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Sprint EVO vs. AT&T Inspire: Talk me out of them?

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by GotoDengo, Mar 6, 2011.

  1. GotoDengo

    GotoDengo Newbie
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    Getting ready to try out an Android phone this week. I'm currently on a corporate-owned BB, but this will be a personal phone so I will be a new customer on any carrier.

    This is going to be a 30-day trial, so I'll have time to change my mind. But I also know that, due to inertia, there's a 67% chance I'll end up keeping whatever I get first.... so looking for some quick-and-dirty advice even before I test drive one.

    Since Verizon only offers 14-day returns, they're out... at least for the test-drive. Spent time at AT&T and Sprint today and am leaning towards the Inspire or EVO 4G... probably the Inspire. Atrix was very snappy but I'm a sucker for those big screens.

    I realize everyone has opinions, and pro-con experiences with different carriers. I'm really looking for "gotchas" that might not be evident, to look hard at another phone/carrier for some reason. For example, I've read that AT&T doesn't allow non-market apps. I'm sure there are ways around that, so that's the kind of info I'm hoping to get out of the way up front... to rule certain phones/carriers in or out. I don't want a neutered phone.

    Rather than try to type all of my questions, I'll just throw out a few bullet points and see what you guys come back with. Any advice is appreciated, even for Verizon phones.


    • Plans and hardware costs are in line enough that this isn't a big consideration (Inspire is $100 cheaper than Evo 4G, but AT&T plan is $5 more... x24 months that equalizes things).
    • Leaning towards AT&T mainly b/c would like to be able to do voice and data at same time.
    • AT&T voice and data service rates well where I live (Raleigh), current sprint BB coverage is fine.
    • Don't care about front-facing camera
    • No issue with rooting and/or custom ROMs. I have the hacker's/tinker's inability to NOT mess with gadgets, so will probably do this anyway.
    • Is ROM development more active on the EVO vs. inspire?
    • Like most, am attracted to wifi hotspot but not interested in paying the extra fee for the infrequency I will use it. Is one carrier vs. another more strict about auditing usage and looking for "rouge"/unpaid hotspots (why is that guy's droid looking for MS updates?)

    Thanks again for any thoughts.
     

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  2. Little Green Robot

    Little Green Robot Well-Known Member
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    Or you could wait a few weeks and get the Thunderbolt from verizon. Its a more awesome version of those phones.
     
  3. Guamguy

    Guamguy Android Expert
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    I think this is more of a carrier choice. Choose the carrier then the phone. Verizon = Thunderbolt, AT&T = Inspire, Sprint = EVO. The differences among the phones are quite subtle so you have to decide which has the best coverage where you live.
     
  4. novox77

    novox77 Leeeroy Jennnkinnns!
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    Carrier choice: tie

    Carrier choice: AT&T

    Carrier choice: tie (based on coverage and comparable plans)

    Phone choice: tie

    Phone choice: tie (all HTC phones are easy to root)

    Phone choice: EVO. Huge development community, possibly the most active homebrew community of any Android phone at the moment.

    Carrier choice: Sprint. As of right now, Sprint has higher tolerance of high data usage than AT&T. Sprint still offers an unlimited plan, while AT&T does not. If you're tethering heavily, you're likely to come into scrutiny by AT&T before Sprint.

    Results:

    Carrier choice:
    AT&T: 1
    Sprint: 1
    Tie: 2

    Phone choice:
    Evo: 1
    Inspire: 0
    Tie: 2

    From a carrier perspective, I think you could go either way. Based on how I rated them, it comes down to whether you value GSM and simultaneous voice + data, or less regulation on data usage. If I were to tip the scale for you, I'd say AT&T might have a slight edge.

    From a phone perspective, the Evo has the slight advantage due to its fanatic homebrew community. If you plan to root and tinker, the Evo is a great choice. I was just looking into the Inspire for my wife who is currently with AT&T on her iPhone3G. The Inspire sounds a lot like my Evo.

    BTW, I came to my Evo from a Blackberry last June. The Evo (Android) experience has blown me away.
     
  5. Barrett

    Barrett Lurker
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    I'd go with the Atrix 4g.
    The EVO is going to be outdated sooner, due to the old single core processor.

    What about T-Mobile? The new Galaxy S 4G has a new single core processor and a VERY nice, large screen.

