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  • Impulses - Friday, August 12, 2011 - link

    " Anand is going to do a deep dive into the dual-core Snapdragon microarchitecture in our forthcoming EVO 3D review. "

    Been hoping it'll come out already for a while! Any ETA? Also, can you share some specifics about how the battery tests are run? I'm not doubting the results, I'd just like to do my own testing here, my EVO 3D (which I'm still unsure if I'll keep) doesn't seem to be in the same league as the Sensation despite nearly phenyl identical internals.
    Reply
  • Impulses - Friday, August 12, 2011 - link

    Great review btw, as always from AT... You guys go into way more detail than anyone else out there, it's really appreciated. I think the software side could use even more depth tho, ultimately people will customize phones and install their own apps, launchers etc but if you're gonna harp on manufacturer skins for what they get wrong, you should also highlight some of the value that some of them do add, beyond the obvious (lockscreen, camera interface, etc.).

    Take the print feature for instance, I dunno if the MT4G has it but the Sensation and EVO 3D sure do, and it's really really handy... True Wifi printing that works without a computer or a cloud service and seems to work even with older printers (at least it worked with my 5+ year old HP AIO).

    Or how about the ringer settings for pocket mode, speaker on flip, and quiet on pickup? How about the power saver mode? Sense's FB contact integration tho done in a less-than-elegant manner (adds a tag to your Gmail contact notes) at a technical level still works better at a user level than FB's own app imo. The calendar is a vast improvement over past versions of Sense, tho I guess that's not saying much since they had really butchered it.

    My biggest beef with Sense, besides the launcher (easily remedied) continues to be the browser. Generally it works pretty well, I like the big previews of open windows and bookmarks, the couple extra settings HTC tucks in, and the full screen mode... But why do they continue to limit you to four open tabs/windows at a time?! It's maddening, to an extent it keeps me from leaving stuff I intend to read/do open in the browser forever, but AFAIK everyone else is doing 8 no? 16 on tablets?
    Reply
  • FrederickL - Saturday, August 13, 2011 - link



    "But why do they continue to limit you to four open tabs/windows at a time?! "

    I cannot of course say for certain but might it not be that the average smartphone even high-end still has a relatively limited amount of RAM (max currently AFAIK is 1Gb) and they are concerned about the browser crashing?
    Reply
  • Impulses - Saturday, August 13, 2011 - link

    Crashing or getting cached out of memory? I rarely see my stock browser crash on Gingerbread, I don't think it happens more than once a month... I used to see it get closed and tossed out of memory a lot on my EVO 4G whenever I switched to other apps (games, gmail oddly enough, or a combination of various apps would often do the trick). On the EVO 3D it seems to rarely happen thanks to the extra memory, which is really nice.

    I haven't taken notice of how much memory each tab may consume while open, but the browser as a whole usually hovers at around 100MB; higher than most other daily use apps but low enough that it still leaves 100-200MB free (while also having another dozen apps loaded I'm memory, totaling about 150MB). It seems the OS itself and Sense + the stock widgets consumes a beefy 400MB...

    I've avoided customizing it too much while I make up my mind about it, freezing the Sense launcher and using ADW with some lighter widgets would probably free up a decent chunk of that 400 MB.
    Reply
  • FrederickL - Saturday, August 13, 2011 - link



    Yep, I suspect you are right as far as the amount of RAM being used by Sense in Gingerbread is concerned (although I have not had any big issues with my updated Desire Z). Certainly the less than stellar offering from HTC to its original Desire customers of a crippled Gingerbread/Sense upgrade, "install at your own risk", would seem to confirm my suspicions that the producers are (all of them) currently putting the absolute minimum RAM in most of their phones that they think that they can get away with at the time. Until there is a bit more customer pressure over the issue I do not see the tactic changing any time soon. The current attitude of the producers appears to be "if you want more than one upgrade, buy another phone". Given that the price of a modern high end smartphone lies in the range 650 - 800 dollars (unlocked), I find that attitude pretty contemptible. The only reason they can get away with it IMHO is that the US market is the leading market world wide and most in the US buy on a "plan" from the carriers. If a significant proportion of the customers in the US bought unlocked then the producers would probably be experiencing a much more negative attitude from their customers than they currently get.
    Reply
  • Impulses - Saturday, August 13, 2011 - link

    Problem is there is no incentive to buy unlocked, plans cost the same on all carriers regardless of whether you got a subsidized phone or not. T-mobile's the only exception to that and a) the discount is only like $10 b) it looks like they'll soon be part of AT&T.

