The HTC Inspire 4G: Enough To Make Me Leave Blackberry?

So if you read the last article I put up entitled “Is Blackberry Losing Its Sexy?“, you know I’m getting bored with my Blackberry. In that article I mentioned that the HTC Inspire 4G had me more excited recently than anything RIM was putting out.

Well here it is, HTC send us over a HTC Inspire 4G. And I won’t just be talking about style on this one. This will be a real world question being answered. Is it enough to make me leave Blackberry. You might remember I did a similar post back with the Samsung Captivate. And while the Captivate was a very good device, it ended in a tie and I chose to use both.

But this time I’m looking for a clear winner. The HTC Inspire 4G pack Sense 2.0, a 4.3 inch Super LCD screen with a resolution of (480×800), OS 2.2 (aka Froyo instead of 2.1 on the Captivate, which I’m still waiting for an upgrade on that!), and a few other very cool features. I’m sure by now you have read all the reviews, so let’s dive right in!

First Impressions
The very first real Android device to come to AT&T was the HTC Aria. I really liked that device, HTC, and the Sense overlay. However it was just too small compared to beasts like the EVO and Captivate. This is what led me to the Captivate. So right off the back the Inspire 4G feels right. I have the Sense 2.0 interface, which gives me the look and feel I had with the Aria, but now in a 4.3 inch package.

In terms of size the Inspire 4G has .3 inches on the Captivate, which takes a little bit to get use as it is a slightly bigger device. But this didn’t stop me from getting adjusted and after a couple of days, I was good to go. The bigger phones however just aren’t well suited for one-handed action (unless maybe I had Shaq sized hands!).

When compared to the Samsung Captivate, the HTC Inspire 4G is definitely a much more responsive device. All of the lag issues I had with the Captivate, weren’t present on the Inspire. This would definitely mold my decision of moving to Android. You see Android didn’t lose the last challenge because of the OS, but when I think about it, it lost because of the Captivate and TouchWiz. Slap on some Sense with Android and it is a much better device!

Style
HTC seem to be making the same kind of hardware over and over again. I think in general smartphone manufacturers are getting lazy and just using the same design over and over. This is the case with the Inspire 4G. It looks like the Desire HD, the Aria only bigger, the EVO only slimmer, the HD2 but with Android, the HD7 but with Android; I think you get the idea.

With the HTC Inspire 4G, it is all about the screen on the front. The back is gray-ish blue (as said by my fiance as I couldn’t describe it) and charcoal black color. It has some rubber pieces on the back, but I wish the whole thing was rubberized. Nothing really stands out back there, so the main focus is the screen. The screen though, does look good!

Performance
As mentioned earlier, the HTC Inspire flies in terms of processing performance. I noticed no lag when moving between screens or launching applications. Using apps was smooth and responsive. This is what I should of seen in the Samsung Captivate. Had the Inspire been in the 30 day challenge, I’m pretty sure I would have been Team Android by now.

However it isn’t all rosy with the Inspire 4G. Battery performance isn’t good enough to keep up with my active data lifestyle. Though on the Blackberry I can make it to the end of the day but reducing my signal to EDGE during the day, naively I didn’t see that option with the Inspire. Trust me even with AT&T faux 4G service, having the increased data speed is definitely a drain on the battery. So far I’ve only been able to make it to about 3:00pm before having to recharge my battery. This does suck, but something I kind of expected. I definitely wish the battery was better, but maybe they will have a extended battery for it.

Operating System
Android 2.2 aka Froyo is better than 2.1. And HTC Sense 2.0 is much better than TouchWiz. With Froyo I love the Hotspot feature, having flash on the device, and Gmail’s priority email feature.

Flash is very cool on the Inspire, as I imagine it would be on other OS 2.2 device. Being able to visit G Style, go to one of our video posts and being able to watch it right there on the phone is very cool! HTML5 video may be what to come, but until then having Flash is definitely a plus!

Is It Enough?
While this isn’t the same as the 30 day challenge, the question remains is the HTC Inspire 4G enough of a powerhouse to make me want to leave Blackberryville? Honestly is the short time I’ve had it, the answer is surprisingly yes! The Inspire has the size and Android OS I liked in the Samsung Captivate, but without the lag it had. With it’s responsive performance it handles all the items I have done on my Blackberry but with better visual flare. Then there is the price. For $99.99 dollars this is a Android device that is hard to resist. While the battery life isn’t up to par, and the style of the device has been seen before, this is a device I could get behind.

A few items remain however before I run out to AT&T and purchase it for myself. For one AT&T is LAME for always preventing the sideloading of apps for their device, so I will first have to wait to someone or site like the XDA Developer provide a easy method of rooting this device and enabling sideloading. Again the battery is an issue, but I think I could live with that. And then there is the fact that it doesn’t have a front facing camera for video. While video calling isn’t high on my must need list, I kind of feel like should have it. Kind of like laptops now a days. If a laptop didn’t come with a video camera, you would wonder why, since most if not all now do.

But this is a great device and a steal at the price AT&T is offering it! So if you were looking to hop on the Android platform and video calling isn’t a issue for you, this is the DROID you been looking for.

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