Gorgeous Infuse 4g

After nearly 5 years of being in the Blackberry world (with Pearl and then Curve), I was finally bugged by the lack of accessible browsing and ability to upload my photos on a trip to a secondary storage device. The Inspire almost had me buying it if not for our Help desk not approving it within days of its release. The Motorola Atrix had all going for it but when I felt it in the AT&T store, it was very warm – warm enough to make me uncomfortable. It almost felt like carrying a glass of warm water constantly in my hand. The Infuse 4g was released a couple of weeks back and I saw the phone at the store and was pretty impressed. Now, everyone may want a dual-core processor on their mobile phone – but not me. I don’t play much games (maybe brick breaker and circle pop on the plane – that’s it); don’t watch YouTube on the phone. I DO browse and use google maps. I definitely don’t want Facebook or social media on my mobile device – they are a constant source of distraction more than being useful for work. For me voice quality, speakerphone quality and battery life are at the top of the list. The Infuse was extremely slim and the form factor was much better than an Apple iPhone. After (and still) being an Apple fan for many, many years, I couldn’t wait another 4-6 months for the next major avatar of iPhone. I came back home and placed my order on the AT&T portal. Two days later the phone was shipped to my company HQ instead of my phone, but I finally got it last Friday.

This is not a full review of the phone, but the Super AMOLED screen is just gorgeous. This is the screen I have been waiting for all along in a smart phone. And the size was a big sell for me – a full 4.5 inches of real estate. The vibrancy of the colors are hard to beat and comparing it to the two iPhones in the family, it was evident I made the right choice. The Apple screen, while great, simply doesn’t show off the colors so well. This was clinched when I synced up with my Google account and say my albums on Picasa. Simply unbelievable. It was as though my starred pictures were pieces of cake waiting to be eaten.

The Infuse (runs on Android 2.2) has seven home pages. I quickly set one of my recent sunset pictures from Aruba as background. As you scroll through the seven home pages, the background scrolls to reveal the full picture – neat! I quickly added some applications – Audible, Fidelity, Bloomberg, CNBC, Amazon. Then I moved the Angry Birds to my home page – a fitting place for the perfect time killer while waiting to board a delayed flight back home.

The battery is a so-so. I was used to the Curve lasting me 4-5 days without a charge. The Infuse ran out of battery in 24 hours with some heavy browsing and 2 hours of Angry Birds (for testing purposes and I, of course, got hooked). Today, after a trip to New Jersey and hardly any browsing and no Angry Birds, the battery was down to 50% – I guess, the GPS was draining the battery all along. This is yet to be verified. You can go into Settings->About the Phone->Batter use tells you which functions are using how much of the battery. In my case, the past two days, the display was sucking up 85% of it.

The speakerphone – which is another BIG requirement for myself as I am on conference calls sometimes for hours together – is really tinny as the it nears maximum volume, but a headset should solve the problem. The camera is decent – the rear is 8 MP and the front is 1.3 MP. I haven’t yet found how to zoom using the rear camera – maybe it doesn’t have that feature, need to check it out further. I am not a big Camera user anyway on the device; I prefer my G12 anytime.
The display, by the way, is lightly visible in sunlight. The reviews I read claim that the super AMOLED screen is very visible in sunlight. BUT I would buy this phone just for the contrast and richness of it color display in shade.

The outer case is metal and hence is slippery. You have to make an effort to hold the phone and keep it from slipping. I am ordering a leather case instead of the plastic or hard cases. The leather case should make it easier to hold the phone and keep the screen from scratches. By the way, the screen is made up of material that makes is unbreakable and extremely scratch resistant, but I am not taking chances.

On my next trip to India, I don’t need an iPad as I was planning. The Infuse has 16GB of storage and 2 GB of external memory (expandable too).  Now, with this gorgeous Infuse around, the iPad seems a bit big and cumbersome to carry around – big enought for a quick review of my photos  and adequate for browsing when needed.

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