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Mio GPS smart phone exposed

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Mio A701 smart phoneExclusive Mio will next week preview the A701, its first GPS-enabled Windows Mobile-based smart phone, The Register has learned.

According to basic specifications we've seen, the device is based on a 520MHz Intel XScale PXA270 processor backed by 192MB of memory, of which we reckon at least 64MB will be ROM. The phone runs Windows Mobile 5, aka 'Magneto'.

The stylish candybar handset is equipped with a 2.7in, 240 x 320 display. It's also fitted with a 1.3 megapixel camera. There's no keyboard - the device presents a virtual, on-screen pad. Its radio supports tri-band GSM with GPRS. Bluetooth 1.2 connectivity is on board too. There's a SD/MMC slot on the side for memory expansion.

The GPS receiver is integrated within the body of the device, so there's no flip up antenna or receiver stub. There's a slight bulge on one corner, but nothing to snag on the lining of your pocket, we'd say. The A701 uses the SirfStar III chipset, we understand.

Mio is pitching the A701 as a phone with PDA functionality, rather than the other way round. While it's not the first smart phone with integrated GPS, it's the first we've seen that uses a conventional handset form-factor. It's certainly better looking than the iPaq hw6500 series, and even the inadvertently leaked upcoming hw6700 series.

Two weeks ago, the Bluetooth Qualification Programme website posted details of Mitac's A201 device. Mitac manufactures Mio's product, and from what little spec information included in the A201 certification data, it could well be the foundation for the Mio A701. The A201 is also believed to form the basis for an upcoming Medion-branded device, the MDPNA 1500.

There's no word yet on availability or pricing. ®

Mio A701 smart phone

Mio A701 smart phone

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