Well, my wife and I have been using our new Aria phones for about a week now. I switched from a Blackberry Bold and she was using a 1st generation iPhone (although hers didn't have any data plan). We also purchased one of the 3G MicroCells from AT&T at the same time - so our cell signal at home is now better than I thought would be possible.
As far as our profiles go: I'm a tech addict - I work at home as a C/C++ programmer and tend to be an early adopter of anything tech related. My wife is kind of the opposite - she relies on me to keep the tech stuff going and tends to resist new technology since she knows it can often be more of a headache than it is worth:).
Fortunately, this phone is working for both of us. The Android OS has been great - although there are some features in the next version (Froyo) that I wish were on this phone already. I spent several hours yesterday figuring out how to 'root' this phone and I did end up getting it done last night. My wife's went a lot faster since I already understood the process.
Here are some things I like about the Aria:
1) The size of the Aria is perfect. It is smaller than either the Blackberry Bold or the iPhone, yet the screen is very usable. This is a very 'pocketable' phone.
2) The touch screen works great. It supports all the common touch controls like zooming, swiping, etc...
3) There is a version of Kindle available for Android! And it works great - I'll still use my Kindle, but this will work when I'm out without it.
4) I like being able to mix programs and widgets on each screen. It took a few days of playing with it, but we both now have our phones setup to work well for us.
5) The text input works well; but, if you decide to root your phone, do yourself a favor and install the latest version of Swype. This has turned out to be an unbelievably great method of inputting text and both my wife and I are loving it for e-mails and texting!
6) The selection of apps available to this phone through the market is great! I've been able to find apps for everything I want, and I'm looking into writing some myself just to see how it works.
7) The voice quality is excellent. When I first started using the phone I would get that 'Wow!' impression every time I talked to someone - even when out of range of the MicroCell.
8) Web browsing is very snappy and easy. This is an area where the Blackberry really sucked, so I'm loving the real browser with Flash.
9) Once I figured out the task switching and status bar at the top, I've found them very useful. On the other hand, I'm not sure my wife will ever take the time to look into those features.
10) I really like that I can get both my personal e-mail (GMail) and work e-mail (Exchange) - and they integrate together very intuitively. I'm using multiple GMail accounts on this phone with no problem.
11) This is one of those phones that really doesn't need a protective case. The back cover is 'rubbery' and easy to grip - and actually seems to be as protective as any additional cover would be. I like the protective cover much more than the decorative cover that comes on the iPhone (that most people end up covering anyway).
12) This phone supports pattern unlocking; which is a much easier form of security than typing a PIN or password. Once again, this is an area where Android comes through against the iPhone. (NOTE: If you connect to Exchange, the pattern unlock feature can be disabled by your Exchange policy - but this can be worked around if you're willing to do some tweaking.)
13) I've been playing around with the voice input for a couple of days and it works great (although it isn't perfect). You can use it anywhere you can enter text - and it just converts your voice to text. I've been alternating between voice input and Swype, depending on whether other people are around who would make fun of me talking to my phone. :)
Things I'm looking forward to:
1) This phone does not support voice dialing through BlueTooth - but the next version (Froyo) does. I am excited to get that feature on this phone.
2) This phone has some nice accessories that seem to be in the pipeline, but they aren't available yet. iPhones, on the other hand, have gobs of accessories available from day one. (My wife wants a red cover for hers so we can tell them apart more easily.)
Things that could be improved:
1) As with any phone, I think we can always wish for better battery life. If I use the phone non-stop through the day (which I did at first), the battery will last an entire day. I can get through about 2 days of normal use without charging. There is an app called 'Advanced Task Killer' in the market that helps with battery life.
2) I wish there was a way to change sound profiles when charging. I found a program called 'Setting Profiles Lite' that does this, but it seems like it should be built into the Android OS like it is in the Blackberry.
3) The contact manager could be improved. When sending a text, for example, it gives the option of every phone number for a contact instead of just mobile numbers...
