Smartphones revisited: HP to launch Slate 6 phablet and Slate 7 VoiceTab in India

by: Bogdan PetrovanJanuary 15, 2014
HP Slate 6 press

HP Slate 6. Click to enlarge

Three years after HP pulled the plug on its WebOS-powered smartphone line, the PC giant is back in the game with two new devices launching today in India.

While no press release has come our way yet, HP has talked to Re/code about its smartphone comeback and explained why it chose India for the launch.

At 6-inch and 7-inch respectively, the Slate 6 and Slate 7 VoiceTab are straddling the thin line that separates phones from tablets. HP is hoping to capture the attention of customers looking for all-in-one devices, a category that’s growing steadily in emerging markets like India. In fact, the Slate 7 VoiceTab appears to be a cell-enabled version of the Slate 7, a cheap tablet that HP announced at MWC 2013 and shipped last summer.

On the specs front, the Slate 6 features an IPS LCD display of 1,280 x 720 resolution, while the Slate 7 VoiceTab features a 1,280 x 800 display. Besides this difference, the specs seem largely similar: a quad-core processor of an unspecified brand, 16GB of internal storage with an expansion slot, front-facing stereo speakers, five megapixels cameras on the rear, and two megapixels on the front. The devices will be running Android 4.2 with some modifications from HP.

HP Slate 6 press (2)

HP has not revealed the price of the new Slate 6 and Slate 7 VoiceTab, but judging from the spec sheets and the target customers, they should be quite accessible. The devices will become available from February in India, but HP has refused to provide more details on their eventual international availability.

“I won’t say where or when, but you can expect us to do more in the coming months,” an HP rep told Re/code. “We’ll be talking about this in a more expansive way. But right now we’re focused on a successful launch in India.” The PC making giant has presented the devices to retailers last week at CES, and has supposedly received a “very positive response”, which seems to suggest that an entry in the North American market is just a question of time.

We’ll update this post with more details once HP makes the Slate 6 and Slate 7 VoiceTab official.

  • Shark Bait

    Looks nice from the front, almost a HTC, but that textured back???

    • Kassim

      Love the overall look too (make 5″ or so version then we’ll talk, HP).

      Plus, having owned and battled with the slippery HTC One for a while now, a textured back is going to be a “must have” feature in my next smartphone purchase.

      At least it saves you from having to stick a case on a beautiful phone for better grip…

      • Shark Bait

        I had that problem with the nexus 4. Its as if they dont test putting it on the sofa!
        I dont get why their so cautious about the phone market in general, this looks good

  • Jaun Lombard

    Like the look of the phone (a lot)…might consider it if they had a Slate 5 with the spec of the S4 or G2…only problem is customer service…Lenovo is bad and dont give updates to old products..thus cant trust these new blokes, where Samsung and SONY support is very good!

    • Chintan Vithlani

      Umm, it says HP not Lenovo!

      • Jaun Lombard

        Referring to HP as the new Bloke and comparing it to Lenovo (which is also new to the market!)

      • Jaun Lombard

        edited my comment

  • Dave Weinstein

    Nice rendering. 2012 specs.

    Quad core. 1280×720 screen. 5MPx camera. My gosh, even Jelly Bean. There’s absolutely no reason to bring out a JB phone in 2014! It’s almost a museum piece!

    If these things cost more than US$100, I don’t see the point. Hell even at that price point, I don’t see the point of not offering KitKat.

    • AA :P

      price is going to be the key differentiator. anything north of $130 will make it instantly 2012, like you said. otherwise, the HP network would make it a sweet deal. overall its not a bad deal – the target market would not care for the android version, as long as it more or less current. quad core/ 16gb/ 1gb/ decent gpu – more than enough for general purpose use.

    • mrjayviper

      probably the SoC is my mediatek hence it’s limited to jelly bean.

  • Luka Mlinar

    Looks like a phone Muammar Gaddafi would use :/

  • I’ve been waiting to hear about this, very nice. I’ve got to get my hands on one of these, hurry up HP.

  • Guest123

    I really don’t get why they don’t release these in the US. There aren’t any decent 6″ let alone 7″ phablets in the US market at this time. . . . man, India gets everything thrown at it.

    Now, what is up with that bottom bezel?

    • guest

      Broadband penetration is low while 3G access is exploding. For most indians tablet might be their first internet connect device hence there is a big demand for 3G enabled tablets.

  • Cal Rankin

    I’d rather they not have given up on open webOS. That could have evolved into the best mobile OS ever!