Dopod gives Aussies the nod

Dopod's 838Pro looks to be a boon for mobile professionals

Dopod, the self-proclaimed fastest growing mobile communications company in Asia, has today announced its entrance into the Australian market. Initially, two models from Dopod's range will be available for purchase locally -- the 838Pro and the 595.

Both of the devices offer 3G connectivity and run the Windows Mobile 5.0 operating system, but local pricing and specific availability details are still sketchy.

According to a Dopod representative speaking at the launch event in Sydney this morning, the company is in the "final stages of discussion with [Hutchison] 3 and Optus", so users should soon be able to purchase the devices on plans through both carriers shortly.

In addition, thanks to partnerships with distributors Brightpoint and Bluechip, the smartphones will also be available through "open channels". Dopod is aiming for widespread availability "towards the end of September".

The 838Pro is targeted predominantly at business users, offering a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, a jog wheel for quick navigation, video calling and push e-mail support. It's also equipped with the latest connectivity options, including 802.11g Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.0, GPRS and support for the next-generation HSDPA 3.5G networks.

There's more to the 595 than its slender body suggests

By contrast, the 595 offers the slender form-factor that's more often found on consumer-directed models. It's 14.8mm thin, but manages to incorporate a 2.2-inch QVGA screen, a microSD memory expansion slot, Bluetooth support and push e-mail.

All Dopod devices are based on designs from HTC, which according to a Dopod spokesperson manufactures 80 percent of all Windows-based phones on the market today.

Other vendors that have frequently used HTC designs include O2, i-mate and HP.

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