Anyway, I've probably yammered on enough already; but I really am enjoying this phone. If you're using AT&T, and looking for an alternative to the over-hyped iPhone, then I think this is probably THE phone to get at this point.
on July 9, 2010
I left iPhone for Android because I don't like the Apple (i.e. Steve Jobs) attitude that they should decide what I need and when I need it. Steve hates Flash so we don't get it. Steve hates widgets so we cannot use them. Steve doesn't want me to use the free, phenomenally cool and exceptionally useful Google Voice that automagically transcribes you voice mail and puts it in my email inbox- so Steve prohibited it from the Apple app store.
That's why I left iPhone. But it isn't why I am staying with Android. Here is why:
- My Android phone is MY phone and I can use it to run whatever software I want. This includes Google Voice. It also includes Flash - which, by the way, is needed for most of the web's video.
- Android is an open platform. That means more competition and that means, ultimately, more (and better) choices for the consumers. If you go with iPhone you have one choice for hardware. If you go with Android, you can pick from a wide variety of features and sizes to get the phone you want. If two cameras on one phone isn't important to you then you don't have to pay for them. If you prefer a smaller phone (like me) there are some great options (like the Aria - which I think is a fantastic phone).
- No Android handset manufacturer would ever dare tell you that their antenna design mistake was your fault for holding the phone wrong (which is exactly what Steve Jobs did) - because you'd simply get your Android phone from another manufacturer. Steve knows you don't have a choice and he seems to likes to rub your nose in it.
- Widgets - small applications that run continually right on your phone's "desktop". If I want a quick Twitter, Facebook, News, or Weather update I can get it just by turning on my phone without needing to launch any application. Yes, they use some battery (as does Flash) - but so does turning on the phone in the first place. That's why I bought it - to do useful things. I expect it to use battery power. I'm waiting for Steve Jobs to tell me how many phone calls I can make in a days so he can brag about the phone's battery life.
- An App store that lets you return apps that fall short of your expectations. That's right - uninstall any paid app within 24 hours of purchasing and you can get your money back. I'd be a a lot richer if that was the case with the Apple app store.
- Upgradeable phones thanks to Android's reliance on industry standard micro SD cards. That means when you run out of room for music you don't have to buy a new phone (which is what you have to do if you have an iPhone). If your iPhone runs out of room you either live with it - or throw out the phone and buy a new one.
- User replaceable battery. We all know that phone batteries degrade and with each day they can hold less and less charge. When your iPhone battery needs to be replaced you have to ship the phone off to Apple, pay them almost [...], and they send back your phone with all your data wiped off ([...] With an Android like the Aria, the battery will cost you about [...] and you change it like you change batteries in your flashlight. And you don't lose all your data.
- A hundred little things - like letting you use any MP3 file for a ring tone or notification sound without having to buy it from one company.
As for the HTC Aria? Fits easily in my pocket, can run any of the tens of thousands of Android apps in the Android Market, has a very good camera and a video recorder. Solid battery life.
In short - the best phone I've ever owned.
on June 26, 2010
Just received my new Aria last night. This is my first ever Android phone - Full Disclosure: I am coming from an old Blackberry & Moto Slvr so I am not exactly on the bleeding edge of smartphone development. My initial impression after about 4 hours of use is - fantastic phone!
Things did not get off to a good start however when I couldn't get the phone apart to put the battery and SIM card in. I found the trick was to put my fingernail into the slot where you are supposed to split the phone apart and slide it to the left and right to get the top catches to release - others have said pushing the front out by pressing on the speakerphone in back while also using the slot works but I was hesitant to do that.
The size and weight are perfect for my needs as I didn't want something the size of the Sprint Evo 4G, etc. Although the big displays on that phone and similar phones are great I just felt they were too big for my daily use (and I had to stay on AT&T). The upside is with the resolution on this screen on a physically smaller screen than say my son's iPhone 3G the "crispness" of the display (especially text) is super.
Physically the phone feels fantastic in hand and the build quality is excellent.
