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HTC Desire HD free from £40 per month on T-Mobile, less than iPhone 4

T-Mobile gives a taster of its contract prices for the HTD Desire HD, while an online retailer has put up prices and a release date for unlocked versions of the HD and Desire Z.

T-Mobile has slotted the spangly new HTC Desire HD in near the top of its pyramid of mobile excellence, offering the Android 2.2 phone free on a hefty 24-month, £40 contract.

If you don't want to be stuck with it for that long, UK online retailer Mobile Fun is offering a SIM-free HTC Desire HD for £460, and its Qwerty sibling the HTC Desire Z for £430.

The HTC Desire HD was only announced yesterday, but T-Mobile was quick off the mark to signal availability. It wouldn't release any more details, but in comparison, T-Mobile's two-year £40 iPhone 4 16GB contract still has an £89 handset cost. At a guess, this should mean the HD's monthly tariffs less than £40 will have cheaper upfront costs too.

Mobile Fun has the release date down as 8 October. The £460 price tag is slightly cheaper than an unlocked iPhone 4, which has a 16GB version available at £499 and a 32GB version at £599.

The HTC Desire HD and Desire Z were launched to much fanfare and effusions of goodwill following the huge success of the original HTC Desire.

The Desire HD runs on Android 2.2 Froyo, with a 4.3-inch capacitive touchscreen display. It is powered by a 1GHz Snapdragon 8255 processor, and carries an 8-megapixel camera, which can record 720p HD video. It will be Flash 10.1 ready.

The much-lauded original HTC Desire got five-star ratings from both us and you, the users. Because of the entry of the HD, the original is now available at a more affordable price. 3 is offering the still high-spec smart phone for just £20 a month, while the Carphone Warehouse will soon stock a white version.

But if you want a keyboard with your phone, the £430 HTC Desire Z is another option, £30 cheaper than the HD. It will also run on Android 2.2, but offer a smaller 3.7-inch touchscreen and a lower-spec 5-megapixel camera. The Desire Z will be competing with the latest Qwerty-sporting devices, such as the BlackBerry Torch and Nokia E7, for your affections.

Both these phones look, well, really desirable. We knew they were coming from last month, but we got our hands on the Desire HD and Z yesterday and were terribly impressed. With reasonable pricing, upgraded and powerful specs and a close relationship with Google on Android, this will be a guaranteed success. Agree or disagree? Comments are welcome.