First impressions out of the box are very favourable, the build quality and feeling in the hand reeks of quality, and the initial set up for your Google account and social networking is dead easy. I had only one problem, whereby it couldn’t connect to my networks mobile data connection. The fix was to just manually input the APN, from which point everything worked fine. That was a rather disappointing experience however, since no smartphone I’ve owned has failed to automatically detect the correct settings for my network operator.
Build quality and Design
Build quality is excellent, no creaks, just excellent materials with a lovely soft touch matte finish. For me the only real negative would be the N97-styled battery cover, which you have to bend/peel off. It feels a little dangerous, and you just don’t need a basic manoeuvre provoking that kind of anxiety handling your brand new expensive smartphone. If I were to nitpick in the extreme I would point out a very, very small gap around the screen that may occasion to collect some dust. A ‘rub-over’ finish there would have been better.
Problems highlighted in other reviews? One reviewer had problems with the Back key, but I’ve experienced no worries with that here.
The vital stats, on the off chance that anybody here isn’t already very familiar with them, is a 3.7inch AMOLED capacitive touch screen, WVGA resolution. It’s a truly excellent screen, whose only downsides really are those related to the choice of AMOLED screen technology – sunlight legibility is an issue, and some users find the highly saturated colours off-putting. Whether these are an issue is really a personal matter for each potential user to decide. I like the saturated colours of AMOLED screens, and given that outdoors use comprises something like 1% of my total phone use I can live with that quite happily also. In regards to just how bad the sunlight legibility is, I can’t say just yet. The weather has not obliged, its overcast here today, and certainly in these conditions the screen is fine. The capacitive touch is excellent here, everything feels super silky and well implemented. It’s better than the i8910, and the HD2, being the two previous capacitive handsets I’ve owned. In the case of the i8910, I think that is likely to be due in part to the poor touch implementation into the UI of S60v5. The HD2 I’m less sure why, perhaps they’ve optimised it more in the Desire, or perhaps its because the HD2 was the first capacitive TS in the WM realm Vs a more extensive experience of manufacturing capacitive TS in the Android world.
Will post back on this with more details and some example shots, difficult to make definitive comments until wee see the 720P update however.
As with the camera the media prowess of the phone can’t really be fully adjudicated prior to the firmware update with DivX playback, but as it stands its otherwise an excellent handset from a media point of view. The sound quality in media is excellent, near best in class – the GSMarena review has it level pegging with the X10 here (speculating that the same audio processor is in both Snapdragon-toting devices), but pulling slightly ahead for being able to output a louder volume.
Problems highlighted in other reviews? One reviewer seemed to have problems with audio sync in youTube streams, not an issue that I’ve seen replicated in my handset, but there appear to be a reasonable number of users reporting this in various forums (not sure if this is a branded Vs unbranded FW problem or what, but being sporadic makes it suspicious for something of that kind).
I half expected the marketplace to be a very daunting aspect of the phone, I mean how do you choose the best apps when so many are vying for your attention? It’s a mixed bag really, but essentially positive overall. The market app itself is straightforward, installs are easily achieved once you have your app, and it handily gives you an alert whenever updates become available. Unfortunately due to country limitations, and apparently other more obtuse reasons that I can’t fathom, not all apps are shown on the marketplace on the device. If you know what you’re after this isn’t a huge problem, the .apk installer files can be found around the internet and installed via programs like the free file manager Astro. But that’s a problem in itself, since if you don’t already know the name of the app you’re after, perusing the market from your handset leaves you with the impression it doesn’t exist. LastFMs application is good example, nothing revealed in search for me, but installed the .apk and it works fine with my subscription details. I guess the bottom line here is that you have to supplement your app searches with web-based repositories like appbrain, androlib, androidzoom etc. That’s somewhat disappointing, especially since none of the web-repositories are exactly ideal, and you tend to need to shop around a couple of them to find what you need at times.
When I’ve actually received a call I’ll let you know!
Screen brightness 100%, auto-adjust off
Google sync on 24/7
Weather, Facebook, Twitter, RSS feeds updating hourly
WiFi on continuously
32GB microSD compatibility?
Yes! My 32GB card works fine. Just make sure when you upgrade your card that you copy the contents of the original, including hidden and system files, to the new card. The pre-installed card has some things like HTC Sync that you could possibly lose (like one user I saw in a forums who formatted the card, and then couldn’t get the latest version of Sync from HTC, and therefore couldn’t tether his phone/get Outlook contacts etc).
Anyways, more to follow, anybody with questions is welcome to ask and I'll do my best to answer.