In a week Verizon is launching 2 android phones, the droid and the eris. Sprint will have the moment by then, which adds to their existing Hero. T-Mobile has the G1 and the MyTouch. For each carrier this gives you 2 phones to choose from:
- A hard keyboard phone (G1, Droid, Moment)
- An HTC phone with the Sense UI (MyTouch, Hero, Eris)
While droid has gotten all the attention this past week for being the first Android 2.0 device, I’m cringing a bit with what the reaction to that phone is going to be on the mass market. It’s being placed head to head against the iPhone, which currently defines usability on the market. From my experience on the 1.5 front, the difference between stock android (which the G1 has) and Sense on a 1.5 phone is night and day.
HTC really went to town to provide a very smooth experience to the user. This is an interface that had a lot of user testing and human factors put into it. This polish is what has gotten the Hero praise as being the best gadget of 2009.
It does not, however, provide a hard keyboard (and I’m not sure if there will ever be a cross over there). A lot of people are going to go to the droid because of that hard keyboard, and large screen, which is totally understood. But for friends that have been looking at the device I’ve tried to convince them to look at the Eris at the same time. I really think the Sense UI makes the phone more compelling. It adds this slickness to android that isn’t there, yet, in the base. If user experience is your top concern, it’s worth looking at one of the HTC Sense phones when you contemplate your android purchase.