Posts Tagged ‘HTC’

HTC Aria Hands On

Saturday, June 26th, 2010

AT&T released the HTC Aria on June 20. It seems they forgot to tell their employees about it, but that’s another story.

The Aria is AT&T’s second Android device, and it is a huge upgrade from the Motorola Backflip. Here are the specs:

  • Android 2.1
  • 3.2″ Capacitive HVGA Touch Screen (480×320)
  • Integrated GPS
  • 5MP Camera, Video Camera
  • microSD upgradable to 32GB, 2GB included in box
  • Bluetooth 2.1
  • MP3 Player/FM Radio

The specs put this into a mid-range category. It is better than some phones, but not as good as others. I think it is a good introduction to Android, especially since it starts on 2.1. You can hit the ground running with a smaller learning curve that way.

The phone feels really light, and fits comfortably in my hand. The backing feels like a blend of plastic and rubber, and won’t be showing fingerprints like the iPhone. The Sense overlay is relatively intuitive, and I found navigation to be pretty straightforward.

One of my favorite things is the touchscreen. When you type, you get a slight pushback and a vibration, letting you know it accepted the letter you typed. On a touchscreen, and a small one at that, this type of feedback is really helpful.

Another thing I found worth noting is the rotation feature. I can go from portrait to landscape and back really quickly. With the iPhone 3G, this feature was hit and miss. The Aria has nailed it every time I tried.

One problem I’ve noted is the battery charging. I tried to charge it tonight and the minimal level of battery I managed to gain wasn’t that great. It seems that the phone doesn’t like running and charging.

All in all I think this is a really good phone. I would recommend picking one up if you have the chance. Check out my video review below.

AT&T’s Android Selection Growing

Sunday, June 20th, 2010

AT&T logo

The HTC Aria launched officially on AT&T today, expanding by 100% its current Android selection. AT&T now has two Android phones to choose from, ranged from $99 to $129, after rebates and with a 2-year contract.

The Motorola Backflip was a very forgettable launch into Android territory. The design is certainly different, but it doesn’t really seem to appeal to many people. The buttons are hard to press, so I would be afraid of breaking the phone for all the pressure I have to put on the keys to type.

The HTC Aria looks like a pretty decent phone, but the small screen might make typing a little difficult. I’ll give it a shot and discuss it in a later post.

Next in line is the Samsung Captivate, which is the first high-end Android device AT&T will carry. There is no word on pricing or availability though, so AT&T’s current selection remains at two devices. The Dell Aero was announced and subsequently went MIA, so we’re no closer to knowing when that one will be made available either.

With June in its final days, AT&T has two of the 5 promised Android phones in the first half of 2010. Two more on deck with no release in sight, and two non-AT&T devices in the periphery (Google/HTC Nexus One and Dell Streak), it looks like it may finally be a good year to be with AT&T. If only AT&T would get serious about what its customers really want.

AT&T Releasing HTC Aria June 20

Monday, June 14th, 2010

AT&T announced the HTC Aria today. It will be released on June 20. There have been plenty of rumors about this phone, even one about a name change. It looks like some of the rumors are panning out, with the obvious exception of the name change.

Here are the specs:

  • Android 2.1
  • 5MP camera
  • 3.2″ HVGA display
  • “Responsive” capacitive touch screen
  • Optical joystick
  • 3G/802.11b/g Wi-Fi/Bluetooth 2.1 A2DP
  • 2GB microSD included in box

The specs list is pretty short, but as June 20 approaches I expect we’ll learn more. AT&T is very proud of the HTC Sense platform. I think the standard Android UI is just fine, though it seems most manufacturers disagree. One interesting thing came from the press release though.

“HTC Aria is the first of several smartphones in our Android portfolio to run the 2.1 platform.”
Jeff Bradley, senior vice president, Devices, AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets

It looks like AT&T might be attempting to live up to its promise at CES that we’d see 5 phones in the first half of 2010. Unless the Dell Aero is released soon though, AT&T will only have two Android phones out before July, missing their target.

Here is AT&T’s HTC Aria Unboxing video:

The Aria will be $129 after a $100 mail-in rebate with a two year contract and smartphone data plan required. Considering that the phone looks much better than the Backflip, it is good to see a comparable price. The Aria comes in only $29 above the price of the Backflip.

As more information becomes available I will cover it. Finally, AT&T’s Android-loving customers are finally getting a glimmer of hope. Let’s keep hoping that AT&T doesn’t disappoint.