Top positive review
196 of 200 people found this helpful
Better than the iPhone 4 ?
on March 3, 2011
I don't write many reviews for products that I buy, but this product deserves some recognition. In a few words: It is amazing. I love many things about this phone that I may have to list the pros and cons...I think I will actually do just that:
The screen, measured diagonally, is about 4.3". This is very large. If you are used to a smaller screen like on the iPhone, get ready for some adaptation to this phone. The screen's size makes it easier to see things like text, pictures, etc. The only bad thing about this screen is that when you compare it to the iPhone 4, you can tell that the Inspire does not have a "Retina Display" as Apple calls it. In other words, you can more easily see pixels displayed on the Inspire than you can on the iPhone 4. Although, don't get me wrong. The Inspire's screen is very nice and sharp with good brightness settings overall, it just isn't as sharp as the iPhone 4's screen. Also, the outer screen is made of a Gorilla Glass, which is much stronger than the glass on other lesser quality phones.
Flashy and Fun OS
Android 2.2 (otherwise known as Froyo), is a very nice OS. I like all of the small graphical details that were put into this OS's design. Things like rain drops falling on your screen to rays of light surrounding a sun show for the various weather updates. Mind you, I am completely new to Androids in general, I am not always the easiest to please when it comes to technology. I also like how you have 7 screens to put widgets, apps, etc. on for fast access.
I have to say that it is quite sleek. The phone looks like what it is worth, maybe even more. From the metal uni-body backing to the large screen, it is a very attractive phone overall that will make others around you envious.
Snappy Processor(Pun intended)
The Snapdragon 1Ghz processor in this thing is pretty fast. Moving from app to app is very quick. You can listen to music and do something else on the phone simultaneously with no problems at all. I have yet to try out some graphic intensive games on this phone but I'm sure it at least matches that of the iPhone 4. Also, web pages seem to load much faster than on previous devices that I have used.
This is one of the biggest things for me coming from an iPhone 4. With this phone, I can finally browse the internet and view/interact with flash-based embedded videos or programs. For example, if you go to a news website and want to see the news in video form, you can't do it on the iPhone 4 because it doesn't have flash support built into Safari. On the Inspire, you can view all that stuff and more. Mind you, when you load a web page with several flash videos embedded, scrolling may get choppy but not too bad. It's to be expected since this is not running a 4 Ghz OC Core i7 or anything like that...
Touch-Sensitive Fast Access Buttons
The 4 "buttons" located at the bottom of the phone are very nice. After being use to the physical button on the iPhone 4, these are much nicer in my opinion. There's no need to press hard on the at all. The buttons sense your finger as if it were a touch screen and the phone vibrates in response to the action to let you know that you pressed it. As for the functionality of these keys, the one on the left is used to take you back to the home screen that displays the clock, etc. Press this button again and it will display all 7 screens of the OS for quick access to your other pages full of apps and widgets. The 2nd button brings up a menu for whatever you are viewing on the phone. If you are viewing your FaceBook news feed, press this for an option to refresh the page. This is very useful and convenient. The 3rd button takes you back to the previous page(s), whether you were browsing or listening to music, it will bring you back to the screen you were viewing before that one. The last one is the search button. Just press this and you can search the phone or the web for anything you want. Also, if you hold this button, voice search will come up which will allow you to give commands such as "navigate to..." for gps navigation or "Call..." to call somebody on your contacts list. Overall, these buttons are very nice and I use them quite often.
8 MP Camera with 720p HD Video Recording
I have only used the camera on the Inspire a few times for both pictures and video and I have to say that the quality is actually better than my dedicated digital camera, which also has 8 MP quality. When you use the came to take pictures, you can literally hear the lens focusing for a better shot. There is also a dual LED flash next to the lens which can get extremely bright. I use it often for the camera as well as the Flashlight app preinstalled on the phone. The video recording is very sharp and the sound is clear due to the phone having two mics for noise cancellation.
