HTC Inspire 4G Review

February 21, 2011
40

One of the most gigantic phones we've ever had the pleasure of trying to hold with one hand, this is the HTC Inspire 4G. This phone is available through AT&T and will soon be running on its full HSPA+ network, currently rolling hard on Android 2.2 Froyo on a 4.84 x 2.68 x 0.46 inch piece of candybar hardware. This is a phone with such a gigantic screen and speedy insides that the rest of the situation is minimalistic to the max - barely a physical button to be seen!

Hardware
This phone weighs in at 5.78 oz (164 g), has a soft plastic backing in several pieces (instead of having a single battery cover that comes off all at once,) and has a big fat single camera protruding from the center top (back as well.) The front of the device features a generous 4.3-inch S-LCD display with 480 x 800 pixel resolution and capacitive touch functionality. Touch at this point in the history of phones is essentially perfect. The amount of times that we tapped the phone and it didn't respond can easily be chalked up to user error or fluke.

This phone is so gigantic you'll have to consider if you're going to want to handle such a monster on a day-to-day basis or if you're going to want a smaller phone to avoid dropping it because your hands are too small. Most adult humans should have relatively little trouble with this problem however, especially since the case is soft plastic which makes it an easy carry.

Around the edges you'll find a very small amount of buttons: one for power along the top, a volume dongle on the left side, power and headphone jack on the bottom, and that's it! If you want to access the battery or one of the cards in this device, you'll have to pop off one of the two covers on the back. This for some people will cause craziness as they prefer to see the entire innards of the phone, but for most average users, the strength of the covers and the small chance that the back will pop off is a welcome change.

The display is gigantic, huge, undeniably large. Recently we've had confirmation from several manufacturers that they consider 4-inches to be the breaking point between smartphone and tablet. If that's true here, we're actually dealing with a small tablet rather than a giant smartphone. This phone's display is ultra-clear, for the average user magnificently bright and nice, and it'll prove responsive and smooth for everyone, developer to newb.

Software
Inside the phone you'll find a slew (as always) of pre-installed apps, but not many that you'll never ever use. One of the most annoying features we're always down on is the fact that side-loading apps into an AT&T phone is stopped completely. Of course as always there are workarounds, but this isn't our favorite sort of thing to be working on when we just want an older version of ShootMe to work with our non-rooted phone.

One of the newest and nicest free games in the Android Marketplace is called Gun Bros. This game is put out by GLU (check out more details here), its super high quality, and it's totally free. It's a social game too, functioning in an environment where you're not exactly playing head to head or side by side with your friends, but you are gaining points and levels and whatnot based on how well your connected friends are doing. This game is the sort where you've got to download it from the Android Marketplace then download an additional pack to get it running - if you're low on space on your phone (this wont happen on the Inspire 4G basically ever,) you might think twice about downloading it, but if you've got the space, this game is amazing. Have a look at how well the game looks on the phone here to get an idea of how well the phone functions with heavy hitting graphics and load:

Camera

The camera does not have as nice a focus feature and set of functions as we'd like (we're still marking the G2 offered up by T-Mobile as the greatest mobile camera we've had in our hands,) the photos that do turn out turn out really well. The video is alright, not re-focusing once you've pressed the record button but allowing digital zoom in-progress, as well as lighting re-adjustment.

Photo Example:

For basic use such as sharing to Facebook, you're going to be in good shape for both video and photo. This device is working with an 8-megapixel camera on the back so you are going to get reasonably sharp and large photos if you know what you're doing with focus and all that. This phone also has Geo-tagging which we consider to be one of the coolest features a photo-taking device can possibly have, so that's a definite big plus. Video capture is done at 1280x720 (720p HD), so for high-mid-tier filming of mobile-based videos, you're set.

Multimedia
Playback in MPEG4, XviD, WMV, 3GP, 3G2, YouTube works great, Netflix does not work at all. When you DO get a video working on this device, it looks magnificent. Blacks, colors, and whites look excellent.

Phone
There is an additional mic used for noise cancellation, and you can tell as phonecalls out sound perfectly clear, calls in work just as well unless the other person is talking through a tin can, which sometimes happens with any phone.

Data
Speeds on the way in, not so quick on the way out. Have a look at the following thread to see what the deal is with upload and download speeds: HTC Inspire 4G Lacks HSUPA (3G Upload Speed Capability) Says AT&T. On the other hand, once you've got games and other apps on the device, you're in good shape with a Snapdragon MSM 8255 1000 MHz processor which will whip through essentially anything you toss at it.

Battery
The battery inside this device is an HTC branded 1230 mAh pack with what they're saying is 6 hours of talk time or 372 hours of standby. Of course you're never doing just one or the other, and since you've got a smartphone here in your hands, you're not going to be just making calls and using no data. Therefor we've got to note that you'll certainly be charging this device at least once a day if not more. Battery advancement in this rapidly advancing tech world is not moving at a pace that's keeping up. It's not HTC's fault by any means, but it certainly is a reality.

