updated 09:00 am EDT, Fri May 9, 2008
MWg Atom V and Zinc II
Relative newcomer MWg on Friday officially launched two new high-end Windows Mobile smartphones as part of its first releases outside of Asia. The Atom V (shown) is one of MWg's first truly self-created designs and incorporates both an unusual directional pad as well as an interface known as Quick Menu; similar to HTC's TouchFLO, the design encourages finger input on the 2.8-inch touchscreen rather than using just the stylus. Also new is faster, 7.2Mbps HSDPA that doubles the download speed of the phone's 3G access in peak conditions when on supporting networks, such as parts of Vodafone in Europe.
Beyond the high-speed data, MWg also gives the bar-shaped phone a true SiRFStar III GPS receiver for navigation as well as a Wi-Fi connection and an FM tuner. The phone runs Windows Mobile 6.0 Professional (including Office Mobile) and should already be available in the UK, with a price equivalent to $782; the phone supports North American calling but lacks 3G support for the region.
The Zinc II improves on the original form of the slide-out QWERTY keyboard phone with a slimmer design but is most notable for its software: the handset is one of the first to ship with Windows Mobile 6.1, which adds a more friendly home screen as well as easier setup, better e-mail support, and threaded SMS chats. The Zinc II also gets 3G Internet access at a more normal 3.6Mbps but shares the GPS and Wi-Fi from the Atom V.
MWg launches the second phone sometime in mid-May and will sell it for approximately $880. US-friendly quad-band GSM is also onboard while tri-band UMTS is also available, though it's unclear whether this will provide 3G in the US or Canada.