HTC Inspire 4G: First Impressions

HTC Inspire 4G

HTC Inspire 4G Phone
HTC Inspire 4G Phone | Source


It has been 2 years and my plan with AT&T was up. I was due for a new phone. I purchased an iPhone 3G back in the summer of 2009 when the iPhone 3GS was coming in and the 3G was going out. The price for a 3G went down to $99 while the 3GS was priced at $399 or more. The iPhone 3G was the first smartphone I had ever purchased. At first I hated it but after a month, it grew on me. The 3G is really outdated now and too slow. I wanted something faster but I didn’t want to spend money for a 3GS which is now on sale for $49 while its replacement, the iPhone 4 is currently $199.

In the two years, I have watched the Droid phones whittle away at iPhone’s share of the smartphone market. People who have them seem to like them. I was a bit confused about the terms Droids and Androids. There was such a diversity of phones using the Android operating system, which make them the direct opposite of the singular iPhone. A new Droid phone seemed to pop up every month.

A year ago, a friend at work said that if I were to replace my iPhone with a Droid, the Samsung Captivate would be the one to choose. Reading many reviews did convince me that it would have been a good choice. It was nice to see that iPhone had competitors and that should lead to better phones in the future.

My two-year contract was up in 2011 and I walked into the AT&T store to look for a Samsung Captivate. However, I saw other phones and the big screen of the HTC Inspire 4G instantly attracted me. The interface was different than the iPhone. The iPhone has a button that really makes you start over again if you are in any level within any application. The HTC Inspire offers a home button plus a menu, back, and search button.

I played with some of the applications and right away noticed two things that were superior over the iPhone 3G. Internet browsing was so much faster. The Inspire has a camera and a video recorder. This camera comes with a flash. The resolution of the photos and video were bigger and much more clearer over the 3G. I asked a few questions from the salesperson at the store and bought it. I was anxious to test the Inspire even more.

The first thing I did when I went home was get reviews on the HTC Inspire. There seems to be a consensus that the phone was as good as the new iPhone models, 3GS and 4G. I was confident I had pick the right smartphone.

After hours of messing around with the HTC Inspire 4G, I found out things that were inferior to the iPhone that is starting to make me wish I had my old iPhone back. I’ve spent many hours finding a way to add my Verizon e-mail account in the HTC phone. I can add Gmail but not Verizon. I even tried using the Yahoo POP addresses since that is what the verizon.net really uses. Customer support was no good and there was nothing on the internet forums. I found out that people had problems adding verizon.net mail too but there were no solutions. I decided to download a free Yahoo app on the HTC Inspire and for the time being, this is how I get my primary e-mail. I still need the HTC Inspire e-mail app to get to other accounts.

Another big negative is the battery life. I thought it was bad with the iPhone. The battery life is much shorter on the HTC Inspire, even with all the power hogging processes such as internet and GPS satellite connections turned off. The reviews that I’ve read all raved that the battery life was decent. The measurement was 2 days of normal use before recharging. I can’t seem to get 8 hours out of the HTC Inspire battery.

The default HTC calendar drove me nuts. I could not port my Google Calendar events into it. My workaround was to make an internet shortcut to Google Calendar. It worked find but a month later, it takes a very long time to load or fails to connect. One day, I peeked into the HTC Inspire calendar app and noticed that it populated events that are on the Google Calendar under my account. The calendar comes up immediately and because of this, I started using the HTC calendar as the default. The only bad thing is that it seems to take a day before events I put on Google Calendar (using my PC) start showing up on the HTC calendar.

One thing I still hate about iPhone is iTunes. This application is so slow. If I just want to add music why can’t I just copy and paste from my computer to another device. Apparently, you can do this with a Droid phone. It doesn’t have to be just music, any files can be transferred much easier than iTunes. It takes some getting used to when figuring out how to use the user unfriendly iTunes interface and synchronize exactly what objects and apps should be on your iPhone. ITunes backs up your information first, synchronizes, and reboots your iPhone. This could take hours.

I was going to add pictures to my HTC Inspire 4G articles but discovered another negative about Droid. There are no screen capture apps for the Droid. The only apps can do screen captures require your phone to be “rooted”. Rooting your phone is basically giving yourself and the apps you install more access to lower level functions inside your Droid. It is like having admin rights so you can “get under the hood” and tweak more things.

I’ve made an attempt to root my phone but the instructions I found in the Internet did not work for me. I’ve also discovered many video tutorials on rooting and not of them were straightforward. There were too many steps and too many risks. If the procedures don’t work, there is a chance that the phone could be damaged. Even a technically savvy person such as myself has no patience for performing the root operation and gambling time and money away.

The iPhone screen capture is already built in. All you have to do is just press two buttons simultaneously.

There will be more articles on the good and the bad of HTC Inspire 4G by yours truly. As for screen captures, I will just take them the old fashion way with a camera.

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