Saturday, 19 February 2011

HTC Android Desire HD

I like this phone, despite the very poor battery life. You
can see the specs on the net (4" 840x400 screen, 1GHz cpu, etc).

Battery life is poor - the phone cannot last 12h in normal use, i.e.
turned on, handful of web browsing sessions lasting less than a few
mins each. The microusb is very annoying, meaning I need to be armed with an
adaptor or cable rather than share any other cable within easy reach.

The main Android theme is nice, but takes getting used to.

The video player has some problems (stuttering after turning on
the phone, maybe background stuff is stealing too many cpu cycles).

Email has taken a while to get the hang of.

Certain apps are needed and should be builtin: a decent task monitor, a 3G
bandwidth monitor, and a few other things. One needs to ensure apps are
not running in the background stealing very valuable, but limited bandwidth.

The GMail client is relatively poor - it mostly works, but not
having been an gmail heavy user, I found aspects confusing. (Especially
as my laptop was stealing some of the emails and I kept losing things).
Attachments work badly - you can read them, but you cannot attach them
from the filesystem. (Workaround: use the web browser and access
to do this kind of thing).

Theres no app to turn the phone on and off at a set time. I dont
understand why that is not there. Leaving the phone switched on overnight
will kill the battery.

One nice thing is an app which can turn off wifi/internet so that it is
not eating so much battery power (juicedefender). But it does mean
that the internet is not available unless/until you turn on the phone,
delaying the ability for quick on/browse mode.

The phone app needs a bit more thinking: it is far to easy to start
phoning someone by accident - the edge-to-edge screen means your
hands/fingers have to grasp carefully to avoid touching parts
of the screen, but the result can be "random button pushing". It would
be nice if the phone app could force a prompt before calling rather
than doing it.

The multitude of twitter/facebook and other social media apps is confusing.
I can never be sure whether they are sharing the same data or each one is
re-grabbing the same data as you switch among them.

It does feel more "powerful" than an ipod/ipad/iphone, but then
my focus for the device is different. Video and battery life is reasonable,
but with no standard music player or video player, one can end up trying
lots of Android Market apps to find a nice one which fits your requirements.

The core apps on Android need a bit more power (customisation), such that
people do not implement a 100 different versions of the same basic apps.

Android needs a Virus monitoring tool. Its too easy to have apps
using the bandwidth when you dont want them too. When on a frugal
bandwidth budget, having apps all contacting home (for adverts, or
updates, or just to say "hi!"), can be worrying.

Given that the core is just "linux", I may have to start looking to
see how to rationalise the many system apps to "do what I want".

A project for later in the year, maybe.

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