The Gadget: Verizon XV6900, their version of Sprint's Touch by HTC, which is a pretty compact Windows Mobile 6 smartphone overlayed with HTC's custom TouchFLO for finger touchiness.The Price: $299.99 online after $100 rebate with two-year contract.
For a phone known in its past life as the "Touch," the touchscreen should be way more responsive. You've gotta actually put some weight behind your pokes, or maddened multi-tapping will be the order of the day (typing can be a serious calorie-burning exercise in frustration). Fingernails seem to work better than fleshy nubs, but it means swiping to get to the slick 'n' schmancy 3D Touch Cube navigation screen can occasionally turn into a massage for your phone.
The UI is basically the same as Sprint's sans Sprint logos, so if you liked your friend's, you'll feel at home. This is a Windows Mobile 6 phone, so all the usual pains (and glories) apply. Verizon's media toys, like V Cast mobile TV are still MIA on the WinMo front. The EV-DO Rev. A's blazing speeds are sweet, but unfortunately the browser doesn't match the awesomeness of the pipe—Gizmodo looks like an unreadable train wreck, for instance.
The size, shape and weight are great, but that doesn't exactly make up for the rest. Touch at your own risk. [Verizon Wireless]