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For those looking to move from WebOS to Android.
Hey guys, i'm new here but since the launch of the pre i've been a heavy lurker/modder at precentral. I've recently purchased a Shift and wrote this up for pre central but I figured it might help someone here too. So here is a copy/paste of my pre to shift comparison.
I'm writing this in the hope it helps someone in their decision to jump the WebOS ship or to stay on-board. I'm going to share my personal enjoyment and grievances within my short time using the Evo Shift. I'll start with what I like.
The shift is fast, very fast. Very apparent is the next generation snapdragon chip, even at 800Mhz it blows my 1Ghz pre away. Everything opens fast and has been smooth as butter. I've got a live wallpaper running (the doom guy one, very cool btw) and apps still open almost instantly, even if I already have a ton of stuff open.
The access to the huge amount of apps is awesome, there is virtually an app for everything. It is almost dizzying the amount of apps you can browse through. The apps that cost money are usually worth it, and if you're still not sure the app is worth it then 90% of the time there is a free version or trial for it.
Battery life is very good. I don't know if that's because my pre's battery was starting to fail, or maybe it was the overclocking that was draining it too fast, either way I am very impressed. I found myself constantly turning on and off wifi, bluetooth, and gps as I needed them on my pre to conserve battery life. I started doing this right away on the shift but soon found there was no need.
The camera is light years better than the pre's. It's refreshing not having to wait for minutes at a time to take a picture. The auto-focus camera is amazing compared to the fixed pre. Very sharp images are produced by the 5mp camera, and bar code reader apps come in handy. Its nice when you're surfing a forum somewhere and someone suggest a app or widget and includes a barcode. You just fire up your favorite bar code scanner, scan it, and within seconds you can be downloading the app.
The hardware itself feels very sturdy. I always felt like I could twist the top half of my pre off with little effort when it was open, The slider quality and operation on the shift almost makes it feel unbreakable compared to the pre. The buttons on the hard keyboard are very well spaced, I have no problems typing on it at all. Although typing wasn't ever really an issue with my pre because I had a centro before the pre and was used to the small palm keyboard.
I'll start my dislikes about the shift with a couple of the software bugs i've noticed. When using the messaging app sometimes i'll start typing and then mid-way through my message the screen will shift up and i'll have to scroll back down and select the text box to resume my message. Facebook notifications don't work. I'm so used to seeing that little blue F at the bottom of my pre's screen that broken facebook notifications on the android is VERY possibly a deal breaker.
Continuing with software complaints, the lack of cards is almost disturbing to me. The shift does multi-tasking but in a very odd way. When you close an app to open something else your previous app simply disappears. You have to hunt the app icon back down to open the app back up. You can double tap the home button to see your recently used apps but it only show your last six apps. You're looking for app number 7? Keep looking for the app.
If you simply love the card system (like I do) then android is not for you. It comes with 7 stock "launcher" like pages but sometimes it is too busy and not enough if you run a lot of widgets. If you switch or have already switched and find yourself missing cards the next best thing is an app called Visual Task Switcher. It has really helped my transition into the android world.
I found it very comforting know I had complete control over which apps were running on the pre. Throwing a card away and KNOWING it wasn't using any processing power or battery life is I trait I miss greatly. Visual Task Switch helps with this a lot in the respect that you can force close apps running in the background with it, but if you want total control you need a task management program. I'm using Advanced Task Killer to close the apps that don't show up in my task switcher. Even with the task killer there are programs that won't end or simple start back up a few minutes after you close them.
If you like a loud phone then you should also keep looking, both the speaker volume and the volume out the the headphone jack is extremely lower than my pre. I work in a shop so the headphone jack volume issue is a real pain for me. I find that even with my radio and phone completely up it is still too soft sometimes. In WebOS this would be a very easy problem to fix via patch but i'm having a hard time finding a solution for my shift. Maybe someone can post a solution for me?
Along with missing notifications due to the lower speaker problem I find that the led is not bright enough to grab my attention. I really miss the pre's notification light.
Overall I think the shift is a great little phone, it definitely has its shortcomings but I think most users will find they are nothing compared to the pre. As for me I have about two and a half weeks before I can't return the shift anymore, but I think I may go back to my pre. The low volume issue is the primary reason i'd go back with the facebook push notification issue a close second.
I advise everyone to take some time with the android platform and form your own opinions, its a very good OS but it isn't for everyone.