HTC's HD2 is a near perfect combination of physical hardware and silicon that delivers impressive performance on a device that's surprisingly sleek given the display's massive 4.3-inch expanse. Even Microsoft's much maligned Windows Mobile 6.5 is expertly masked by HTC's Sense interface. So it's easy to understand the anticipation felt by the HD2's first US release, questions of a Windows Phone 7 OS upgrade path notwithstanding. T-Mobile has the release honors and is now showing the HD2 as "coming soon" in its phone inventory. We've also got the first "in the wild" shots courtesy of TmoNews showing that big Blockbuster shortcut linked front and center for downloading On Demand movies directly to the device. Still no firm price or date but $199.99 on contract ($449.99 unlocked) sometime around 24 March sounds about right. One more shot with official T-Mobile branding after the break; the rest at the source link below.

Update: Tipster Nigel spotted a "†" footnote to nothing (yet) at the bottom of the page that requires 4 payments of $112.50 (or 20 payments of $22.50). That's $450, matching the rumored price of the unlocked handset.

[Thanks Taylor]

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HTC HD2 breaks free in the T-Mobile USA wilds