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ZDNet's Rupert Goodwins argues the HTC Desire HD is the Greatest Gadget of the 21st Century

Rupert Goodwins hails the HTC Desire HD as the Greatest Gadget of the 21st Century for its multifaceted functionality and, above all, unequivocal openness. Do you agree?

The HTC Desire HD is many things. It's a fabulous phone, which means you can talk to any one of 4 billion people almost anywhere you go on the planet. No prince, king or emperor before the 21st century, no angel of legend or wizard of myth, could dream of such a thing. How cool is that?

It plays music and moving pictures by the bucketload, in high fidelity and with retina-dazzling colours and brightness. Again, this is magic undreamed of in the history of mankind.

It takes pictures and throws them instantly across the globe. It navigates by quantum physics married to Einsteinian mathematics in mid-Earth orbit. It is a highly functional connection to the greatest collection of knowledge and pleasure mankind has ever invented.

It makes us gods. And, just to cap it all off, it plays Angry Birds.

But that's not enough. Other, lesser phones may claim to do all of the above. What sets the HTC Desire HD apart as truly the Greatest Gadget is: all of this is open. There are no secrets. By building such superb features around the Android operating system, HTC and Google have said, "Here, this is how you do it. Add to it if you wish. Learn from it. It's yours."

And this -- this -- is the mark of true greatness. Not the hiding away of secrets behind a bespectacled, balding, be-polo-necked high priest. Not the bluster and bombast of faded empires, demanding we pay allegiance to their threadbare standards. This is something that truly respects the culture that gave it birth, that nourishes the fires that fight against the nightfall of ignorance and closed minds, that says to everyone, "It's good, but you can make it better."

Such a combination of power and openness is unique in the world. There can be no higher calling for a gadget to aspire to -- brilliance, gorgeousness and intellectual satisfaction. Embrace your cultural heritage and your membership of an enlightened society, and vote for the HTC Desire HD.

Rupert Goodwins is the editor of ZDNet UK