The Shadow Knows

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on October 29, 2007

For those of you who are frustrated seeing all the hottest handsets (other than the iPhone, of course) make there appearence in europe or Asia months before making it to the U.S.—if they ever do—take heart from the new HTC Shadow from T-Mobile.
t-mobile-shadow-ofc.jpg The Shadow, known during development as the HTC Juno, will be avaible on Oct. 31 for $150 with a T-Mo contract. It’s a handsome slider with a difference. Instead of revealing the usual 12-key dialpad, the Shadow features a compact qwerty keyboard —the same as used on the BlackBerry Pearl—licensed from Research In Motion.

The keyboard crams the full alphabet onto just 20 keys by putting two letters on most keys and using software to figure out what it was you meant to type. Unfortunately, HTC did not also license RIM’s SureType software for the job. Instead, they used software from T9 maker Tegic that, in my experience, it signfiicantly clumsier to use than the RIM version.

Otherwise, the Shadow has pretty much everything you would want in a Windows Mobile 6 Smartphone. Though it lacks GPS, it does have Wi-Fi, a big, bright display, and a 2 megapixel camera. With T-Mobile’s 3G network still in an embryonic stage, it should come as no surprise that it is limited to EDGE, so you’ll want to save your big downloads from when you are in Wi-Fi coverage.

All in all, a nice phone and a great value.

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Bloomberg Businessweek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, and Douglas MacMillan, dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.

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