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Mobility Digest Review: HTC Vivid -One of the best Android Phones available at AT&T

I had been to AT&T Store looking for some service and played with HTC Vivid and compared it with my Atrix 4G. I found HTC Vivid as a better phone than Atrix 4G. Of course Vivid is one the latest phones and Atrix is half-year older.  The issue with call quality on my Atrix 4G is horrible and I found Vivid has the best call quality than other Android phones that I have used.

The complain I hear from my call recipients always was not able to hear me or I had softer voice even if I am at a stronger signal areas. I swapped SIM from my ATRIX to Focus, and all of sudden the complaint was gone and people agreed that the quality of call had been jumped to 100%. ATRIX 4G is a good device, but not as a phone, which is the primary task of every mobile phone. The other issue I have with Atrix 4G is MotoBlur, and I still feel it is beta quality interface from one of the major phone maker and I have seen the latest Motorola phones. I still feel it is clunky. The integration of accounts is not super smooth like Windows Phones or even HTC Sense UI Android. The linking of accounts is pretty easy using Windows Phone 7 or HTC Sense UI on Android.

HTC Vivid, I felt device is perfect in my larger hands, but the complaint I have was with keyboard. I felt the ATRIX keyboard is better than Vivid. That is my personal taste. The email presentation quality is better than rest of the Android gang including the Google’s own Nexus line. Vivid even though is a bigger phone, I didn’t feel it as heavy, also the back cover felt much much better than Samsung Galaxy series or Motorola series phones of same price. The phone appeared plastic before iPhone quality though.

Here are my thoughts about the phone:

Phone reception, and call quality – 4.5 out of 5. I see Windows Phones and iPhone have better call quality than any Android phone. The microphone quality is at 5 out of 5 but the speakerphone quality is not as good as Windows Phone or iPhone. That’s my personal opinion. I own Windows Phones, Androids and iPhones personally.

Strength of the OS – 4.5 out of 5. Coming from Windows Mobile family and as an IT professional I still think the modern OSes lack Windows Mobile power. This includes Windows Phone 7 too.

Display size – 5 out of 5. I felt reading and replying to emails is super easy with bigger screen with 960 x 540 qHD TFT Super LCD display and it’s a punch to many phones’ displays out there. At this size it is pretty good. Once HTC Titan is released I will revisit this. I liked my HTC Advantage, because of its screen size (5”). It was my PDA for a long time.

Processor – 4.5 out of 5. The processor is clocked at 1.2GHz, which is dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon APQ8060, but on rival phones of similar specs have processors clocked more than 1.4GHz.

Battery life – 3 out of 5. This is understandable because Android is not optimized for battery life, and moreover the phone has bigger screen. I think HTC should have gone for 1850 mAH battery than current 1620 mAH.

Ease of use – 4.5 out of 5. HTC Sense UI is very good interface and the User Experience of it is much better than Samsung’s or Motorola’s. User Experience on iOS or WP7 can’t be beaten anytime soon. Google should shake out itself and do research here and come out with unique UX instead of leaving it to its partners.

Form factor and weight – 4 out of 5. This is a bigger phone and short pockets and smaller hands feel it as larger device but in no way bigger than decent Dockers pants pockets or heavier than LG Quantum.

Media Support – 4.5 out of 5. Of course, you could get something from Amazon, Google Music, Netflix or even HTC’s own media site and get from other websites and move it to device. But the selection is not even close to iTunes or Sony’s  MusicUnlimited or VideoUnlimited Services.  Quality of games on Android still fall behind iPhone or Windows Phone.

Longevity – 3.5 out 5. Any Android phone becomes outdated within few months if not weeks. This phone definitely a long time keeper like HTC EVO 3D or HTC EVO 4G, but I still feel the same with Android phones unlike iPhones or Windows Phones. I used to feel the same with Windows Mobile phones I owned. They used to become old within few months because HTC used to release newer phones every quarter with updated specs.

Camera – 4.5 out of 5.  With 8 megapixel rear camera with dual LED flash and a f/2.2 lens capable of 1080p video, Vivid is one replacement for your Point and Shoot cameras. The Front Facing Camera is at 1.3 MP and it is great for Skyping.The camera is decent and I take out 0.5 out of it because of lack of optical zoom. The phone makers can easily put optical zoom to these lenses.

LTE and 4G – 5 out of 5. Here in my area we are still at HSPA+ and we would be getting LTE pretty soon. But at HSPA+ speeds I found this phone much faster than my Atrix 4G. I read online that LTE is much faster than Verizon’s. I will revisit this once I see LTE here locally.

Memory  and Storage – 5 out 5. The phone comes with 1GB of RAM and16 GB of internal storage with MicroSD card support up to 32GB.

Connectivity – 5 out of 5. With Bluetooth® 3.0, Wi-Fi®: IEEE 802.11 b/g/n, 3.5 mm stereo audio jack, micro-USB
(5-pin micro-USB 2.0), it should be really good. Though I haven’t tested any of these specs. I also haven’t tested the DLNA capabilities of the phone. Yes, DLNA requires you to buy optional MHL adapter. I am using one with my HTC EVO 3D and it is really good.

EcoSystem – 4.5 out of 5. Android Market and Amazon AppStore have pretty decent collection and the ability to side-load any app is a plus over iPhone or Windows Phone 7, where you have to either jailbreak or HomeBrew. The accessories are pretty much available and AT&T made the cases and screen protectors available for HTC Vivid on day one itself. I take out 0.5 because Google needs to clean the Market enforce stronger rules to play.

Overall I give 4.5 out of 5 for this phone and if HTC and AT&T can update this device to Ice Cream Sandwich, that would be awesome.

I am planning to trade my Atrix 4G and get this.