Anyways, I now have an HTC Inspire 4G, which I got for $70 off Amazon. I figure the low price compensates for the lack of a hardware keyboard and the phone is pretty spiffy overall, with one really serious flaw: the battery cover is impossible to open.
The battery slot is covered by this little piece of plastic that is a pain to remove. I tried and tried to pry it off according to the directions in the quickstart guide that comes with the phone, and then I followed tips people wrote online (this should not be something that requires online help!) and finally managed to open the damn thing using a small eyeglasses screwdriver. Only problem is that I had to use so much force I ended up stabbing myself in the finger with the screwdriver after it opened the battery slot! Oh, and the slot has a small dent in it now from the screwdriver, but after 20+ minutes of breaking my fingernails trying to open the thing correctly I'm willing to live with that. It's my fault I stabbed myself but it's just a terrible design, a quick Google search shows I'm not the only person who got frustrated with the battery cover.
|I stabbed myself with a screwdriver opening that battery cover|
Other than the battery problem I'm impressed with the Inspire so far. I tried out Admiral Gobi in the Android emulator and a friends phone but it was nice to see it on my own device. As I improve and make better Flash games I'll bring them over as AIR apps and share them with friends. Eventually as my Java improves I'll try to write non-AIR apps. It should be a lot more fun to learn a language and API when I can run my own apps on my own phone. Too bad that AT&T disables installing from non-market sources but I know my way around the SDK and adb well enough to work around that annoying limitation.
The phone is good overall, but I think whoever at HTC is responsible for the design of the battery cover on the Inspire 4G should get yelled at in person by someone. I wouldn't call for a person to get fired, but a good screaming session should teach the designer/engineer responsible a lesson. A phone with such a small capacity battery and such a large power hungry screen should really have been designed to make it easier to swap out the battery on the go.
Update: According to this thread on XDA, HTC will send a replacement battery cover to you if yours broke while you were trying to remove it.