back to article Vodafone shows off HTC's second Android phone

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  1. Darren Mansell

    Not Convinced

    I'm amazed by the amount of people who keep saying "I'm waiting for the HTC Magic" when they see my HTC Dream AKA G1. The 1 major feature that puts the G1 ahead of an iPhone is the keyboard. They keyboard is absolutely invaluable. I see iPhone users struggling to type emails, URLs, texts etc. where I just slide out my keyboard and type at almost normal speed.

    Without this Android has to compete with the iPhone on features and UI. The features of the Dream are better in my opinion, but the interface isn't quite as polished. So now all prospective users will see is 2 phones with on-screen keyboards, about the same features but one is trendy and all their mates have one. What are they gonna choose?

  2. Paul Ross

    Pretty good

    Looked at this in the shop.. but why do all these android phones come with a "chin" at the bottom of the device?

    I'm gonna wait for the Pre!

  3. Thomas Jolliffe

    @Darren Mansell

    I'll start off by saying I'm an iPhone owner, of both the first-gen and then the 3G, but I don't class myself as a fanboy. The platform has its problems - lack of open-ness is a bit of a problem for me, but I've dealt with it so far and with 3.0 offering the features I really miss perhaps the problem is semi-solved. Anyway, I love much of Android - the idea of hacking together a piece of software for it, as I can on a normal machine, and using it as I like, is just fantastic.

    My problem with the G1 is that it's just not consumer-friendly. It's not pretty (and it's competing against the very pretty iPhone), the keyboard looks a bit nerdy, and as you pointed out, the UI isn't as polished. Let's not forget that 'smartphones' (broad label I know) simply were not popular with the masses until the iPhone rolled around, and it's that polished UI which got it where it is today. I don't know how the Android community is going to combat that (and, admittedly, I haven't looked), but it needs doing if it's going to become a truly mass-market phone.

    In terms of the keyboard, don't forget that most people you see with an iPhone probably can't type very well on a normal keyboard, never mind a virtual one in the palm of their hand. I've been touch-typing for going on ten years now, and within a day of getting my iPhone was up to speed - it's the use of QWERTY, not the fact that it's virtual, which catches most consumers out.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They'll never be able to compete...

    ... until they can come up with a design that looks as sexy as the iPhone's. Currently it just looks looks tacky. At least HTC have really lifted their game recently with the Diamond (and the Palm Pre looks pretty good too).

    I think the lack of an application library as big as the iPhone's will hold the Android phones back a lot too.

  5. Matt Smart

    Nice, but...

    ...couple of problems. One, it's on Vodafone (terrible signal for me) and two, it does need the hardware keyboard. That said, the up-and-coming Samsung android mobile is much prettier (so much so that I could settle for a virtual keyboard) and the Pre... well, that's what everyone's got their eyes on at the moment, methinks.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    why white?

    why on earth cant they do black, i don't know any self respecting reg reader that wouldn't prefer black!!!!!

  7. Jimbo

    not sure

    not sure if I agree with the keyboard comment... if you really want solid keyboard, then get a phone with real keyboard. I use BlackBerry and iPhone and it's really major difference.

    one good thing on iPhone is the whole integration with other apple toys ... iPhone + iTunes + Airport Express = sweet music experience across whole house. It's not perfect, but cheap and works.

    Android is good, the problem is that Symbian is good, BlackBerry OS is good, Microsoft Mobile OS is good, PRE is good ... they will all compete with each other and Apple will keep raising the same speed as iPod did few years ago. As you can see even 2 years old iPhone is upgradable to newest OS, I wish I could say the same about my old Blackberry or my Friend's 2 years old HTC WinMo phone.

  8. Mark Zip

    Once again the US customer is hosed

    (paraphrasing) "Available free on a 35 pound a month account, which includes 600 minutes and unlimited text and data" Using today's rates, that's $52.00 . And the phone is "free"

    @ Paul Ross: As for "wait for the Pre"... (AFAIK, it's only announced for the USA so far) I doubt that we will get it "free". Even with a new contract. And since it is not GSM, and is on Sprint, in how many fewer countries will we be able to use it?