    Coverage is the major question.
     
  6. dan330

    dan330 Android Expert
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    phone : Inspire
    it is a better .. newer phone with better power

    cost: EVO
    sprint is not limited in data... you will pay more in data overages with att

    development: EVO
    the evo support is huge.. way bigger than all the others.
    no one knows how the inspire will attract developers.. to new.
    EVO is still better than Nexus S.... on par with nexus one.. and still growing.
     
  7. freedom1911

    freedom1911 Member
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    I vote Evo, they are good phones. I don't know the other one so I can't say.
     
  8. operant

    operant Well-Known Member
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    Leaving verizon out due to a shorter trial period wont help you out in the end. There's a reason that they are still rated best carrier for so long (recently rated best again by jd).

    Between the eve and atria though I'd choose atrix just because it's newer and faster, evo is getting outdated fast.

    As far as the carrier issues go, stay away from sprint. I may be the only one (I'm not) but their customer service is absolutely abysmal. Since I'm the only family member that can use email by themselves (I still get calls from my family asking how to attach a .doc) I still deal with my family's phones. We recently switched from sprint to Verizon solely because of customer service (if you want me to describe in detail I can but I don't want to clutter the thread).

    However if you are looking at customizing your phone to the point of rooting and romming it, droids and the thunderbolt may be left behind just because of how new they'll be and the Droid x isnt exactly the easiest phone to root.

    So my recommendation stands at thunderbolt or Droid bionic from verizon but if you want to test out any phone go to AT&T and get the atrix. But I really think that in the long run of things you'll appreciate the thunderbolt more than anything.
     
  9. aleopold

    aleopold Lurker
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    just wanted to quote this. only stuck with att so i could stay on my parent's plan. unlimited everything on sprint seems huge to me. don't know enough about the phones yet, but this almost made me drop out of my parents plan, cop a 200 dollar phone, and pay 70 bucks a month... unless you live outside of an urban center, or primarily use your data outside of an urban center, sprint seems to be the best choice.
     
  10. Frisco

    Frisco =Luceat Lux Vestra=
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    My 2 cents worth: as I look through the forums on a daily basis, responding to queries for support and moving threads from this or that area to the Support and Troubleshooting sub-forums for each device, I notice that although the Inspire sub-forums are much newer than the EVO subs, the Inspire ones seem to be much busier, especially in requests for support.

    That is, complaints about the Inspire seem to be outrunning those about the EVO. If those two devices had come out at the same time, I'm nearly certain that the Inspire would be seen as inferior to the EVO by now.

    I think that the fact that they are both HTC devices helps to even the choice parameters, but it's becoming apparent to me, or at least a suspicion, that devices made for AT&T and those made for Sprint may have a quality disparity.
     
    novox77 likes this.
  11. dan330

    dan330 Android Expert
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    are u saying...

    oem make phones for att... not as good on purpose???
    that would be just plain oem suicide.

    NO way... NO way.

    they may reduce features or function.. but never reduce quality on purpose!
     
  12. Frisco

    Frisco =Luceat Lux Vestra=
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    "..reduce quality on purpose.." seems off center to my point, a distortion. It's as if you're inferring that they produce a high quality product, then damage it for different carriers. ;)

    I'm saying they have different manufacture and assembly requirements based on who their distributor is and what deal they've worked out as to what that distributor wants their customers to have.

    Most large manufacturing companies carry products of the same general type with varying degrees of material, assembly and functional quality, and often distribute those products as off-brands, store brands, or renamed brands for different distributors.

    The automobile companies are most famous for this. Some are even the same product labeled differently and with lower specs here and there.

    Food packaging, cameras, liquor, ad infinitum.
     
  13. Medion

    Medion Android Expert
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    You're correct on this. However, you can save even more money up front if you purchase through Amazon or another online retailer. I'd only recommend going this route if you're certain that your first purchase will be your only purchase.

    Only in areas where 3G (or HSPA+) is offered. Also, the Evo will do both simultaneously also, anywhere that WiMax is offered. In this regard, AT&T has a larger footprint for this capability. But, it is offered on the Evo.

    Currently more active on the Evo due to it being out longer. However, the Inspire is based off the Desire HD, which does have a healthy community behind it.

