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Dopod UMPC launch lifts HTC Athena's skirt

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HTC subsidiary Dopod has launched its parent's UMPC-like PDA phone, Athena, as forecast. Crucially, the launch provides a wealth of extra details missing from discussions of the device to date. For instance, Athena integrates a dedicated AMD graphics chip.

dopod u1000/htc athena front

Alas, according to Dopod, it's only the Imageon 2284, designed to accelerate video playback and control a device's image capture hardware, so it doesn't look like Athena - or, as Dopod calls is, the U1000 - is going to be a handheld 3D powerhouse. The radio chip is a Qualcomm MSN6275, the CPU a Marvell XScale PXA270 clocked at 624MHz.

dopod u1000/htc athena side

dopod u1000/htc athena back

Dopod confirmed the device's 5in, 640 x 480, 65,536-colour display, quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE and tri-band UMTS/HSPDA connectivity. As expected, the U1000 has 802.11b/g Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.0, the latter including support for the A2DP stereo wireless system. The U1000 has a three megapixel main camera. The integrated GPS chip is a SiRFStar III.

The unit has a proprietary port to which a variety of monitor and TV connection cables can be fitted. It also has a USB port.

dopod u1000/htc athena base

For storage, the U1000 includes an 8GB hard drive in addition to 128MB of RAM and 256MB of Flash ROM. There's an SD card slot capable of taking 4GB-plus SDHC cards.

The handheld's battery is a 2,200mAh model good, Dopod claimed, for 300 hours' operation in stand-by mode, 4.5 hours' 3G connectivity and 5.5 hours' GSM talk time.

The Athena is due to ship in Europe in March as the T-Mobile Ameo.

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