The HTC Shadow is a Windows Mobile 6 Standard smartphone (non-touch screen) that runs with an OMAP 850 200 MHz processor, 256 MB ROM, 128 MB RAM, 2.6 inch QVGA 320×240 display, quad band GSM radio (850/900/1800/1900), 802.11 b/g WiFi, Bluetooth 2.0 (A2DP stereo support), 2 megapixel camera, microSD card slot, 920 mAh battery, and 20-key QWERTY keyboard/keypad.
The ROM and RAM are quite impressive for a Standard device and it is great to see Bluetooth stereo support since the Shadow uses the HTC proprietary port for headphones. There is no HotSpot @Home UMA support or 3G radio in the device, which would have really put the device over the top. The Home screen UI is the first thing you will see when you power up the device and the major differentiating factor in the Shadow. If you compare the standard Windows Mobile 6 Standard home screen with the T-Mobile Shadow you will see a MAJOR difference. MyFaves is heavily customized on the Shadow and I added this service to my family plan to see if it reduces some of my minutes for calls to my home and others. One thing I learned is that you lose the free T-Mobile to T-Mobile functionality if you have MyFaves so there is definitely a bill history review that you should conduct before making the switch.
The MyFaves feature is fun, which I think is an important aspect that may help sell the Shadow since people want an enjoyable experience with their mobile phones. Counting the MyFaves plug-in, there are eight home screen plug-ins designed by HTC and Microsoft. These include Notifications, Message Center, Appointments, Internet, Music, My Photos, and Settings. I run through each one in my video above and as you can see it brings the most common functions of the device to a simple UI. HTC included a new navigation wheel that rotates 360 degrees. You can use your thumb to move the wheel around and around, but I found it to be a bit of a novelty since my thumb kept slipping and not causing it to rotate consistently. There are slight cuts in the wheel, but it is slick and not easy to manipulate. It is a good directional pad though and the left, right, up, and down works well. The center action button lights up and has great feedback.
There are two small soft keys integrated into the display with a Home and back key below these. The black display is glossy and face grease shows up and means you will be wiping it down regularly. The back of the device has the cool rubberized covering seen on other Windows Mobile devices, like the Dash. Windows Mobile users seem to have generally been the mobile enthusiasts, techy people, or business people who are more into spending time with their devices and seeking more than just a phone. I have been evangelizing high end devices to family and friends for years, but they still seem satisfied with the free phones their carriers give them. That is fine for many people, but I still think that many others could really use these higher end devices.
The prices for the higher end models are now dropping to within a reasonable consumer price range (US$149.99 for the Shadow for a new subscriber), but there is still the issue of the phones being too complicated for common users. HTC and Microsoft worked together to create an experience on the Shadow that I think will significantly help with this impression and improve the out-of-the box experience. I covered much of the UI in my video above and will write a bit more about it below. You can check out more details regarding this cooperative effort and know that HTC really does care about the end consumer. Like the HTC Touch packaging, HTC has made the unwrapping of the HTC Shadow a special experience with solid packaging and presentation that helps give people a sense that they purchased a premium product. .
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1-HTC Shadow Phone
1-HTC Home Charger
1-HTC Lithium Ion Battery
1-HTC Shadow¬†Battery Door
1-HTC Shadow Box
1-Original Users Guide