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printed September 30, 2014
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Review: HTC Inspire 4G

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Is It Your Type? Body The Three S’s  

 

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HTC hasn’t strayed too far with its design language in recent years. Its high-end devices all bear a strong family resemblance, and the Inspire 4G doesn’t break this mold. The combination of glass, metal and plastic materials is appealing, and the device looks classy even if a little on the vanilla side. Thanks in part to the massive display, the Inspire 4G is large, hefty phone. Rounded edges make it rest comfortably in your hand, though. The shape means it will be easy to slip into a pocket, but the weight will always remind you that it is there.

The front face of the Inspire is huge. The phone has a 4.3-inch display that takes up 85% of the Inspire’s face. The typical Android controls are below the screen and are capacitive - rather than physical - buttons. I didn’t have any problem with these buttons, but some might prefer real buttons. I just wish Google would mandate the order that these keys appear so all Android devices have the same layout.

The volume toggle is a thin plastic strip on the left side of the phone. It is among the worst volume toggles I’ve ever used. It is too hard to find, and offers such little feedback that you have to check the display to see if pressing it had any effect.

The 3.5mm headset jack and microUSB port are tucked into the bottom edge of the Inspire. This is s typical HTC design move, though I dislike having the headset jack on the bottom of a device. There are no controls along the right side of the device, and only the power/screen lock key is on the top. It has good travel and feedback.

The 8 megapixel camera module protrudes from the back of the Inspire 4G like an eyeball peering out at the world. It adds some thickness to the device, but I like the way it breaks up what would otherwise be a boring back cover.

There are two back covers on the Inspire 4G to worry about. First, the bottom has a plastic sleeve that is slid off by pulling down. You need to remove this in order to access the microSD port and SIM card port. Speaking of the battery, there is a narrow hatch on the edge next to the volume toggle. It requires some work to pry off, and there’s a bit of finesse required. Once you get the hang of it, though, it isn’t a problem. The battery for the Inspire 4G is slid into this space sideways, and the hatch locks it into place.

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