July 29, 2014

On Heroes and the Like

My name is Kyle Pozan and this is a little bit about me.  You can find my first review/opinion piece entitled “Sprint HTC Hero Review: HTC Sense is the Icing On Top of the Android Cake” here on AndroidGuys.  I’d like to share a little bit more about myself so you get a sense for the man behind the post.

I’m 23 years old and I’m currently in my second year of law school. I love all kinds of gadgets, and I am, like everyone, biased. I use Apple computers, I think plasma televisions are unquestionably superior to LCDs, I prefer Canon cameras, and I recently have decided that I loathe BlackBerry phones. Oh, and I think that Jay Cutler has been blessed with a golden arm of the Gods. That being said, I am more than willing to admit when a product is, in fact, a good product.

For example, I am impressed by the Windows 7 RC. I believe that Windows 7 has made some strides in the right direction, and is a much better OS than Vista. In fact, I have it installed on my unibody MacBook Pro, and I do use it from time to time.

In the time since I was given my first phone to “check in with my parents,” I’ve owned a fair amount of phones. Most recently, I’ve owned two BlackBerry devices, the BlackBerry 8703e and the BlackBerry 8830, and prior to purchasing the Hero I had the Palm Pre.

Before I dive into my review, I must say it’s great to finally own the Hero. When I purchased the Pre back in July, I thought, “This is going to be the first phone I’ve had in a long time that I won’t be bored with in a month.” Well, I was mistaken. The Pre is a beautiful device. The screen is gorgeous, the phone itself is beautifully styled, and webOS is nothing short of fantastic. However, after owning the Pre for a week, it started to exhibit a problem with the sliding mechanism, which has been referred to as the “oreo effect.” In addition, I began to realize that the rollout of applications for webOS would be a slow and protracted process. I had always thought that the GSM Hero was gorgeous, and right around the time I was considering returning the Pre for a BlackBerry Tour, Engadget posted a rumor that the Hero would be released on Sprint on October 11. I was elated. The Hero was, in my eyes, the first phone that would truly challenge the iPhone. I never believed that it would outperform or outsell the iPhone, but I believed it would push the Apple, and the high-end smartphone segment in general, to produce an even better product. The Hero’s design was striking. A majority of the “iPhone competitors” on the market were styled after the iPhone – they were round or had rounded edges (e.g. the Instinct, Instinct HD, the Storm, the Pre, the MyTouch 3G, etc). The design of the Hero was in stark contrast to these phones. It was angular, had well defined edges, and was a very modern look to it. Therefore, I decided that I would return the Pre and wait for the Hero to be release. I stuck with the Pre until the end of the 30 day return period because I knew that transitioning back to my BlackBerry 8830 would be like retuning a Porsche that just wasn’t your style and driving away from the dealership in an AMC Pacer (look that one up). Shortly after I return the Pre, picture of the “Hero200″ surfaced, and it looked nothing like the Hero from across the pond. I was confident that it was not the phone that would be released in the U.S., or rather I convinced myself that was the case. Shortly after those photos surfaced, Sprint officially announced they would be releasing the Hero on October 11. To my dismay, the phone I would be purchasing on October 11 looked almost exactly like the “Hero200.” Originally, I was disappointed. “Of course Sprint would mess this up,” I thought. In my eyes, Sprint’s version of the Hero looked like every other iPhone competitor, even though it was destined to be much more. The phone grew on me as hands-on videos with the device began to trickle out. Was it as aesthetically pleasing as the GSM Hero? No, but was a close second. Ultimately, it was a long two months with my BlackBerry 8830. There were numerous battery pulls and a wealth of verbal threats (I constantly reminded my BlackBerry that it would end up in the blender if it didn’t work properly). Fortunately, I made it to October 9th.

To see my full review of the HTC Hero, head to “Sprint HTC Hero Review: HTC Sense is the Icing On Top of the Android Cake“.