August 22, 2014

Why we love (and hate) our smartphones [EDITORIAL]

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My Love/Hate Relationship With HTC Devices

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HTC, to me, is just one of those companies that are in a lot of ways invisible to me. I know you’re asking yourself, what does that mean and if it’s what I’m thinking, how is that possible with the release of the HTC One(M7) and One(M8) over the past year or so?

Let me start off by going back in the day a bit to the MyTouch 4G, which as mentioned was my first device. Since it was my first, it was definitely cool. I was fascinated by all the things I could do right from the palm of my hand with a mobile phone. I could check email, surf the web, connect to IRC and a million other things. Yeah, all of that was fun and awesome.

The device itself to me wasn’t much better than OK. For starters it was a bit clunky to me. Not necessarily in size, but in weight and just how the device itself was made. At the time, I thought it was just that particular device itself that HTC had made.

At the time, my dad had an HTC Sensation 4G and some how we ended up with an HTC Amaze in our possession as well. Again, both devices were nothing more than just OK to me. The Sensation 4G was the better of the three devices, by far, but it wasn’t the greatest device by any means. Not to me at least.

So what is it exactly you’re asking that I didn’t care for with these HTC devices? First it’s their software, or the UI/UX that they add over top of Google’s Android OS, that they call Sense. To me, Sense is plain and boring in a lot of ways. And what I mean by that is, there’s nothing too flashy about it. It’s what I would call washed out, or drab and dull.

No, I’m not saying things have to be flashy and eye catching or whatever you designer/developer folks want to call it, but it’s got to appear decently to your eye if it’s something you’re going to be looking at for some times several hours every day. Sense just isn’t that for me.

Even with the release of the latest Sense on devices such as the HTC One(M8), it’s still boring and dull to me. It feels bloated or weighted and seems to lag at times. Not just Sense 3.0 or whatever was on the MyTouch 4G, but still today with Sense 6.0

Now for a little bit of something good about HTC and their devices. I know a lot of people like the heavy or sturdy feel of a device. We all know that’s one thing iPhone users constantly brag about is the fact that the devices don’t feel cheap. We’ve all had some cheap feeling Android devices that we’ve either owned personally or played around with in the store or something. With the release of the HTC One(M7), this is the one place that HTC excelled.

With their metal/aluminum backing and overall feel to the device, the HTC One is without a doubt a solid device. I honestly feel that if I were to drop one, it would do little to no damage to the device. it doesn’t feel cheap, and certainly is full of plastic or at least not all plastic on the outside. This is something that other manufacturers such as Samsung surely should take note of it. Is it a bit more cost effective for them? Probably by the smallest of margins, especially when you’re buying parts and materials in bulk like these companies do.

Of course, these are all my opinions of HTC and Sense and the way that HTC makes their devices. Am I saying it’s right or wrong and that you should feel the same way? Absolutely I’m not, as it’s just my personal opinion of the company and how they manufacture devices for the Android ecosystem.