HP Announces Expensive, Unoriginal iPaq Phones

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HP hopes to set the world of Smartphone rip-offs ablaze with its new iPaq Voice Messenger and iPaq Data Messenger. One of them is the Blackberry Pearl, the other the T-Mobile G1. If the HP logo wasn't there, honestly, I wouldn't could easily mistake these phones for the BlackBerry and T-Mobile models.

The Voice Messenger is the Blackberry Pearl look alike. It features a 2.4-inch, 320-by-240 display, and a condensed QWERTY keypad. The Data Messenger, meanwhile, mimics the G1, with a 2.8-inch 320-by-420 pixel touchscreen, a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, and a nifty hidden stylus you'll need for navigating the text of Windows Mobile 6.1, the OS of both phones. They also feature a 3-megapixel camera with LED flash, GPS, WiFi, Bluetooth, and 3G/HSDPA connectivity. Both also pack 128 MB SDRAM main memory for running applications, and 256 MB flash ROM.

Pretty run-of-the-mill stuff, especially in a market saturated with iPhone, Blackberry, and now G1 knockoffs. The iPaq's most distinctive feature, however -- the one that'll have folks running away from the store on its November release date -- is the price point: the Voice Messenger will cost $570 and the Data Messenger, $680. Both phones will be available unlocked, meaning that you won't be tied to a lengthy contract--but you also don't get the benefit of a carrier-subsidized price.

For comparison's sake, you can pick up the Blackberry Pearl for $150--or less--and the G1 for $180 (with contracts). Just putting that out there.

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