HTC has finally announced a release date for its long awaited Windows Phone 7 slider smartphone, the HTC 7 Pro, as the manufacturer looks to build up its enterprise user base.
The handset features a 3.6in WVGA display with a 480 x 800 resolution, and a slide out Qwerty keyboard and tilting screen to attract business users.
A 1GHz processor combined with 578MB of RAM powers the handset, which comes with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and 3G and a built-in 5-megapixel camera with auto focus and flash.
However, enterprise users could be put off by the meagre 8GB of internal memory and lack of micro-SD card expansion.
Still, the ability to manage corporate email through Outlook and open and edit Office documents are expected to be big selling points. The mobile Microsoft Office suite provided on the Windows Phone 7 operating system has proved an impressive feature in devices such as the HTC HD7 and HTC 7 Mozart.
The integration of Dolby Mobile, Xbox Live, Windows Live, Bing and Zune will allow the device to cater to all mobile multimedia needs, HTC said.
Owners will be able to access applications and utilities through the HTC Hub and the Windows Marketplace.
HTC also plans to release the smaller Android-powered Gratia, featuring a 3.2in screen, 600MHz processor, 5-megapixel camera, micro-SD and tethering support.
The handset comes with the HTC Sense overlay which offers new context sensitive features enabling the phone to ring louder if it is in a bag or pocket, and to automatically decrease volume when a call is answered.
Surprisingly, neither handset will be sold through a network. HTC has chosen Brightpoint and Brightstar as retail partners, and the limited retail options and lack of subsidisation may hinder sales.
The HTC 7 Pro has a listed price of £438, placing it in the same range as Google Nexus S and iPhone 4. Prices for the HTC Gratia have yet to be confirmed.
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