Regarding the two primary AT&T induced drawbacks...no sideloading and AT&T bloatware: for the average user those are probably minor to non-issues. There are workarounds for both issues - the phone has already been rooted (check any of the Android developer forms) and custom ROMs are even available with the AT&T "features" removed. I was going to wait a few more weeks to let the hardware gurus fully explore the phone before making any modifications - but I really want that Swype keyboard.
After a look at some of the AT&T software I think I might have to agree with some of the conspiracy crowd that AT&T would rather not be forced to deal with Android. Initial opening of the AT&T Hotspot app and the page is not centered?? Come on AT&T - at least make it look like you are trying! Sorry - I have been ticked off with AT&T from day one with regard to Android as I never understood how it was in their interest to NOT sell a phone that their customers want given the REAL revenue is in the two year data agreement - not the hardware.
Lots more to explore but I don't think you will be disappointed with the Aria (especially at Amazon's price) if you decide to purchase one.
on July 22, 2010
I'm another who swapped my iPhone 3GS 16 for an HTC Aria from AT&T. As such, I'll try not to compare it to iPhone too much, but I know it'll be inevitable. I'm neither a lover nor a hater of Apple. I've had HTC's Aria for about three weeks, so I'm sure there's much more I have yet to learn about it. I had the iPhone for seven months.
Many people mention that it's difficult to remove the back cover. I disagree. I can remove it with one hand by placing two fingers on the top of the phone and poking the speaker on the back. The cover pops right off.
I'll mention the things I don't like first. Had I had a list like this about the iPhone, I probably never would have bought it.
Oddly enough, though ringtones are pretty flexible, you are only given a few select sounds for the alarm clock. The alarm sounds it has are... Quite alarming. :P Typical alarm clock noises. Not a problem.
Nearly any sound file can be used as a ringtone or message alert (and I mean literally nearly ANY format), but the file must be 300 KB or smaller. It takes a little skill and a lot of compression to get a decent length tone within 300 KB.
Yes, this phone is listed as being compatible with MicroSDHC cards up to 32 GB, but mine didn't play well with a SanDisk 16 Gig card. The card was a little more than halfway full of music and stuff, and the phone became slow and forced me to restart often. I pulled the memory card and used the phone without it for a while and had no problems - until I went to take a picture. You must have a memory card installed to take pictures. I haven't had any trouble with a four GigaByte card, though. It's possible it was a bad card, I guess, 'cuz it had issues with the memory card coming unplugged at random (the phone would sound an alarm and tell me the memory card was removed, once even saying it was damaged and needed reformatted. All I did was unplug and reinsert the card and it worked fine for a while).
The security pattern is an interesting alternative to a PIN or password, but don't try to do it when you're half asleep. If you get it wrong five times, you get locked out temporarily. Not real long, but I still find it an odd feature.
I couldn't get the included IM program to log in to Windows Live (though the email client works with it just fine), but eBuddy will. Curious.
There's no easy way to kick the phone down into 2G mode. I was able to squeeze a lot more life out of a single iBattery charge with 2G (calls) & wi-fi (data) vs 3G calls & data (iPhone) or 3G & wi-fi (Aria).
Selecting a particular place in your email or text message isn't as easy as I think it could be. I have to tap a place near the letter I need to replace, then back up and retype a small piece of text.
Over all, these are VERY minor annoyances I can live with, compared to iPhone's.
Now, the stuff I like.
MIDIs! I can play MIDIs again! And use them for ring and notification tones!
Flexible ringtone formats. No more painful converting to M4R (who's ever even heard of that?!) and iTune syncing.
Ringtones can be assigned to each contact. Right from the media player. Nice.
Customizable Widgets make my commonly used apps available any time ([...], Pandora radio, clock, weather, email, text messages, To-Do list(!), quick access to turn on or off wi-fi, GPS, and Bluetooth), right on the home screen - no need to launch and exit apps over and over again. Six fully customizable screens are great, but the ability to save multiple complete six-way Home screen arrangements is simply incredible. Personalization is the name of the game.
