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First Android phone?

Jan 8, 2008 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 13 views

At CES, Wistron NeWeb Corp. (WNC) is showing a hybrid GSM/VoWiFi phone that runs Linux. The PDA and Dual Net Phone-GW4 boasts a 2.5-inch touchscreen and a full QWERTY keyboard. One rumor claims it will be ported to Google's Android platform by March.

(Click for a slightly larger view of the PDA and Dual Net Phone-GW4)

The Chinese ODM (original design manufacturer) offers two other Dual Net Phones: the GW1 (pictured below, right) and the GW3, both of which claim to support seamless roaming between cellular and WiFi networks. D-Link has repackaged and remarketed the GW1 as the V-Click.

Like WNC's earlier Dual Net Phone models, the GW4 combines VoIP-enabled 802.11g WiFi with a tri-band GPRS/GSM (900/1800/1900Mhz) cellular radio, says WNB. Also like its predecessors, it is based on a Texas Instruments OMAP 1710 chipset with a 216MHz processor, offers Bluetooth and USB, and runs Trolltech's Qtopia Phone Edition (QPE) phone software on top of MontaVista Linux 2.6.

Dual Net Phone-GW1
(Click to enlarge)

The GW4 expands the GW3's QVGA TFT-LCD touchscreen from 2.0- to 2.5 inches. It also upgrades the CMOS camera from 1.3- to 2 megapixels and adds a full QWERTY keypad. Software is said to include an Opera web browser, email (Pull Mail), a personal information manager, PC Sync, and according to one CES report, “MS Office and PDF reader.”

According to a PC Magazine CES report, the GW4 performs well, with the writer “especially impressed by the speediness of the Linux interface,” considering it had only “64MB of system memory.” However, the 64MB figure may be incorrect, considering that the earlier GW3 came standard with 128MB RAM.

The writer also reported that a WNC rep claimed that the phone would be ported to the Google Android Linux-based mobile phone platform by March. If true, WNC may be among the first phone manufacturers to announce (or at least pre-announce) an Android-compatible phone.


WNC did not provide information on the pricing or availability of the PDA and Dual Net Phone-GW4.

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