Well really getting to know it has been delayed by a cock-up with the upgrade process, so while I had the phone over the weekend the SIM never activated. But from a certain amount of fiddling, setting up, WiFi use, and a bit of real use today, here are a few disorganised first impressions:
* Build: excellent. I know that some people have had problems (hopefully early production only?), but I really can't fault my one. Certainly up there with anything other phone I've seen, and leaves most standing. The whole thing does come across as solid and well thought out, and has impressed everyone who's seen it. The hardware buttons don't protrude much, which may not be optimal for touch operation but does mean that accidental presses shouldn't be an issue, and I'm finding them to work well enough in practice. Although it's big, it's really quite pleasant to use.
* Reception: browsed AF on my train journeys today, and clearly better than my older phone. Maintained solid H/3G throughout, even in places where the Desire would reliably fall back to GPRS/EDGE. Also very much quicker to connect if I toggle data or change mode. Wifi reception is also stronger, and GPS fix is solid within a few seconds (and the first time I tested it I had no mobile data, so no AGPS assistance there).
* Screen: bright, sharp, beautiful, very good black levels. Shows up just how green-tinted my 3 year old Desire's AMOLED had become with age!
* Battery: too early to tell, but on the first couple of charge cycles it's clearly capable of at least 6 hours screen on operation.
* Sound: do you want some depth and detail to your ringtone? Well, now you can have it
. Made a couple of phone calls, and the earpiece quality beats any other phone I've ever used (not just cellphones). Haven't systematically tested whether Beats is a good or a bad thing yet - I use the PowerAmp setting to exclude it when playing music (I don't really go for equalisers), but should find time to try with and without. And I don't think I'm going to fail to hear this one ring
* In use: smooth, fast and responsive. And to my surprise I'm actually quite OK with the current version of Sense, though I'll probably drop the launcher soon - works well enough, but not enough customisation for my tastes. Currently trying both Apex and Nova, trying to decide which (Nova seems to have some features better designed, but I find Apex very slightly smoother). From someone who's been running AOSP ROMs since 2010 I think the fact that I'm happy to use Sense says at lot about how it's come on.
* Setting up: I have to admit that the HTC data transfer tool is great. Didn't need to use it for much, but as a simple way of just copying messages from one phone to the other it's brilliant.
* Miscellany: was really cool plugging a usb memory stick in via OTG and just seeing it from the phone. Many of my old apps just seem to work better too - a Tasker profiles that was glitchy on the old phone is solid on this one, formatting errors Moon+ showed with a couple of Gutenberg books aren't present with this device, etc.
And as for adapting to a much bigger device with a different interface, I have to admit that after just a couple of minutes my old 2010 flagship seemed like a clumsy toy
Forgot to say: one worry had been that with this MTP garbage it would be awkward/slow copying to/from my Macbook. But Google's Android File Transfer
app fixed that - was a much quicker way of copying files than HTC's Sync Manager, and not limited in file types.