David R. Heffelfinger

  Ensode Technology, LLC

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Ogling Android Phones

I'm a long time BlackBerry user, however for a while I've been tempted by the Android platform. The openness of the platform seems very attractive to me.

The other day I went to the T-Mobile store to try the MyTouch 3G, unfortunately I wasn't very impressed with it. The problem I had was with the virtual keyboard, the wrong letters would show up when I pressed most keys. I looked around online to see if this was a common complaint about the device, and couldn't find much about it. Maybe the unit I tried at the T-Mobile store was defective. Nevertheless, I figured the MyTouch's virtual keyboard would be a recipe for frustration, so I stuck to my BlackBerry Bold for the time being.

Browsing around the web I learned that Sprint will get two new Android phones soon. The HTC Hero, which got a glowing review from ZDNet is coming out this Sunday, October 1st. Based on the review I got really tempted to get one.

While doing some more research I also found out that another Android phone, the Samsung Moment will be released on November 1st, three weeks after the Hero.

I've been researching both devices and at this moment I think I would prefer the Samsung, since it has a much faster processor (800 Mhz, vs 528 Mhz for the Hero) and a physical keyboard. It also seems to come with a more "Standard" Android OS, which I think would make it easier to upgrade the device with future versions of Android.

The Hero comes with "value added" software from HTC, which, although it may be very nice, it may make it harder to upgrade the OS in the device, if nothing else for fear of losing the HTC specific software. Other advantages of the Hero include slightly more memory (288 MB vs the 256 MB that the Moment has), and a 5 megapixel camera (vs the 3.2 megapixel that the Moment has). On the flip side, the Moment's camera has a flash but the Hero's doesn't.

Both seem like very nice devices, but the much faster processor and the physical keyboard of the Samsung Moment, plus the apparent ease of upgradability of the Hero tilt the scale in favor of the Samsung device, at least in my book.

I also looked at Sprint's plans and they seem to have some good ones. I like AT&T's rollover minutes which Sprint lacks, however Sprint's data plan includes GPS functionality, which AT&T charges extra for; and live streaming video through  Sprint TV, which as far as I know AT&T lacks. Also, with Sprint I can make and receive any domestic cell phone number from any carrier. Most of the calls I make and receive are to/from mobile phones anyway, so this is a big plus for me.

I'll be dropping by my local Sprint store in about three weeks to test the Samsung Moment out.


-virtual keyboards work fine once you're used to them. they aren't as good as a slide-out, but I prefer them to keep the profile of my phone thinner. the motorola sholes coming on verizon will have a slide-out keyboard and the device will be as thin or thinner than the mytouch

-htc sense software will not make it more difficult to upgrade the OS

Posted by jason on October 09, 2009 at 09:26 AM EDT #

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