The HTC Inspire brings large screen action, 4G capability, the HTC Sense user interface and HTCSense.com to AT&T in a nice package.
The HTC Inspire 4G was one of AT&T’s best kept secrets.The day before it was officially announced at CES it was shown in an ad in the Rollingstone magazine. The Inspire 4G was AT&T’s first 4G capable phone and can be yours for only $99 with contract, if not lower at the time of this posting.
My first impression when I heard about the release of this phone was, HTC is eager to let the US know it can handle 4G networks and wants to further display why the Sense user interface is the best manufacturer interface on the market. The Inspire was revealed at the Consumer Electronic Show in January along with the HTC Thunderbolt and a few other 4G devices from other manufacturers. CES was a big event was big for HTC as it marked the company as the first to announce a 4G capable phone on all four major US carriers.
The phone has the soft plastic on the back for a little extra grip and comes with an excellent speaker for a hands-off experience. The phone is mostly solid except for small, removable lids on the back around the camera and the side for the battery. Press the power button and within seconds Android 2.2 comes to life with one of the latest versions of the Sense user interface. Sense brings a customized look to your phone and gives you the power to quickly overhaul the Android desktop with the use of skins and themes. When I demo’d this phone, I mostly showed off the many options with the HTC Sense user interface, HTC Hub, HTC Likes, the security features of HTCSense.com, the large screen and the camera as those were some of the important items for me to evaluate. The attached screenshot includes a downloaded clock widget from HTC Hub.
- Operating system: Android 2.2
- Processor: 1 GHz Qualcomm Scorpion
- Display: 4.3″ TFT 480 x 800 resolution
- Internal storage: 4GB
- RAM: 768MB
- External storage: 8GB microSD
- Camera: 8MP rear with LED
- Wireless connection types: DLNA, HSPA+, 802.11 b/g/n, FM radio, GPS
- Extras: HTC Fast Boot, HTCSense.com, HTC Widgets, HTC Likes
I certainly like the design of the HTC Inspire 4G with its smokey grey, soft grip exterior, limited dead space around the screen (except the bottom portion), and shiny speaker guard. I hope one day we will see a phone with an all-glass front. Although cosmetically different the size and curves are similar to the HTC HD2 which means it felt comfortable in my hand and was not too bulky for my pocket. I have heard some complaints about the Sense user interface so I am not saying it is perfect, but I do think HTC has a promising interface that excels over other manufacturers attempts to mask the default Android look. My favorite part about the HTC Inspire 4G is access to HTCSense.com! A user can sync the phone with this website and use it to track the phone, make it ring while it’s hidden under your couch on silent, and even lock/wipe the phone if misplaced. HTC also brings you access to their own applications which is pretty impressive. Through HTC Hub you can download new themes, skins, wallpapers, widgets, and more.
My time with the phone was slightly underutilized due to the lack of AT&T service I get in my area which left me a little unsatisfied with the overall package delivered with this phone. I was also a little at loss when Motorola announced a dual-core phone the same time this phone was announced and this one did not have a similar processor. Having said that, I do not want to give you the impression this phone does not keep up with the likes of the Motorola Atrix, other sites have compared the two with results being close to one another.
The HTC Inspire 4G is one of the best phones on the AT&T network and even though newer phones have hit the market, this one is still a very good option for Android users out there and will not disappoint unless AT&T service is sub par in your area.