Datawind launches PocketSurfer 2R

Claiming to deliver "the next generation of mobile internet" is the second model in the PocketSurfer line-up from Datawind.

The new model is an upgrade of the PocketSurfer 2, which is now going to be phased out.

The new PocketSurfer 2R basically allows you to view web pages on the go as you would view them on a computer.

It is not, however, a device for watching heavy audio or video applications, but for checking web pages (it does support Flash and will load pages in less than 7s), GPS maps, and your email.

Available now, the 2R is claimed to be the world's first handheld device to incorporate a touchpad, but also includes an embedded GPS receiver - which is another improvement on its predecessor.

As well as the touchpad, you get a backlit QWERTY keyboard, which is claimed to have keys that are up to 6x times bigger than those on other handhelds.

At 152 x 75 x 15mm, and 174g, the new device is also slim but is tougher than the original.

But the huge advantage of the new model are the data plans that come with it.

The 2R is ready to use out of the box.

For the first year, you get 20 hours of surfing a month free. If you want unlimited surfing, you pay an extra £5.99.

After the year – you have two options: an annual fee of £39.99 or you pay £59.99 for the new Immortality Plan – which gives you unlimited surfing anywhere in the UK for the lifetime of the device.

And Datawind has now teamed up with Vodafone so you can surf the web anywhere there is Vodafone network coverage (the device does not have in-built Wi-Fi).

But what about outside of the UK? R apparently stands for Roaming, and Datawind is claiming to be beating all of the competition with its Roaming plan – which will cost you 5p/minute (down from 25p at the moment). You pay this as £29.99 charge for 600 minutes, which gives you roaming rights in Europe and the US. Outside of these world zones, the charges go back up to 25p/minute.

Datawind is claiming that this is cheaper than using an internet cafe – and also more secure.

Last thing to mention is the speeds that the 2R is claimed to deliver. Apologising profusely for picking on "big brother", Datawind’s CEO Suneet Singh Tuli, claims that, in speed tests, the PocketSurfer 2R beat the 3G iPhone by up to a third when loading pages.

The £199.99 2R is not, however, a replacement for the original model. This role is being taken on by the paired down PocketSurfer 2L, which is the same as the 2R but without the GPS capabilities. This is available now for £149.99 (so £10 cheaper than the PocketSurfer 2).

We’ll have a review for you soon.


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