    When, oh when, will the US drag itself into the 21st century of mobile telephony?

    Mine's the one with the burner phone in the pocket

  9. Adam

    I like the barcode reader...

    Try going into any shop and start scanning barcodes with your phone and see how well that goes.

    A friend of mine saw a funny product in a shop just a few weeks ago, took a picture and sent it to me. Immediately afterward she was forcibly removed from the store and had her phone confiscated until the image was removed.

    I can't see "I'm doing an online price comparison with all the other shops on the street" going down any better than "I was sending a picture of this hilariously named product to my friend"3

  10. Jimbo


    "When, oh when, will the US drag itself into the 21st century of mobile telephony?"

    I totally agree with this statement, I feel like US is always 5 years behind.... There is one big difference between US and European market - size. Europe is really small and it's "easy" to change the technology, it's much harder for cell operator to change technology across US.

    but again, I totally agree with you. When I got my first phone 8 years ago I paid almost exactly same money for almost exactly same features. I have hard dtime to believe that ATT's cost is the same.

  11. Richard Cartledge

    Physical vs software keyboard

    I think this phone looks OK technically, if a little like some sort of cheap game-pad. I don't agree that a physical keyboard is always better than a virtual one.

    I can type very quickly on the iPhone keyboard. 4 x faster than that OAP on the Gadget Show whose name escapes me did when he typed "Mary had a little lamb, it's fleece was white as snow." on various smartphones. How can I type this so quickly? because I understand how it works and take advantage of the auto-correction and auto-punctuation and you don't even have to type the whole word before pressing the spacebar and it will auto complete. I can just gently dot my fingers over the keyboard in a blur and the words appear mostly correctly. You don't even have to hit the correct 'key' as it guesses what you meant. I find its best to manually correct the odd error at the end. I look forward to full-size 109 desktop keyboards being like big Iphone screens with contextual keys.

  12. kissingthecarpet
    Gates Horns

    RDP? PPTP?

    As far as I can tell,no-one has done a remote desktop(RDP) client or a PPTP VPN client yet for Andoid, only a beta vnc app so far. Certainly at my company, this is a must. However, the current Windows Mobile VPN client is a bit rubbish AFAIK, so claiming support for a feature isn't the same thing as said feature actually *ever* working in practice..

    Correct me if I'm wrong about Android.

  13. Rob Haswell

    Street View

    That compass-enhanced Street View is pretty darn sweet.

    @Adam: "Immediately afterward she was forcibly removed from the store and had her phone confiscated until the image was removed."

    I call bullshit on this, no-one but the police (and rarely even them) can "confiscate" your phone for taking a picture of something.

  14. koichan

    I'm sure HTC are trolling me...

    I've been using HTC phones since the original Orange SPV (the first WM smartphone)

    I've seen the hardware go from strength to strength, with the windows mobile software lagging hard, but just about managing as 'barely acceptable' level.

    HTC gets their hands on the Android OS and finally get hold of a really nice OS that can potentially compete with iphone... what do they do?

    Chuck their design skills out of the window and release the ugliest HTC device in a decade...

    Put Android on a HTC TyTN2 or a Touch Diamond Pro and you'd have an awesome device.

    At the moment you can either choose nice hardware with crap OS, or crap hardware with nice OS... So incredibly frustrating!

    HTC... you have the hardware and you have the OS... PLEASE just combine the two!

  15. decoherence

    @ Thomas Jolliffe

    "Let's not forget that 'smartphones' (broad label I know) simply were not popular with the masses until the iPhone rolled around"

    over-exposure to reality distortion field. recommend abstinence from all apple products for six months.

    suggested replacement product: blackberry -- pre iphone model.

