I was quite the fan of the T-Mobile Shadow and even defended its honor in a post. I bought it the day it was available and think it was a good, solid device. The battery life was the Achilles heel and it never did get an update to Windows Mobile 6.1. T-Mobile announced the second generation Shadow this week and I started playing with it yesterday afternoon. You can check out the video below for some of my thoughts and a walk around the device.
The new T-Mobile Shadow comes in very attractive packaging very similar to the G1 with glossy photos and highlights. When I first pulled the Shadow from the box I found the burgundy to black gradient back to be very attractive. Everyone in my family also commented on how beautiful it was. I think the design and color schemes will go a long ways to helping sales of the device with T-Mobile. The first Shadow was popular with those moving from feature phones so I think the new one will do fine as well.
I just sold my original T-Mobile Shadow last week on Craigslist so I don't have it to compare directly. The only improvements to note are the processor increase from 200 MHz to 260 MHz, the upgrade to WM 6.1 (which should also improve battery life), the larger capacity battery (1150 mAh to 1300 mAh), and the support of T-Mobile's UMA service. The new Shadow has a curvier design and better rotating directional pad. The keyboard, 1.6 inch display, lack of 3G, and basic 2 megapixel camera are the same.
I think the major reason for existing Shadow owners to consider upgrading is the UMA support. I placed a couple of UMA calls last night and it worked quite well. If I used this service or had signal strength issues at home I would consider the Shadow.
I do think it will be attractive to new users and have to say if it had a better camera (say 3.2 megapixel) and 3G radio I would probably go pick one up. It looks like I will have to wait for the next generation for 3G.
The T-Mobile Shadow feels rock solid in your hand with soft touch coating, smooth slider, well spaced keys, and beautiful design. The Neo Home screen interface is still used to help you quickly view notifications, manage your information and communications, and keep you on top of and out of the Windows Mobile menu system.
One area of the Shadow/T-Mobile service that ticks me off is T-Mobile's lockdown of certain Java applications. So while the T-Mobile Shadow has a Java client, I found T-Mobile apparently blocked me from loading both the Gmail and Opera Mini products. I thought this was just an issue for feature phones and find it a bit strange that a smartphone with a full data plan cannot install and use what applications the owner wishes to use.
The T-Mobile Shadow is available for US$149.90 after 2 year agreement and US$50 mail-in rebate. The full price is US$349.99, which I feel is too high for the device with the current specs.