Since HP abandoned the Palm Pre I decided to do the same. I’m sad about it — I’ve been a Palm user since the Pilot days and loved Palm’s WebOS. But my Pre’s keypad was no longer reliable, the erratic GPS was constantly vexing, and the lack of apps was annoying (and not likely to get better). I considered going with an iPhone but haven’t been wild about the user experience on my iPad (too inflexible, inconsistent navigation from app to app, Apple bans apps they simply don’t like) and I can’t abide the idea of a phone with a battery that can’t be swapped (which also eliminated the new Motorola Droid RAZR from consideration). The reviews of Windows phones were intriguing, but the OS doesn’t sound mature yet. Maybe in a few years… So I bought an HTC Rezound (only available for Verizon).
The Rezound is my first Android device. While I’m not finding the OS as intuitive and elegant as Palm’s OS, I like it better than Apple’s IOS. Here are some quick impressions:
Beautiful, bright screen. Easy to read as long as you’re not in direct sunlight.
Great video and audio.
Sensitive multi-touch screen.
Great GPS, even indoors.
Internet access is reasonably fast when making a 3G connection, lightning fast on 4G.
Lots of options for configuring the phone.
Battery life is good as long as the phone’s in Economy Mode. I also turned off most push notifications and automatic syncing (for instance, I fetch email only when I open the mail app). I can get through a day with the phone turned on performing functions like occasional email, web access, phone calls. I haven’t found a description of what gets changed in each power mode — the user guide has no details. So far I haven’t noticed any drawback to Economy Mode. Installing apps or watching streaming video will still drain the battery quickly (I ordered a spare battery just in case).
Tons of apps. (The lack of apps was a huge drawback with the Pre.) So far I’ve installed Firefox, a BART trip planner, a controller for my Sonos system, Shazam, Evernote, Dropbox, FlightView (for tracking flight status), TweetDeck (my favorite Twitter client), KeePassDroid (a password manager), DroidLight (a flashlight), Battery Status (a battery percentage meter), QR Droid (a QR code reader), AVG anti-virus, Yelp, OpenTable, TuneIn Radio (for listening to Internet radio), LinkedIn, Google Voice, Pandora and a few other music apps, and a few games. The phone came with Facebook, Google Maps, Gmail, Kindle, Weather, YouTube, and lots of navigation and entertainment apps.
It’s hard to see the screen in bright sunlight. Maybe I need an anti-glare screen protector.
The phone is larger than I’d have preferred — it barely fits in a jacket pocket. But the large screen is vastly easier to read than the Palm Pre’s.
Too many options for configuring the phone. After 2 weeks I’m still tinkering with settings. And the integrated help doesn’t give clear explanations for what every setting does. Most don’t have any Help entries.
The phone came with separate apps for Gmail and all other mail. But I was able to set up my Gmail account through the “other” mail app and ignore the Gmail app.
The screen often seems too sensitive. The Palm Pre’s screen had a “frame” of about 1/8″ around the edge that didn’t respond to touch, and the iPad has a larger “frame”. The entire Rezound screen is touch sensitive, and I often launch apps unintentionally. Fortunately, the phone has lots of “home screens” and I moved nearly every app into folders and off the main screen. That way there’s less to inadvertently click.
Terrible battery life in the default High Performance power mode. I installed a battery meter app that shows the charge as a percentage and could watch the charge drain away any time the phone was on. Even when the phone was off the battery would drain throughout the day. Fortunately, Economy Mode and turning off most push notifications and automatic syncing fixed this.
Some pre-installed bloatware like games that can’t be removed (at least, not through normal means).
This isn’t specific to this phone, but why do so many seemingly simple Android apps require access to all of the phone’s data and functions? Creepy.
Every time I connect the phone to my computer via USB it tries to install Windows drivers and Verizon software, even though I already did that. I don’t see a way to turn this off.
Not an international phone (that was one of the big selling points of Verizon’s iPhone, but not enough to seal the deal).