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HTC Desire HD available 14 October, on Vodafone free from £35 a month

The HTC Desire HD has been given an official launch date, with Vodafone now offering the smart phone on pre-order for various 18- and 24-month contracts.

You can now pre-order the HTC Desire HD from Vodafone, with its launch set for 14 October.

Vodafone has a number of contract options available over 18 and 24 months. You can bag the Desire HD for free if you plump for a two-year £35 per month contract, which includes 900 minutes, unlimited texts and 750MB of Internet data. If you only want to commit to 18 months, it will cost you £40 per month.

Better deals are on offer if you're willing to pay for the handset up front. Over 18 months, there's a £35 per month deal on the Desire HD if you're willing to stump up £99. You get 600 minutes, unlimited texts and 750MB of Internet.

The cheapest monthly tariffs come if you pay £199 for the handset. Over 18 months, you can pay just £30 per month, with 100 minutes, 500 texts and 500MB of data included. If you sign up for two years, it comes down to £25 a month, with the same minutes, texts and mobile Internet.

We were sure the HTC Desire HD would come out on 11 October, the same day as Windows Phone 7 debuts, but perhaps sensibly it will wait a few days. You'd think with Windows Phone 7 handsets such as the HTC Mozart to show off, the Taiwanese company might have enough on its plate to deal with that day.

We haven't seen official tariffs from the other mobile networks as yet, although T-Mobile has given a taster. You can get the phone from other online retailers, but many have simply bought the phone and added a network SIM. If you want to upgrade to the HTC Desire HD and you're not on Vodafone, watch this space.

The HTC Desire HD is the long-awaited successor to the original HTC Desire, which picked up a reputation as one of the best Android handsets around. It has a souped-up 4.3-inch display, 8-megapixel camera, HTC Sense refresh and Android 2.2 running under the hood. The HTC Desire Z is also expected soon, complete with Qwerty keyboard.

Contract-wise, prices for the Desire HD seem pretty fair for a new high-end smart phone. If you're looking for something a tad cheaper, the original HTC Desire is also available, complete with a white paint job.

Do the Vodafone tariffs seem fair to you? Looking forward to getting your hands on the Desire HD? As always, we desire your comments.