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Rollout: Cingular's 8525 PDA Phone

The first UMTS/HSDPA PDA phone to debut in the United States, Cingular's standards-friendly 8525 should lure customers with high-speed wireless WAN access and its expansive feature set.

The Upshot

Claim
The first UMTS/HSDPA PDA phone to debut in the United States, Cingular's 8525 is looking to lure customers with high-speed wireless WAN access and an expansive feature set.
Context
Although there's no shortage of PDA phones, there are few "one size fits all" devices. In the mobile device arena, features and bundled applications can serve as important decision points for enterprise buyers.
Credibility
The 8525 makes the most of the Cingular network's UMTS/HSDPA data capabilities and the addition of 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi gives users almost anytime, anywhere network access. The QWERTY keyboard makes text entry a breeze. The Windows Mobile-standard Office apps are convenient, and Cingular's enterprise application portfolio definitely expands the target markets for this device.

Cingular 8525

Cingular has been making great strides in the implementation of its UMTS/HSDPA data network, currently available in about 150 markets. Prior to the release of the Cingular 8525, PC Cards and laptop-integrated adapters were the primary access methods for this 3G network, leaving mobile pros with PDAs out in the cold.

An upgrade of the Cingular 8125, the 8525 is a Windows Mobile 5.0 PDA and a quad-band GSM world phone that is the first U.S. PDA phone to provide Universal Mobile Telecommunications System/High-Speed Downlink Packet Access capabilities. Designed by HTC, the face of the device has a touch screen, but a sliding mechanism reveals a QWERTY keyboard for text entry.

VOICE AND DATA, TOGETHER FOREVER

The 8525 takes full advantage of the simultaneous voice and data capabilities provided by the UMTS/HSDPA network. We talked on the phone while browsing the Web both on the device and while the device was tethered to a laptop, with no effect on call quality or data rates. It's likely that other networks will bring this feature to the table in the near future, but Cingular's UMTS network has the first-mover advantage.

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