    Nevermind that buying unlocked isn't even an option for customers withe two other major carriers (Version and Sprint), since they use CDMA.
    Reply
  • FrederickL - Saturday, August 13, 2011 - link



    Indeed, I see your point. That then raises the question of what is going on here with regard to prising. How is it, that there is no "bonus" in regard to plan costs if you buy unlocked? There is something very wrong and illogical with a "market" where that could possibly be the case. It is very strange that a deal that involves signing up for a "plan" which in *addition* provides you with a phone should (apparently) cost you the same as if you bought unlocked and *then* bought your plan. A market where such a phenomenon is possible ought to be the subject of *very* close investigation by the federal competition authorities. There is something that smells here and it is not pleasant.
    Reply
  • andrewbuchanan - Sunday, August 14, 2011 - link

    Yeah. I am pretty upset with the attitude that one or two upgrades is all you get. But I'm also upset that htc cuts corners.

    I had an htc dream with android 1.5, it never got any upgrades. Even though the dream got 1.6 on other carriers... The phone had very little internal flash which didn't leave much room for upgrades.

    I have an htc desire, which is a nice phone, but they cheaped out on flash so it doesn't have room for htc's version of android 2.3 (the desire z, desire hd, got it because they came out slightly later and have more internal flash).

    Anyways, if I had known they would stop supporting the phones after 6 months, I wouldn't have bought them. Carriers push 3 year contracts, but then the phones are only supported for 6 months. I'm sure a motivated individual could sue. And hopefully somebody does.

    I'm not much of an apple lover, but they support their stuff for at least 3 years. And the microsoft ones seem to be as well.
    Reply
  • Impulses - Saturday, August 13, 2011 - link

    It'd be interesting to get those kinda memory usage stats in reviews, it'd probably explain some of the performance drags that manufacturer customizations often incur. Reply
  • FrederickL - Saturday, August 13, 2011 - link



    Agreed, that would be most useful information.
    Reply
  • FrederickL - Saturday, August 13, 2011 - link



    @Vivek Gowri

    Very informative review. With regard to your experience with the 2G I think that the problem may have been that the first shipments of the Desire Z (2G) did indeed have a problem with the construction of that hinge. As far as I can tell (from what I read on various fora at the time) the problem appeared to be largely cured with succeeding shipments. I have had a Desire Z for about half a year now and although the hinge-action has an unusual "feel" to it because of the structural design I have in fact not had any problems with it at all. The disappointment you experienced may be due to the fact that you were an uber early adopter of that phone!

    -:)

    Frederick
    Reply
  • FrederickL - Saturday, August 13, 2011 - link



    @Vivek Gown

    Another thought just struck me looking at your battery life tests (although I know that this is somewhat off topic). If Nokia manage to produce a WP7 phone with something like the N8's build quality, the camera *and* bring their traditional strengths in call quality and battery life to the table (I am thinking that nobody yet gets seriously near the iPhone's battery life) then they *may* prove the doomsayers wrong. Furthermore if they brought those qualities to one of their classic slider packages I think that even a gentleman like yourself who perhaps feels a touch jaded after seeing so many phones might feel pleased! -:)
    Reply
  • VivekGowri - Saturday, August 13, 2011 - link

    I definitely agree about the G2 - I went through two in the first week, and they both felt like crap. The later hardware revisions I played with at the T-Mobile store were definitely better, but they still weren't what I would call "confidence-inspiring". I'm comfortable with my decision to sell when I did, but man was that a brilliantly functional phone for it's day.

