This is a discussion on Inspire4G Review within the Android News forums, part of the Android.net category; When HTC decides to make something innovative, they donít stop until they achieve just that. This has not changed with the Inspire4G. The latest Android ...
When HTC decides to make something innovative, they donít stop until they achieve just that. This has not changed with the Inspire4G. The latest Android device from HTC for AT&T was sent over to our test shop just two weeks ago. Now we have a full review to share with you guys on this new device. I do want to remind you that this phone is stock; no overclocking, rooting or anything else that would alter the performance of this device.
This phone is the first of a new breed of uni-bodied designs coming from HTCís lab. The phone is measured at 4.8 inches tall by 2.7 inches wide by 0.46 inch thick and weighing 5.78 ounces. This size makes for a slightly heavier feel to the phone, which gives you the impression that the device was well built with quality materials. This phone is very easy to carry around. It fits in my hand without a problem, and the full keyboard is a pleasure to type on. When I am done, it slips into my skinny jeans without feeling thick.
The screen is a very nice 4.3 inches from edge to edge, which means youíre getting something thatís great for landscape web browsing, gaming and messaging. When outside, the screen does become hard to work with because, unlike most popular smartphones these days, it has a standard LCD rather than AMOLED. This makes for a very hard to view display in direct sunlight.
The back harbors a spectacular 8MP camera that has dual led to assist you in taking pictures Ėor walking around your house in the dark. In testing, the camera quality is very nice, creating pictures that are comparable to my Samsung Dual view 12MP camera. The dual LED flash is a very bright way to take pictures even when the room is midnight dark.
In the box, you get a pre-installed memory card, USB wall adapter, a quick start manual and the usual simplistic box content.
OS & UI:
This phone ships with Android 2.2, a.k.a. Froyo, pre-installed alongside the impressive Sense UI 2.0. This is a new version of Sense UI that has been in Europe for sometime. This phone is the very first in America to ship with it. The new Sense UI is not that visually different than the previous versions of Sense UI, but it adds some features like improved scene/theme management, and, most importantly, support for the HTCSense.com website that gives you many offline features. This website is similar to Mobileme for Apple devices. It allows you to track your device, make it ring, whipe it clean and lock it, in case itís not in your possession.
Other than these added features, HTC did not stray too far by adding on a lot of AT&T crap-ware. The phone has an impressive CPU for a single core device, scoring over 1976 on a quadrant test using its Qualcommģ QSD8255 1GHz second generation Snapdragon processor as backbone.
One of the key features HTC announced for this phone is the support for quick boot. This is HTCís way of making the start-up process much faster and simpler. The phone caches the UI and other start-up processes after the first boot, (or after you take out the back battery cover). When you power on the device after that, you will experience a very rapid 10 second boot time. The time even goes down after a while, with 8 seconds being my fastest. This feature is very useful if you travel a lot, and want your phone to turn on quickly after your plane lands.
This phone, like many new HTC devices, has more than enough features to make your laptop a little jealous. It has world roaming capabilities, a speakerphone, conference calling, voice dialing, text and multimedia messaging. It also has your standard Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and GPS.
The Inspire 4G is the first smartphone to feature AT&Tís 4G service. AT&T's 4G is powered by their available HSPA+ network. They have actually had it available for a while, but are just getting around to using it. It is supposed to provide a major speed advantage over the competition. In our speed test, in Minneapolis, their 4G speed is actually faster than T-Mobileís. The phone seemed to always have a stronger 4G signal out of the city than my Galaxy S 4G did on T-Mobile. That is most likely due to AT&Tís network being much more mature than T-mobileís. The phone impressed me by constantly pushing around 5Mbits download on every test we took. Videos loaded much faster, web-pages render quickly and GPS ran more smoothly. When it came to its upload speed, I was left very disappointed with only 600 Kbits.
As previously mentioned, the Inspire 4G has an 8-megapixel camera with auto focus, dual LED flash, and HD 720p video recording. The camera app HTC pre-installed on the device offers some enhanced features and functions. The most notable is the built-in photo enhancer that allows you to add effects to your photos. This means you can choose which effect you want while taking the picture and will not have to retake it multiple times. You also get an adjustable scale for exposure, contrast and saturation, white balance controls, ISO settings, face detection and geo-tagging.
After two weeks of using the Inspire 4G, the features, the software functions and the quality left me feeling very impressed. There was little to complain about. The only missing feature I wouldíve loved was a front facing camera. The pricing does make this phone a steal. At $99 with a two year contract, itís one of the most affordable devices out there. I would easily recommend this device to anyone.
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