While the rest of the world bragged about looking at Windows Mobile 6.5 prototypes today, TG Daily has actually messed around with the real thing. It's the Bluebelt II from ZTE.
So why the scoop? Well, the Bluebelt II has been produced very specifically for the Portuguese mobile network operator, TMN. There are two major consequences – firstly, the handset doesn't support English – because it is a bespoke product. Secondly, it had come straight from China and nobody has a spare TMN SIM card. So it wasn't set up properly.
This was a tad unfortunate because the launch was held in Lisbon.
It was, however, very obviously a commercial handset and TG Daily had a little play with it. Redmond has obviously had a serious go at improving the UI and had an alternative icon based screen which is very reminiscent of the Danger Sidekick.
The whole emphasis at the ZTE event is that the Bluebelt II and its sister product, the Silverbelt, are smartphones for the mass market. The price is described as well below 200 Euros. Which is impressive if you check out its spec on the TMN site.
ZTE is getting the price down thanks to using Qualcomm MSM 7225 chips and the fact that it has designed a single platform that can support a variety of different OS. Which is another reason why it has beaten HTC and Samsung to the jump, according to ZTE head honcho, He Shiyou.
TG Daily still isn't sure it really likes touchscreen UIs, though, even if it does have a built-in, removable stylus. Lucky it has a full Qwerty keyboard, too.