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HTC launches a pretty compelling range of new Android phones...

Was at the HTC Quietly Brilliant launch the other day. It was about time I got a handle on this Android thing (considering it's now the biggest mobile operating system in the world - I think). HTC launched an entire range of SmartPhones, including an entry-level variety. Here are some quick thoughts, pics and videos from the event.


An Instagram styled "polaroid" of the event, held at BuddhaTa in Design Quarter.


Here's the whole range of phones, in order of fanciness from left to right. The three that interest me most are the ChaCha, the Flyer (their Tablet) and the Sensation (iPhone competitor).

I think finally, we have a set of mobile phones with hardware powerful enough to run Android properly. Previous versions of Android phones that I've played with have always felt a little sluggish. And the icons were a little small. I'm not sure why the icons bothered me so much, perhaps I'm just used to the Steve Jobs iPhone Dogma - but they did. The icons have improved marginally - but the overall experience is now very compelling.

  • Beautiful quality screens
  • Touch mechanism works perfectly
  • Operating system is very responsive
  • There is a keyboard/touch combo alternative in the ChaCha.
  • Battery life, according to sources at the event is better than the iPhone

Here's the ChaCha, that retails at around R3000 apparently.

With contracts in the R150/month "range". It's a powerful, powerful BlackBerry competitor - and almost my pick of the night. Keyboard/touch combo, industrial sloping design makes typing a breeze and the functionality worked great even on the slightly smaller screen.

There's a little button on here that sneakily might change the world as we know it. OK, that sounds a little dramatic. But take a look at the bottom right of the phone - a dedicated "post to Facebook" button. Take a picture - one click post. Hold the button to "check in" to a location. 

Do we have any idea how this is going to lower the barrier to entry of posting our lives to social networks? And do we have any comprehension of how much less people are going to care about privacy?

Crazy world we live in - where's usability trumps privacy.

That threat aside - it takes balls to place a dedicated button to an online service like that on a phone. And for the user, it might very well be the killer feature.

Lastly, we have the HTC Flyer (their iPad competitor in the tablet space). This also raised a few eyebrows. It's an 8" tablet - so bring on the arguments of paperback book sized devices vs 11" closer-to-a-computer-sized-devices... I'll let you make up your own mind. Retail price around R6000 apparently.


Watch the launch video below, pay careful attention to the annotation pen this comes with - there are some very funky applications.

I dunno. I still don't desperately need a tablet. I'll end up carrying 3 devices (phone, laptop, tablet) - but I can see the allure. This fits in your jacket pocket - and does almost everything the iPad does and more. 

Enjoy the vid!



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