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Multifunction Linux mobile phone packs PDA punch

Feb 24, 2005 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive

A German company named ROAD (Remote Office Access Devices) has introduced an unusual multifunction Linux mobile phone. Flipping the model S101 “Handy-PC” open reveals a keyboard and screen for interacting with computer applications. Flip it closed again, and it's a GSM phone.

ROAD's “Handy-PC” multifunction phone/PDA in phone mode and PDA mode
(Click each image to enlarge)

The device is based on a 400 MHz Intel XScale PXA263 processor running a Linux 2.6 kernel along with Trolltech's Qtopia graphical user interface and PIM suite. It comes with 64 MB of RAM and 64 MB of flash memory, measures 128 x 60 x 25 mm, and weighs in at 210 grams.

The Handy-PC's telephone display is a 102 x 65-pixel, monochrome LCD, and its telephone keypad provides 20 keys in a conventional layout. Flipping it open reveals a color 640 x 240-pixel (half-VGA) LCD with touchscreen and a 63-key QWERTY keyboard for interacting with PIM apps and viewers for Word, Excel, Outlook, and PDF files.

On the I/O front, the device includes a USB 2.0 interface, quadband GSM (850, 900, 1800, 1900MHz) with EDGE, and a choice of WLAN, Bluetooth, and IRDA wireless modules. A built-in 2-megapixel camera is also available as an option. The multifunction device also provides an appointment calendar, pocket calculator, dictating machine, MP3 player, Internet browser, and email client. A cryptology program is optionally available.

The device has a rechargeable 1500 mAh lithium-polymer battery. When operating as a phone, it has 4 hours of battery life, 240 hours on standby. When operating as a PC (with GSM phone switched off), battery life is 5 hours, with standby of 30 days.

Motorola introduced a somewhat similar dual-mode device one year ago, the MPx, based on Microsoft's Windows Mobile smartphone software platform.

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