Verizon debuts the HTC Imagio, their first smartphone with V CAST TV

HTC Phones

Aaaand the rumor mill nails it again. Confirming rumors from a few weeks back, Verizon has just announced that their big, beautiful Windows Mobile 6.5 handset, the HTC Imagio, will be launching on the same day as 6.5 itself: October 6th.

Tucked behind that 3.6 inch, 800×480 (WVGA) screen is a good amount of muscle. Here’s what we know so far:

  • 528 Mhz Qualcomm CPU
  • 802.11b/g Wi-Fi
  • Quad-band GSM 850/900/1800/1900 + 2100 HSPA, (CDMA/EV-DO Rev. A 800/1900 MHz
  • 5.0 megapixel autofocus camera
  • TouchFLO 3d interface

We spent a bit of time with the Imagio prior to launch. We didn’t dabble with it enough to write up a full hands-on (we weren’t even allowed pictures) but we walked away impressed.

The hardware was stunning. The bezel around the face has an odd dotted texture that we didn’t appreciate — it reminded us of a basketball — but the overall look of the handset made up for it.

This is the first smartphone to support Verizon’s V CAST TV, allowing the user to stream content from the likes of FOX, Nickelodeon, The Food Network, ESPN, and a number of other content providers. The stream quality was better than we expected, though flipping between content channels (done with a swiping motion across the screen) seemed a bit slow. If you’re willing to drop $15 a month on the optional service, the Imagio seems like a decent way to take it all in.

One of our favorite features is one we’ve certainly seen elsewhere before, but is one we weren’t expecting on the Imagio: a kickstand built into the backplate. A small button on the back releases the kickstand, making for prime viewing when paired with an airplane tray table or a table in a coffee shop.

Come October 6th, you’ll be able to walk out of the store with one for $199 after mail-in rebate and a two-year contract.