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The BPhone smart-net-tablet-phone

The BPhone smart-net-tablet-phone

The BPhone is an interesting hybrid between tablet, smartphone, and netbook - but can it do any of those things well enough to be of interest?

If you're still undecided about which smartphone to buy, a trip to China might benefit you as a manufacturer has combined the worlds of the netbook and the smartphone - with interesting results.

As revealed over on Technabob, the BPhone is an interesting gadget which is equal parts tablet-style netbook and smartphone - and runs a variant of the Linux operating system.

Featuring a 5" 800x480 touchscreen - a massive size for a smartphone handset - at first the device appears to be nothing more than another bulky 'phone. That all changes, however, when you flip the screen around and reveal a QWERTY keyboard - turning the BPhone into a miniaturised netbook-cum-tablet.

With an ARM architecture Marvell PXA310 processor clocked at 624MHz, the Java-based user interface should run pretty well - and with Bluetooth, WiFi, and FM radio, and an in-built GPS module the rest of the specs aren't too shabby either. The handset is quad-band (850MHz, 900MHz, 1800MHz, and 1900MHz) so in theory it's good to go on any GSM network world-wide - and is supplied unlocked and ready to accept the SIM card of your choosing.

The compact form factor - although not quite as miniaturised as the recently-released NanoNote - does come at a cost, of course: the keyboard appears cramped, and while it'll be fine for short e-mails or SMS use it could well be a pain for prolonged work.

The BPhone is thus far a China-exclusive, although is available for import at $569.99 (£383) plus delivery.

Do you think that this sort of hybrid device is the future of the smartphone, or are you struggling to see the point in a device which is too bulky to be a comfortable 'phone and too cramped to be a usable netbook? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

17 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
Bauul 26th March 2010, 14:29 Quote
I think there will always be seperate markets: just because they functionally can achieve the same things doesn't mean laptops and smartphones will always be used for the same thing.
eddtox 26th March 2010, 14:44 Quote
Yet anothet one of those things that looks good on paper, but in practice would be a pain, imo.

The laptop style keyboard is likely to be very difficult to use if you don't have anywhere to rest the device and if the screen is 5" then the device must be close to 7, as the bezel looks quite wide, making it bigger than most pockets.

It's a pity, because I've always loved the idea of devices which are many things, but in practice I find it rarely works.
RichCreedy 26th March 2010, 14:52 Quote
i'm sure the keyboard will be fine..................................................................if you have the hands of a three year old, lol
Cupboard 26th March 2010, 14:57 Quote
I'd prefer a Milestone or an N900 tbh.

Actually, it reminds me a bit of a Psion.
eddtox 26th March 2010, 15:44 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cupboard
I'd prefer a Milestone or an N900 tbh.

Actually, it reminds me a bit of a Psion.

The N900 is awesome! Best device I've ever owned, no question about it. Would definitely recommend it to anyone who wants a true pocket PC which also happens to be a phone.
Bursar 26th March 2010, 15:49 Quote
Just give me a Dell Mini 5 already!
l3v1ck 26th March 2010, 15:51 Quote
It looks a bit too thick to be used as a phone to me, but that's based on the photograph. I'll reserve judgement until I see one in the flesh.
Instagib 26th March 2010, 16:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by eddtox
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cupboard
I'd prefer a Milestone or an N900 tbh.

Actually, it reminds me a bit of a Psion.

The N900 is awesome! Best device I've ever owned, no question about it. Would definitely recommend it to anyone who wants a true pocket PC which also happens to be a phone.

+1
The n900 is a great piece of kit, as long as you stay near a plug; the battery life is the one downside.
eddtox 26th March 2010, 19:21 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Instagib
+1
The n900 is a great piece of kit, as long as you stay near a plug; the battery life is the one downside.

Haha, yea. I tend to charge it twice a day. But then I do spend hours and hours on it. Some days I use it more than my computer.
BLC 27th March 2010, 18:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bursar
Just give me a Dell Mini 5 already!

Agreed.
GravitySmacked 27th March 2010, 20:05 Quote
I used to love my Psion!

I may well be interested in a device like this, I'm using my phone for surfing more and more these days and something like this would be a nice middle ground between a phone and a netbook.

That being said, as mentioned, devices such as the N900 may be more convenient.
ramliz 28th March 2010, 15:35 Quote
I'm having the idea of putting sort a small pc in my car net book or something this has calling capabilities, wap internet i think? this could be what im looking for
frenchscottie 30th September 2010, 20:16 Quote
I reminds me of the Amstrad Email Phone thingy.
Silver51 30th September 2010, 20:55 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by frenchscottie
I reminds me of the Amstrad Email Phone thingy.

We have one of those in our Technology department. Was playing with it yesterday.
eddtox 30th September 2010, 22:22 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver51
We have one of those in our Technology department. Was playing with it yesterday.

I had one of the old ones. It was terrible. I thought I would be able to use the screen for an LCD mod, but it never worked out
frenchscottie 1st October 2010, 00:06 Quote
Yeh, Alan Sugar maybe a clever clogs and a billionair but I don't think it was one of his best ideas.
Fizzban 1st October 2010, 03:10 Quote
Cum-tablet ay..
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