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HP Updates Handheld iPAQ Brand

HP today announced an update to its iPAQ brand at a major launch event in New York. The update consists of five new handheld devices; two new iPAQ smartphones, two regular PDAs, and one GPS navigation unit. HP hopes to recapture the lead in providing handheld devices to business customers through the brand refresh.

The two smartphones HP launched are the iPAQ 610 Business Navigator and the iPAQ 910 Business Messenger. Respectively, these cellphones are HP's second and third cell phone products ever announced.

The iPAQ 610 Business Navigator is essentially a smartphone that comes with a 3-D maps navigation feature. The phone comes with a touch-activated scroll wheel built into the keypad. It features a 2.8-inch, 320-by-240 touchscreen and runs on Windows Mobile 6 powered by a 520 MHz processor.The device also supports a large amount of networks and comes with support for quad-band GSM with tri-band HSDPA. It also has Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g, Bluetooth 2.0+EDR, and GPS support and has a built-in 3 megapixel camera. The iPAQ 610 is .69 inches thick and weighs in at 5.1 ounces making it not the most portable cellphone in its class. However, it does pack a nice amount of features.

The iPAQ 910 Business Messenger, on the other hand, is a much more conventional smart phone that comes with a full QWERTY keyboard. The iPAQ 910 is intended to compete against other business smartphones such as the Samsung Blackjack and Blackberry Curve, meaning it is up against some stiff competition. Similar to the iPAQ 610, though, the device has impressive technical features, including a 520 Mhz processor and 128MB of RAM. In addition, it also supports the same networks and GPS capabilities as the iPAQ 610 and also features a 3 megapixel camera.

HP also proved at the announcement that PDAs are not completely dead by launching two new PDAs, the iPAQ 110 Classic and iPAQ 210 Enterprise, both of which run on Windows Mobile and suport Wi-Fi.

HP also announced a new GPS device; the iPAQ 310 Travel Companion, which is a dedicated GPS device that doesn't come loaded with the Windows Mobile OS. Instead, the unit is based on Windows CE and comes with a 4.3-inch, 800-by-480 screen, music and video applications, and Bluetooth speakerphone support.

The new handhelds are currently only being sold to businesses. HP hasn't released any pricing details, however, it has said that the smarphones launched today will be sold unlocked.

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