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O2 unveils Flame, Zinc, Graphite 3G PDA-phones

Eyeing off O2's PDA and smartphones but disappointed with the lack of 3G support? Its line-up for 2007 looks impressive, with Wi-Fi, 2-megapixel cameras and zippy processors on all models.

British communications company O2 unveiled its first batch of 3G devices for 2007 over the weekend at Gitex 2006 in Dubai, intent on growing its position in the smartphone market throughout the Middle East, Europe and Asia.

O2 claims the Xda Flame will be the world's first dual processor PDA-phone, powered by a 520MHz Intel Xscale PXA 270 processor and combined with Nvidia's GoForce 5500 chip for graphics. O2 seems to have movie playback in its cross-hairs as the Flame sports a dedicated TV output -- however, we're not sure what type of connector is involved at this stage. Similar in design to the O2 Xda Atom Exec, the Flame increases the screen size to 3.6 inches (9cm) and carries a whopping 2GB of flash ROM in addition to 64MB of memory.

The same 520MHz processor provides the grunt for the O2 Xda Zinc, too, but there's no dedicated graphics chip on this model. Its slide-out QWERTY keyboard reminds us of the cancelled O2 XDA Mini Pro, but this model bumps the flash ROM up to 128MB, while having 64MB of RAM.

The third device in the trio is the candybar-shaped Graphite, somewhat reminiscent of previous O2 Windows smartphones such as the Xphone IIm, but without the dedicated music shortcuts. It's not quite as speedy as its PDA-style brethren but still supports video calling, Web browsing and push e-mail.

All models have built-in 2-megapixel cameras, support for 802.11b/g wireless networking, and are expected to be available locally in February next year.

O2 Xda Flame, O2 Xda Zinc, O2 Graphite

From left, O2's Xda Flame, Xda Zinc and Graphite.