Android, HTC, and me

So this is something I didn’t get to talk about during my hiatus. Up until November 2009, I was rocking a considerably old XV6800 (aka the Mogul). It was a pretty good Windows Mobile running phone made by HTC (whom I love*). Decent screen, physical keyboard, built like a tank (HTC phones are usually built quite well). It had its issues, mind you, but served me faithfully. Pretty easy to hack too, thanks to the help of the fine folks over at XDA developers. At end of use, I had Wm6.5 running on it, albeit it a little slow. Anyway, I was due for a new phone thanks to my contract upgrade and there were a few phones out or coming that made the gadget lust tingle within me. Some of that lust came from the promising nearly year old Android operating system from the Google folks. I’ve already accepted my Google overlords at this point, so this should not be a big surprise. Don’t get me wrong, windows mobile is a pretty good operating system, but its windows so it sadly had windows type issues. Windows phone 7 is said to address some of those issues, by the way. And while there is still to this day much over-hype about a little phone made by a fruit company, I never drank the kool aid ( though there is this pad that I have my eye on for some reason). This is in addition to not so much caring about AT&T’s service. Yes folks, I choose my phones carrier first as it was to be intended.

Like I’ve said, Android phones had been around for a minute, but there was nothing that fit my criteria. Yes, there was Android’s flagship phone the G1, but it was G1 hardware. That’s a no no. Plus, that lip it had bothered the hell out of me. What I really wanted was hardware comparable (read: sexier) than my beloved XV6800. Preferably, the HTC Touch Pro 2(or the even sexier HD2) running Android. That STILL hasn’t happened yet. And while the Motorola Droid had a physical keyboard and decent specs for the time, I dislike Motorola phones and that keyboard was not a very good experience for the little time I played with it. Plus, I don’t like Motorola phones….Oh, did I say that twice? Yep.

So what did I end up getting? Surprisingly enough (and against my better judgment at the time), I ended up with the then brand new HTC Eris. I say surprisingly enough because it had pretty much all of the criteria I was looking for. It was built well (by HTC, of course), it ran Android (though it came with version 1.5 and 2.0 was shipping with the also brand new Moto Droid), and it was sexy for its time. It had everything except for a physical keyboard, which to me was and sort of still is, kind of key in my decision. I hated to have to rely on virtual keyboard because I felt I needed physical keys and virtual keyboards on the whole don’t give you that. Well, after using as long as I have, I still miss the physical keyboard, but I seem to be doing alright without it. It’s not like I’m the world’s fastest typist anyway.

I say against my better judgment because I knew then when I bought the phone there was hotter, better phones coming down the pipeline. The Nexus One was the soup Du jour, I believe. What I didn’t know about was the HTC Incredible or the Evo 4G that came out this past summer. Every 6-8 months, it never fails. And I definitely didn’t know that apparently my phone was at end of life around time the Incredible came along and rumored to be replacing the Eris. I went with it despite that what I did know and do not really regret the decision. It’s been giving me exposure to a great operating system, and just as cool, apps! No Oses or phones are without flaws, and that is true for Android and the Eris. That said, I love the experience and while I am looking into a new phone, I know I’m sticking with Android and HTC. I am seriously considering porting over the Evo (I’m on Verizon, it’s on Sprint). I’m even thinking of trying my hand at making app for the OS. It would be nice if the big G would let me play with their app inventor, but I have checked out the alternative as well.

So basically what you should gleam from all of this is that, if you have a chance to try an Android phone, do so. If you already have one, be on the lookout for upcoming posts from me as I will be (as I have been) diving into the app market and trying to pull out some gems. Oh, and that I dislike….

*- the makings of an HTC fanboy, I know

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