Let’s start things off with a disclaimer – I love Android phones. Last year I left the iPhone and switched to Android largely because of the amazing usefulness of Google Voice, and only Android devices truly let you take over your phone with a Google Voice app and have the perfect experience. I have extensively tested nearly all Android phones to date.
Around TechCrunch I’m the die hard Android Fan (Jason Kincaid is a close second). MG Siegler irrationally loves the iPhone and it has become an important fashion accessory and self confidence crutch in his San Francisco hipster lifestyle. I’m pretty sure Apple could remove the iPhone’s ability to make calls entirely and MG would still find a way to love it. You can read his review of iPhone 4 here. Summary: “It’s Awesome.”
I was happy to use the TMobile myTouch when I first left the iPhone. When the Droid launched it was a serious step up, and the fact that it’s on Verizon doesn’t hurt either. But it wasn’t until the Nexus One that I began to think that Android phones could stand toe to toe with the iPhone even without the Google Voice boost.
Nexus One uses the Snapdragon 1 GHz core processor, which just rocks. The device is slim and has decent battery life. And it’s a clean install of Android with no messy additional carrier or OEM software to muck everything up. The phone, launched in January, is now ancient by mobile product cycle standards. But it is aging very gracefully.
When MG reviewed the new HTC EVO, which is now selling out in the U.S., I wasn’t surprised he gave it a thumbs down. The device was too big in his opinion, the software too flaky. And the battery life isn’t just bad, it’s 90’s laptop bad. You need to be near a power source at all times.
But the commenters came at him anyway, attacking so viciously that they were actually starting to act like the evil twins of rabid Apple fanboys. “Android Fanboys Have Arrived,” quipped MG.
Well, I’m an Android Fanboy, and I’m telling you not to buy this device. The battery life is abysmal – MobileCrunch calls it a “dealbreaker” and I agree. Yes you can do a few things to get a little extra time out of it, but this device routinely runs out of power while sitting on standby overnight next to my bed. You aren’t just charging this once a day. Or twice a day. You need to be thinking about your next power fix just about any time you are using it. I keep chargers at home, in my office, in my car, and an extra one to suck power from my laptop. That keeps it going, but it isn’t fun.
And it’s more than that. The HTC Sense user interface and all the extra HTC and Sprint software on this device just makes it a joke for anyone that wants to fully control and customize their device. You can get rid of or at least turn off much of it, but it’s a pain to do that. And worse, you can’t upgrade the Android OS to new releases until HTC and Sprint are ready to let you do that. See Gizmodo for a full analysis of the problem.
And all this software trying to work together and in layers really does result in lots of bugs – particularly with photos. Quite often they fail to save and you have to reboot the device.
If you want an Android phone right now, get a Nexus One. In January I believed it was by far the best phone on the market. The new iPhone 4, though, is clearly superior. I’d rather see you buy that device and deal with the Apple dictatorship than get a phone you aren’t going to be happy with. Or wait a few months for a better Android phone. It won’t take long for something even better to come along.
And if you insist on getting an EVO, I highly recommend you pick up a second phone, perhaps a $25 prepaid type device, so that you can actually make phone calls when your EVO’s battery dies.
MG might be the most loyal Apple Fanboy in the world, but his review of the EVO was dead on.