The Great Debate

Sprint has finally unveiled details about its upcoming “Instinct Q,” which we now know to be the “Moment.” Now, I pose a question.

So do you go ahead and get the highly anticipated, much touted, HTC Hero, or, do you wait until the beginning of November and get the Moment? This isn’t just a simple yes or no question. It requires much contemplation and logical thinking. For those lucky people who can afford to update their phone whenever they want, this decision is simple–get the Hero now and see what happens. For those who aren’t as fortunate (those who must wait for their next $150 discount), you may want to do some extra thinking before leaping onto the Android bandwagon. Let’s delve in a little deeper, shall we?


  • Already available
  • Relatively slim and solid feeling
  • Sense UI (which is sickly awesome, by the way)
  • Flash Lite support (though all phones, minus the iPhone will have this by year’s end)
  • Multi-touch browsing
  • 5 MP camera
  • It’s an HTC phone, which means the call quality will be at its best


  • Processor is only 528 MHz
  • No flash on camera
  • You gotta wait a tad longer to update your OS, as HTC has to re-skin each new release
  • No QWERTY (this may be an issue for some, especially in the business world)


  • Fastest processor on an Android phone (800 MHz)
  • QWERTY keyboard
  • Camera has a flash
  • Updates should happen close to releases (no UI changes)


  • You gotta wait a few more weeks to get it
  • It’s fat… really fat
  • It’s only got Android’s stock UI (which is fine, I guess)
  • No multi-touch support
  • No Flash support

To me, the issue here is the processor. With Qualcomm’s Snapdragon based phones (1 GHz) just around the corner, buying a Hero with only half the power is a tough sell. While Sprint hasn’t implied anything about faster and more powerful phones coming anytime soon, it’s still a logical assumption. At the rate Android is evolving, will the Hero’s hardware be able to handle future releases and applications without bringing the phone to a stand-still? There’s no way to know for sure. Your guess is as good as mine. I will tell you this though… I’m torn. I have no idea which one to get. I’ve been waiting for years to get my SprintDroid, and now, my head is spinning in circles.

I want the Hero. I need the slimmer, no QWERTY, multi-touch package… I really do. On the other hand, I’m a tech geek, and I need power. The Moment really has that going for it. It’ll come down to the wire for me. I want my phone to utilize future builds of Android. Can the Hero do it, or should I just put aside my problems with the Moment and take the plunge? Only one thing’s for sure… I’m getting a SprintDroid. You just can’t beat Sprint’s features, especially for the price. No other carrier comes close. An Android phone with unlimited data, texting, GPS navigation, live TV, and Any Mobile, Anytime is a no brainer. I’m sold.

  • Johnathan

    I've decided that its just better to wait for a more powerful Android release for Sprint.
    The moment just has nothing "Big" going for it.

    • c0z

      The only problem with more powerful is the lack of battery life to support it. G1 had many battery issues at the start, but many were remedied nearly a year later. It will probably take them a long time to get the more powerful devices "just right," like they did with Cupcake on the G1.

  • anonymous coward

    Never used android before, and I'm a bit disappointed with it, and even with the sense ui, in terms of speed (and some other fissues.)

    I am not sure the moment is the competition for me, I think I'm going to decide that if I would prefer the moment, I should either rethink getting an iphone 3GS, or waiting until the 1Ghz phones are out with the 800×400 screens.

  • Brandon

    How can you be disappointed with Android if you've never used it?

  • johnkzin

    For me, there's no debate. No physical keyboard = no sale

  • david

    im waiting. All of these phones including the moment will be too slow. Im putting up with the g1 until i can upgrade to a snapdragon archos or xperia or something along those lines.

  • I have a G1, so naturally Moment w/ 800MHz is my next Android phone.
    I feel sorry for Hero. Moment was announced before Hero went on sale.
    I think there would be alot more Hero sales if the Moment was announced later… like next week.

  • for me its moment hands down, my sister in law contract is up nov 1st and I told her she should get a moment. I don't see why they make phones with no QWERT 😛

    • c0z

      Especially smart phones. To me, softkey is more dangerous than QWERTY… since we know most people are texting while driving. I can type on my G1 without even looking at the screen. Then I just check real quick to make sure I typed it right and done.

