HTC inspire 4g

The HTC Inspire 4G is a curious member of the Android family – for many tasks, it's extremely capable and offers good build quality hampered by three questionable design decisions on the back. These problems aside, it's perfect for the first-time smartphone user who doesn't want much compromise.

We Disliked

The SIM/SD card door is less offensive than the battery door, which makes you feel like you've already broken your precious investment.

The volume rocker gets in the way while shooting photos or videos, and the recessed power button often requires some fumbling to find.

The camera lens is huge and obtrusive. What was HTC thinking?

Your mileage may vary depending on where you live, but AT&T's phony HSPA+ 4G was a complete letdown for us.

The included 8GB micro-SD is a bit puny for this day and age, though HTC does include an additional 4GB internally for apps and Android.

We Liked

Aside from the doors and camera lens, the rest of the handset is quite attractive and well made.

Despite the bulging lens on the back, the 8MP camera actually surprised us with decent photo and video quality – for the money.

HTC Sense looks fantastic. The animated home screen is a nice touch to impress friends, and overall its use on the Inspire 4G feels less heavy-handed than other models.

Hulu Plus should really be on all Android devices by now, but it was certainly a nice treat to find it here.

The S-LCD Display is better than you'd think it would be, but outdoors you might be shocked to see every detail of the touch panel while in direct sunlight.

Verdict

While our mates across the pond found more to love about the HTC Inspire 4G's Euro predecessor last year, we can't help but view the American version in a different light today. For a budget handset, it often performed better than more expensive smartphones, even from the same manufacturer.

It's just good enough that first-time owners will find a lot to love, but by the end of the two-year agreement, the only inspiration they'll be feeling is to upgrade. Thanks to the huge strides Android made over the last year, there will surely be plenty to choose from.