The mobile industry is far too uniform and predictable a lot of the time, so today HP deserves a pat on the back for doing something different – and a slap around the head for confusing the life out of us.
You see, HP has made its long-awaited return to the smartphone game with the new Slate6 VoiceTab and Slate7 VoiceTab, except they're only launching in India, and it won't tell us more than the most basic specs.
As previous rumours suggested, the HP duo are phablets of the 6in and 7in variety, running Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. The “VoiceTab” moniker works well, as it suggests more that they're voice-equipped tablets rather than just ridiculously large smartphones.
It's also just the latest phone/tablet name mashup to make us wonder just what Samsung was thinking when it coined the God-awful term “Fonblet”.
As for those specs, the displays come with resolutions of 1280 x 800 (7in) and 1280 x 720 (6in), while both run an unspecified quad-core processor and have 16GB of expandable storage.
Both models have 2MP/5MP cameras, with the latter being flash-equipped, while overall they're 8.98mm (Slate6) and 9.5mm (Slate7) thick, with what HP is calling a “premium pixilated, scratch-resistant carbon fibre case”.
Both the Slate6 VoiceTab and Slate7 VoiceTab will be available in India by the end of February in dual-SIM guise, and HP is firmly refusing to divulge more than that in terms of a wider rollout – or indeed any smartphone plans for the rest of the world at all.
Which is all a bit strange. There's nothing wrong with kicking off the VoiceTab duo's campaign in India – they're clearly entry- to mid-level handsets after all.
But when you're a globally known company based in the US and the whole world is waiting for your return to the smartphone industry, why time the announcement of that grand return right inbetween the biggest electronics shows in the US (CES) and Europe (MWC), revealing a phone that'll be available in neither, and then not even give the full details anyway?
Colour us confused, HP.