Hands-on with the AT&T HTC Inspire 4G available for $99.99

The HTC Inspire 4G continues the 4.3 inch HTC form factor at a price that can't be beat. For $100, you get a solid Android 2.2 device with the latest HTC Sense interface and services.
Written by Matthew Miller, Contributing Writer

With the iPhone exclusivity for the last three years, AT&T has had a lame Android lineup. However, now that Verizon has the iPhone 4, AT&T realizes they need to get into the game and are rolling out some very good Android devices. These include the HTC Inspire 4G and Motorola Atrix. I've now spent just over a week with the HTC Inspire 4G and at the amazing $99.99 price it is definitely a device to consider.

Regular readers know that my favorite smartphone of 2010 was the Sprint HTC EVO 4G and I still think it is one of the best Android devices ever. The HTC Inspire 4G is nearly the same as the EVO 4G (and other HTC 4.3 inch display devices) with an even better feel in the hand and some updated features and functions. Check out my small image gallery of the HTC Inspire 4G.

Image Gallery: Check out product images of the HTC Inspire 4G on AT&T.
Image Gallery: Inspire retail box
Image Gallery: Inspire 4G in hand

In the box and first impressions

The HTC Inspire 4G comes in a rather compact orange and white box with the device, battery, A/C charger, microUSB sync cable, 8GB microSD card, and Quick Start Guide. The Quick Start Guide is actually quite helpful, especially given that the battery and SIM/microSD card covers are unique.

The HTC Inspire 4G is an aluminum unibody device so it has a great feel in your hand. The super LCD display is bright and crisp and most of the device is flush glass. It feels like a high quality device and nothing like a $100 smartphone.


Specifications for the HTC Inspire 4G include the following:

  • Android 2.2 with HTC Sense experience
  • 1 GHz Qualcomm QSD8255 Snapdragon processor
  • WCDMA/HSPA+ support (850/1900 MHz)
  • Quad-band GSM
  • 8 megapixel camera with dual LED flash
  • 4.3 inch WVGA (480x800) capacitive touch display
  • 768 MB RAM and 4GB internal storage (1.55 GB user accessible)
  • Dedicated, touch-sensitive Home, Menu, Back and Search areas
  • Proximity sensor, light sensor and digital compass
  • Integrated GPS receiver
  • Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n)
  • Bluetooth 2.1
  • FM radio
  • 3.5 mm headset jack
  • 1230 mAh battery
  • microSD card slot with included 8GB card
  • DLNA home networking technology/li>
  • Mobile hotspot capability for up to 5 devices
  • Dimensions: 4.8 x 2.7 x 0.46 inches and 5.78 ounces

Compared to the HTC EVO 4G, we see the Inspire 4G losing the front facing camera, losing the HDMI port, and coming without a kickstand. The Inspire 4G does gain a 2nd generation Snapdragon processor, super LCD display, some integrated storage capacity and DLNA support. It is very snappy and performed quite well during my testing time.

Walk around the hardware

The 4.3 inch display takes up most of the front of the Inspire 4G with four touch sensitive keys/areas at the bottom for Home, Menu, Back, and Search. The handset speaker has a nice silver border and it looks classy. The rest of the front is mostly glass and feels great in your hand.

There is nothing on the right side of the device. On the left side you will find the volume button and side access port. Under the door you will find that the battery slides out the side.

On the bottom you will find the microUSB port, microphone, and 3.5mm headset jack. The only thing found on the top is the power button.

The flash, camera, and mono speaker are found on the back up towards the top. On the bottom of the back you will find another access door that houses the microSD card and SIM card. One quality issue I found was that the plastic part of the cover seems to pop up above the aluminum back just a bit.

Walk through the software

The HTC Inspire 4G runs the Google Android 2.2 operating system with HTC Sense built on top of it. This device also includes support for the HTCSense.com services that includes apps, widgets, ringtones, and more. We are starting to see Android phones with 2.3 and I sure hope this device gets an update too. I know that carrier testing takes some time so can understand having 2.2 on the device now, but imagine all smartphones coming this summer will have (or should have) at least 2.3 loaded up.

All the typical HTC Android applications and utilities are present, including Footprints, Google Maps Navigation, FM Radio, Flashlight, Android Market, Music, Twitter, Teeter, PDF viewer, Quickoffice, Photo Gallery, YouTube, Weather, and more. A new application I have never seen before is HTC Reader, which is an HTC ebook client powered by Kobo with support for Adobe ID.

In typical AT&T fashion, there are some AT&T services on the Inspire 4G, including AT&T FamilyMap, AT&T Code Scanner, AT&T Navigator, Blockbuster, Live TV, my AT&T, and YPmobile. The AT&T Code Scanner is a 2D barcode scanner app.

Pricing and availability

The AT&T Inspire 4G is available now for just $99.99. The no contract full price is $399.99, which is still a good price for a device built like this. You need a minimum voice plan of $39.99 plus a data plan (200 MB for $15, 2 GB for $25, and 4GB with tethering for $45). The maximum that I have seen is just over 2GB so I could easily make it with 4GB.

Final thoughts on the HTC Inspire 4G

If I was on AT&T and wanted an Android device, then I would likely pick up the Inspire 4G. It comes in a form factor that I like and is a solid smartphone that will last customers at least a year or two. I prefer having devices with a dedicated camera capture button and personally have moved on to Windows Phone 7 as my primary platform of choice. $100 is a stellar price for this device, especially when you think I paid $299 for my EVO 4G last year.

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