  16. Carl

    European vs US market

    How is the European market 'small'? Both Europe and the US are around 10 million sq km in size, and the population of Europe is at least twice that of the US.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    4 x faster than that OAP?

    that typed "Mary had a little lamb, it's fleece was white as snow."

    But could he spell though?

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ decoherence

    Er, No. Thomas is right. Yes, the blackberry is pre-iphone, but it was and it is still a business device, which you see most of the time in the hands of shirt-and-tie guys. You would never see it carried by a teenager, because blackberry is everything but cool.

  19. Hans

    HTC and quality?????

    @Carl, Amercians still think Europe is Belgium in the north, Germany in the south, Uk in the west (they get that sort-of right) and France in the east ... and that only makes 216M ppl, so less than them ... LOL

    @decoherence, I am by no means an apple fanboy, but he is right, business users went for smartphones, mostly, few end users, looking at the figures now, you can say that you are right now, but certainly was NOT the case before the iphone G1 came out!!!!!

    The thing about HTC is, the day they start building quality, I do not care so much for the looks, I mean quality as robustness, a "high" speed cpu, then maybe, maybe I will consider looking at another. I had one for a full three days and sent it back, no way I was going to use that!!!! Utter el cheapo crap with a lame excuse for an OS.

    And Windows Mobile??? what a waste of time! It's speed is NOT acceptable by any terms, whoever says the contrary, should check the competition, be it Symbian, Blackberry OS .... you'll see, by no way acceptable!!!!

    I have not used <name2change>Android</name2change>, yet. Maybe I will hop over to a shop and try and convince the b@$t@rds that I want to try a phone - they do not allow you in third world countries like France .... :-(

    I was waiting for the Pre, and got an iPhone in the end ... and no, I do not care about looks, the case is robust, flat, I have a good protective pouch, it is fast and usable. Email is great (I see nothing wrong with it and I used blackberry for some time) ... am still waiting for Pre to see if I was right ...

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Thomas Jolliff

    Australia is not that much smaller than the USA in size and has a far smaller population, but we manage to keep up with the latest mobile technologies... I don't see any reason at all for the USA to be laggards!

  21. Jimbo

    to @Hans

    Hans, try to keep it on subject, please. I'm from Europe as well... just fyi do you know where is South Carolina vs South Dakota? Maybe you do, but not many Europeans know, yet they all expect everybody to know everything about Europe.

    To be more accurate, I was not comparing size of continents. Each country has it's own separate network (yes own by few big players) and thus you have lot of small markets, US is different and people expect to have same coverage and rate across whole US (btw. I can call from any US city to any US city for the same rate, can you do the same in Europe?).

    Also don't forget the population differnce (call it densite if you want).

    Yes, it really sucks in US and I wish it would change.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Colleague has one of these

    ...and it's very nice. The on-screen keyboard is nearly good enough to convince me to ditch the TyTN2 and get one now, but I'll see how he gets on with it first. I soooo want to move to an Android device but the G1 is just to fugly and I really want a hardware keyboard.

    The only other thing stopping me migrating away from WinMo was the lack of SatNav, but with AndNav (free) and CoPilot coming for Android, plus imminent releases of other goodies like an Android client for LogMeIn, this platform is starting to look extremely attractive.

    Black would have been better than white though. :-\

  23. James Dunmore

    Got the phone

    It looks much nicer in real that it does in pictures.

    Considering the price, beats the iPhone hands down - in fact, even if they were the same price, I would say it is nearly as good.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Played with it...

    It really is much nicer in the flesh..err plastic. I played with one for around half an hour at the weekend in a Vodafone shop. The screen is very responsive and the App market is growing all the time. I can see huge potential for the Android system. My problem is should I buy now or wait and see where the Samsung i7500 is heading in UK

    I stopped using WinMo as it's too slow, unstable and the UI is years out of date no matter how you dress it up with things like Touch Flo.

    @Rob Haswell - agree the street view is very cool.

    @koichan - Totally agree HTC has some very nice hardware that Android would look great on

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