Yesterday I received my personal HTC Eris from Verizon, which is powered by Android v1.5 currently (a v2.x upgrade is supposedly coming soon). This is my first Android-powered smartphone, and honestly, I’m kind of excited about checking things out on a personal phone. I’ve been solid Symbian since the Nokia 6620, with a few forays into WinMo, so this is my first real exploration outside the Symbian world.
Of course, I used the original iPhone, but even now, the lack of ability to multitask and the carrier lockdown are complete dealbreakers for me on that phone. I’ve also spent some time with the Palm Pre, though not my own personal device, and while that seems like a great smartphone OS for smartphone noobs, it’s certainly not powerful enough for me.
I use pretty much every single Google service anyways, so Android is a very obvious choice for me, though I’m already finding things that I miss about Symbian. I’ll have more thoughts on the two later. I likely won’t be doing a full-on review of the Eris, since it’s been around for a while. If you’re interested, you can read MobileBurn’s full HTC Eris review here.
I’ve spent half a day with the HTC Eris now, setting it up and customizing it and whatnot, and here’s the things I’ve noticed thus far:
1. The onscreen keyboard’s autocorrect is phenomenal. I normally don’t care for onscreen keyboards, as I find them difficult to use, but I was pleased to discover that no matter how much I butchered a word, the Eris’ autocorrect system was almost always able to figure out what I was trying to type. Excellent.
2. Setup was a breeze. I seriously just logged in with my Google account once and BOOM!, contacts, calendar, email, etc was all sync’d up. Freakin brilliant. I have this thing ready to roll and have yet to connect it to my computer (I likely won’t ever). Also, when I visit Google sites, I’m automatically logged in. Totally seamless, as it should be. Really pleasant.
3. Multitasking is a bit confusing. There doesn’t seem to be a surefire way to view the currently running applications, or to minimize an app and then recall it, really. Perhaps I’m missing something, but if I’m chatting with someone in Gtalk and I press home or back, I have to navigate back to the Gtalk app (or wait for them to send me another IM) to get it back. Makes me miss Handy Taskman quite a bit.
4. The HTC Sense UI isn’t all that great. It has some cool features, but it’s also quite cluttered, in my opinion, and duplicates a few Android features, like the email and such.I know how to disable the Sense UI now, but am trying to force myself to use it a bit longer before writing it off entirely.
That’s really about it for now – I’m still exploring this, so if you have any tips/tricks/suggested apps, please do leave them in the comments. I’ve also ordered a skin from SkinIt (camo, of course) and will review that with photos when it arrives.