AT&T HTC Inspire 4G Hands-On at CES 2011

I was able to do a hands-on of the HTC Inspire 4G. The difference with this one, compared to other hands-on previews I’ve done so far, is this one was not eyes-on.

Due to the Inspire and Freestyle not having reached Technical Certification, it’s still considered by AT&T to be in pre-beta and they don’t want anyone to see it powered on when not ready. We saw this happen with the Dell Aero at CTIA last March and even the Samsung Infuse 4G here at CES this year (which is also curious that the “4G” devices are not ready for tech certification yet and can’t be turned on, but I digress).

Though we can’t really comment on the software, we can comment on the hardware. The Inspire is very reminiscent of the HTC Desire that was launched in Europe last year, but with a few extra features thrown in. The Inspire uses the trademark gray polished plastic that many HTC devices have, and has a very similar design to several other HTC phones as well. In fact, this trademark design is very minimalistic, and I actually find these phones rather aesthetically pleasing and good to look at.

It’s not the thinnest phone out there, and doesn’t pretend to be. It has a little extra heft to it at 11.6 mm, so it doesn’t even come close to some of the thinnest phones on the market today or announced here at CES. But I didn’t seem to mind too much about the thickness: to some, 2 mm might make a huge difference in their comfort level on the phone, but for me, sometimes thicker can be better (provided it’s not too thick).

The 4.3″ screen helps make this phone the largest AT&T offers. It also comes with:

  • Android 2.2
  • 8 MP camera with flash
  • 720p HD video capture
  • 1GHz Snapdragon processor
  • 768 MB RAM
  • 4 GB internal storage with MicroSD expansion up to 32 GB (an 8 GB card is included)
  • 1230 mAh battery
  • Weighs 5.78 ounces

So these specs are pretty good, and will be a great complement to other powerhouses such as the Motorola Atrix 4G and Samsung Infuse 4G. I would like to see the Inspire be a little lighter and have a better battery (talk time is rated at 6 hours), but everything else will work out well. I do love seeing them kicking up the RAM to higher than 512 MB, and a better camera than the standard 5 MP that appears in so many current Android offerings. Right now the only other phone to offer 8 MP camera on AT&T is the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10.

While I may not have video, I definitely have some great pictures of the phone and hardware. So enjoy this picture gallery as much as I enjoyed playing around with the phone. If you enjoy it more, that’s okay — I won’t tell.

Author: Brad Molen

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