If you haven't quite come round to buying an iPad for your inflight entertainment yet, the new HTC big-screen phone might be a good middle-ground when you next update your mobile handset.
The just-released HTC HD7 has a 4.3" touch-screen (about the same size as an average GPS navigator screen, with some GPS navigators still selling with smaller screens!)
It comes with a 'kickstand' built in, which will let you watch movies and TV episodes on the plane without having to hold it the whole time.
Microsoft's new Windows Phone 7 software is at the phone's core. The software has been struggling a bit against the rampant popularity of Google Android and Apple iPhone, but is nonetheless a considerable improvement on Microsoft's previous mobile efforts.
Like other handsets of its calibre, it packs a high definition video camera in it (up to 720P resolution), which also takes 5 megapixel still photos.
Its 11.2mm thickness is chunkier than the iPhone 4's 9.8mm, but less than the iPhone 3GS, which was 12.3mm, so despite its considerable screen size, it's still slim.
The HD7 comes with a 16GB memory card in the box, making it competitive with other entertainment-oriented handsets, and it's being sold as a gaming phone, with access to Microsoft's Xbox Live gaming service.
In truth, though, the list of Xbox Live games for Windows Phone 7 to keep you entertained in the gate-lounge isn't tremendously different to what's available on iPhone or Android phones, with many of the same titles such as Fruit Ninja and Super Monkey Ball popping up.
In terms of loading movies and TV episodes on to the HD7 (or any Windows Phone 7 handset), Microsoft offers a service in Australia called Zune which lets you buy or rent movies to watch on Windows Phone 7 handsets (as well as your PC or Xbox 360).
The HTC HD7 is only available through Telstra, at a cost of $768 outright, or on a range of Telstra cap plans with a monthly handset repayment over 24 months:
- $49 cap plus $22/mth handset repayment ($71)
- $59 cap plus $17/mth handset repayment ($76)
- $79 cap plus $12/mth handset repayment ($91)
- $99 cap plus $7/mth handset repayment ($106)
- $129 cap plus $2/mth handset repayment ($131)