The First U.S. Phone Carrier to Offer….

On January 31, 2011 travelers got a little bit of good news when it comes to international travels to Jamaica and Asia. In the United States, consumers are accustomed to the television commercials that boast about Sprint being the first carrier to offer a 4G network. Just as other companies seemed to be closing the gap with their own variations of 4G, Sprint has since traveled the seas to become number one once again.

Now, not only does the 4G network of Sprint spread across 71 markets within the US they have expanded operations to the Caribbean and Taiwan. With the assistance of Jamaica’s Digicel and Taiwan’s Global Mobile, Sprint will be able to offer customers with 4G speed far away from the shores of the United States (provided that customers have a 4G device that operates with the Sprint Smart View Connection Manager). Of course this option comes with a price, but it is not an unbelievable amount to have a reliable internet connection. For $14.99 (excluding surcharges and taxes) Sprint customers can connect and roam with an unlimited 24 hour pass that allows their computer’s to have high speed internet with the use of Sprint’s 3G/4G U600 USB Modem.

No need to worry about a network that has been expanded with the use of an inferior carrier, Digicel Group Limited has more than 11 million customers across 32 markets which include the Caribbean, Central America, and the Pacific. While Digicel is servicing its customers, Global Mobile is spreading its WiMax service to Hsinchu City, northern Taiwan, targeting users in the Hsinchu Science Park (HSP

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AT&T’s New HTC Inspire 4G

The HTC Inspire 4G is AT&T’s first android phone utilizing 4G technology on its HSPA+ network. The outer appearance of the Inspire 4G is classy, but is not spectacular as it shows a familiar design as that of previous HTC models. The combination of materials used gives it that classic HTC style.  With rounded edges for a more comfortable feel, the large slightly heavy (6oz) Inspire 4G is still small enough to fit in your pocket. It is easy to overlook the size and weight of the Inspire 4G, once you understand what it has to offer.

Roughly 85% of the face of the Inspire 4G is occupied by a large 4.3 inch screen that powerhouses 800×480 pixels allowing for vibrate colors and a once in a lifetime visual experience. But using the capacitive controls may prove to be a little difficult sense Google does not mandate the order of their keys, but like any super sophisticated phone you have to play with it a little to get the hang of things.

On the inside, the HTC Inspire 4G runs on android version 2.2 and features a 1gigahertz snap dragon processor.  Along with a camera, the technology within the Inspire 4G allows for users to shoot 720 pixel HD videos and utilize the 4gigs of internal memory. The phones that keeps on giving, well really keeps on giving. You can enjoy the sounds with the use of the Dolby and SRS WOW surround sound HD technology. Wait still not done, the HTC powerhouse features Friend Stream which allows you to have all your social networking friends in one place regardless of the social networking platform.

But as always, all good things must come to an end, or at least a yield. Control placement on the sides, bottom and top of the HTC Inspire 4G, are not in the best of places either. Although those controls were kept at a minimum, it seems that the placement of the buttons could have used a little more thought behind them. A thin piece of plastic on the left side makes for a hard to find and operate volume toggle. The upside, you can utilize that 4.3 800×480 pixel screen to view if you are correctly pressing the volume button to do what you want it to do.

The design flaws don’t stop at the volume button, sad to say. Those of you that can’t live without you’re your music, just may have to since the 3.5mm headset jack was placed at the bottom of the phone. At least until you can get to a spot where you don’t require putting you phone in a pouch. It may not sound like a big deal, but the use of those universal phone ouches may not be handy if you want to listen to those hits that have you bobbing your head.

Battery placement is unique as it is located next to the volume toggle. Locked into place by a narrow hatch the battery sides into place sideways, but battery placement is not what’s impressive. But because the Inspire 4G is a HTC android device with Sense, it is expected to have a 24 hour use time, before the next charge is needed. Unless you decide to use the Wi-Fi hotspot feature, that can drain a fully charged battery in several hours. So word to the wise, if you plan on getting this phone and using that feature then you may want to leave it plugged in while doing so.

The camera is the amateur photographer’s dream, with 8 megapixels it will allow for crisp clear pictures. The camera appears on the back of the Inspire 4G as a bump adding to the thickness of the device and the added flash should prove useful for great evening shots.

The bottom cover on the back of the phone houses the standard 8 gig microSD card and the SIM card for easy access. The microSD card can be upgraded from an 8 gig memory to a 32 gig for those of you that need a little more memory than others.

The HTC Inspire 4G may not be for everyone, but it could give some new to the android market, and maybe some current android users a new experience. With the move of the iPhone4 to Verizon Wireless, the Inspire 4G may not overshadow the iPhone4 but it is capable of at least giving it a run for its money. Especially, since new AT&T users can get a terrific phone that has access to over 100,000 apps for the unbeatable price of $99. The Inspire 4G is due to be released on February 13.

For those of you that want to get your hands on the HTC Inspire 4G, RadioShack is giving those that pre-order a $30 credit towards accessories for the Inspire 4G. In order to pre-order qualified customers must pay a $50 deposit. But for those of you that aren’t quite convinced you can wait until February 13 and compare the Inspire 4G against other phones and carriers by going to the TMI Wireless website at www.tmiwireless.com/?aid=50474, to compare and purchase a new phone with a new plan.

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