We’ve been watching the progress of HTC’s Excalibur for awhile now. HTC is the shadowy man-behind-the-curtain for Cingular’s self-branded smartphones, and T-Mobile’s MDA and SDA. The Excalibur is the codename for their new smartphone that’s poised to go toe-to-toe with the Motorola Q. It’s first incarnation appears to be on Germany’s O2 network.
Originally rumored to be a CDMA smartphone to give Sprint a contender with Verizon’s popular Q, this rendition of the Excalibur, that O2 is calling the “XDA Cosmo”, will be GSM-based. It will also include GPRS/EDGE, and WiFi, but no support for a true 3G network. Like the Q, the device runs Windows Mobile 5: Smartphone Edition and has a decent-looking QWERTY keyboard, but no touchscreen. The nifty “jog strip” on the side is a cool counter to the Blackberry’s jog dial.
While it won’t win any beauty contests, it’s probably-low price tag will appeal to many business customers who want a Blackberry alternative, but aren’t looking at spending Treo-like dollars. Or, in this case, Euros.