Friday, June 7, 2013

The last HTC phone that anyone will care about

HTC ProductDetail overview

HTC was a credible, solid device manufacturer that not only made great hardware, but paired it with its customisations of Android that in past years made Android a credible option for business users rather than a geeks wet dream. But it feels like someone sucked out all the energy and dynamism out of HTC, and threw it into Samsung. Now don't get me wrong; Samsung, while they make great hardware, make some god awful UI's and add (in my mind) almost no tangible value to the Android ecosystem rather than numbers.


But you have to face reality; HTC is haemorrhaging its senior executive team, and despite announcing it before the Samsung S4, has delivered the HTC One it to market in most markets later (sometimes by days, but often by weeks) than its feared rival. So is this the last great phone HTC makes ? I hope not, but fear it is.


Onto the merits of the phone!


  • Its gorgeous to hold in your hand, and feels so well built and less plastic than its rival
  • Those stereo speakers are truly amazing - no more tinny noise, thanks to those Beats-inspired additions
  • HTC Sense 5 is truly a breath of fresh air, providing a great skin on top of Android

But I'm afraid its not all roses :-(


  • The battery life is miserable - try running out of juice (properly) by 4PM in a business day
  • The lack of a large Calendar widget is a dreadful omission, given that its been there in almost every prior device
  • The design gives the hint that its not life-proof compared to its rivals


I like it; enough to make it my primary ? Lets run the battery a bit longer and see. But if it continues to be miserable, no.

Nokia Lumia 920 (aka the peak of irrelevance)

920 nokia lumia pureview jpg

I tried a Nokia Lumia 920 this week. Its well built, solid (I could use it as a traditional weapon its so damn heavy), and the unit I played with was a deep red (and came with a luminous yellow inductive charging pad). Quite eye catching.


LIke the Blackberry Z10 I played with a while ago, the Windows Phone has some great features. Its super responsive, the graphics are gorgeous, and its quite quick to get going. But, it doesn't take long for the Microsoft-ism's to come shining through. All the built-in apps only integrate with Skydrive; sorry Google Drive and Dropbox users, you're stuck. And Google users, there's no social networking, search, browser, Earth or maps. There's nothing. Unlike the Blackberry, this platform has been around long enough that if those applications were ever going to make it over, they'd have been there by now. The fact that they're not, indicates that they probably won't ever be.

Nokia Lumia 920 Wireless charging


And thats sad, because this could have been a great contender.

Nokia Lumia 920 PureMotion HD


Emphasis on could have been. Adios, Nokia & Microsoft. It was, respectively, a great (Nokia) and fucking goddamn awful (Microsoft) 20 years in the mobile industry; by hitching the two horses together, they'll just drown faster.