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10/29/2007
01:31 PM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
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T-Mobile Wants You To Jump At Its Shadow

T-Mobile's latest Windows Mobile smartphone bucks the utilitarian integument of other devices and dons some sharper duds. It's about the size of a BlackBerry Pearl, and should tempt enterprise and consumer users alike.

T-Mobile's latest Windows Mobile smartphone bucks the utilitarian integument of other devices and dons some sharper duds. It's about the size of a BlackBerry Pearl, and should tempt enterprise and consumer users alike.If ever there were a Windows Mobile smartphone to get some cross-over appeal, the HTC Shadow for T-Mobile is it. T-Mobile apparently gets that design is an increasingly important distinction when it comes to smartphones. If you were to line up every smartphone on the market, you'd see very little real differentiation, especially between ones with qwerty keyboards. The Shadow is different.

It has style in spades. A large, glossy screen. Nice metallic finishes, and a small form factor that will slip into a pocket as easily as a briefcase. Not only does it look good, it works well, too.

T-Mobile, HTC, and Microsoft developed a user interface overlay that sits on top of Windows Mobile 6. This overlay is what most people will use to access content and applications on the phone. It is a very good UI, and lets you almost forget that the Shadow is a WM6 smartphone. It uses a combination of a spin dial and sliding icons to interact with the phone in a much more enjoyable and intuitive way than I've seen on other WM6 devices.

There are some foibles, though. It comes with Wi-Fi, but, shockingly, no UMA client to take advantage of T-Mobile's Hotspot@Home service. The UMA client is a no brainer, it should have been on there. And there are no headset jacks. If you don't have stereo Bluetooth headphones, or a funky miniUSB headset adapter, you won't be able to listen to your Windows Media Player tunes while on the go. And of course it remains stuck on T-Mobile's EDGE network. (T-Mo, you really need to get that 3G network up and running.)

These aside, the Shadow is a solid little smartphone that can easily double as a daily workhorse and fashionable Saturday night phone at the same time.

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