HP has announced its intentions to reenter the smartphone market after its previous effort in webOS eventually failed due to multiple factors, most related to the internal politics of the conglomerate itself as well as miscalculations regarding product development.
After previously testing the waters with Android with previous products such as printers and more recently, Wi-Fi tablets in the last year with the Slate7, the company has gone full-bore with its first Android smartphones in the Slate VoiceTab series, a new series that HP hopes will combine the best aspects of a tablet and smartphone with minimal compromise. The HP Slate6 VoiceTab and HP Slate7 VoiceTab are phones with large displays that are meant to consolidate the smartphone and tablet into a single device.
The Slate6 has a 6-inch 720p HD display and the Slate7 has a 7-inch 1280 x 800 LCD display. Both offer quad-core processors, cellular radios for voice calling, and front-facing stereo speakers. They both also feature a 2-megapixel user-facing camera and 5-megapixel main camera with flash and 720p HD video capture. Both Slates also include 16GB of built-in storage and support microSD cards up to 32GB for additional storage expansion and are also equipped with dual SIM card slots, with support for 3G networks running Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean.
While HP meant for the announcement to focus solely on the Indian market, the company has made no assurances that the VoiceTab series would even be launched outside of its chosen market. Judging by the dual-SIM support and telephony features, it’s safe to assume that the VoiceTab series should be considered a test run for the company, after the disastrous handling of webOS and previous presence in smartphones before webOS with middling Windows Mobile devices that were unremarkable, if appealing to a specific niche.