Saturday, December 18, 2010

Finally what I Desire

I've been wanting to get an android phone ever since I gave up on WebOS ever reaching our shores. And especially since working in a big locked down corp I really need a way to escape into the virtual world and hence I've wanted the Nexus One, then the Desire then the Desire HD for a long, long time..

I've signed up for the Digi 2 years contract (heh.. I've been a happy user of Digi for more than 3 years already, so I don't reckon I've got anything to lose) at the Digital Lifestyle Expo at KLCC.

Desire hd box

And so after a week of using it here's what I think of it.

Okay.. now that is out of the way, let's be a little bit more objective here. First, what do I like about the phone.

I like the big screen. It's huge and makes reading the internet and stuff a real pleasure. But of course there's a price to pay. I also like the 8MP camera. It takes nice pictures and I think extremely nice videos. I like that it can do 3G (yes.. been using the Palm Centro for quite a while makes me a little behind on this aspect :P) and uploading those pics and vids doesn't take very long (actually, there's no waiting for it since it's multitasking and you can just let it continue in the background). I like that it can be turned into an instant wifi hotspot. And I especially love that it is easy to tether even on Linux (it's just an 'ifconfig up' and dhcpclient away on a Ubuntu server without needing any gui at all). I like how it integrates facebook and twitter and yes, I'm now on plurk too. So viewing new status and replying to them is even easier now. I like the built in GPS and since I like Google Maps before on my Palm Centro, I love it more now on my Desire HD. But I have done much travelling yet since I've got it so have not yet tested out in real life situation. I like the android market and the large range of software available to download.

And now for the not so nice part. One is the huge screen. Yes, it's lovely to look at, but the price is that it drains the battery like there's no tomorrow. I basically have to charge it every morning and afternoon. Of course it might be because I'm so new to it and I can't help but touch it all the time :P. I'm using it more like a little laptop rather than just a phone for calls and sms. So getting 4-5 hours of pretty heavy use is I think quite reasonable. And I'm not too far from a usb port most of the time anyhow. Another thing which I don't really like is... there's no physical keyboard. Being a long time Centro user, this is going to take a lot of getting used to. On the Centro, I was able to set shortcut on every single letter on the keyboard. So to bring up Butler to set my alarm, just press b for a long time. Want to call my wife, press w for a long time. But on the Desire HD, there's no such buttons. And you have only 7 home screen to set up shortcuts and widgets on. Another thing about the large display is that it makes the phone quite big. You can basically forget about using it on a single hand. Even to bring it up the display, you have to press on the tiny power button at the top of device, which means I usually hold it in my right hand and press the button with the index finger on my left hand. The fingers on my right hand isn't long enough to go around the device to reach it. Being big also makes it rather heavy. After hours and hours of use, you do feel a little cramped (okay, I don't use any other phones for hours and hours but I think anything smaller would have less effect physically). And typing means using a virtual keyboard on the screen. It is much easier than I thought but it's still not as easy as using the physical keyboard on the Centro. And though I like the large choice of selection in the app market, but being a noob makes it quite difficult for me to find what might be good and what is not.

But overall I love this phone and hopefully will be able to use it happily for the next 2 years at least.

*updated: only after reading kaeru's comment did I realize my palm was a centro, not a WebOS Pre. Changed the relevant parts.

Haiya ala Solah