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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 12273x
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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.

Buttons
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.

Cradle
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