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PREVIEW: High resolution photos from the HTC Himalaya Phone Edition aka O2 xda II
Posted by Arne Hess - on Thursday, 11.09.03 - 19:39:09 CET under 08 - Reviews - Viewed 12022x
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In addition to the Himalaya camera shots PPCW.Net has already received, I've also received some exclusive high quality photos of the HTC Himalaya (that's the official project name for HTC's first Pocket PC 2003 Phone Edition device) which is a generic design but can be expected to be released as the O2 xda II, according to the available press photos - released so far by mmO2. The T-Mobile MDA II will be released in a slightly different shape but the buttons and feature integration will be the same (like before with the O2 xda and the T-Mobile MDA).

Front View
As before also the Himalaya will have two phone keys on the bottom as well as the D-Pad centered between the phone buttons. Above the display are two buttons located - one assigned to Contacts and the other assigned to Calendar:

Back View
Unlike the xda and MDA before, the Himalaya will include a removable plate which hides the removable battery. Also the SIM card is located here now and is stored in a typical cell phone SIM card holder. Above the removable plate is the camera embedded as well a connector for an external antenna.

On the bottom of the backside (right to the red slider) you can see a connector. This connector isn't used for the battery so it can be expected that there will be any kind of add-on available; maybe a Wi-Fi pack?

Bottom and Top View
On top in the center is the SD card slot located. Left of it the IrDA port and right of it the power button.
On the bottom you will have the USB/serial connector and left of it the soft reset button. The headset connector is protected by a fixed flap now.

As mentioned before the two buttons on top are assigned to Calendar and Contacts. Between the buttons you have speaker.

On the bottom you have the green and red call buttons. In between the 5 way D-Pad and below the microphone.

On the upper left side, where only the volume button was located with the previous models, you will have 2 buttons now and a kind of slider. I'm not sure wherefore the second button is but one is assigned to the camera application while the slider adjusts the device volume; similar to the side slider of the HP iPAQ H5400/5500 series.

Also the cradle is completely redesigned. It holds the device for synchronization and charging but also includes a second slot now to charge a second battery.
In addition it also contains a microphone now for hands free speaking (front) as well as a connector for the headset on the backside.

Final Conclusion

The HTC Himalaya is a complete new device and it seems HTC has learned a lot from their first Phone Edition device. While I still think two application buttons are not enough I like the slider on the side as well as the camera button. This makes photo snapping even easier since you don't have to navigate through the menu to launch the camera. However, I hope the slider can be used for other functions then only volume adjustment also like scrolling in web pages or E-Books.
Finally the cradle becomes more useful. With the previous version I always had the problem that I have to remove the device if I got a call. Now it seems that the cradle can be used as a real hands free unit as well (reminds me a little bit on my old Nokia 2110 professional charger which had the same functionalities).

Cheers ~ Arne


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Posted by Kym Moulds on 17.09.03 - 00:47:59


Any idea of when the XDAII will be available down under here in Australia?  Everyone seems to forgety about us because we are so far away.  Cheers Kym

Posted by on 11.09.03 - 22:47:41

are there any signs that this phone will support SDIO (SDIO Now!) ? or rather as you suggest it will be some additional connector (maybe sleeve like in old iPAQs) ?

How it will support Wi-Fi is the only mystery that remains about this cell phone yet...

I am still contemplating the idea that maybe a combination of Dell Pocket PC with Wi-Fi and Microsoft Smartphone would be better than this "all-in-one" gadget...

Posted by Tiziano on 12.09.03 - 07:58:31

I've noticed that the SIM is a Vodafone Omnitel one (Italian operator): probably we can expect a XDA II also in Italy... or not?

Posted by Arne Hess on 12.09.03 - 12:39:52

@Tiziano: Nope, I wouldn't expect it to be released in Italy as well just because the Omnitel SIM card. Don't forget it's a Vodafone SIM at all... ;-)

Posted by Aldo on 12.09.03 - 13:31:07

When will be in the market???

Posted by Arne Hess on 12.09.03 - 13:33:38

@Aldo: Rumors said October/November in the O2/T-Mobile countries.

Posted by Chris on 12.09.03 - 14:51:47


Thanks for the info this looks like a great device!  Have you heard any rumors of a U.S. release (do you think AT&T will carry it like they did with the Siemens SX56)?

Posted by Arne Hess on 12.09.03 - 15:00:15

@Chris: At least there was an information posted some time ago in the Forum for the T-Mobile Phone Edition:

JoshB posted an interesting news on the PPCW.Net Forum. He tried to get a T-Mobile Phone Edition from CompUSA without success. After some phone calls he got the response from CompUSA that their inventory system shows it as "discontinued". http://.../

So yes - it seems it will be released in the US at least from T-Mobile. However, I haven't received any information so far from Siemens or ATTW about their plans.

Posted by Chris on 12.09.03 - 15:00:20

Me again!  Any word on pricing?

Posted by Arne Hess on 12.09.03 - 15:05:37

@Chris: Nothing official but I have heard something around 800 US$ without contracts/subsidization. How does it sounds for you (Chris) and others here?

Wonder what you guys think about such a price for a real cool Pocket PC Phone Edition.

Posted by Corey McLaughlin on 12.09.03 - 16:05:08

Any word on if this device incorporates the ability to interface with the Black Berry Enterprise server? See this RIM and HTC press release.


Posted by Corey McLaughlin on 12.09.03 - 16:07:10

Arne will you be selling these as well? Or how about the other Windows Based Smart Phones?

Posted by Arne Hess on 12.09.03 - 16:10:06

@Corey McLaughlin: Why shouldn't it work with the HTC/RIM solution? The xda II is still a Windows CE device. But I don't have any confirmations on it yet. However, your carrier need to integrate the RIM solution anyway.

Posted by Chris on 12.09.03 - 17:14:39


Considering the hp H5550 is 650 US$, 800 seems fair.  Sure you don't get Wi-Fi but that can be added rather cheaply.  Is the Phone functionality and Camera worth 150 US$?  Probably not, hopefully with contracts/subsidization we will see this in the 700 - 750 US$ range.  What do you think Arne?

Posted by Mlynch01 on 12.09.03 - 18:37:59

Arne will u be carrying this device? I purchased the smartphone from u and would love to be able to get this device thru PPCW as well. Have u approached HTC regarding that possibility?

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