I am in search of the best smartphone for my wife. She is NOT a techie and just came from a Palm Centro without a data plan, so getting a smartphone is big technological step up for her. As I noted in a recent post, in my view, the iPhone is definitely not it (and my wife is on the fence about it). So, I decided to test drive the new HTC Inspire from AT&T. And I really like it!

It really is just a big version (4.3” screen) of my Aria, which I love. It runs Android 2.2 Froyo (and, BTW, it has already been rooted and has custom ROMs available on xda-developers.com). The Inspire is a quality build that has what you would expect of an HTC Android phone.

There isn’t anything flashy about the Inspire and it really isn’t cutting edge in its specs or technological accoutrement. So if you’re looking for a leader-of-the-pack phone, this isn’t it. But if you want a rock-solid phone that is customizable, yet easy to navigate, this is a great phone. Plus, at just $99, you get a lot of phone for the buck.

A few things I don’t like about it. First, I find it too big (and so does my wife). Also, access to the battery and the SIM/SD cards through two separate “doors” is a real pain. I actually bent the SIM/SD cards cover trying to wrestle it off, but got a new one from the AT&T store. The battery life seems fine, but the battery is pretty low capacity (1230 mAh). Also, it didn’t come with a wired headset. And no front-facing camera for video calling (which I think will become de rigueur in the next year or so).

Is the Inspire the keeper for my wife? I’m not sure yet. A key for me is that I want her to have a smartphone that will still be “in the game” in a year or more. I don’t think the Inspire fits that bill.

The Motorola Atrix will be available tomorrow, so I’m going to check it out. Now that smartphone, based on its specs, is one ahead-of-the-curve piece of machinery.

So, the saga continues. I’ll report back on the Atrix and our final decision.

P.S. My greatest fear is that my wife will, in the end, decide to keep the iPhone!

P.S. Sorry for the French verbiage; it does make me sound pretentious, but c’est la vie!


  1. Samsung Focus as well. Jim, I thought you were getting the phone for your wife? Doesn’t matter what you’re into.

  2. @Jim
    You may be some geeks that love Android, but the point is that your wife isn’t. Shouldn’t you get something that’s easy to use for your wife?

  3. Wow, I didn’t realize there were so many WP7 users out there! :->

    I am thinking about what’s best for my wife, but there are things that should go into the phone decision beyond basic use, e.g., latest technology that will keep the phone from being outdated in six months, that my wife doesn’t know about (I’m the CTO of the family).

    As for the Captivate, I looked at it, but found it cheap feeling and unresponsive.

  4. “outdated in six months”
    You’ve just described Android. Better go with iPhone or Windows Phone 7 then.

  5. @ drjim, the Focus and WP7 is so easy to use it’ll be a no-brainer for her. Plus, it’ll get an update in a month or so to make it even better. You’ll have a great device, with Gorilla Glass no less, and she’ll be up and running in minutes. If you can’t do WP7 then you’ll have to go iPhone. You can’t give a low tech person an Android phone and expect they’ll like it. There’s too much you can do with it which means too much to learn. My wife went from a standard flip phone to an iPhone. She got it right away and was able to use the whole phone in days. She had iPhones for 4 years. She just jumped ship to Verizon to take advantage of a lower cell phone bill, and a great data plan and moved into a Fascinate -Galaxy S Phone – hates it… She’s had it for 3 weeks. She has rows of icons on her home panel, and the rest of the panels are blank.

  6. I’d say get her any WP7 device, if you can’t find something you personally like then let her keep her iphone. No need to control what the woman wants.

  7. Okay, okay, I’ll check out the Focus.

    Lower rates on Verizon (than AT&T)? I pay $50 for 450 mins. (we don’t need any more) for a two-line family plan plus $15 each for two plans. Verizon’s rates on line are much higher.

    Please explain

  8. I agree with everyone here, she will like the simplicity and ease of use on WP7 better than Android. I do like Android, but it’s not ideal for those less tech savvy.

  9. Plus, the Focus comes with a wired headset. It’s actually pretty high quality. It comes with controls that allow you to answer calls as well as change the volume. While listening to music you can adjust the volume as well as play/pause and skip to the next song by pressing the play button twice. My wife, not a Luddite when it comes to technology, has definitely taken to it!

  10. OMG, such WP7 fanboys!! :-> I never expected such an outpouring of support.

    I get it! DavidK, is that you with all the fake usernames?!?!?

  11. Yeah I know we’ve got a bit of a roach problem ’round here. I know, you’d think they’d all stick to the wmpu building. I guess David K’s just that good. Fortunately, not unlike their winmo predecessors, they’re headed toward extinction.

  12. It’s like Cheers up in this piece…I can’t keep humming the theme song now, but it’s like one big happy Windows Phone family ;)

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