I have owned a plethora of “smartphone” devices. My most recent, the HTC Inspire 4G from AT&T has held true to its “smart” description better than most. Briefly I will describe what technical specs are pleasant and which need improving.
Design: While it may be superficial, most would agree the physical appearance of a cellular phone holds a certain sway in forming your opinion of it. The Inspire’s appearance is truly one of the better designs in the current market. It is built within a dark-gray unibody aluminum shell, giving the phone a nice weight and relatively smooth and seamless design. It is a very streamlined look and one that I think most of you will like. A set of silver-metal volume and lock buttons complete the style nicely. Also, all the normal android touch controls are visible on the glass of the screen.
Though I enjoy the look and feel of the HTC Inspire more than any other android device I have used, including the EVO 4G and its successor the EVO 3D, I’m not sure it rivals the classy appearance of the iPhone 4. Also it is good to note, the two pieces of plastic present on the outside of the phone, the battery door and the SD and SIM card door, are extremely hard to pry off! It gets easier over time, but expect a challenge out of the box.
Display: Boasting 4.3 inches of super LCD, the Inspire has a fairly brilliant display. Resolution is 480×800. Definitely no Retina display or AMOLED. Still very large, very bright, very beautiful.
User Interface: The Inspire 4G is running on Google’s Android 2.2 “Froyo” operating system. While Android 2.2 may be on the way out for 2.3 “Gingerbread” or probably 3.0 “Honeycomb”, it does in fact work very well. The user interface that comes with Froyo is beautiful and streamlined out of box, as are most Android UIs. Of course with the customizability of the operating system, you are free to add widgets (self-updating applications extensions that fit on you home screen pages) and shortcuts to make it as sophisticated or ugly as you would like. The inspire home screen has a button to access all applications built in, as well as a phone shortcut and a “personalization” button. With the personalization option you can change the look of your UI even more with “Skins” and “Scenes”. I love the user interface and the option to customize everything about it. That is one thing I could never get from my Apple products; full creative expression.
Web Browsing:The built in web browser on the Inspire is titled simply “Internet”. It is fast. As the phone has a single core 1 gHz Snapdragon processor, its browsing speeds are not as fast as many dual core phones such as the Motorola Atrix. But most benchmark tests show that the Inspire’s browsing speed is faster than all single-core phones on the AT&T network including the iPhone 4. The ability to run on the 4G network (HSPA+) helps keep the phone speedy even when not running on WiFi. Another advantage of the Inspire over its Apple alternative is its built in flash video capabilities, opening up more of what the world wide web has to offer.
Camera: The best camera on a mobile device I have ever used. Pictures taken with the 8MP. dual LED flash camera are not only huge, they are good quality and have many editing features built in. Zoom is only digital, not optical, but really how much can you expect from a cellphone. With face-detection and even a control over white balance, contrast, saturation, and brightness before you even take the picture, the camera is truly feature packed. I loved the camera on the iPhone 4, but the resolution of the pictures take by the Inspire give it a leg up. However there is not front facing camera which may be an issue for those dying to video chat.
Memory: With a 4GB internal memory filled mostly with bloatware, the Inspire definitely needs its SD card slot. From AT&T, the phone is equipped with an 8GB SD card and is upgradeable to 32GB. These are numbers comparable to both the iPhone 4 and Android rivals.
Battery: The most obvious “con” of this phone, battery life is pretty sub par. I don’t mind that I have to charge the phone every day with moderate use, but for some people, this is a problem. It takes a lot of energy to accomplish all the smart things we want our smartphones to do, I’m not sure HTC beefed up the battery enough for the phone’s capabilities. An extra battery could help with this problem, but an extended battery case is not likely to be produced given the unorthodox location and design of the battery door.
To summarize, I enjoy the Android operating system and the simple HTC design the Inspire 4G is equipped with. I am a huge fan of the camera and its many capabilities. Additionally the speed and power with which the phone operates is highly satisfactory. My biggest disappointment is battery life, just don’t forget a car charger or extra battery when you’re planning on being gone for more than a day.