Apr 3, 2011

why do engadget and everyone hate the HTC Surround?

I love my HTC Surround. I think it is the best HTC built device to date. Yes -- I find it more attractive than my HTC Inspire. But my mind is just been boggling about the whole reputation of the Surround throughout the mobile industry. Reviewers and readers alike seem to hate this phone. Engadget in particular, which numerously criticized and poked fun of the device during their podcasts and shows. I love Engadget, no doubt. But if you really love someone, you need to be honest with them.

Anyway, I will present you a comparison with their Surround review and their most recent HTC Arrive review, which is the latest Windows Phone 7 device to launch. Here is their scorecards:

So the HTC Arrive, that came out more than 5 months later after the release of the Surround, got a 7 out of 10, where the Surround's original review 5 months ago only got a point lower. Let us enumerate their pros and cons shall we:

So they both got pros for being well built, which I agree, as HTC makes phones nowadays that do not feel plasticity (ahem Samsung.). Next, the Arrive has a pro on having a Superb keyboard, which doesn't imply on the Surround as it only has a slide out speakers. And last of the pros of the Arrive is that it has a solid battery life. Ok fine. the Arrive beats the Surround in this one as it has 1500mAh compared to just 1230mAh on the Surround.

But then there comes the Arrive's cons. This is the fun part.

First of, it has a mediocre display. The reviewer said it is not a Super LCD, a technology which is found with the Surround. The Arrive also has a 3.6 inch display compared to a bigger 3.8 inch display on the Surround. So yeah. There is no denying here that the Surround is better.

The second con, which is "Windows Phone is still behind competition" (which I strongly disagree) can be implied with the both devices, so we move on.

And last with the Arrive's cons is that it is not a global phone. Well guess what? The Surround is a global phone.

Now we go to the Surround's cons.

Speaker's is not worth the size/weight penalty. -- It maybe true, but then the Surround is thinner and lighter than the Arrive.

Camera doesn't take good pictures -- But then both got 5 megapixels camera, which takes good (but not great) pictures.

No landscape support in software -- This is NOT true at all, as WP7 has landscape support, although not implemented entirely in the OS. But anyway, isn't this more of a con in the Arrive because it does have a landscape keyboard therefore you will use the device more in landscape?

And lastly -- The Surround has better speakers. Sure it will not move a room but it is the best speaker you will find in a smartphone. Comparing my Inspire 4G speaker with my Surround there is no question that the Surround is better.

So yeah. Considering how the Surround was reviewed 5 months ago, and having the Arrive a 7, and their review on the Trophy (it is just like the Surround minus the Speakers and smaller screen) is also 7 -- I honestly think that the HTC Surround deserves an 8. Yes, a point higher than the Arrive as it has better features like a bigger screen, it has Super LCD, better speakers + kickstand, and it is a global phone.

So anyway, that is the end of my rant. Hopefully by now you will know that the Surround a great phone. I may have given you an impression that the Arrive or the Inspire 4G are bad phones, but they are not in any way. The Surround is just better than the two in my opinion, but those phones are going to have a better reputation than the Surround, which saddens me a little bit. I think the Surround just got the bad reputation as it is a unique device, and few appreciate phones that are unique. I mean I think it was also not good before, until I got one.

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