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Taiwanese manufacturer E-Ten has expanded its Glofiish smartphone range with the launch of the 3.5G M800 - part of its plan to double its share of the Windows Mobile market to 20 per cent by the end of 2008.

Glofiish_M800
E-Ten's M800: a 640 x 480 VGA display

While the M800's slide-out Qwerty keyboard is a nice feature for those not totally at ease with touchscreens, the 2.8in, 640 x 480 (VGA) display is something to stare at.

The handset contains the same Samsung 500MHz CPU and 256MB of Flash memory as its closest stablemate Glofiish X800. E-Ten said the M800’s main competitor is HTC’s TyTN II - reviewed here - but the HTC only has a 320 x 240 display.

You could also consider HTC's ageing Universal handset, rebranded by both O2, Vodafone and T-Mobile. It has a 3G and a 640 x 480 display, but it runs Windows Mobile 5, not 6 like the M800 does.

The M800 has quad-band GSM/GPRS/Edge connectivity, 802.11b/g Wi-Fi and GPS navigation - based on a SiRF Star III chipset. It also provides Bluetooth 2.0 with enhanced data rate (EDR).

The Window’s Mobile 6 Professional OS and metallic fascia gives the M800 a business-like look and feel. The rear-mounted two-megapixel camera and the front-facing 0.3 -megapixel video-call camera add some more leisure-friendly capabilities.

A Micro SD card slot’s also built into the handset, but it’s a shame that a card’s not thrown in too

Glofiish_x800
X800: M800 minus keyboard

If slider handsets aren’t for you though, then the GloFiish X800 is also a 3.5G handset, with quad-band GSM/GPRS/Edge connectivity and 802.11b/g Wi-Fi. All its functions are displayed though the 2.8in 640 x 480 touchscreen and you could even have some fun snapping pictures with the two on-board cameras, specced as per the M800.

The X800 is available now for around £370 (€520/$750). The M800 will be available next month for around £400 (€560/$800).

Related review
HTC TyTN II smartphone

If neither handset floats your boat though, then don’t worry. E-Ten told Register Hardware that it plans to release between seven and nine additional handsets over the coming 12 months. Half will be 3.5G compatible and the others designed to work over Edge.

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