Handspring Officially Announces VisorPhone

Completing one of the most leaked product announcements lately, Handspring officially unveiled the VisorPhone today. In case you've missed all the hype, the VisorPhone is a Springboard module GSM cell phone. Talk time battery life is three hours and standby battery life is three days. It should be available in the U.S. before year's end for $299 when you buy a wireless service plan. A European version is coming in the first half of 2001.

Four GSM (global system for mobile communications) carriers in the U.S., Bell South DCS, Pacific Bell Wireless, Powertel, and VoiceStream plan to provide service plans for the VisorPhone that can be purchased directly through Handspring.com.

The VisorPhone offers conference calling, caller ID, programming, and using speed-dial numbers, detailed call history, and standard dialing functions. It can also be used for SMS (short message service) text messaging; wireless synchronization with a desktop computer; and when combined with third party software, wireless access to the Internet and e-mail applications.

The VisorPhone contains a battery, speaker, antenna, and three buttons: one to power VisorPhone on and off and two that allow a user to switch between voice and text messaging functions.

A headset is included that enables hands-free use. The software interface designed for VisorPhone allows users to scroll through other applications while a call is in progress. Since all Visor handhelds come with a built-in microphone, VisorPhone can also be used by holding Visor to the ear like any standard mobile phone.

It operates on its own lithium ion battery and comes with its own AC adapter and charger cable allowing you to recharge the module as you would a standard mobile phone. A charging cradle will be sold separately, which will allow for re-charging the module when it is inserted into a Visor and placed in the cradle.

Article Comments


The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. PalmInfocenter is not responsible for them in any way.
Please Login or register here to add your comments.

Comments Closed Comments Closed
This article is no longer accepting new comments.



I.M. Anonymous @ 9/25/2000 11:43:25 AM #
i think this is stupid who in the world is going to use a cell phone that costs 299 + handspring cost (149-250) thats one expensive cell phone, and its a) big b) expensive....

i'd rather buy the qualcomm pda phone , but im not buying either cause its stupid!

RE: stupid
GregGaub @ 9/25/2000 12:26:19 PM #
Stupid. Hmmm...

Do you carry your Visor and a cell phone at all times? If not, then it would be stupid.... for you. A lot of people carry two devices already, and being able to leave one of those at home without losing the functionality would be worth $300.

Did you also know that MOST cell-phones, off the shelf, cost hundreds of $$$? Often upwards ot $300 or $400. These are the cutting-edge phones that you DON'T get for $.01 when you sign up for a plan. There are already a LOT of people out there paying $400 just for the fanciest new cell phone. All those people who carry Visors as well will be jumping at the chance to buy this phone.

Don't forget, also, that this is brand new stuff. Figure in a year and a half that these will be among the low-cost phones available right next to others in the cell-phone store. This is when people like me, who would like it for the convenience, but can't afford to be on the cutting edge, will get it.

Expensive? Certainly.
Cutting Edge? Definitely.
Convenient? Assuredly.
Stupid? No.

As for the Qualcomm, you can't get it any more anyway... 'cus it sucked! ;-)

Personally, though, I'm hoping that the GSM sled for the PalmV comes out in the states soon, and doesn't require Palm.net service (as I fear it will).

God help the screen

I.M. Anonymous @ 9/25/2000 10:09:43 PM #
What will be the long-term effects of people's faces rubbing on the screen everytime they use the phone; especially with bearded people like me.

Bearded men on screen.

Derek @ 9/26/2000 10:59:19 AM #
I also was concerned about my beard vs. visor screen when I first heard about the visor/mic/cell-phone concept. Thank heavens for Writeright® as I'm sure it'll protect my screen.
RE: Bearded men on screen.
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/26/2000 1:39:20 PM #
Well, if you read the FAQ on Handspring's site, the whole cheek vs screen thing should be resolved (in theory, anyway) by the fact that the speaker of the unit is tilted. Thus, to get better sound, you place the speaker flush against your ear, which tilts the screen away from your cheek.

Oh, and you can always use the freely included headset with it, eliminating the whole Visor to face silliness anyway.

When this story was first leaked, I thought it quite silly to offer a 'phone only' module for $300 (as the Visor itself is $150 to $250). But now I find out that it WILL be a 14.4 wireless modem as well, that $300 doesn't sound so bad (considering early estimates of the Minstrel S wireless modem were tagging at $350 or higher).

I'm now seriously thinking about this as a purchase over the previously lusted after Innogear 6-pack and the aforementioned Minstrel S (which rumor indicates is having similar RF problems as the Glenayre module).



Register Register | Login Log in