Aria supports downloading stuff from the internet and saving it to the memory card. I downloaded a 52 MB file over EDGE & 3G from the back seat of an SUV on the road without any problems, even switching networks in the middle without a single problem. This amazed me.
Aria also supports file transfer to other phones or computers via Bluetooth, a feature I use regularly. I won't mention a certain other phone which can't.
The Disk Drive USB option is very convenient.
No iTunes required!
The battery usage monitor is a neat thing for technogeeks like myself.
The optical trackball is very handy.
The camera is placed logically in the upper middle of the device - conveniently OUT of the way of my index finger while typing.
Voice typing. Though I don't need this, it's a really cool feature. You can simply say a word or phrase and the phone will convert it to text. Makes internet searching easy.
On-screen Keyboard is easy to use. I like Aria's version of auto-correct better than iPhone's. While you type, Aria suggests a few words, then 'corrects' it if you make a mistake and don't click one of the other suggested words. It's very accurate, and very easy to pick a different word if you're trying to write a word other than what Aria assumes you want. They say Swype is even better, though I haven't tried it.
Many smartphones have a standard headphone jack. Aria is one of them.
Home, Menu, Back, and Search buttons on the phone's face are very useful.
Even in a protective case, Aria's pretty small. It doesn't feel like I'm carrying a brick in my pocket. I wonder if OtterBox will make armor for Aria like they did for iPhone?
The rubberized back case is silky smooth, yet the externally visible screws on the back lend the phone a uniquely hardcore look.
Yes, iPhone has hundreds of accessories (you can't go to the grocery store without seeing a case or charger), but iPhone has been on the market for two or three years. Aria will have an array of accessories soon enough.
Over all, I'm very pleased with my Aria. It cost quite a bit less than my iPhone, too, so after selling iPhone and buying Aria, I have a little money left over for apps and games and stuff!
on July 5, 2010
1. The phone operations are flawless.
2. I can change the home screen to fit my style (unlike the I-phone)
3. It fits nicely in my hands (I am a woman, but not a tiny one).
4. It has adobe FLASH! (again, unlike the I-phone)
5. The phone is easy to maneuver for the less tech savvy, yet it also has the ability to be manipulated and personalized by "techies." It is a win win!
1. No camera flash
2. At&t restricts you from non android marketplace applications
Overall, HTC hit the mark with this phone. It is not too bulky to fit nicely in your pocket, nor too small to be productive. Don't let it's diminutive size fool you, consider it to be a humble pocket giant. Both my husband and I tend to like windows mobile phones, however, this android has wormed its way into our hearts. There are a few quirks, as noted above, but the phone in its entirety is great. Unlike my husband, I do not spend time looking for obscure applications from the web, so my only true con (no camera flash) can be easily resolved by <gasp> using my REAL camera. ;) He has not purchased the Aria as of yet because he is waiting to see if htc wins his heart with a new(er) android/windows mobile super phone that may be coming out this Fall/Winter. He tends to prefer a phone with a keyboard (not sure if the htc android will ever have one). Also, some have complained about the screen size. Switching over from the htc Tilt, this wasn't much of a problem for me considering the Aria is bigger. In all honesty the screen is a decent size (think back five years to your PDA or flip phone).
At any rate, do not be fooled into believing the "innovative" Apple I-phone is a better device. Far from it, actually. Unlike the I-phone, with the Aria, you can watch any video online. Be it on the actual youtube site or a video that is embedded in an article. They post it, you watch it! Ah yes and you can also manipulate your home screen to fit your personal style. Call me OCD, but I know that seeing the numerous applications that show up ALL the time on the I-phone would make my eyes twitch. I prefer the clean home-screen with a date, time, internet...etc.
