Not to be left behind by the ITG xpPhone's demonstration videos released over the past month showing a variety of functions from web browsing to making and receiving calls, a short video of the rival ViewSonic VCP08 has surfaced showing its interpretation of a Windows XP phone. Taken during ViewSonic's recent "Open3C New Horizons" conference in Beijing, the video and new photos of the VCP08 give a much better idea of what we can expect from this exciting new phone/UMPC hybrid.
Unlike the xpPhone that runs its communication/phone interface integrated into WinXP, the VCP08 as speculated previously separates the phone and UMPC portions entirely into two systems that can operate independently of each other.
The conventional phone portion, powered by a chipset from MediaTek, is contained in the top-half or lid of the clamshell with the front of the device hosting a 2-inch screen and numeric keypad. The UMPC portion is revealed when the clamshell is opened with a 4.3-inch screen, full QWERTY keyboard, finger mouse, and the base housing the hardware. Speaking of hardware, nothing on the specifications front has changed since last time, which means the device still includes an 800MHz Intel Atom Z500 CPU, b/g WiFi, 512MB RAM, and 8GB of local storage.
The video demonstrates the two separate systems in operation, booting into and navigating around WinXP with the phone off before switching on the phone for a brief look at its display and menu, and finally resuming WinXP. It looks like a simple, versatile, and effective arrangement with the major benefit of preserving battery life by switching off the power hungry UMPC portion for use only when it's needed, and switching off the phone when you only need to use WinXP, such as on a plane.
Overall, I am very impressed by ViewSonic's progress with the new device and am excited by its combination of features and versatility. It's interesting to see how ITG and ViewSonic have differed in their approaches to similar products, and I am very much looking forward to when they will both be available for an in-depth comparison!
Regarding price, the suggested retail price that was quoted at the conference is 4800 RMB (as shown above) which works out to about US$703, placing it at a similar level to the most expensive xpPhone at 4500RMB (around US$659). Unfortunately there hasn't been any further information regarding the release date of the VCP08 so we'll have to wait for developments on that front. Until then, enjoy the video and the rest of the images below.