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Review: HTC Inspire 4G

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HTC has refreshed the camera a bit since the last Sense device I tested. It launches quickly with a press of the software button and uses 90% of the screen as the viewfinder. The remaining 10% hold several key controls and the shutter button. These controls are great, as they provide quick access to vital things such as the flash, the camcorder, etc.

You need to press the Menu key on the device to access the full camera settings. I wish a button for the settings was included on the display, instead. The settings let you fine-tune the camera's behavior. Some include ISO (100-800), white balance, auto focus, face detection, and brightness.

The Inspire 4G is hurt a little bit by the lack of a physical camera button. Still, using the on-screen software button isn't terrible. The Inspire takes about a second to focus most shots, and another second or so to capture the image and show the review screen. The review screen can be set to 2 seconds, 1 second, or off, allowing you to get straight back to the camera. The Inspire also offers touch-to-focus, meaning you can focus on a specific item in the viewfinder by pressing it.

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Surprisingly, the Inspire 4G lacks a user-facing camera. That means no video chatting. In the world of FaceTime, that's a glaring omission.


As with other Sense phones, the Inspire 4G uses an HTC-made gallery. It can be opened from either the camera or the menu, and presents pictures in either a timeline or via grid. The timeline mixes pictures and videos into one long stream of images and movies. The entire stream flows back and forth as you swipe your finger to and fro in a very fluid manner.

As far as editing goes, images can be cropped and rotated. Users can also apply a number of effects. These include the usual (B&W, Sepia) as well as a few that are more meant to improve the image (auto-enhance, color balance) rather than alter it.

Tools for sending the images include email, MMS, Bluetooth, Facebook, Twitter and so on.

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