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HANDS-ON: The Celio REDFLY Mobile Companion for Windows Mobile
Posted by Arne Hess - on Wednesday, 16.04.08 - 15:26:08 CET under 08 - Reviews - Viewed 15440x
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Thanks to fellow MVP and friend Steven Hughes of BostonPocketPC, yesterday I had the chance to play a little bit with Celio Corp's REDFLY Mobile Companion, which was announced in January this year. The REDFLY employs a sleek clamshell design that includes an 8" high-resolution display, a full function keyboard and a touchpad mouse at a size of just 2.5 x 15.2 x 22.9 cm and a weight of 907 gram it offers 8 hours of battery life with instant-on access and the ability to power smartphones via USB. The REDFLY also has a standard VGA port for output to projectors and displays.

Now the concept is quite interesting since the REDFLY Mobile Companion itself doesn't run an operating system but it connects to the smartphone via USB or Bluetooth. So basically you work on the Windows Mobile device, but using a larger screen and enhanced QWERTY keyboard which your Windows Mobile smartphone most likely hasn't:

The REDFLY Mobile Companion is roughly the same size as an Asus Eee PC but as I said before, it doesn't has an inbuilt operating system and you stick to the operating system and applications of your mobile device (in this case Windows Mobile). Quite impressive is the keyboard and if you compare it to an HTC Shift or a Fujitsu Lifebook P1610, it can easily compete with the Shift while it is somewhat similar to the Lifebook and typing was a pleasure:

Sure, the 8 hours battery time are impressive but you always have to be connected to a Windows Mobile device (which isn't that bad at all, especially if it is a smartphone since it provides WWAN connectivity) and at a price of announced US$ 499 I'm not sure if you get enough, compared to a Asus Eee PC which can also run on its own.
Sure, the HTC Shift is out of competition here, like the Fujitsu P1610 since both costs way more, but at the end it's about functionality and usability. With the REDFLY Mobile Companion, I think Celio demoed and interesting concept which is - unfortunately - priced too high.

Cheers ~ Arne

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