Followers of our coverage of the ITG xpPhone will be interested to know that ViewSonic has just announced its competing VCP08 phone also running Windows XP. Featuring an interesting side clamshell design in comparison to the xpPhone's slider arrangement, the VCP08 has a 2" external display and standard numeric keypad on its front for conventional phone use, with a 2-megapixel camera on the back. The clamshell opens to reveal a 4.3" internal screen and a full QWERTY keypad and finger mouse arrangement.
Other known hardware specifications include an unspecified Intel ULV processor, 512MB of RAM, 8GB of storage, and support for microSD cards. Network connectivity is currently unknown, but is likely to include the usual suspects of WiFi and 3G.
With the xpPhone yet to be released, ViewSonic claims the VCP08 will be the first available phone running Windows XP. The company intends to release the phone in Chinese markets followed by the US and Europe, with pricing in the range of $800 at launch.
I think there are some interesting ideas in the VCP08 with the form factor keeping the basic phone functions separate from the full UMPC experience that is also available. However, I personally find the design a bit unusual with the slightly retro-looking external hinge mechanism. With the hardware specs required to run Windows XP, the VCP08 is almost certain to suffer from short battery life as well . . . although perhaps the phone and UMPC systems are independent allowing you to shutdown one or the other (like the MIUTech HDPC seems to be able to do with its dual processors). The other main disadvantage is the prohibitive pricing – enough to afford both a smartphone and netbook!
So who's interested in the VCP08 and a phone running Windows XP in general? We would love to hear your thoughts on how it compares to the ITG xpPhone and the countless options in the smartphone market.[mobile.163.com]