Product: Xplore G18 Manufacturer: Group Sense Price: Estimated HK$3,600 Pros: Small and light, all-in-one smartphone Cons: The screen is too small, the phone lacks Bluetooth, triband and the latest Palm OS We have been waiting for this for a long time - a GSM/GPRS mobile phone that runs the Palm operating system and comes with a modest price tag. The Xplore G18 smartphone from Hong Kong company Group Sense, launched last week, will sell for about HK$3,600 through mobile operator CSL. We will review this phone in a couple of weeks' time but here are our initial thoughts from handling it at the press conference. Weighing just 105 grams, it is lighter and smaller than the Treo 270, which was the most petite Palm-based cellphone on the market until the Xplore G18 came along. According to PalmSource staff, Group Sense's product will appeal more to the mainstream user because it is smaller than even the highly publicised Handspring Treo 600, which has excited Palm fans worldwide. The Xplore G18 runs Palm operating system 4.1.2, just like the Tungsten W, rather than version 5, which is a slight disappointment. Unlike the Tungsten W, however, it is only dual-band GSM, which explains the relatively affordable price tag. The device has an embedded digital camera with digital zoom, 16 megabytes of random access memory, a colour touchscreen and you navigate using a four-way pointer at the bottom of the screen or a stylus. The screen is a little too small, which makes the area for Grafiti writing difficult, especially when one is on the move. Group Sense has installed its English-Chinese dictionary application in the device for the mainland market. There is no Bluetooth, only an infrared port, and data transfer and synchronisation to a PC and desktop application is through a cable and not a cradle like most Palm devices. Like the Microsoft Smartphone launched two months ago in Hong Kong, the G18 is more phone than PDA as it allows for easy, one-handed operation. However, the Microsoft Smartphone was a pain to use because the system was not stable and applications were hard to find. Our expectations of the G18 are higher because it runs the Palm operating system.