Sunday, June 12, 2011

Hello, Evo!

Got my precioussssss last night. Have not been able to stop playing with it ever since.

Initial thoughts: 

My phone is too cool for me. I've never felt incompetent compared to a phone until I got this one. It feels like (and I know I know - it's just the honeymoon era, this infatuation will die down) the phone is a magic genie, except it offers unlimited wishes and less facial hair.

"Import my Google contacts please?"
"I'd be happy to. Give me two seconds."

"Can you sync with Blogger so I have a mobile template?"
"Is the Pope Catholic? Done."

"...can you shampoo my hair?"
"Girl, I will shampoo, condition, and style with a blowout."

It's also HUGE. (TWSS) I feel like I'm holding a tablet. My feelings toward the new size aren't strong one way or another - there are obviously pros and cons on both sides there - but I do miss how Palm lived up to its name with its rounded corners and spin-ability. This one just sits like a hunk of expensive, whiz-bangy slab.

Performance is phenomenal. It's a pleasure to browse apps, surf the internet, and gallivant between my seven (yes, SEVEN) home screens. I daresay it's even "cooler" of a feeling than the experience of browsing an iPhone, but that's probably because I'm already familiar with the iPhone's flashy animations and tricks and have become desensitized to them, whereas I react to everything here by hollering "OH MY GOD LOOK AT THE SHINY."

The battery life already sucks, which I knew coming in. I'm doing everything I can to minimize sync, GPS tracking, WiFi, and updates when they are not needed. Nevertheless I can anticipate this being a relatively large pain point. But you win some and you lose some...and in the case of the Evo overall, this phone by and large already feels like a resounding victory. 

A day or two ago, I ordered an HTC Evo 4g in black from Sprint. I have spent every minute since bouncing out of my seat, whether it be on an airplane or in my room, out of excitement for it to arrive. It should come in by the end of this week to my hotel in Plano. If not, Sprint will suffer the wrath of a year-and-a-half-Palm-Pre user.

I can't believe I've spent 18 months with the Pre. In that time I could've accomplished so much, like watch all of Dexter or birth two back-to-back babies. But no. Instead, I spent that time being tormented by my stupid phone.

It wasn't always so bad. I remember when I first got it (and blogged about it, even) back in August of 2009, the PP was relatively hot shit. It'd just hit the market, it was causing oohs and aahs because of the touchstone charger, and everyone and their mom was whispering about how it'd out-do the iPhone 3gs. It offered a lot of functionality that my old phone couldn't, like take decent pictures and fit nicely in my pocket. But slowly I began to realize what it couldn't do, and the annoyances started to eat at me and eventually drive me into a downward spiral of frustration.

For one, the app selection was pretty bad. I contented myself with things like Bubbles and chess for entertainment, but when it came to real apps I wanted, the plumbing just wasn't there. Many didn't exist in the first place, like an app for me to scrobble to or a RSA security token that would let me access my company's mail. Those that did exist rarely worked well - Facebook for WebOS, Accuweather, and Angry Birds are the only three that I use on a regular basis these days. The rest have been deleted.

For another, the user design/user experience is incredibly shoddy. I can't see the time unless I unlock my phone (minus five million points). I can't see the date unless I touch the time, which by the way, is TINY. I can't see the exact date and time of previous text messages if they are more than twelve days old. If I search for a contact, the option to text them is activated by touching the tiniest of speech bubbles - while the rest of the screen, aka valuable real estate, is stark and empty with incompetence. Don't get me started on battery life. There've been times when my battery is at 80% and two hours later, my phone kicks the bucket. I don't leave the house now without battery being 100%, because it seems like 100% actually means anywhere from 100% to 50% in terms of remaining battery.

Oh and then there's the device itself. To be fair, I have drunkenly dropped it on more than one occasion. But maybe that's because both cases I bought for it didn't fit properly. When I received the device, I noticed it'd shut down every time I snapped it closed too hard - some detective work on the internet made me realize the battery was often loose and needed some paper to be wedged in there to avoid the problem. A clever solution indeed, but one for a problem that shouldn't have existed in the first place, in my opinion.

I know the Evo isn't going to be perfect either (that beautiful 4.3 inch screen? Yeah, its diet consists of batteries. And it's HUNGRY) and am not setting my expectations to be such. But based on my experience with other people's smart phones, I am relatively confident that this new guy will actively make my life better now that designers and engineers have been in the smart phone space a bit longer. Whereas the Pre delivered more functionality as something to throw at people rather than its offerings of "smart" services, I'm hoping the Evo will be something I can rely on and trust in lieu of all this travel and whatnot. And if nothing else, at least it makes for a larger thing to throw at people.

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