Clear Voice Calls
As I just said in the previous Pro, the Inspire has 2 microphones, one on the bottom of the phone and one on the back next to the camera. This makes it so that when you are talking to someone, the quality of the voice you are sending to the other person is clear and crisp whereas on other phones the other person may hear background noise if you are in a car, etc.
Built in Dolby Sound
The Dolby sound in this device is amazing! When I listen to music using my Apple earphones, I have noticed a huge increase in bass from previous devices. It is a very nice feature to have and I might have just purchased this phone just for this sound quality if I had known previously.
-Sub Par Battery Life-
The Inspire comes with a 1230 mAh Lithium-Ion Battery. When compared to other current release phones, this is fairly low. Heavy users may have a problem with this. I have had this phone for a week now and it seems to last the entire day from the time I wake up and take it off charge to the point of me going to sleep that same day. So I'd say anywhere from 12 to 20 hours with intermediate use. Of course, if you use the phone to voice call people and chat for 3 or 4 hours, the battery will obviously drain much more quickly. I generally just browse the internet, listen to music, check email, watch a few videos, etc. If you watch full-length movies or make a lot of voice calls, the battery may last about half or 2/3 of what I'm getting currently with my personal use (12-20 hours average). I know this is a huge factor for some because many people are away from home often and need the phone for calls and such. Bottom line is the battery life isn't horrible, but it isn't great either. If you find the battery life to be just awful, might I suggest purchasing a second battery. Unlike the iPhone 4, you can actually take the battery out of this phone anytime you want. Edit: I suggest the "New Trent iTruck IMP880 8900mAh External Battery Pack and Charger" as a handy recharger for this phone as well as many other compatible devices.
-Battery Cover Difficult to Remove-
While this is more of a gripe than a con, I just wanted to point this out. The battery cover is fairly difficult to remove to place the battery inside and then difficult again to replace the cover to it's secure state. I have heard of some people breaking the covers trying to open or close them. There is a slit underneath the volume rocker on the edge of the phone that allows you to put you fingernail to be able to pop the cover off. Carefully do this and it should come off with a little force. I did have a bit of trouble getting the cover back on as I was afraid of breaking the cover. All you have to do is apply even pressure to both sides to the cover when replacing it to get it to pop back onto the phone. I suppose HTC made this like this to make sure that the cover doesn't just randomly come off, dropping the battery out of the phone. Unlike the battery cover, the SIM card/Micro SD card cover located at the bottom of the phone's backside is fairly easy to slide off. Just be careful not to apply too much pressure and everything should come off fine.
-A Little on the Heavy Side-
Many will notice that this phone weighs a bit more than other phones out there but it really isn't all that noticeable once you get used to it. In my opinion, a heavier phone means a solid phone. In other words, solid build quality.
While I'm sure there may be something that I missed, I think I've made my point overall. The HTC Inspire 4G is a very nice device. It is sleek, attractive, and dare I say, Beastly.
Is it better than the iPhone 4? I say yes in many ways more than one, but you decide for yourself.
Edit (6-4-11): It has been over 3 months since I first received this phone and my impressions are still the same. I have had much more experience with it and I still enjoy everything that it can do. Again, my only biggest complaint is the battery life but there are many products out there that, with the minimal burden of a little extra weight to carry around, can handle many charges of this phone as well as other small portable electronics. The screen on the phone is still in unscratched condition. Seriously. The screen seems to be very resistant to any kind of blemish like scratches and with the use of a nice microfiber cleaning cloth, all smudges and fingerprints from daily use are completely gone and the screen appears as new. If I could nitpick about one thing other than that though, it would be that the external speaker for things like media or ring tones and such is really not all that loud at maximum volume. I have a friend who currently uses an iPhone 4 and it seems to be able to output sound at a higher volume than this particular phone although the iPhone's sound at the highest volume does get a bit scratchy sounding.
Overall though, I still recommend this phone for anyone who is considering it. I have used it every day for the past 3 months and it is still a very nice little device that can do almost anything you can expect from a modern personal desktop or laptop computer.