Overall performance is impressive. The Shift supports Sprint's excellent 4G network and has a perfectly fast 800 MHz processor. Critical business tasks such as email, calendaring and document management can get done when they need to get done.

No question, at $150, the Shift is a legitimate choice for business use.

What you don't get
This Shift falls short of having a truly flawless design, a truly easy-to-use keyboard and a truly svelte size.

Call me a phone snob, but as effective a business tool as the Shift might be, this unit is simply not HTC's best effort. First off, although it is not a monster like its cousin the EVO, the Shift is surprisingly bulky. I measured its thickness at five-eighths of an inch -- fairly honkin' for a smartphone. And the keyboard, as big and spacious as it is, is surprisingly clunky, with keyboard cursor control being in particular a challenge. The headset jack is also poorly designed, and the memory slot hard to deal with.

To be honest, using the Shift left me feeling underwhelmed.

Bottom line
For sure, the Shift is worth a small business' time to consider. It's fast, affordable and certainly earns its keep. For dedicate Sprint customers, it is a solid choice. But, overall, the imperfect design and layout keeps the Shift out of the first tier of keyboard-enabled smartphones.

I am fairly certain that, with a bit of shopping, you will find a business smartphone that truly meets your needs. It's probably not the Shift.

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