Archive for October, 2009|Monthly archive page

I am The Phone Critic!

This is for all two of my loyal readers. I’m moving phwnageblog to www.thephonecritic.com. A bit easier to say, and I don’t have to spell it out for people.

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30 minutes with the Sprint HTC Hero

Sprint HTC Hero

Sprint HTC Hero

The wonderful people at the Glendale Sprint store had a working demo unit available today, so I got the chance to try it out for about 30 minutes uninterrupted.

Feel

  • The phone had a good, solid feel.  Construction is well-done and there is no appreciable squeaking between the parts of the body.  It took me a couple minute to get used to the 4-button panel on the bottom, but it became easy enough.

Screen

  • The screen is gorgeous, but I suppose that’s expected in a post-iPhone era.  No complaints at all.

Responsiveness

  • Here I was somewhat disappointed.  There was an appreciable lag when performing just about any action that required a tap.  In-and-of-itself that’s ok by me, but the interface was not expecting such a lag.  For example, when tapping to launch an application, the icon would briefly highlight, and some seconds later the app would launch.  I would expect the highlight to remain, or maybe an hourglass or something, to tell me that the phone is processing my command.
  • Scrolling horizontally and vertically is just fine, so it looks like HTC worked that out.

Keyboard

  • The keyboard is actually better than I had expected, but worse than I’d like it to be.  I have relatively, but not overly, large fingers, and I wasn’t making a ton of mistakes.  Much better than iPhone’s first version.  Sadly, there is a split-second delay between the keypress and the letter selection, which makes for difficult long messages.  There is haptic feedback, which I thought was just the right strength.

Web browser

  • When it finished chugging, the display was nice, but it took far too long to process.  Compared to a WinMo phone it was fast and accurate, but compared to current standards, it falls short.  Zooming is also herky-jerky.

Conclusion:  I think I’m going to wait for the Samsung Moment.  Its processor is about 25ish% faster, and it’s a straight Android ROM.  While HTC did a fantastic job with the eye-candy, I really do think the hardware is not up to the task.  Oh yeah, and it’s got a hardware keyboard.