O2 Xda Zest launches on PAYG

O2 has launched its Xda Zest smartphone on a Pay-as-you-Go option in addition to monthly payment plans.

This is the first time that the network has made an Xda available over Pay-as-your-Go. The Xda tag is O2's name for its range of business focussed smartphones, all of which are based on Windows Mobile.

The Zest has been designed exclusively for O2 by Asus and sports the sort of specs users will expect from a smartphone. It's powered by Windows Mobile 6.1 and offers a 2.8in touch screen display, HSDPA connectivity, built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS. Users will also get a two-week Co-Pilot sat-nav trial for full UK and Ireland GPS mapping.

Users will be able to view and edit Word, Excel and PowerPoint, and there's a three-megapixel camera sits on the back, and an FM radio.

O2 already offers the iPhone 3G on a Pay-as-you-go deal, for 349.99 for the 8GB version, and 399.99 for the 16GB.

The Zest, available from 17 November will undercut this at 249.99 on Pay-as-you-Go and will also be available from free on certain monthly contracts.

Asus has produced a line of Windows Mobile smartphones under its own brand but has been over by the likes of HTC. Reports have said the company is planning to release a phone under its own brand based on Google's Android platform.

Benny Har-Even

Benny Har-Even is a twenty-year stalwart of technology journalism who is passionate about all areas of the industry, but telecoms and mobile and home entertainment are among his chief interests. He has written for many of the leading tech publications in the UK, such as PC Pro and Wired, and previously held the position of technology editor at ITPro before regularly contributing as a freelancer.

Known affectionately as a ‘geek’ to his friends, his passion has seen him land opportunities to speak about technology on BBC television broadcasts, as well as a number of speaking engagements at industry events.