Editor's Corner: T-Mobile Dash (HTC Excalibur)

T-Mobile DashThe T-Mobile Dash is a branded version of the HTC S620, a Windows Mobile 5.0 smartphone that is perhaps better known as the "Excalibur."

When pictures of the Excalibur first leaked onto the Internet, the phone received a lukewarm reception from many phone enthusiasts. This is due largely to some poor styling choices for phone's faceplate. However, the phone looks far better in real life than it does in the pictures. The Dash is simply not photogenic (and I'm not the only one to say so).

Users accustomed to a touchscreen device like the Palm Treo or a Pocket PC-based phone may have a hard time getting used to the Dash, though it handles common tasks just fine without a touchscreen and works reasonably well one-handed.

In lieu of a touchscreen, and perhaps with a nod to the BlackBerry's scroll wheel, HTC equipped the Excalibur with the JOGGR switch, a touch-sensitive strip of plastic that allows users to scroll through documents or launch applications with shortcuts. T-Mobile apparently decided the finicky JOGGR would be too much for its users and worked with HTC to turn the JOGGR into just a volume control. But before you buy an unlocked phone just for the JOGGR switch, I posted instruction to re-enabled the Dash on my tips and tricks page.

The Dash has been billed as a Motorola Q-killer and by the numbers it fares pretty well. The Dash is loaded with features (WiFi, decent camera and BlueTooth 2.0, to name a few) has plenty of features and is significantly smaller and lighter than the Q, though I haven't spent enough time with the Moto Q to issue a final verdict.

Thanks to its slim form factor, the T-Mobile Dash just might be the phone that makes WiFi enabled smartphones cool for the U.S. audience.

The T-Mobile Dash is available for $200 with a two-year contract. Unlocked HTC S620s are going for as much as $500 online.

Dash owners: check out my Dash tips and tricks page.

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