      • still not safe man, not safe… if the phone beeps (notification), just don't look at it, that's what i do, if I look at it, then i wanna know what the msg/email/tweet said, then i get into it, and maybe even reply…. i'm not going to say that i have never done it bc i have, but lately i get road rage of people not driving correctly in front of me or w/e, and when i look, they are texting….. i need an iGun xD

        • c0z

          I meant during every day use I can type on phone without looking at keys. Was not implying I am texting while driving, but I see people doing it EVERY DAY.

          • Oh yeah yeah, I'm sorry, I implied it since I "read" fast.. yes I can do that too with the G1, type a whole email while talking to somebody and looking at their faces, people are usually like "here, are you paying attention to me?"…

            but yes, I hate people that text and drive, and some people can't even talk and drive, they change lanes without looking on the mirrors and I go all gorilla on them, thank god I don't have a big truck because I would probably crash onto them… yes, I'm that impatient about people not paying attention while driving :-/

  • Jonny

    Do we even know what effect the faster processors will have on day-to-day usage? I know benchmarks show that next-gen processors will be a bazillion times faster, but how will the benchmarks translate to real-world, everyday performance? For instance, I have little desire to do any kind of intensive gaming on my device. What kind of tangible effect will a faster processor have on my general usage when I don't really use anything that heavily taxes the processor, and will it be worth the wait and the money?

    • From my experiments with the Archos 5 Android Internet Tablet, which also runs an 800MHz CPU IIRC, everything is snappier. Transitioning between screens ("activities") is nearly instantaneous, for example. A fair bit of what you do on Android is CPU-bound (vs. I/O bound), so a faster CPU is generally useful…so long as it doesn't tank battery life. Whether or not it is worth the wait, though, is impossible to say in the abstract.

  • Rich

    Just do what I and doing. Get the Hero (got it on the 9th) and then plan on trying the Moment out on Nov 1st. If you like the Moment better, take advantage of the 30 day return policy and get a Moment instead.

  • TareX

    The cons and pros are compelling, however, both phones fail to spark the slightest interest in me. The screen is too small, and the resolution is too "old".

    I say that after seeing the HTC Leo (HD2) of course… Not saying a need a +4" phone, but at least not a phone with a screen smaller than the iPhone's…

    But if I had to choose, I'd go for the Moment…. I need the QWERTY and 833Mhz processor.

  • Barwin

    I'm going to wait and see what's coming up. I can pick a new phone somewhere in april 2010 so by that time there will be a few other devices wich are as slim en nifty as the Hero but a lot faster, I guess…

  • Cintra

    My next Android should have a screen as wide as the iPhone, a camera as good as the Nokia ones (with flash), tethering (like my E61), access to Paid apps, and most important – 'Over the Air' updates.. which I think means 'with Google' on the back.

  • SiI

    As per TareX… my G1 contract runs out in April 2010… by then there will hopefully be an HTC SnapDragon QWERTY phone out there.

    Couple of extra things to consider;

    1) HTC phones have lots of cool "open source" support from XDA-Devs cf. any other mobile brand (there are similar sites, but nothing so comprehensive from my experience). G1 was lame until the Mod-ROMs came out with Cupcake early – now the phone is pretty much spot on, especially with Cyanogen ROMs.

    2) With the implementation of Flash coming relatively soon… I'd wait until you see what that requires (e.g. will it work with 528mhz cpus or require 800/1000). While waiting a few months is painful – getting something that is semi-future proof (at least for a year) is surely worth it.

    Summary: I see really good phones coming from Android in the next 6 months – so don't get stuck with 'old' units for 18/24 months now! Imagine if full flash is available and you have to wait 18 months until you can get that…

  • @Jonny
    You make an excellent point about real world, everyday performance.

