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200 of 210 people found the following review helpful
One Amazing Machine
on May 27, 2012
I've been anticipating the launch of this phone for what seems like forever now, and I can now say that it was entirely worth the wait. Unfortunately, I myself am not yet up for an upgrade, but my husband was - so I opted to take full advantage of the situation, and we pre-ordered the LTE the day it became available. Thanks to a customs delay, it arrived a few days late, but this allowed me a nice long weekend to hijack it...um, I mean "put it through its paces."
What you'll like:
-At just 4.7 ounces and just .35" thick, it is incredibly light and thin
-1.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 dual-core processor. In other words, FAST. Some may gripe about the lack of quad core, but I haven't noticed a single bit of lag thus far.
-A 720x1080 pixel, LCD display makes everything look crisp and clear. Sporting nearly as many pixels per inch as the iPhone, some have argued that the LTE's display looks just as good, if not better, than Apple's behemoth. As an owner of a 3rd Gen iPad, I can say it's pretty darn close.
-Sprint is including an upgraded, 2000 mAh battery (7 hours quoted talk time) in their model of this phone, and it makes a big difference. It is built in - which is usually not my preference - but after three days of use, it is consistently only draining a little more than 50% of power by the end of the day, with moderate use (And we roam. A LOT). If you're going to have a phone with a non-removable battery, this is the one to get.
-Lack of bloatware. Previous Sprint Android phones included such annoying apps as Sprint NFL, Sprint Nascar, Telenav, et cetera - all practically useless, and completely non-removable, taking up valuable space on the phone. This phone only includes the SprintZone app, which is actually kind of useful for checking usage and diagnosing network problems. Yay for Sprint getting the message!
-SD card slot. Departing from the rest of the OneX line, Sprint opted to include a removable SD card slot in the LTE. An SD card card itself is not included - and is probably not needed for the average user, with 16GB of internal storage on board - but being able to pop in up to 32GB of extra storage if needed is a great feature.
-Call quality is great, and Beats Audio offers pretty impressive sound.
What You'll Love:
-Camera = AMAZING. 8MP rear facing, 1.3MP front facing and shoots 1080P HD video. Dedicated shutter button for snapping shots, and the "burst" feature is great for snapping a barrage of pictures of those children and pets that always seem to be running everywhere. You can easily select the best shot of the bunch to save afterward, or just keep them all. Image stabilization and face recognition are also standard, and a range of effects can be added before or after snapping shots. In short, I can't really find a thing wrong with this camera - it's the best of any smartphone camera I've ever handled.
-Ice Cream Sandwich. One of the few Android phones shipping with (or even running) this operating system, it is intuitive, beautiful and a lot of fun to use. The experience is not quite "stock" ICS, but it comes pretty close.
-Sense 4.0 - light, easy to use, and includes some gorgeous widgets and live backgrounds.
What (May) Bug You:
-Physical button configuration. ICS is moving away from hardware buttons, but this phone includes three - the Back button, Home button, and an App Switching button for switching between open apps, and closing them when you are done. A dedicated Google button is omitted, which is something that's been rough for me to adjust to. HTC would have done much better to either include it as a fourth button, or omit the app switching button to include it. I view the App Switch button as pretty much useless, as my current phone includes the same function when the home button is pressed and held. The phone is capable of performing the same functions using the Google search widget on the home screen, but it does not lock, and the necessity of leaving an app, navigating to the page with the widget, THEN selecting it for use kind of defeats the purpose of instant access to voice commands. There isn't even a smaller widget I can add to the locking shortcut drawer at the bottom of the home screen. Eventually, I'll find a workaround, but for now it's a bit annoying. To be fair, this is going to be a problem on all ICS phones going forward, so HTC was just the first after the Nexus to exclude this.
-Lack of 4G network. This is the major knock on this phone right now - although it is 4G capable, Sprint's LTE network is not yet live pretty much anywhere. The phone does not include a WiMax radio to utilize Sprint's previous "4G" technology, so essentially you're stuck on 3G until Sprint's network starts rolling out next year. That said, I am not anywhere WiMax, so I wouldn't be using anything but 3G anyway, and at least this phone is capable of 4G speeds assuming it comes our way anytime soon.
-Larger size. At 5.2 x 3.7 inches, it is a good bit larger than the iPhone or something similarly sized. That said, my personal viewpoint is that this is a GOOD thing - more of that gorgeous screen real estate for your money. I have spectacularly tiny hands, and the size of this phone bothers me not one bit. Of course, I may be a bit dazzled by the other great features, so it may be worth your while to stop by a Sprint or Best Buy store and play with one to make sure it's to your liking.
In short, this phone is the best of the best. Simple enough for novices, but powerful and versatile enough for super users.
So, anyone know of any retailers looking to donate one of these to a poor, tech-starved geek-ette? My husband is starting to make noise about wanting his phone back.
I managed to get my hands on one of these for myself, and have spent the last few days putting it through even more paces. My initial review was a little more limited since I was using my husband's apps rather than my own. I'm even more impressed with it now, but there are a few more things to be made aware of.
Google Wallet is included with this phone, but has since been deactivated by Sprint. My husband's phone, which was pre-ordered, is still functioning, but my app will not activate and returns a "not certified on your carrier" error. This makes sense, given the rumors circulating that Sprint is working on their own version of NFC payment, but it's still a little disappointing, as Sprint was the only carrier allowing Google Wallet on their phones.
Since the phone's launch, there has been buzz in the forums about network issues and the phone dropping the 3G signal. If anything, my experience has been that 3G is better on this phone than on my last, and I have not noticed the signal dropping in my area - although it did keep "losing" the time zone before I updated the PRL, which seems to have fixed the problem.
The only other issue I've noticed is app switching - some apps seem to behave as normal when switching around (continuing to work in the background, rather than pausing) and others pause and re-load when switching back to them. I'm not sure if this is a problem with the individual apps and compatibility with ICS, or whether it's a software thing. As this is still a brand new phone, there are going to be bugs that need to be worked out, so I'm still keeping an eye on this one. The good news is that HTC has a pretty solid reputation for staying on top of updates and fixes, and as this phone is their shining star right now, I'm pretty confident that they're working on the issues users seem to be having.