    The Nokia WP7 lineup has me so ridiculously excited, you have no idea. I'm an out-and-out Nokia hardware fanboy who has loathed Symbian since the N95 started to get long in the tooth. The first Nokia WP7 device (Sea Ray, the one that looks like the N9) is gonna be bomb, and if they do one like the E7 or the MeeGo slider phone (rumoured to be the N9 back in the day, don't remember the official name off the top of my head), I'll be basically thrilled. I've been using Mango on my HD7 recently, I'm pretty psyched to see it paired with Nokia's brilliant HW design.
    Reply
  • dlochinski - Sunday, August 14, 2011 - link

    You actually can buy a spring for the g2, (rather cheap and rather strong) and replace the spring inside the g2, then voila, no issues! It is rather unfortunate that it had problems in the beginning, but it is a good phone beyond that. Reply
  • FrederickL - Sunday, August 14, 2011 - link


    @Vivek Gowri

    Indeed. I currently run my "Z" as my primary and my dear old "Wildfire" as my backup. I will be looking to upgrade my main phone in about a year and as far as I can see my likely choices will be between HTC's then current Android slider and whatever Nokia has presented as its high end WP7 slider. My good lady runs an N8 and as far as the hardware is concerned she loves it but as far as the os is concerned she uses language that would make a Navy Seal blush! I would certainly be looking in about a year (we have an important anniversary coming up) at whatever is then Nokia's flagship cameraphone. All in all the coming year bodes well for choice of good kit in the marketplace. I look forward to it.
    Reply
  • Johnmcl7 - Saturday, August 13, 2011 - link

    This is the wrong way round:

    "The lower the F/#, the larger the aperture and the higher the diameter of the lens opening. This gets you a greater depth of field and allows more light to reach the image sensor"

    As you widen the aperture the depth of field is reduced, not increased although perhaps that's just the way I read 'greater' to mean deeper depth of field. Either way on such a small focal length the slightly increased aperture isn't really going to have a noticeable effect on depth of field which is going to be very deep anyway.

    Thanks for the review although frustratingly while there were rumours of this phone being released in Europe as the HTC Doubleshot (the G2 was released as the Desire Z with Sense intact) I can't see any sign of it on preorder lists so like the Droid 3 it looks like it's not going to be sold here. Which is particularly frustrating given there's no other high end qwerty sliders after the Desire Z.

    John
    Reply
  • anandtech pirate - Saturday, August 13, 2011 - link

    It looks like HTC needs to stop being cheap on the internal storage. 4GB when the standard now is at least 8gb to 16gb. Reply
  • bplewis24 - Saturday, August 13, 2011 - link

    Completely agree with the Custom UI rant you threw in there. I hope more reviewers keep harping on it.

    The Moto D1 had a dedicated camera button that could be long-pressed to open the camera application, so I don't think HTC was copying MS on that one.

    Lastly, great review as always. AT is the go-to site for smartphone reviews now. I can't tell you guys how many times I have debunked irrational and subjective criticisms of specific phone/hardware with objective analysis and evidence from these reviews.
    Reply
  • VivekGowri - Saturday, August 13, 2011 - link

    Yeah, I guess I didn't mean that they were copying Microsoft, but the idea was definitely marketed pretty heavily by the WP7 devices. HTC has put out enough WP7 devices in the last year that taking that feature to Android seems pretty logical. Reply
  • Bristecom - Saturday, August 13, 2011 - link

    Good find on the use of two different CMOS sensors. I'd be very interested to see some direct comparison shots and video - particularly in low lighting. I hope you can figure out what sensor the Samsung Galaxy S II uses, although I'm pretty sure it's the S5K3H2. Reply
  • Bendynachos - Monday, August 15, 2011 - link

    With this line: "Seriously, HTC does the best hardware keyboards in the business, and it’s been that way for a very long time."

    After using the blackberry 9900's keyboard, there is less than no doubt in my mind about which is better.

    That said, I eagerly look forward to the galaxy s II review and the evo 3D review. I hope they're coming soon!
    Reply
  • shenjing - Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - link

    Come go and see, will not regret it Oh look

    http://www。ifancyshop。com
    Reply
  • scottram - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    excellent review and I am now sold on the sensation !

    wh00p
    Reply
  • leon85321 - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    Hi, good review, i got my 4g slide couple weeks ago, really love it, but the screen is a bit laggy when sliding anything from left to right, from top to bottom, just not smooth as Sensation, is it because of hardware issue?? or it is what it is...
    Thx
    Reply

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