WP7 Smartphone ‘E600’ from ASUS Clears FCC

Front of the ASUS E600 after clearing FCC

Asus wants to get into the smart phone game and its coming ASUS E600—which runs Windows Phone 7—has just cleared the FCC. FCC certification is necessary for phones and pretty much all electronic devices to be sold in the US, which means that Asus’s first WP7 smartphone could end up on shelves pretty soon. Interestingly, Asus build the prototype WP7 devices that Microsoft first used to demonstrate its redesigned mobile operating system.

Little is known about Asus’s first WP7 device, but it has an approximately 4” touchscreen that will of course measure in at 800×480 pixels like Microsoft has made mandatory. A five megapixel camera also is inside but the phone lacks a front-facing one for video conferencing. The smart phone will presumably be capable of recording in 720p HD but that has not been confirmed yet.

What is also unknown at this point is whether or not Asus’s first attempt at a WP7 smartphone will use an internal, sealed microSD card slot to provide internal storage like in many WP7 phones out there right now. While it voids users’ warranties, the microSD cards are swappable for larger ones. Think 32 GBs of storage if you’re daring and willing to do a little taking apart (or not, depending on the particular model).

Interestingly, the pictures surfacing show that the E600’s charger still has some Garmin branding on it. The partnership between Asus and Garmin is being canceled right now so don’t expect Garmin’s name to show up on the release version.

An ASUS E600 Prototype Showing off WP7

Besides just Asus’s E600, expect a few more WP7-powered smart phones from the company to arrive in stores next year. Asus was confirmed by Microsoft as a launch partner but has conspicuously been absent in the Windows Phone 7 scene so far. Is the company biding its time and waiting to learn from the mistakes of its WP7 competitors? That might be a smart idea, considering the supply issues, Wi-Fi problems and the lack of copy and paste support that are plaguing the platform right now. Sure, copy and paste is coming in a January, service pack like update from Microsoft, but the feature is something you would really really expect a smart phone to have at launch. Or pretty much any phone to have right now actually.

Let me know if you’re interested in what Asus will show us in the coming months. Is the WP7 competition going to start heating up?

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