Cost
You can currently grab this phone from Amazon for an unbelievably low price of $59.99 (with a 2-year agreement, of course.) This price we think is fantastic, especially considering the hugeness and well-working nature of this phone running on what AT&T is calling their 4G connectivity. If you buy the phone direct from AT&T, you'll be paying $99.99. What's the benefit of buying the phone more directly through the carrier? We're really not quite sure, to tell the truth. Go for Amazon is what we'll be written up as saying.

Wrap-Up
This is the fat phone of the day. This phone is big, it's fast, and it connects via HSPA+ otherwise known as a version of 4G speed. If you're wary of the connectedness of AT&T's network as of late, think twice. There's stories out there of this phone and other 4G AT&T phones going not quite as quick as they aught to, but if you're asking us, the speed is just fine and dandy. The reason you'll be purchasing this phone is the display. It's giant, it's huge. I don't know how many times we've got to say that before it becomes apparent that this is the reason this phone shines, but why not once more? Ginormous. This is one step below a small tablet.

Buy this phone if it's your first non-starter Android phone. If you're looking for the best of the best, this isn't it. Is this phone just as good as the best of the best to the untrained years-of-experience eye? Sure it is. One gigantic Android phone for those that love entertainment right next to all day every day functionality you've come to expect from smartphones.


Recent Stories

  • Lambert_fan

    This is my first smartphone. It is great. Though I am still trying to figure it out lol. I don’t know how to set touch sensitivity. That part drives me nuts. It was a present from my husband. I love this phone!

  • Lambert_fan

    This is my first smartphone. It is great. Though I am still trying to figure it out lol. I don’t know how to set touch sensitivity. That part drives me nuts. It was a present from my husband. I love this phone!

  • Patsagastume

    I jus got this phone yesterday and I must admit I like reading from this huge screen. Butone thing, I can’t figure out what I did wrong to make the home page not move vertical. It still swipes horizontally though. Can anyone help? I was changing apps and then it went to one direction.

    • Lambert_fan

      You might want to change back to factory settings. Or just change your home page. I messed up mine a couple of times before I had to change back to factory settings . Then I got it working ok.

  • Patsagastume

    I jus got this phone yesterday and I must admit I like reading from this huge screen. Butone thing, I can’t figure out what I did wrong to make the home page not move vertical. It still swipes horizontally though. Can anyone help? I was changing apps and then it went to one direction.

  • http://ps3explained.com/ Flame

    Mm I’d love to see this in Australia!

  • Spirithwk04

    I’ve had this, well its really a small computer verses a phone, for a little less then a week and haven’t had a problem with it. I like that when your typing the vib function tells you you’ve touched the screen, this is also my first smart phone.

  • guest

    so then what is the best of the best please? is it atrix?
    thank you

    • guest

      Bump?

    • guest

      Bump?

  • Betty715

    AT&T or Amazon – The advantage of purchasing directly from the carrier instead of an authorized agent (such as Amazon) is that, in the event that you have to cancel your service, or change your phone number, of transfer your contract to someone else during the 1st 181 days, Amazon will charge you an Early Termination Fee of abount $250 in addtion to any ETF that AT&T will charge you if you break their contract.This applies to other agents/dealers as well. So the way to go to avoid this issue is to ALWAYS buy directly from the carrier, IMHO anyway.

  • http://www.facebook.com/vishnuvardhanraop Vishnu Rao

    here comes the total review
    thank you very much, i really love HTC smartphones
    http://mobiscreen.net

  • http://www.facebook.com/vishnuvardhanraop Vishnu Rao

    here comes the total review
    thank you very much, i really love HTC smartphones
    http://mobiscreen.net

  • Mistydalton

    I need a very protective case like an otterbox for my Inspire but they do not make them . Any suggestions on something similiar to protect the phone

    • Jojopr69

      Its the same otterbox case as the HTC Desire HD. Got mine at MyGearStore for $22 with coupon code and free shipping. The commuter series case fits great.

    • Jojopr69

      Its the same otterbox case as the HTC Desire HD. Got mine at MyGearStore for $22 with coupon code and free shipping. The commuter series case fits great.

    • Jojopr69

      Its the same otterbox case as the HTC Desire HD. Got mine at MyGearStore for $22 with coupon code and free shipping. The commuter series case fits great.

    • Saver509

      yes they do try best buy online or otterbox.com

    • Godspice

      None that I know of…Sprint’s htc Evo is the most similiar phone to the Inspire but its case doesn’t fit the Inspire either. I was forced to buy the candy shell one from AT&T (34.99)

    • Monky5er

      We bought the otterbox defender for htc desire HD and it fits the inspire perfect! The only difference is it cover the head jack hole, but we don’t use that anyways!

