T-Mobile HTC Shadow II Hands On

T-Mobile's just launched the Shadow (Shadow II), the successor to the HTC Shadow, which features a customized UI on top of Windows Mobile 6.1. It's quite similar to the original in just about all respects.

The scroll wheel's still there, and the T-Mobile customized UI is still there, the sliding SureType half-QWERTY keyboard is still there and the Windows Mobile Standard (non-touchscreen) edition OS is still there. I can't call this the same phone, but it's pretty damn similar. It does have support for T-Mobile Unlimited HotSpot Calling, which is the calling over Wi-Fi (@ Home) system you can sign up for.

The first thing we've noticed is that the phone is light—we thought the battery was missing at first until it booted right up. The keys are bulged and feel good enough (looks the same as the first), and the scroll wheel flipped between items with only slight lag. There's still Windows Mobile sluggishness throughout, which you'll notice as you're dumped from the T-Mobile customized front screen whenever you're trying to do some task.

T-Mobile HTC Shadow II Hands On

T-Mobile HTC Shadow II Hands On

T-Mobile HTC Shadow II Hands On

The new Shadow doesn't seem to push the bar of Windows Mobile as much as the original Shadow did, but it's not a bad phone—it's just a Windows Mobile phone. It's portable, light, and somewhat solid. It's just too bad that it uses Windows Mobile Standard instead of Professional. This is about as good a WM Smartphone as you're gonna get before Windows Mobile 6.5 hits later this year, which is what you should be waiting for instead of making a purchase now. But if were looking for a phone that's really black, there's a reason why they call this the Shadow. Seriously. Cause it's black. Really black. Ninjas could use this and not be detected.