The HTC HD2 will be available from T-Mobile starting March 24 for $199.99 with a two-year contract and qualifying data plan. Alternatively, you can get it with an Even More Plus Plan, which doesn't require an annual contract, for $449.99.
The HD2 is a Windows Mobile 6.5 smartphone with HTC Sense. The latter really improves the user experience, which--coupled with the beautiful 4.3-inch capacitive touch screen and the 1GHz processor--makes it the best Windows Mobile device on the market. However, the question now is whether you should wait for Windows Phone 7 Series.
T-Mobile is really playing up the multimedia capabilities of the device, and to sweeten the deal, it is preloading the smartphone with a ton of entertainment apps, including Barnes & Noble's e-book reader app.
The Barnes & Noble eReader app will give you access to the eBookstore where you can access more than a million e-books, newspapers, magazines as well as any content you've downloaded as a previous Barnes & Noble account holder. The HD2's 4.3-inch screen made it pretty easy to read text.
The HD2 will be the first handset to support Blockbuster's On Demand video download application, which lets you preview and download movies on the go. Once purchased, you can watch the video on another connected device, such as a TV, a Blu-Ray disc player, or a PC, using Blockbuster software.
T-Mobile is shipping the HD2 with a 16GB memory card preloaded with both the "Transformers" and "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" movies, both of which have been optimized for viewing on the smartphone's display. Playback was smooth and, again, the screen lends itself well to watching video.
In addition to a traditional onboard keyboard, you'll also be able to use Swype, which lets you spell out a word by dragging your finger on the keyboard from letter to letter. Swype's algorithm then does its best to figure out what word you're trying to input; it also automatically enters a space after you complete a word and includes certain tricks, such as circling a key to input a letter twice. We've tried it out on the Samsung Omnia II and the Motorola Cliq XT and it works surprisingly well.
To accommodate the 4.3-inch screen, the HD2 carries a bigger footprint than most smartphones. It measures 4.74 inches tall by 2.64 inches wide by 0.43 inch thick and weighs 5.54 ounces. Still, for such a feature-packed phone, we're amazed at its thinness.