It’s so…. EVOcative!

So I finally upgraded! I know, I know you’re probably saying “about friggin time!” and you’re right. I probably took the longest time I ever have to decide on a new phone. As you may know from my previous post [Its a Quandry it is – 8/31/2010], I was twisted over my top choices: the HTC EVO or the Samsung Epic. Both are top notch, feature packed phones. Both get high marks from the pundits. Both are priced decently. So which did I choose? Well if you couldn’t tell from my ever so witty title (you know you smiled when you read it lol), I picked the iPhone slayer (yeah i said it) known as the HTC EVO.

Let me tell you why. The EVO just had more features and arguably more tech for the buck than the Epic. The EVO comes with 16gb internal and an 8gb card. It has better cameras, BOTH of them. It looks sharper. The Epic looks like a larger Moment. The EVO hotspot can support 8 devices. Not the Epic. I mean I don’t plan on ever connecting that many, but if for the same money, I can… Why not? Finally, I really like HTC Sense. I know there are a lot of you out there who swear by the “pure” android experience, but I love Sense. It just makes Android flow smoother. Oh and the EVO was $50 cheaper than the Epic. I just couldn’t justify paying that much more for a phone that was less tech wise, and was a slider. I don’t need a physical keyboard and every slider ive ever had eventually developed issues with the slide mechanism. Even with the awesome screen on the Epic (which I have to admit is freaking amazing!), it wasn’t enough to swing me away from the EVO. Did I mention the kickstand? My phone has a kickstand like my old Schwinn did! How cool is that?

So ive had the EVO for about a week. First impressions have been pretty much as expected. The only slight disappointment has been the battery life. Now having been around Android phones since the beginning I knew not to expect stellar usage times. And I’m the type of person that keeps my phone on charge when ever I’m in the car. Still it barely makes it through the day with moderate use. The good news is that is so far the ONLY negative I have found with this phone! Its way fast compared to my retired HTC Hero. even on 3G it’s much faster than the Hero. Next to my friends iPhone 4, web pages seemed to start to load faster on the EVO, but finished loading about the same time. Haven’t tested it on 4g yet as it’s not in my area yet (what’s up with that Sprint?). The cam is very responsive and takes great pics. Love the improvements of v2.2. Live wallpapers is neat for about the first day or so, till you realize it’s a battery killer lol

I am very happy with the upgrade and would recommend the EVO to anyone wanting the latest in Android. Don’t get me wrong, the Samsung is also an awesome phone, if you want a physical keyboard and a crazy clear screen. That’s the beauty of choice right?

Ciao!

Ps. Oh yeah, I made the “iPhone slayer” comment just to rile some of you up lol if you’ve been reading my posts, you know my stance on any one phone being the “best” phone out there 😉

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Its a Quandry it is…

So the time has come for me to upgrade my phone to a newer model. Nothing is particularly wrong with the old phone (HTC Hero running v.2.1). It still does the job, although it has developed some annoying little quirks as of late, which i attribute to being underpowered to run v.2.1. That aside, my initial choice for the replacement was going to be the HTC EVO as I am a Sprint customer. It was a given, hands down. First 4G phone, fastest processor, huge screen, and HTC product, hotspot creation! It was the god phone! The choice was a no-brainer. Now not so much…

[image via Android Trek]

Enter the Samsung Epic
It is everything the Evo is, PLUS a brighter screen AND a slider keyboard. Or is it? From the average consumers point of view, yes. But if you dig a little deeper, the differences magically appear. First of all, and probably the most important, lets examine the screen. EVO has a 4.3 screen, Epic a 4.0. Both at 480×800. You have hot to see them side by side. The Epic screen is amazing! Dont get me wrong, the EVO screen is incredible also, but next to the Epics screen, it is clearly in second place.

The processor speed on both phones is comparable, but I’d have to give the edge to the Epic. Is it enough of a difference to matter to the average Joe? I dont think so. So web pages load in 5 seconds instead of 8. The next difference is in the cameras. EVO sports a 8mp main cam and a 1.3mp front cam. Epic is rocking a 5mp main cam and a VGA front cam.[VGA? seriously?] Again, probably wont make that big of an issue for the average user.