    There are a few other things to consider. First is the hardware:

    Screen: Evo uses a 16-bit panel while the Inspire uses a more modern 24-bit panel (unconfirmed, I'm just repeating this). Images should look better on the Inspire.

    CPU: Both use a 1ghz Snapdragon (Scorpion Core), but the Inspire uses the newer, smaller 45nm process. This means less battery consumption, less heat, and more room to overclock if desired. The big thing to take from this is the extended battery life.

    GPU: Adreno 200 (Evo) vs. Adreno 205 (Inspire). The GPU on the Inspire is about 60-70% faster.

    RAM: 512MB on the Evo, 768MB on the Inspire. It makes an appreciable difference in some tasks.

    Battery: Inspire comes with a 1230mAh battery, while the Evo comes with a 1500. Battery life should be similar though because the Inspire drains less. You can also put in an official HTC 1500 to get better battery life.

    Also, while the Evo is rumored and unofficially confirmed to be getting the New Sense (and possibly Gingerbread), it's not a forgone conclusion. The Inspire, being newer and based off a new platform means that software support should last longer.

    Overall, if it's just between the two phones, the Inspire is better all around (given that you don't care for a front-facing cam), and cheaper to boot.
     
  14. novox77

    novox77 Leeeroy Jennnkinnns!
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    worth noting also that simultaneous data + voice is possible with both phones if you're connected via wifi. wifi is a different radio, so you can still talk.

    Typically, the rare occasion where I need voice and data together are when I am working, and I have access to wifi at work and home.

    Not to mention connecting via wifi is a HUGE battery saver...
     
  15. GotoDengo

    GotoDengo Newbie
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    Thanks for all the (very helpful) replies. I wasn't aware you could do voice+data with WiMAX -- which I have here. Also assumed the Inspire and Evo were more or less identical... didn't know about the CPU and screen differences. Minor, maybe, but still good to know.

    I'd probably say I'm leaning towards the Evo now, since the main attraction to AT&T was voice+data. I'm on a lot of boring conference calls where it might be nice to dink around on the web while people drone on.

    Thanks again. I'll probably be back in a few weeks, asking for advice how to fix a bricked Evo :D .
     
  16. Outlaw71

    Outlaw71 Android Expert
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    Good luck. Go to the Evo section of this forum, they'll be able to help you out with all your needs/questions.

    As for bricking your Evo, you may very well find yourself doing so once you start playing around with ROMs and themes. But fear not, bricking is just an SBF away from starting anew. It's very easy, these things are basically bulletproof. It's hard as hell to REALLY screw these things up beyond repair (physical abuse not withstanding).

    And if you're going with the Evo, try out Cyanogenmod. You'll LOVE that ROM!!! Wish like hell they had it for my DX. :(
     
  17. dan330

    dan330 Android Expert
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    there is one way to brick a phone: upgrading radios.
    be very very careful. read everything you can...
     
  18. gwlaw99

    gwlaw99 Android Expert
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    You can do voice and data on the Verizon Thnderbolt over BOTH 4G and 3G. THe TB also has a newer faster version of the Snapdragon in the EVO. Seems HTC cooked up some magic to allow this on 3G. Verizon reps were told not to mention the 3G data and voice because it may not be as reliable.
     
  19. Medion

    Medion Android Expert
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    Just incorrect assumptions here:

    • Simultaneous voice/data on the TB is done on 3G using SVDO. Being in a 4G area has nothing to do with it (early assumptions were that it would only work in 4G areas, before SVDO was confirmed)
    • Yes, the TB's guts are superior to that of the EVO, but the CPU alone is the same in terms of performance. It's the lower power consumption, better GPU, and 50% more RAM that sets the TB above the EVO.
    • Verizon doesn't want SVDO mentioned, not because of reliability (it works fine), but because of inconsistency between products. Not all phones, even initial 4G phones, will have SVDO capability. They don't want to advertise it until it's a regular feature of their phones.
     
  20. stalkythefish

    stalkythefish Newbie
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    Another vote for EVO. Stay away from AT&T. They just don't seem to "get" Android. Sprint seems to have better plans/terms anyway, and the simultaneous voice/data thing shouldn't be a problem if you're in a WiMax or WiFi area. Also, the EVO has a very mature homebrew community and is one of the most popular Android phones.
     

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