      • Sabjork

        The hole is for the mic, not the headphone; lift the flap to plug in the headphone.

  • Mistydalton

    I need a very protective case like an otterbox for my Inspire but they do not make them . Any suggestions on something similiar to protect the phone

  • Mistydalton

    Love the reviews

  • Mistydalton

    Love the reviews

  • Drummer_jb

    Fuk the iPhone. Tons of phones out there top it, including this. Inspire 4G is one of the best out right now. Everything is better than I could have hoped for. One complaint… can’t hide/password protect/folder certain pics.. all pics show in gallery.

    • Choonims

      download an app for that … btw the iphone is a good phone IF you r looking for music stuff, but i have to admit it would be better if it had idroid. 

  • Huckfin

    I got the phone. Battery does not last one day. that sucks. Speaker phone makes you sound like a tin can. that sucks. But if you just want a little computer that plugs into the wall this phone is for you

  • Usemerican

    this phones back is mostly metal not plastic am i right?

  • Godspice

    I absolutely LOVE this phone! I bought it the day it came out in February…the large screen is crystal clear and the reception is great. A few drawbacks, can’t understand why some of the app features are unnecessarily complicated, for instance, you aren’t able to delete files created under QuickOffice (pre-installed app) unless you download a file manager from the Android Market. It was a quick fix but drove me crazy trying to figure it out. I’m enjoying the versatility of display features, the camera and video are an A+…terrific phone!

  • Bret Maverick

    Camera died after 37 days of owning the Inspire.It is now in the shop.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jesus-Lopez/100002210504205 Jesus Lopez

    The Inspire really is a great choice in phone; I have a history with HTC phones and can say that you will never go wrong if you use HTC. Especially with the 4G network, I bet the Inspire is great for streaming TV with the Sling adapter from DISH Network. I actually have and work at DISH and with the Sling adapter; you can watch live or recorded TV on you phone everywhere you have 3G coverage or WiFi.

  • Markc31

    Android sucks a!*. iPhone… There is no substitue!

    • LouisianaInvisibleMan

      Traded my Iphone 4 in for this Android. The Apple Iphone 4 was a PIECE OF SHIT…nothing but trouble! Frozen to NO data connection! IT was my SECOND one (first was defective and replaced by Apple). Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice, shame on you. I’ve heard so many people DISSATISFIED with the Iphone4 it’s pathetic. So what are you talking about KID?

    • D33allday

      so you came to a website called Android Community to talk about an iPhone wtf how’d you even get here..accept there are better phones out there 

  • Henryjo

    how do i set the sensitivity on the display?

  • spunky

    we have had this phone for less than six months and it basically eats data by itself. My wife only used the phone as a phone today and it ate just short of one GB from 930 am to 545 PM … we have called and called them regarding this phone … we have swapped the sims card .. used the app killer and nothing works … my wife cant even use the phone due to overages … it is the worst phone we have ever bought … we are finally by passing the upgrade fee and going to by another brand of phone for 99 bucks … stay away from this phone … check your data usage daily ,,, you might get a five hundred dollar bill like we did !!! 

  • Sboarder91

    I love it!! I had an upgrade and almost went with the iphone. So glad I didn’t. I can sync my colleges email right to my phone and stay connected with my teachers. (You can also sync yahoo or google emails as well). I have all three of my emails synced up and get emails on my phone. The agenda app is brilliant and helps me keep up with classes and work. I actually really love the camera on this phone. Before you take the picture you can personalize the settings of the camera to vintage, negative, sepia and a few more. Also, after taking the picture you can edit it further. I like to take pictures. I can snap a picture and down load it to fb with in minutes. I am also a huge music fan. With the removable microsd card unlike the iphone you can take music from multiple libraries and add it to your phone. I gave my ipod to my little sister!! No longer an apple product owner. I am hooked on this android! Its a beast. With the seven screen home pages you can arrange it however you like to your personal liking. Its great! Well for the data plan you are better to go with the higher amount. Like any smart phone it will eat your data plan! Invest in the higher plan, it will be worth it. Also, if you think the price is to much like they said you can go to amazon to find cheaper or even your closest best buy or walmart. I got mine at walmart for $50. Pretty good deal if you ask me. I love my android :) 

  • Cjslaper

    when synced to facebook, is there a way to delete the numbers that automatically sync to the phone(i dont want my facebook friends numbers in my cell phone)

  • Keitiii

    Hey..I am a fan Android, and of course I fell for this phone a long time ago and I am considering buying it from Amazon right now, The proce ,though, is 315 dollars, which I think is quite low. (it’s unlocked). Can anybody tell me the reason for that proce and should I be worried?

  • ALICIA MCPHERSON

    This phone has been a disaster for me, worked great for a few months and then the volume on the phone started going so low that none could hear me. at&t exchanged the phone and then the new phone i got, started resetting abnormally so they gave me another one and the volume did the same thing on it. i had to get a completely different model phone.