The final difference worth noting is the hotspot ability. HTC says the EVO can maintain up to 8 separate devices on its hotspot. Samsung says the Epic can do 5. Again I say not a deal breaker as I dont plan on providing the neighborhood with access. There are several other minor differences that I feel are a matter of aesthetic preference more than anything else. For a good visual comparison check out this video…

Im going to try to get some more hands on with both phones before I make my decision. I have to admit, the EVO isnt the clear choice anymore. Like I said, its a quandry…

Ciao!

Facts, Fallacies, and Fiction.

So I’ve spent roughly 24 hours with my newly updated Hero. It’s been an interesting experience to say the least. Was it worth the wait? Was it all that I was anticipating? What is up with the horrible service at many MANY “authorized” Sprint service centers? Lets explore those questions and more, shall we?

Ok first I’ll say my piece about the Sprint service center just to get that out of the way. What the hell? I mean, I know these aren’t actual Sprint stores, but isn’t there some sort of qualification a place has to achieve to get status as an “authorized” service center? Or is Sprint handing that designation to anyone willing to deal with repairs? I won’t put the location in the spotlight here, mainly because the staff was very friendly and tried to be accommodating.

The day the update was released I was there just after they opened. The store was empty. I told them I was there for the Hero update. The guy at the counter immediately informed me that I was wrong, it was the Samsung update. [what?] So, I calmly stated that if he checked, I was sure he would confirm my statement. He, not budging from his seat, said “You’re wrong. Hero updates not due for like 2 weeks.”. Just as was turning to exit this den of stupidity, a tech from the back yelled out that indeed the update was released, but they didn’t have it yet. He took my number and said they would call when they had it ready. No problem right?

They called the next day. I told them I’d be in after 5p. When I got there the store was packed. The little girl […] working the service counter asked if she could help me. I told her the deal. She gave me an extended blank look, then said “what?”. So I looked past her at the tech, who was watching the situation with a bemused smile on his face and said “can you get me going here?”. He laughed and said no problem, much to the consternation of the people in line. Hey I made an appointment… Kind of…lol

So 45 minutes or so later, I was updated and out the door. At least the tech guy was good. But then that’s usually the case with these places. Ok I’m done ranting, on to the review!

Right off the bat I noticed that everything I did happened a lot quicker. Everything just seemed to pop! Scoring one for that nugget, I enthusiastically went about re-setting up my phone. That’s where the enthusiasm started to wane. I mean I expected this, but I didn’t realize it would be so tedious. Not only do you have to initialize your Google account again [on the phone], but you also have download each and everyone of your apps again. This shouldn’t have been that bad, but for some reason, the downloads section of Market only contained like 8 of my collection of 30+ apps. Meaning that none of my settings for each individual app were saved, so I had to set up all of them again also. Who has time for that? As of now, I am still not complete.

The battery life is supposed to be better with this update. I haven’t been able to evaluate that yet due to me still getting back to normal. The screen resolution look crisper. Or brighter. I’m not sure but ut definitely looks better. So do the icons. I like what was done to the Camera. Actually operates more like a camera now. Point and shoot style. Loving the Navigation app! Going to use it Sunday for a road trip. Oh and bonus for me? Thumbnail screen display of home screens! So nice…

As I experience more with this update I will continue to post my findings. You know you will get the dirty truth from me…and nothing but the truth lol

Ciao!

The sky is falling!

Yep. Or something almost as unbelieveable. The Hero update has finally arrived! I had my phone updated today. Took it to a Sprint store. They had me leave it for 45 minutes. I felt naked without it lol. Updated with NO problems. Bonus – I didn’t lose any data. All my SD card data stayed intact. Contacts backed up by Google. Just had to re-download my apps from Market which was easy. So far, so good! Going to play with it tonight and tomorrow. Will post my take on 2.1 tomorrow. Stay tuned…

Ciao!

It’s getting ugly in here…

Surprise, surprise. Well not actually. I told you I wasn’t holding my breath that it was going to happen on the 7th. The update for the Hero I mean. So now “they” are saying that it will happen on or before the 21st of this month. At this point I really can’t even get excited about it. This is a classic boy-who-cried-wolf senario. You know what happened at the end of that story right?

