T-Mobile Wing: Windows Mobile 6 Blue Smartphone

T-Mobile is on a roll. The carrier recently announced a Windows Mobile 6 Standard upgrade program for its Dash Smartphone users as well as North America's first ever WM 6 Professional device-The T-Mobile Wing. T-Mobile's focus on style is evident in the devices it sells, and the Wing fits in with the Nokia 8801, BlackBerry Pearl, and other Smartphone it offers.

AThe T-Mobile Wing is a slim, royal blue device with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard similar to but larger than the one found on the HTC S710, Tipping the scale at around 6 ounces, it's about average for what we used to call a "Pocket PC Phone Edition" device, but a little heavier than a Smartphone. You won't want to use it for extended conversations without a Bluetooth headset, but its fine for quick calls.

The Wing incorporates an EDGE-capable quad-band GSM/GPRS phone, as well as Wi-Fi (802.11 b and g) and Bluetooth 2.0. (T-Mobile has a series of Wi-Fi hotspots located across the country in places like Starbucks, FedEx/ Kinkos, and at a number of major airports. T-Mobile also offers monthly data plans that include access to this service.)

The face of the Wing is fairly uncluttered. Centered below the display is the D-pad flanked by the Call and End Call buttons, the two soft key buttons, and the Start menu and OK buttons. The Messaging button is located next to the Voice Command button on the right edge.

The mini-USB port located on the bottom edge is covered by a rubber protector that must be removed every time you plug in the sync cable. (If this wasn't a review unit, I'd probably remove it permanently.) The micro SD card slot and soft reset hole are located on the left edge, along with the volume up/down slider and the camera activation button. The power on/off button is on the top.

The Wing was designed and manufactured by HTC. Missing from it and some other recent HTC devices is a scroll wheel. This is unfortunate because it makes one-handed use of the device more difficult.

It was also disappointed that HTC chose to use a 200 MHz OMAP processor on the Wing. When you nudge the keyboard slightly, it pops out with an impressive snapping action, and the screen display will rotate to a landscape viewing mode. However, due to the slow processor or other factors, this can take several (1-3) seconds, which is undesirable on a WM 6 professional phone. Carriers should insist on 400 MHz processors for the device they sell.

The QWERTY keyboard is remarkably comfortable to use; its keys are spacious and well arranged, and the tactile feedback is just right. There are also two mini LEDs just above the keyboard to indicate if the CAPS/Function mode is active, which is more useful than you may think- my old problem of occasionally forgetting what mode I'm in is no more.

Finally, the Wing is poweredd by a 1,130 mAh replaceable, rechargeable battery rated by the Manufacturer as giving you 3.5-5 hours of talk time and 150-200 hours of standby. The battery is located underneath a removable cover on the back. The SIM card slot is located underneath the battery.


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