Word of an HTC leaked roadmap was all over Twitter last night — and for good reason. The alleged roadmap and all images appear courtesy of an XDA-Developers forum poster and they look pretty legitimate to me. None of the specifications are what I’d consider unbelievable. In fact, they’re more of a confirmation of what we should be expecting. The roadmap breaks the designs down into four categories: Design/Lifestyle, Social, Performance and Productivity. Note that three Microsoft Windows Mobile handsets make up the final category — Google Android devices take up the first three slots.
The sole Performance phone has my attention because it’s precisely the type of Android device I’ve been holding out for. The HTC Bravo, expected in April of 2010, is powered by Qualcomm’s 1 GHz Snapdragon chip, will offer 256 MB of RAM, 512 MB of flash ROM and a high resolution 3.7″ AMOLED display. Also included is AGPS/GPS, 802.11b/g Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1, FM radio, optical joystick, 3.5mm headset jack and 5 megapixel auto-focus camera with 720p video capture. The specs call for quad-band GSM and dual-band, 7.2 Mbps HSPA support.
Design/Lifestyle is comprised of two Android phones: the Legend and the Salsa. Due in March, the Legend appears to be an update to the Magic with an AMOLED display and higher resolution camera, while powered with a 600MHz Qualcomm chip. Salsa follows in June and looks like a cross between a Nokia E71 and the HTC Snap. There’s a full QWERTY keyboard and small QVGA touchscreen powered by a 528 MHz CPU.
In the Social scene, the HTC Tide and Buzz are making the rounds. Tide appears to be more phone-like than any other Android device I’ve seen yet. But it’s still pre-loaded with social networking apps, offers a touchscreen, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and 3G connectivity. I wonder if the small display will have an onscreen keyboard? We’ll find out by April. Buzz looks like another refresh to familiar eyes, but I’m not understanding the QVGA resolution on the capacitive 3.2″ display. The phone is still loaded with now-standard smartphone features, so maybe Buzz is for the “my first smartphone” crowd.
Although I think you can be productive with Google Android, HTC is pointing their Productivity lineup squarely at Windows Mobile. A trio of devices called the Photon, Trophy and Tera are expected after April. Of course that means they’ll all see Windows Mobile 6.5 since the next version of Microsoft’s mobile operating system isn’t due out until the second half of 2010.
Photon is all screen with HVGA resolution and powered by a 600 MHz CPU. It almost appears to be a lower end HTC HD2 but still offers some higher end updates like a 5 megapixel camera, FM radio, GPS and TouchFLO3D. Trophy surely has roots in the Dash and Snap with its QWERTY keypad, but still provides a 3″ VGA display. If I were waiting for a WinMo device with keyboard, I’d be leaning towards this combination. Tera rounds out the Windows Mobile offerings and if there was ever a TouchPro 3, this is it. The same tilting display mechanism appears in the Tera, as does the four row QWERTY keypad of the TouchPro 2. I can’t spot any major differences between the Tera of tomorrow and the TP2 of today, but specs are fairly limited.
All in all, this looks like a solid smartphone lineup for the first half of 2010. I’m less enthused about the Windows Mobile offerings, but not because of the operating systems — the designs aren’t that much of a departure from what’s currently available, although I do like the look of the Trophy. Are there any handsets in the roadmap that will get you to put off a smartphone purchase until the second quarter of 2010? Before you decide, I recommend looking at the entire roadmap and detailed specifications over at XDA-Developers.