Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Little Bit More Self Restraint This Time

Today was Éclair day. Google published the Android 2.0 Release 1 SDK. Verizon announced the first Android 2.0 handset. HTC announced they will release port Android 2.0 to the Hero. On the heels of all this hullabaloo I finally went ahead and picked up... Sprint's Hero.

By all accounts the Hero is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay inferior to Verizon's Droid. Even inferior to the Samsung Moment that is being released in mere days on Sprint, the self-same carrier of the Hero. After reading the early reviews, however, it appears that the 800MHz SoC and AMOLED display isn't enough to lift the Moment out of mediocrity.

The Hero's camera does suck, no doubt. And Samsung makes a nice camera. However my biggest items of desire were:
  • GPS turn-by-turn navigation, because I can't find my head with a flashlight
  • One central, integrated calendar to keep my day straight at home and work
  • Exchange integration for work info

It sounds like the Moment's GPS is a bit finicky, flaking in and out at times. Exchange integration is supplied by the very capable Moxier Mail but it doesn't sound integrated into the main calendar interface itself. The AMOLED display reportedly washes out in direct light as well, and the keyboard has added considerable bulk to the package.

On top of this there are several forums that swear up and down that Samsung has a habit of abandoning their handsets, pursuing new hardware releases instead of updating old once. On the opposite side of the scale HTC has already announced Éclair support coming soon, so they appear to have a bit more dedication to their userbase.

The Moment has the hardware in spades, and I hate the fact that HTC's Android handsets use a Qualcomm 528MHz CPU that shares cycles with the modem on-die. All my engineer instincts tell me to get the Moment. However... my engineer instincts also told me to pick the iRiver iFP over an iPod, the n810 over an iPhone, HPNA 2.0 over 802.11b, VIA EPIA over AMD or Intel. A pretty poor track record as far as instincts go. Specs may win on paper, but market share is what gives a device longevity and sustainability.

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