    For me, I do play games on my phone (just installed Speed Forge 3D and it’s AWESOME on the G1). I also watch full length movies I’ve ripped. So I’d like more power althought Doughnut has fix most of my performance issues,

    Physical keyboard isn’t a deal breaker for me. But I did just type this on my G1’s keyboard 🙂

  • 2 things:

    "Flash Lite support (though all phones, minus the iPhone will have this by year’s end)"
    I didnt follow the full Adobe Flash announcement, but isn't it flash 10.x which will slowly be released over the coming months? Flash lite 9 has been available for symbian for almost a year, and with full flash support coming, it seems wierd to start releasing Flash lite for more devices now.

    On speed: Afaik the Moment runs on the same cpu as the Hero, just a higher clock. Ofcause that still means something, but it isnt the big power boost that Snapdragon/Tegra/OMAP3 next-gen chips hopefully is gonna be.
    Just look at the samsung Omnia2 or Jet with this "super fast" 800mhz cpu. Runs like shit – but hopefully thats all WinMos fault =).

    I'm still waiting for the first Snap/Tegra Android 2.0 device with VGA video recording, and its only getting harder to wait…

  • I've had my G1 since day one. Saying that it's a bit slow is a great understatement. But neither the Hero nor the Moment really has what I'm looking for. As a few other commenters mentioned, I'm waiting for a Snapdragon powered phone before I upgrade. I wish I had cash just sitting around that I could get every new phone that comes out, but since I don't I have to be very strategic about my upgrades.

    Peope keep mentioning that smartphone screens are just going to get bigger and bigger. I'm hoping that this is not the case. a 3.2 inch screen works great for me and the largest I'd go is 3.6. I just can't justify having somethign larger than that in my pocket.

    • Rob

      The thing that makes the G1 really slow is the physical memory.

  • I got the Hero. Love it, had a Touch before that. No hardware keyboard is no problem. If they could make a phone that is slim and has one great. But I don't want to carry a brick in my pocket. I do wish it had a faster processor…guess that would mean less battery though.

  • Jonathan

    The Hero is very fat, too. It's super thick.

    I'm going to go with the Moment since it's faster and has a nicer style. Sense is overrated imo, and the Hero is still slow. I played with one in the Sprint store and flash was slow, pinching to zoom was laggy, it did not cut it.

  • oakland510

    I got the new Hero… I may trade it for the Moment, although I find that the new touch screen is pretty good and the keyboard is pretty well designed. I prefer it over the iPhone, IMHO.

    I am running it fairly basic right now. Minimal widgets and limited utilization of Sense if that makes any sense. Just have the calendar widget, weather/clock widget, google search widget, bookmarks. So far I have no real problems. Very quick and easy to use.

    Best of all I was able to find most of the essential apps I ran on the iPhone to the Android. The things I am missing are games and some very very cool Camera apps like Photogene, Photoshop mobile, and a few that I cannot think of.

    All in all, I much happier. On top of that, service is much more improved. No dropped calls and call quality is awesome. I know this it's only been a few days, but I remain optimistic.

  • I have MyTouch and I learn to live with it. Can' jump on every phone/carrier (same thing I've learn not to do with my laptops) so I'll get my mileage and then will get a better phone.
    I actually think that it helps me as a developer to have an average phone rather than "latest and greatest" which brings me closer to my target audience

  • Max

    have owned all three. iPhone,Palm Pre and HTC Hero. Palm Pre wins hands down. HTC Hero is too laggy and Sense UI is just a visual gimmick. Will prefer the vanilla Android. The keys are badly designed for a touch screen phone. I prefer the Moment's keys. Also OP, the moment is only 0.06 inch thicker than Hero: negligible.

    • Kabuto

      From what I've heard, the Hero got an update which eliminates most of the lag. I'm sure there'll be custom roms to give the Moment new UI, and the Hero better performance.

  • Kabuto

    I think the Moment is the real winner here. All the cons listed aren't real problems.

    I'm more interested in the Moment vs. the Sholes/Tao/DROID. Also, will Android apps stick with the G1/MyTouch/Hero/Moment screen size and system usage to stay compatible with current gen Android phones, or start to radically shift to the higher resolution and faster phones coming out in the somewhat near future?