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Phones

Sneak peek: Asus P525

The Asus P525 is one of the best Windows smart phones we've played around with. Unfortunately, we've got the only one in Europe

Recently there's been a spate of blogs about new smart phones. From the Motorola Q to the Sony Ericsson P990i, all the big boys are battling it out to see who can make the best handheld business solution. There is, however, one handset that hasn't got the same love and attention as certain devices, such as the HTC TyTN, and we think it's time it did.

It's called the Asus P525 and it's currently under wraps somewhere in Taiwan. Fortunately, Asus has lent us the only P525 available in Europe and we've been road testing it for the past two days. It made a brief appearance at CeBIT, but Asus hasn't said whether or not it's going to launch it in the UK. After checking out the specs and using it, we're completely stumped why it hasn't -- the P525 is one of the best Windows Mobile devices we've ever seen.

The P525 looks similar to a Sony Ericsson P990i and has a similar feature set. It doesn't have a Qwerty keypad, but instead uses a normal mobile phone keypad layout, touch screen and navigation joystick. On the left of the phone there is dedicated shutter button, dictation button and volume button; on the right there's a hold key and a power button. The top of the P525 houses an expandable miniSD slot and the back has a 2-megapixel camera with autofocus, an LED photo light and a loudspeaker.

The P525 supports quad band, which means you can use it in any country that uses a GSM network, and it has an Intel Xscale 416MHz processor with 128MB ROM and 64MB RAM. It also has Bluetooth 2.0, infrared, USB Mini and Wi-Fi connectivity so you won't be short of ways to communicate, and it runs Windows Mobile 5. The latter means you have access to push email and as the device is quite speedy it will even let you run Skype. All these features are crammed into a 160g case that measures 59 by 117 by 19mm.

This is a smart phone with legs that could easily be pitted against the likes of the Blackberry 7130g, the HTC TyTN, the Motorola Q and Sony Ericsson's P990i. So, Asus, if you're reading this, start shipping the P525 to the UK. Please.  -AL