Take a look at the top tier of Android phones right now and you might notice something. They all kind of look the same. Black front fascia, large touchscreen, minimal waistline. Boring, right? Well that's just the way things are going. Alternatives to the slate way of living are becoming increasingly rare, which puts the HTC Desire Z with its hardware keyboard in an intriguing light. With its metallic accents and suave grey pallet, the Desire Z cuts a different path.
You would think that large hardware manufacturers, such as HTC and Motorola, would dedicate at least a few hours to trademark searches before naming their products and investing millions of dollars into promotional efforts for said products. That would be a fair assumption, right? It seems like the answer sometimes is: not exactly.
Last week at MWC, HTC unveiled 6 new devices, one of which was bearing the name ChaCha (that's one of the Facebook phones).
It seems Google has a funny definition of "a few weeks" - the Nexus One has been waiting for an update to Gingerbread for almost three months now - but late or not, the update is finally rolling out.
It isn't just any update, however; it's the recently announced Android 2.3.3, which features API level 10 as well as enhancements to Bluetooth, Graphics, Speech Recognition, and Media APIs (sorry, the Nexus One won't benefit from NFC enhancements as it doesn't have the hardware).
The most anticipated Verizon phone of the month, the HTC Thunderbolt, just got its first official commercial, complete with lightning, thunderbolt (no kidding), and a guy on the hunt for HTC's newcomer who ran away straight from the Ocean's 11 set. Two things are for sure - rooftops are definitely cooler than barns, and lightning is always a good idea.
Oh, and you know what else would be a good idea?
About this time last week, I first started playing with our Inspire 4G review unit. And at first blush, I admittedly found myself enamored with this phone. Unfortunately, it was a love that started to splinter as the days went on, and the more I used it, the more I noticed just how unfinished some parts of this phone can feel. Overall, the Inspire is a good phone with the potential to be great, and I'll talk about what's holding it back (software, connectivity) further on in the review.
How terribly boring were the last 2 months with regards to picking yourself up a new Android handset? We've seen hundreds of exciting announcements but practically no products to actually buy - end of December and January always seem to be those kinds of months. However, things are picking up, and one of the first new devices on the market fresh out of the oven is the HTC Inspire 4G for AT&T.
Yesterday at Mobile World Congress, HTC lifted the veil on their first entry into the tablet market: The HTC Flyer. It's a 7 inch tablet, reminiscent of the Samsung Galaxy Tab released last fall. The Flyer runs Android 2.4 on a 1.5GHz Snapdragon processor and comes with HSPA+ (4G/3G+) capabilities for high-speed data usage.
HTC reported that we should expect it to be available in Q2 2011 but had nothing to say about pricing.
Last week our friends at WireFly unboxed the HTC Thunderbolt, but spent little time actually using the device. They left us with a few tantalizing tidbits though, saying "this phone cranks," and promising a full video review, as well as head-to-head comparisons with the iPhone 4 and the EVO 4G. Yesterday, the last of the three videos went up - let's take a look.
The review video is just over 8 minutes long.
To say the expectations were high for HTC's MWC press conference would be a drastic understatement, especially since the company didn't really announce anything new at CES. So were those expectations met? Personally, I'd have to say "no," but read on to discover the complete specifications of each of their six new devices and decide for yourself.
Update: Now with official HTC videos.
Update #2: Here is the spec sheet from HTC with all the official specs.
Yesterday afternoon I unboxed an HTC Inspire 4G, the first Sense UI-equipped smartphone I've used. And let me say right now: I'm impressed. The interface has very little lag, is quite nice to look at, and very informative on the Inspire's large 4.3" LCD display. Anyway, I'll just direct you to my video hands-on:
Our full review of the Inspire 4G will be making its way to you next week, so be on the lookout.