As I noted in Part I of my “A New Smartphone for My Wife” series, I am in search of the best smartphone for my wife. She is NOT a techie and just came from a Palm Centro without a data plan, so getting a smartphone is big technological step up for her. And, despite all of the Apple love out there, neither my wife nor I were impressed with the iPhone. So, I decided to test drive the new HTC Inspire from AT&T. And I really like it!
It really is just a big version (4.3” screen) of my HTC Aria, which I love. It runs Android 2.2 Froyo (and, for those techies out there, it has already been rooted and has custom ROMs available on xda-developers.com). The Inspire is a quality build that has what you would expect of an HTC Android phone.
There isn’t anything flashy about the Inspire and it really isn’t cutting edge in its specs or technological accoutrement. So if you’re looking for a leader-of-the-pack phone, this isn’t it. But if you want a rock-solid phone that is customizable, yet easy to navigate, this is a great phone. Plus, at just $99, you get a lot of phone for the buck.
A few things I don’t like about it. First, both my wife and I find the Inspire too big. Clearly, there is a trend toward bigger smartphones, but it seems to me that if you want a really big smartphone, you should just buy a tablet. And the “fit in the pocket” factor diminishes greatly.
Also, access to the battery and the SIM/SD cards through two separate “doors” is a real pain. I actually bent the SIM/SD cards cover trying to wrestle it off, but got a new one from the AT&T store. Opening the battery door is a real struggle. The battery life seems fine, but the battery is pretty low capacity (1230 mAh). Also, it didn’t come with a wired headset. And no front-facing camera for video calling (which I think will become de rigueur in the next year or so).
Is the Inspire the keeper for my wife? Doesn’t look like it. A key for me is that I want her to have a smartphone that will still be “in the game” in a year or more. And size matters for my wife. I don’t think the Inspire fits that bill.
The Motorola Atrix just came out, so I’m going to check it out. Now that smartphone, based on its specs, is one ahead-of-the-curve piece of machinery.
So, the saga continues. I’ll report back on the Atrix and our final decision in Part III of my series.
P.S. My greatest fear is that my wife will, in the end, decide to keep the iPhone!