It was announced today that Motorola has officially launched three new handsets for its PDA market: the A810, MING A1600 and MING A1800. This has been expected, as the A1600 and A1800 were quietly announced a couple weeks ago.
Pen-based PDA handsets are rather popular in China because they have been designed to accomodate the Chinese preference of writing characters by hand. More than 3 million MINGs have been sold already, and Motorola believes the new additions to the series will aid considerably to the company’s success there.
The two MING phones are Star Tac-style PDAs with touchscreen and transparent flip cover, while the A810 is a entry-level PDA in a candybar design. All three should be making their appearance in China today.
The New MINGs
The A1600 and A1800 are almost identical in looks, and features are quite similar as well. Both new phones offer new enhanced GPS and smart handwriting. The GPS is unique in that it will still retrieve your position and offer navigation independantly, even if you are not in range of cellular coverage.
Both phones will also come with 1GB MicroSD cards pre-loaded with the latest maps of China. Motorola generally charges a small fee for you to upgrade the maps, but owners of the A1800 will be able to download a free upgrade once.
The 1600 and 1800 will also support cursive Chinese input with prediction capability, a business card reader and translation software. Now, the differences:
One standout feature of the A1600 is MMS positioning. When you are unsure of where you’re at or what the address is, take a picture of surrounding buildings, send it in an MMS, and you will receive notice of your approximate position.
Other features will include:
- Internet access
- 3.2 MP Camera with panorama capability
- 2.4″ touch screen
- Talking dictionary with word recognition and talkback
- Linux platform that supports multi-tasking
- Up to 4 GB expandable memory MicroSD card
- Scans words and translates them for you
The A1800 has other strengths the A1600 does not have.
- Dual-mode GSM/CDMA network support will search for the strongest network
- 3.0 MP camera with autofocus
- 150 MB interal memory, expandable to 4GB with MicroSD
- Office document reader
- Ability to screen and block unwanted calls
- SMS spam filter
- Integrated firewall
Last but not least, the A810. We previewed this phone back in April and it is finally making its official appearance. This will be a good entry-level PDA for those who don’t necessarily need all the bells and whistles but do like the basic functionality of an organizer.
The specs are also simple, as predicted by April’s preview. It will feature:
- 2 MP camera
- USB 2.0 and up to 2 GB expandable memory
- MP3 and video player
- FM radio with 3.5 mm jack
- Smart handwriting technology
- Stock and dictionary apps preloaded
Certainly not as packed as the MING line, the A810 will still be a powerful phone for those who don’t need their phone to double as a jetpack or any other extra gadget.
As mentioned earlier, these three phones are now available as of today. Check them out at authorized Motorola retailers.
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