Group Sense Announces Palm OS Smartphone

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Hong Kong-based Group Sense Ltd. has officially unveiled the Xplore G18, its first Palm Powered smartphone. This combines PIM functionality, multimedia capabilities, and telephony features in a compact form factor.

GSPDA Xplore G18 The Xplore G18 runs Palm OS 4.1.2 on a 33 MHz Dragonball processor. It has 16 MB RAM. It doesn’t have a memory card slot of any type, though it does include a D-pad.

This smartphone has a color display with an on-screen Graffiti area. According to the specs, the screen is an unusual resolution: 176 by 240 pixels.

On the back is a digital camera capable of taking color images at 320 by 240 pixels.

What doesn’t come across in the pictures is that the Zircon is quite small. It is just 3.9 by 1.9 by .8 inches and 3.7 ounces. Its screen is only 2.2 inches when measured diagonally.

As a wireless smartphone, this device can handle both voice and data. It runs on GSM/GPRS networks. It can handle web surfing, e-mail, WAP, SMS, MMS, and more.

It’s 900 mAh Li-ion battery life gives it two hours of talk time or 100 hours of standby time.

Word of this device first surfaced in March, when it was known as the Zircon. At that time the company said the device would be available in Europe before the end of September. There is no word yet on when, or if, it will be available in the U.S. However, it was primarily designed for the Chinese market.

A second model

Group Sense also indends to make a second smartphone similar in function to the first, but with a very different design.

While the other model has a tablet-like shape, the Onyx is clamshell, with a screen on one side and a keypad on the other. When closed, it will be 3.9 by 1.9 by .8 inches and weigh 4.6 ounces. It will have a small monochrome LCD on the outside to display phone status.

Aside from the external differences, the two smartphones are almost identical.

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