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Group Sense readies Palm OS 5.4 smart phone

Nokia-size screen, slide-out keyboard

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Far Eastern Palm OS-based smart phone maker Group Sense PDA (GSPDA) hasn't formally announced its latest model, the Xplore M28, but it appears to have given the Hong Kong Palm Users Group a sneak preview.

The Group's web site has posted a spec. list and a piccy of the device, which is GSPDA's first Palm OS 5-derived unit. The device is said to run Palm OS 5.4, possibly PalmSource's smart phone oriented OS, 'Garnet'.

The 'candy bar' format handset features a Texas Instruments' OMAP processor, though the clock speed isn't known. It's backed by 32MB of SDRAM and 32MB of Flash ROM. The phone is said to feature a 2.2in, 176 x 220 LCD, which seems small for a pen-input handset, though the pictures show no sign of the slide-out keyboard incorporated into previous Xplore models.

However, it's clear from the unit's dimensions that a slider is part of the design: it's listed as both 10.6cm and 13.1cm long, 5.1cm across and 2.4cm deep. The unit weighs 132g.

There is a VGA digicam with video capture (3GPP, MPEG 4) support, self-portrait timer and digital zoom. An MMC/SD card slot is provided for memory expansion. The phone supports MP3 playback and 40-voice polyphonic ringtones.

The M28 is a dual-band 900/1800 GSM/GPRS device, incorporating an xHTML web browser and WAP, plus email and the usual SMS and MMS support.

The specs list claims a 210-minute talk time and 100-hour standby time, and, elsewhere, talk and stand-by times of 3-4 hours and 150-200 hours, respectively. But the list also notes that specs. are still subject to change.

No availability or pricing information is included, alas, though the dual-band radio rules out US sales, at least in the M28's current form. GSPDA primarily targets the Chinese market, but its products have begun to appear in Europe on import. ®

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