T-Mobile is stepping up their game with a brand new marketing campaign (that I’m not sold on) and the pending launch of HTC’s new flagship phone – the HTC One S. At last week’s HTC event I had a chance to hold and play with the phone’s bigger brother The HTC Sprint EVO 4G and was blown away by how beautiful that phone was. The One S is a slightly smaller version of that phone but has the same gorgeous industrial design and is rocking the new HTC Sense 4.0 and one of the first phones to feature, Android’s latest and greatest operating system (AKA, Ice Cream Sandwich). The phone includes an 8-megapixel back-side illuminated camera with Instant Capture, built-in Beats Audio and access to 25GB of free cloud storage from DropBox. The only thing that I don’t like about the HTC One line of phones is they are going the iPhone route and not including external storage or removable batteries. What is the point of an Android device if you can’t have more control and hardware expandability? Yes, the 25GB of DropBox storage is nice and all, but let’s be real, with the draconian cell phone data caps most people wouldn’t be dumb enough to actually use this service over a “severely” limited data plan. Check out the full release after the break.
In one of the worst kept secrets of the week, HTC/Sprint unveiled their new Flagship phone – the HTC Evo 4G LTE at a Press Event last night. The highlight of the event for me was this weird wall of fruits and mixed nuts, never saw this before and it was neat. Anywho, this phone is spectacular. It has a beautiful 4.7 inch display, rocking the Android Ice Cream Sandwich, HTC Sense 4.0, and features a new promising technology called HD Voice which sprint promises will change our perception of call quality (more on this later today). The build quality of this phone is amazing – it feels and looks solid, but is amazingly lightweight. I will be posting my thoughts on the phone and the full press conference video on our Youtube Channel later today. In the meantime check out the full press release.
I’m the first to admit that I don’t like Apple. I hate them as a company, don’t like how they treat their customers and I think they charge way too much for their products. With that said, I do have everything (except an iMac) that they produce. If I could ignore the fanboys, the press conferences, and the hype I would probably be very happy with my Apple products – except when they stop working like my AppleTV and my iPhone 3G after I installed the iOS4. All the recent talk about Android has me thinking that I’d love to dump my iPhone for a device that actually works as – you know, a phone. Not to mention, Android phones seem so much more exciting.
Over the past month the fine folks at HTC sent me several phones to try: HTC Evo Shift and an HTC Aria which I kept far longer than the two weeks I was supposed to have it for. The reason I kept the Aria so long was, I kept trying to force myself to like it, to drink the Droid cool aid and it just never quite happened for me. I found the Aria screen to be too small and Android not ready for prime time. With that said, I really like the hardware for the larger sized HTC Evo Shift.
A whole slew of new sexy Android Phones are coming out in the next few months. HTC has just hit us their latest crop all featuring 4G speeds and there’s a phone for every carrier; the HTC EVO Shift 4G from Sprint, HTC Inspire 4G from AT&T, and HTC ThunderBolt from Verizon Wireless. Look at this we even have pricing and release dates? In a CES Press Release – egads, unheard of! The HTC EVO Shift 4G will be $149.99 after a $100 mail-in rebate and activation on a new two-year contract and data plan. It will be available in all Sprint retail channels, including www.sprint.com and 1-800-Sprint1, on Jan. 9th. While Verizon and AT&T haven’t announced pricing on their headsets, one would think it wouldn’t be radically different than Sprint.
This will be the first time in four years that I will not be attending CES. I already miss the fabulous Circus Circus hotel and it’s strange blended smell of Elephant Poop, Kids, Candy, Cigarettes and stale beer. I’ll also miss paying $20 a day for hotel Internet that never works and walking around the convention floor screaming like a psycho because my stupid iPhone won’t work or sighing in frustration as my Macbook battery dies an hour into a Press Conference. I will be covering this year’s show from the comfort of my couch and will give you the daily recaps that you all have come to love and expect as well as press releases on all the new product announcements as the week progresses. The convention floor opens Thursday, but the announcements will probably start today. Although in a weird twist, as far as I can tell today isn’t the official Press Day any longer as there are a lot of Press Events tomorrow. Be sure to check out our CES Hub for the latest dirt.