Pantech Matrix Pro: Dual-slider smartphone for touchscreen haters

Remember the Helio Ocean? That landmark phone was world's first dual slider — one with both a slide-out keypad and a separate, slide-out QWERTY keyboard. A little-reported fact about the Ocean was that it was actually made by Pantech, which used the dual-sliding design for its Matrix, released last fall. Following up quickly, Pantech just announced the Matrix Pro.

Besides boasting the dual-sliding form factor, the Matrix Pro is a full-fledged smartphone, running Windows Mobile 6.1 and supporting Outlook/Office. The expandable memory supports microSD cards up to 32GB, the LCD screen measures a could-be-bigger 2.4 inches, and there's 3G (HSDPA) connectivity, too.

Checking out the Matrix Pro in Vegas last month, I thought it was a little thick for my taste (its 0.9 inches deep, compared with the iPhone's 0.48 inches), though the dual-sliding design is addicting. The gun-metal color is pretty sleek, too. There's plenty here to satisfy Windows Mobile fans (whoever they may be) who don't like touchscreens. The Matrix Pro should be available at AT&T stores in the next few days for $180.

Via Pantech