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BenQ ships P50 Wi-Fi smart phone

Better late than never, apparently

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BenQ's P50 PDA phone has begun shipping in Europe - almost two years after the company first showed the device to the public.

The keyboard-equipped P50 made its debut in March 2004 at the CeBIT show. BenQ showed it again the following May at Taiwan's Computex show, where we saw it for the first time. The company formally launched the handset in January 2005 and then did so again, in May 2005. Both times, it said the P50 would ship H1 2005.

And now here, at long last, it is. It's got a quad-band (850/900/1800/1900MHz) GSM/GPRS radio - there's no EDGE support - and incorporates both Bluetooth and 802.11b Wi-Fi. There's an SD IO slot for expansion, plus a 1.3-megapixel camera with 4x digital zoom for pictures and a 2.8in 240 x 320 display to show them on. It's powered by a 416MHz Intel PXA272 processor but, to show its age, it's running WiIndows Mobile 2003 Second Edition. There's 64MB of RAM and 64MB of ROM on board.

The handset's 1230mAh battery provides sufficient charge for up to four hours' call time and 120 hours on stand-by. The P50 measures 12.2 x 6 x 2cm and weighs 170g. Expect to pay around €535/£366.

Since the P50's launch, BenQ has acquired Siemens mobile phone operation, reforming the two units into BenQ-Siemens. Earlier this month it launched its first line-up of co-branded handsets. ®

benq p50 smart phone

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