Advice: if you are interested in this wonderful phone (and you should be by now) I suggest you read up on it before purchasing it. I say this because I had a comical experience in-store with a representative that not only failed to know any of the answers to my questions, but she also said (on numerous occasions ) " I don't know, but the I-phone..." Does nothing else exist but that "innovative", restricted, cult forming device? Answer, yes! There are some fabulous alternatives that utilize the same technology.
on January 1, 2011
After having an iPhone for two years, it was time to move on. I played with several phones at my local ATT store and decided to get the HTC Aria. The phone was sleek with a beautiful finish and really stood out. Unfortunately after using it for one week, I had to return the phone.
-Beautiful HTC design.
-The Android OS is way superior to Apple/iPhone.
-Contacts and calendar easy to use.
-Fast, very fast.
-Display is very sharp.
-Bluetooth connection works occasionally and even when it does, the voice quality is awful.
-Very poor battery life. The battery would be virtually dead if I did not keep it plugged overnight.
I would have kept the phone, however the Bluetooth issue was a deal breaker. I read all the online advice and downloaded some additional apps, however, it did not make any difference. I now have a Samsung Galaxy. It is not as sleek as the HTC, however has Android, with no Bluetooth issues and just has minor battery issues.
In conclusion, HTC Aria is an iPhone killer, but only if you do not need Bluetooth and are willing to keep it charged for most of the day/night.
on August 2, 2010
My wife and I have both been using iPhones for a couple of years now for work, but she recently had to give hers up. I bought her this phone as a replacement and hoped that the good comments wouldn't just be from iPhone haters. I was not let down.
I realize most people looking at this will be comparing with the iPhone, so let me first give the pros for using an iPhone instead of the Aria. The iPhone interface is simpler, so if you want a really low learning curve to being up and running on your phone and accomplishing basic tasks, the iPhone is almost certainly as good as it gets. Very little can be customized, which keeps you from being overwhelmed with options ad just allows you to enjoy using the phone. There are also an enormous number of other devices you can purchase to go with your phone if you want alot of other gadgets.
On the other side, the simplicity of the iPhone turns out to be its downfall for me. Android, and the "Sense" interface that HTC put on top of it, just do so much more. If you don't know what widgets are, let me give me basic explanation - rather than a shortcut that appears on your "desktop" (hereafter referred to as home screens), it is a continuously running program that sits there and is usually a simplified version of a larger program. for example, you can put a Facebook widget on one of your home screens and have a quick look at everyone's comments without opening a full Facebook app or going to the website. Want more functionality? Just click on the widget and launch the full app. Right now she has widgets sitting on her home screens showing her the weather/forecast, email, Facebook, calendar, and text messages. So without opening a program, she has the status of all of these items continuously updating.
We didn't get an unlimited data plan and wanted to monitor usage. So we hopped on Google Market (the equivalent of the app store) and got an app called 3G Watchdog - because of the flexibility of Android, we have the option to put a shortcut to the app on a home screen, put a widget on a home screen to always see the status of this month's usage, or the option we went with which was to ass a status meter to the top bar on the phone (where you have the antenna strength, battery remaining, etc. Very cool.
Pictures and video are very similar to what you get with an iPhone 4, although the Aria has no flash if you find yourself using your cell camera and wanting a flash that will be missing. Speaking of Flash, enjoy using websites that use Flash on your Aria...I'm sick of them not working on my iPhone. Also, the Aria is a bit smaller than the iPhone which may or may not be a downside depending on what you're looking for. We have not found it to be too small for anything yet, but with the size of phones now I'm sure there's some reason someone wants as big of a screen as possible.
