It's time to get a new phone, (past time, really,) and after a lot of research into Sprint's Android phones, I decided on the Hero, rather than the Evo, due to issues I'd read about with the Evo. I was really excited at the prospect. It was going to be my first smartphone, and the first time I've ever considered getting a product with a touchscreen.
Then I started to hear about the issues the 2.1 update is causing, and it worried me.
I talked to a Sprint rep online, but when I told her my concerns, rather than give me some honest, open answers, or at least acknowledging my concern, she rather dismissively told me, "I haven't heard any issues regarding Android 2.1" and tried to start hard selling me the product in question, without waiting to see if I even had any other questions. This left me feeling rather cold on the whole thing, and I disconnected immediately at that point, rather than try to discuss it further with someone who obviously had no interest in anything besides a potential commission.
Now, I desperately need a new phone, (and am planning on getting one next month,) and being that I already have a contract with Sprint, (and for the most part DO like Sprint, and the plan I'm on,) my choices are rather limited for getting a phone that meets my requirements. In fact, from my research, if I want a smartphone that meets my needs, the Hero and the Evo are pretty much it.
But now I'm wondering... is it really worth the cost? Is it as good a phone as I thought after doing the initial research? And if I do go ahead and get it, considering the numerous issues I've read are being caused by 2.1, should I forgo the upgrade?
And maybe, if someone could tell me, from the standpoint of a person who's only ever used regular phones before, what it's like to learn to use a phone like the Hero, so I could have an idea what I'd be in for...?
You could get the Hero, but it's a bit slow, and no longer going to be getting OS updates. Since you'll be signing a new contract, you want to get the newest, most up-to-date phone you can get. The Hero is a year old and not the fastest thing out there.
If I were in your position I'd get the Evo. Amazing phone - works great. Huge screen, bright, clear and more features than I can think of.
It does take a couple of weeks to learn all the in's and out's of the phone - it's nearly infintiely customizable, so you can set it up however you like.
Out of the box, it'll get your email, facebook, twitter, contacts, calendar, place and receive calls and more without much trouble.
I made the jump from an LG Rumor to the Hero just yesterday. I felt it was necessary (or maybe just really, really convenient) to get the Wireless Backup so the Contacts I already had could be easily transferred to the Hero. That worked well yesterday as I cleaned up my contact list information. But today, when I tried to log on (it's a different website that you have to log onto) it doesn't recognize me. Maybe it's because I didn't change my initial password, but it didn't prompt me to and I'm not trying to make the Wireless Backup feature a new part of my life. I'll have to call support to get that fixed.
I don't like the touchscreen keyboard very much. It doesn't seem to pick up my "keystrokes" near the margins very well. I have a Barnes and Noble 'Nook', it's built on an Android platform and has a touchscreen too. I have no problems with that touchscreen. They're not the same kind - I'm only saying this isn't my first touchscreen device.
I haven't gotten into it very much so perhaps some of my problems are growing pains and part of the learning curve and so on. Even though I put in my email and Facebook information when I set it up yesterday it still required typing it in today. Since I'm already not 'loving' the keyboard that wasn't fun because I have a pretty safe (read 'long') password. I tried calibrating the touchpad because I saw that others were having problems. I don't claim to be tech savvy, but it really didn't feel like it was doing anything but waiting for me to press harder/in the right spot to type 'the quick fox jumped over the lazy dog'. I didn't make the connection as to how anything was being calibrated. Please bare in mind that I'm used to pressing little raised bumps for keys on my phone, maybe I need to lower my expectations.
The screen is bright and very clear. I made a call and took it over speakerphone. I didn't get any complaints on the other end about sounding far away. The output speaker was loud and clear enough that I could hear the conversation as well.
As I make new discoveries I might pass them on. I haven't decided whether this is a bust or not. I had read from some website or other that the Hero was built on the hardware of an earlier HTC model and the software outstrips the hardware's ability to keep up. Despite this warning I am giving the phone a try. I rationalized, "Well, I probably won't be using it as aggressively as the testors." I want my phone to keep my contacts, allow me to check my email and Facebook accounts to keep in touch with work and friends and to take decent pictures. I tried taking a few photos yesterday, that online article I mentioned earlier also forewarned me about the trackball being used to focus in and out and snap the picture. I wasn't comfortable with that either. But the picture, when I was able to allow the auto focus to kick in, was nice and clear and, I felt, a good representation of the subject.
I hope this helps and that other people will add their comments too.
I have been swaying more toward the Evo since I started hearing about the Hero's 2.1 issues, but I'm still not totally convinced, because my research indicated several key issues that I'm not sure I'd want to deal with- maybe as an Evo owner, you can give me some word on a few of these?
1) Battery life- this is the biggie, the one I've heard a LOT of people complaining about. Some have even referred to it as "90's laptop battery bad." Have you found this to be true, or not; or did you maybe find ways to work around it?
2) Screen issues- the second biggest complaint is that on a good percentage of the phones, people have found that their screens are coming up in spots, or that the adhesive is wearing off/missing in places, causing light leakage, and worries of dust getting under the screen. I /think/ sure my insurance would cover that, but I'm not sure, and it'd mean waiting around for at least a week, (probably more like a month, considering the shortage Sprint's been reporting,) with a phone that's messed up.
2a) A second complaint about the screens is that some of them are having serious issues with the touchscreen failing to respond to touch when the phone is not being grounded.
3) Price- even if I buy online and get every possible discount, the Evo is still $50 more than the Hero, and being on a budget, the Hero is even pretty heavy on my wallet.
4) Availability- there don't seem to be a lot of Evo's to go around right now. Last I checked, there weren't any in stock, which means even if I do decide to get it, it may not be there TO get.
Message was edited by: kendermouse
1) Battery Life: It varies. Mostly it depends on what you leave turned on. If you have every radio turned on, full sync on all data connections etc. you'll get 4 to 6 hours battery life. Turn off the WiFi, Bluetooth, 4G when you're not using it; turn down twitter, facebook, email sync to once an hour, or on demand, and you can get 8 to 12 hours. Battery life should also improve with the 2.2 Froyo upgrade - the code is more efficient and optimized.
2) Screen Lifting - yes, that was an issue on the very first pre-release devices and a few of the first retail devices. Part of the delay in getting more Evos into the market is a change in the way the screen is made and sealed into the phone. That change required new parts / new processes and has set the factory behind, combined with a huge demand for the phone.
Still think it's better than the Evo, especially for just $50 more.
I had the Hero and loved it but a couple of weeks ago I picked up an evo and the phone is amazing. Of the two Evo is far greater. The keyboeard was an issue for me as well I was lucky enough to get in on the swype keyboard beta testing and after you get used to it I would have a hard time doing without it. The beta testing is closed but they have another on the market called slideit and seems to work as well.
1) Hmm, it sounds like it has longer battery life at heavy usage than my laptop, so that's good... though it makes me blink to see that even at light usage it'd need charging at least once a day. I think that maybe because I'm used to my old, regular phone- yeah, when I'm using it heavy, it needs charging a lot, but when I don't use it much, I can go for up to 48 hours without charging.
2) Ah, so they've fixed it? That does make me feel a bit better...
Still leaves the issue of the shortage of availability, and whether or not I can manage to scrape up the extra $50, though the latter isn't something that anybody here could help me with.