 with ADP is also supported, as is a USB 1.1 connection for sync. All popular digital audio files are supported and content, including photos and videos captured by the 2.0-megapixel camera, is stored either on the integrated 256MB of flash memory or on a microSD card accessed via the built-in expansion slot. The 2.8-inch touchscreen sports a 240x320 resolution.
ASUS in its typical approach has not announced when or where the P552w will launch, or how much it will cost.