In other news, HTC has fired a salvo of their own across Apples bow. The scary thing is that their suit may actually have some teeth. They are counter suing Apple for 20+ patent infringements, based on the fact that they developed the first WinCE(?) device. HTC is asking that all imports and sales of the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad be halted in the US. Can you imagine? You think Jobs is crazy now [ok it’s just me. Right.], just think what he’ll do if that goes through!

I’m all for competition as it’s what drives innovation. What I don’t want to see, is this turn into a vicious, drawn out mud slinging brawl that leaves one or both of the companies crippled. We need both HTC and Apple to move their ground breaking designs forward. That’s only going to happen with competition. Healthy, open competition. Are you listening Steve?

Ciao!

Anticipation…

Whew, its been a few days!  Betcha thought I’d given up on the blog didn’t you?  Nope.  Just been involved in some other time and resource consuming activities for a bit.  Oh ye of little faith LOL  The blog shall endure…

I call this post “Anticipation” because that is what I’m experiencing right now.  On a couple of fronts.  First of all and probably foremost, is I am STILL awaiting the foretold OS upgrade promised for my phone.  Most of all the other models have received upgrades.  As of the posting of this, I believe most of the handsets running 1.6 or better have been upgraded to 2.1 (some are still at 2.0, which is still a darn sight better than 1.5).  It’s a waiting game.  First it was vaguely promised “some time” in 1Q of 2010.  Then its was March 26th.  Now its 2Q.  Yes, its frustrating.  I’m trying to practice what I preach and be patient but MAN, it’s getting old.

Speaking of practicing what I preach, I may have to make a retraction from a previous post.   On March 30th, I posted “iPads not the pad for me!” stating how unimpressed with the iPad I was/wasn’t.  In retrospect, that opinion was made in haste, and overly biased due to my irritation with the hordes of instant iPad fan boys/girls that were flooding the forums with their cult-ish rhetoric.  I have since had ample time to experience the iPad in a more relaxed, and analytical fashion, leading me to form an entirely new opinion of the product.

[photo via apple.com]

I love the iPad!  Now before you start flinging flaming arrows of hate at me, let me clarify.  Everything I previously said about the limitations of the iPad still apply.  For now.  Allegedly, the iPad, iPhone 3Gs, and later models of the iPod Touch, will all get multitasking, and a host of other abilities with the next OS upgrade.

My point is, it dosent matter.  Because what the iPad does do, it does superbly!  It’s the perfect size for taking to the coffee shop or library when you just want to do some email, or tweeting, or reading.  The battery life is great.  The screen is awesome.  Fits my needs to a tee.  No more lugging around the laptop.  So yes, I plan of purchasing one.  Not real soon but within the next couple months.  I’m using that time to see just what everybody else is bring to the “pad” arena.  What I am hoping is that someone will step up to the plate and produce an Android based tablet that will make me say phooey to Apple.  Haven’t seen that yet.  There are a few decent ones out there right now, but they are not up to snuff against the iPad.

SO in a nutshell, NO i have not become an Apple fan boy. YES I am still an ardent supporter of the Android platform.  YES, if no one else wows me, I will be purchasing an iPad.  That is all.

Ciao!

Patience is a Virtue…

I am still waiting. For what you may ask? The update to my Hero. I recently posted a rant [well not so much a rant, as more of a long complaint] regarding the nebulous status of the update. You can read it here: Brenda Cares Corner – Living the Hero Life.

The update is rumored to roll out tomorrow. I refuse to get excited about it because frankly I dont believe its going to happen. At least for the majority of Hero owners. Neither Sprint nor HTC has confirmed this date. It’s just a rumor. A widely spread rumor, but a rumor nonetheless. Rumors very rarely turn into anything concrete.

So, here I sit, loving but frustrated by my phone. Not because of my phone, but once again because of my cellular provider.

I think that Android is just the first (arguably) step toward the mobile platform (cellular and computing) becoming a truly open platform where the end user chooses the hardware NOT based on the carrier, but on the specs of the hardware. Then he CHOOSES which carrier he wants, based on his needs, not on which phone they carry. Fantasy? I dont think so. A long way off? Undoubtedly. But I believe we are headed down that road. Sorry Apple LOL

Ciao!