There are so many other cool features, and we're finding new ones all the time - Facebook contacts showing up when you want to make a call, Google Voice (needs an entire 5-star review of its own), call quality, and on and on. I'll just summarize and say that there are alot of Apple fans out there that preach that Apple makes the greatest products there are and these people try to criticize all others as though they just need to be "enlightened" on Apple products. An iPhone may be the best phone for you, but you are being suckered if you don't go try an Aria first and decide for yourself which one you really like. I think that once Android's features are shown, more people than not would prefer an Android phone to an iPhone...I would gladly trade my iPhone for an Aria right now.
on August 5, 2010
I bought this phone about 3 weeks ago and had been using it very regularly. The other day I accidentally dropped my phone from a height of about 2.5 feet. The phone landed screen down on a hard surface and the glass on the screen was completely shattered, however still useable. I searched the internet to see if anyone else had damaged their phone from such a small fall and sure enough this seems to be quite a common issue. I called HTC to complain and asked if they might have a recall as the screen is much too fragile to be used without any sort of protection, but they claimed to have never heard about similar issues with this phone. I find that hard to believe however, and I assume HTC would just rather not address this problem. But I can imagine in the coming months it will be a much larger issue for HTC as more people buy the phone.
You will probably agree that any phone could be prone to the same problem, but I have had many many cell phones all of which were dropped at some point and none of which suffered this problem. Most likely this is due to the screen being made out of glass as opposed to plastic like older model phones used to come with. But you would think the glass would be treated to be sturdier. Just sayin..
Aside from this issue, the phone was great and I had no other complaints. But be warned if you buy this phone, you would be well advised to buy a case and a screen protector!
on September 16, 2010
I just received my Aria here in Costa Rica and after SIM unlocking it, it's been working wonderfully with our national phone company's 3G. It's a bit smaller than the perfect size but very usable. Fast typing can be done with a little training or even better, install Swype that makes text entering very pleasant and fast.
Feature wise, Android is great. You can do almost anything with it with the great amount of applications available. It's been a great leap for me, coming from a Palm Treo Pro with Windows Mobile 6.1.
It feels very solid and well constructed. I bought an Amzer Snap On Crystal case that fits wonderfully, it looks like OEM.
The minor flaw I mentioned is the battery time. If you use it intensively, which is very difficult not to do, it will not last for the whole day. If you use it like me, you better carry the USB cable charger just in case. In mine, I disabled all the vibrating feedback for typing and notifications. I'll tell you later if this increases the battery time. If I can get a whole day with average use, I could say I'm satisfied.
Even with a 600mhz cpu, it feels incredible fast and I can scroll large web pages with no delays or slowing.
So, to finish, I can recommend this phone 100%. If you want Android, 3G in 850Mhz and a great price, this is the phone for you ...
After seven days I can say I'm truly impressed by this phone. It's a great phone, incredible gadget, very powerful. Right now I'm sharing my 3G internet connection with my laptop via bluetooth, also listening to music via A2DP Stereo Bluetooth... Not even a pause or slowdowns...
However, be sure you carry your USB to microUSB cable just in case.
I'm getting 14 hrs of battery with normal use. In stand-by with little use it can get up to two whole days.
For casual internet navigation I'm using my Aria more than my ultra portable laptop.
on July 3, 2010
I sold my iPhone 3gs anticipating buying the new G4 iPhone and when they delayed allowing orders from the AT&T site I got this phone on a 30 day trial and by that evening I decided no way I am buying the G4 this phone is superior in so many ways and I used an iPhone for over a year. Some people make claims and have had no expierence with both but all the things I used to do on the iPhone are so much easier. I hope this spares some of you the iPhone experience while that was a good phone it is clunky and slow and akward compared to this phone.
You can see all your screens at once instead of scrolling through backward and fowards to find apps.
You have a street view of addresses you are searching for using google earth I suspect.
The keyboard has the inter active interaction when tying messages or numbers.
Better battery life.
Less upfront cost.
Much better screen resolution/pixels.
Much faster getting through screens and launching apps.
The future is Android and as people use these phones iPhone may have to adopt that operating system it is much
better and behind the launch date of iPhone by about 3 or 4 years but catching up rapidly.
I will no doubt someday switch to Verizon unless AT&T improves it network. I have one year left on 2 year committment and if I switch will be looking for Verizon Android phone I suspect. Verizon is getting iPhone
in January I recently read but that will not be my choice ever again.
Had a Motorola Back Flip for about a week and has old android system as I really like Motorola phone but it
was not even close to this Aria.