A step up from its predecessor the HTC Touch, the T-Mobile MDA Touch Plus is a 3.5G HSDPA handset running the Windows Mobile OS.

External appearance-wise, the T-Mobile MDA Touch Plus is not far removed from the Qtek PDAs with slide-out Qwerty keyboards that HTC was selling and building for mobile-phone carriers a couple of years ago.

The T-Mobile MDA Touch Plus's soft rubber casing and thick silver band spanning its circumference are certainly familiar, as is the 2Mp camera round the back.

Where the T-Mobile MDA Touch Plus surpasses its forerunner - the HTC Touch smartphone - is with the superb slide-up keypad the central navipad conceals.

From its previous incarnation as a solid but compact PDA with pretensions, the T-Mobile MDA Touch Plus has emerged as a desirable and functional smartphone that offers a range of ways to achieve tasks and to shortcut to items you need.

Where previously you had to depend on the touchscreen functionality, entering characters you intended or accessing menus you were after was all too often a stab in the dark. For the T-Mobile MDA Touch Plus HTC has added actual keys – of a usable size – along with direct access buttons for email and the main application menu, on the slide-up keypad.

General navigation now works better, with an improved meshing of the native Windows Mobile 6.0 interface and the touchscreen overlay that complements its intuitive access to items such as new email and SMS messages.

The T-Mobile MDA Touch Plus is a quad-band phone (the original HTC Touch was a triband handset) but Wi-Fi has been sacrificed.

As a T-Mobile device (you can also buy it on Orange as the HTC Touch Dual), the T-Mobile MDA Touch Plus comes with Web 'n Walk mobile internet access and we found ourselves getting online and browsing standard web pages pretty satisfactory.

Weekly email updates let you know how much of your data allowance you’ve used and how much remains for the month.

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