So I went down the Android route, choosing the HTC Hero and overall I’m glad I did as for me, it does a few things better than the iPhone.
The Android Market was one of my big concerns but I’m happy to report that I’ve been able to find just about ever application I could want and more! Some are very good indeed and are used on a regular basis.
Not everything is rosy in HTC Hero land however – there are few things I would like to see improved upon:
- Better camera
For me, having a decent camera on a mobile phone is important. I don’t expect quality comparable to a dedicated digital camera but something more than a half-arsed attempt would be nice. I don’t take a lot of photos so having a camera as part of a device I will already have to hand, and have battery charge, is something that appeals.
My previous handset, a Nokia N95 did this well. 5MP sensor which performed well in most light conditions, a flash and a dedicated camera button. In contrast, the HTC Hero’s 5MP sensor struggles with low/indoor lighting, has no flash and the operating buttons are hidden away in the application.
- Faster processor / more memory
The Hero isn’t really a slouch with it’s CPU and memory but if we can have more then why not! Newer handsets are being advertised with the 1GHz Snapdragon CPU and double the RAM I’m currently experiencing which I’m led to believe helps Android multitask no end.
- Simple software updates
For all their criticisms, Apple do manage to get most things right from day #1 and upgrading the phone OS is a great example of this. I know some people get Android updates downloaded to their phone wirelessly, but I have no problem docking. What I do take a dislike to is when the update completely wipes the phone, restoring it back to factory settings. Sorry but that’s just not acceptable Android / HTC and to me a big reason to consider other OS/handset providers.
So looking at the new wave of Android handsets, a few stand out but it’s hard to get an concrete real world feedback other than a few amateur videos on Youtube. The best source of HTC info I’ve found have been from Tracy and Matt
As far as I can see, it’s just a smarter, updated HTC Hero. With a metal body and large AMOLED screen, but I don’t know if anything else has changed (apart from the latest OS of course).
Google Nexus One / HTC Desire
Of these two I would probably opt for HTC’s version. I enjoy the Sense UI I’m accustomed to with the HTC Hero and the handset should be a bit cheaper. Apparently some of the widgets on the Nexus One are godawful too. I am yet to find out if the camera on these handsets is the same as the Hero’s or has been upgraded though – if it’s the same I will probably stick with the Hero.
Motorola Droid / Milestone
A little bit chunkier in form due to a sliding out keyboard, the Milestone’s camera is reported to be quite handy indeed. The CPU and RAM are around what the Hero has so no improvement there, but being a Motorola device you don’t get Sense UI so another one I will probably ignore.
It’s worth noting that I think whilst HTC has a good track record in it’s hardware, it lets itself down when it comes to the details (like using decent camera hardware) which is where better-known manufacturers like Sony Ericsson, Motorola, LG and Samsung are victorious.
HTC Incredible and HTC Supersonic
I’m not sure what HTC were smoking when they brainstormed and came up with these model names but as long as the hardware lives up to it then I’m not complaining. Both seem to be closer in design to the iPhone, using larger AMOLED screens, etc. The Incredible is reported to offer 720p video capture and DivX playback too which would be fantastic – that suggests to me the camera has been overhauled too.
Details on the Supersonic are sketchy at the time of writing so it’s anyone’s guess as to what will make it soar above the other devices, but I’m hoping it will be all of the above and more!