My Top 5 Mobile Devices, Part 2
I blogged earlier about my top 5 devices from an Enterprise standpoint. Does my list of top 5 phones change at all from a personal perspective? If I could choose only one phone, which phone would it be? Read on…
Since a lot of these phones are similar except for carrier, I’ll mention that when I get to them. For example, the HTC EVO on Sprint and the HTC Inspire 4G are almost identical phones with similar functionality…
So…on to the list…
HTC Inspire/HTC EVO
I absolutely love this phone. What’s not to like? I really enjoyed the EVO and always thought that if this phone ever ended up on AT&T, I’d move to it as my primary device. Well, my wish finally came true and the HTC Inspire is available on AT&T.
Pros: Display is incredible; unified inbox similar to what Blackberry has done. You can choose to look at individual items or group everything together. From the front screen though in the unified inbox, very easy to see the different items because they are color coded; true multi-tasking capabilities and push notifications in the apps, I love the top notification bar and getting things always there (weather alerts, app notifications, etc.); apps galore in the Android Marketplace; HTC proprietary apps including the widgets. call me crazy but I love HTC Sense; 8 megapixel camera takes amazing photos and doesn’t stop there…HD recording; amazing call quality (yes, believe it or not these are still phones); Outlook integration is terrific, including calendar (dialing from calendar appointments, seeing appointment conflicts, etc.).
Cons: AT&T has blocked the side-loading of apps (loading outside the marketplace). I don’t understand this at all. You should be able to uncheck the box to load trusted apps, install beta apps, recheck the box and be done. Why restrict it? This alone makes me want to root the phone to remove that. If that’s a problem for you, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile all have top notch Android phones to choose from. Still haven’t figured out how to sort contacts by last name…crazy. Should sorting be this hard? Lots are saying they miss a front facing camera…no need for that but is a con these days. Phone is a little heavy. No native tasks or notes syncing, no One Note client. Yes, I know this is supposed to be a personal phone but I do everything in One Note. Evernote just doesn’t cut it for me.
Yes, I know there are a lot of Windows Phone haters. This device is a very, very close second. I switch back and forth between my Torch and my Focus a lot. There are a few things I still need. Other than some Windows Phones appearing on other carriers, take the plunge anytime. Over the air updates will keep you current. If you aren’t on AT&T, the Sprint HTC Arrive, the T-Mobile HTC HD7, and the soon to be released Verizon HTC Trophy are available for your choosing. HTC is making it happen!
Pros: Very tight integration with Exchange/Outlook, including Calendar, which is a must for me. I can see conflicts at a glance, accept, reject and propose new, email meeting invitee’s all at once if more information is needed or I’m running late, and can dial from the location field for conference calls. Very tight integration with Microsoft Office, including Microsoft One Note. I’ll talk more about calendar integration here in a bit. Social media integration (Facebook/Twitter) is also nice. And with the latest Windows Phone update, I have cut/copy/paste and a much faster phone getting in and out of applications. Lastly, why I prefer this device over other Windows Phone is purely the display. Samsung has this nailed!
Cons: No Notes or Tasks integration; removed capabilities to do Enterprise IM; some apps I use on a regular basis just don’t exist yet on the Windows Phone platform; apps I use on other platforms that are free are not free in the Windows Marketplace. I think they are figuring this out as it’s getting fewer and fewer. I don’t really like the tiles either. It’s a cool concept, particularly the live tiles, but they really need to take a hard look at navigation overall. Once you get past the front screen, depending on the number of apps you have loaded, you scroll forever. Apps are also missing multi-tasking and push notifications. I don’t want to have to launch anything to get information. I should have the option to multi-task and have information pushed to me. Lastly, they need to work on the app integration piece. I’ve blogged about that before. If I have to wipe my phone and start over, all my apps need to come back once I log in or connect to Zune. And please, I don’t mean restoring from backup. If the backup is corrupt and has issues (which is why most will reset), the last thing you want is a restore that is also corrupt. The app load needs to be separate.
Again, what’s not to love. This is a very fast, dual-core phone and with the recent update from AT&T, I now have true HSPA+ speeds with little impact to battery life.
Pros: Similar to Inspire above, lots of great features. The laptop dock is a great addition, although pricey; Front-facing camera; Great display, dual core just makes this phone fast.
Cons: Similar to the Inspire above, AT&T has blocked side loading. Incredible. Don’t like the on/off switch and finger print sensor/reader. Hard to get to and not designed well. Doesn’t feel as well designed as other Motorola phones.
Apple iPhone 4
Yes, the iPhone 4 made my list at number four. Surprised? Apple has come a long way here. The display, user interface, and hundreds of thousands of apps just make this a great device. As most know, you may want to hold off here if you want an iPhone. With Apple’s WWDC coming up here the first of June, there are bound to be announcements that you’ll want to know about.
Pros: I’ve already mentioned it above. The user interface is top notch, the display is clearer than any other I’ve seen, and no matter what I want to run, the app is guaranteed to be there and not only THAT app, but many apps that do the same thing to choose from. It’s all about user choice. The phone is a breeze to use and figure out. Apps work generally the same regardless of what you load (navigation and operation). The addition of Microsoft One Note is a welcome addition. Apple has also nailed backup, restore, and app installation. Hard resetting the phone and starting from scratch is a total breeze. Lastly, many of the popular apps are getting push notification which is also a plus.
Cons: Yes, I’ve experienced the antenna issue. The case I bought (Otterbox) has reduced this problem. Outlook integration is also poor, particularly as it relates to the Calendar. You still can’t dial out from a meeting request when all other OS’s do this. Meeting invites just don’t cut it. They show up in email as an attachment, can’t see conflicts, have to open the attachment to do anything with it, and yet an additional step to actually look at your calendar for conflicts. Way too many steps. Lots of small buggy things with email and contacts too, including some missing fields to sync with Outlook. The lack of Notes and Tasks integration with Outlook is also problematic for me because I take lots of notes and manage via Tasks. Yes, I know Notes syncs but if you need a cable to do anything, your not mobile. Lastly, Apple needs a complete overhaul of their notification system. I hate the fact that once I unlock the phone, all the notifications disappear and can’t see them anymore. If Apple fixes the Outlook integration, this could easily be my number one phone. The pro’s are just too many.
Lest I be viewed as AT&T only, rounding out my top 5 is the Verizon HTC Thunderbolt. With all the others on Verizon, why this phone? One unique feature. Simultaneous voice and data. None of the other phones on Verizon will allow me to get email and browse the internet while on the phone.
Pros: In addition to what is noted above on other Android phones, this phone is just blazingly fast. No matter what you do, it does it quickly. The LTE speeds when you are in an LTE market are incredible to say the least. This phone is a LOT like the HTC EVO and HTC Inspire. I love what HTC has done with these phones. Large, crisp display, HTC Sense, etc., etc., etc. HTC has all the stuff you want your phone to do nailed down.
Cons: Verizon and HTC need to figure out the battery issue. There is no way to toggle off LTE and it drains the battery FAST. If we can figure out the battery issue, this could quickly top the list of favorite phones. I can’t be stuck trying to find a battery charger after 3-4 hours in an LTE market.
So, that rounds out my top 5. Sorry, no Blackberry’s or webOS phones on this list. With Android, Windows Phone and iPhone, the others pack too many features and too much functionality to make the list. Once webOS comes out with some different form factors, my list may change. I’m not hopeful Blackberry will make the list anytime soon.