The HTC HD2 is our favourite Windows Mobile phone ever, but its massive 109mm (4.3-inch) screen means its girth is not for the tight-trousered. So if you're a drainpipe-wearing WinMo fan, the HTC HD Mini -- also known as the HTC Photon -- could be for you.
It sports the most recent version of Bill Gates' baby, 6.5.3, not Windows Phone 7, and HTC regretfully tells us it'll never be updated, because WinPho7 doesn't support the resolution of the HD Mini's smaller 81mm (3.2-inch) HVGA screen.
But the tiny, dated icons of WinMo are mostly hidden under HTC's lovely Sense user interface, which keeps things finger-friendly as long as you don't dig too deep. Twitter and Facebook widgets keep you connected with live updates on the home screens, and the weather app is pretty enough to make you pray for rain.
Low-profile buttons across the front look sleek and are easy to use, while a sheer plane of glass across the front and visible screws on the rear corners give the HD Mini's design some edge -- and we like it.
The HD Mini doesn't have the power of the HD2's Snapdragon processor under the hood, but it still runs at a respectable 600MHz. Throw in a 5-megapixel camera, a standard 3.5mm headphone jack, and a price tag that's likely to be lower than the HD2's, and we think the HD Mini is worth a look if you fancy a touchscreen phone but you're forced to stick with WinMo by your sadistic IT department.
Expect the HD Mini to sprout this spring and watch our video impressions below while you're waiting.