HTC Shift reviewed: the other side of the coin


4496James offered up an HTC Shift review a few weeks back that was less than glowing. Fellow MobileTechRoundup podcaster Matt Miller provided a similar one and we discussed the pros and cons of the device on a recent show. The takeways in my mind were: less than adequate battery life, poor inking, and not a good overall performance to price ratio. That’s why I’m highlighting another HTC Shift review today. TabletPCReview was impressed by their first look (which had me scratching my head in wonder) and now they have their full review available.They seem marginally less impressed by the device but still feel there are more pros than cons. If you wrote the Shift off from your potential purchase list, you should probably take a look at the review. Me… I’m still scratching my head in wonder, but in fairness I didn’t review the device. I simply used it for a short time at this year’s CES. For me personally, the Samsung Q1 Ultra Premium is a better purchase for roughly the same price. It’s actually less, but I’m including my purchase of a folding Bluetooth keyboard to even things out a little since the devices don’t match up spec-for-spec.



I fully support what Hugo is saying.

If I look at the functionality of the Shift, the price is justified – at least in Europe. Obviously I would have liked to pay less (who wouldn’t), but my Shift came at €1169.
While you hardly can fully compare the Shift to any other devices:
– The Samsung Q1U with HSDPA modem installed is priced at €1250 and above. Add a decent mobile keyboard (and a PDA :-)) …
– The Asus R2E is about €1000 – including external keyboard and an external optical drive, lacks HSDPA modem (+€150-200 for an external one)
– The cheapest available Sony UX version (280P) starts at €2100 – without built-in HSDPA

If you consider the current exchange rate (with the US$ getting weaker almost every day), be happy that manufacturers around the world are still willing to sell their products in the US for those cheap prices you are paying!

And what’s that about the $60 fee for using the Shift? This is the cost for the EVDO plan, right? Well, guess what, nobody is forcing you to buy such an expensive plan. And if you should sign up for such a plan buying the Shift in conjunction with the plan, then I’d agree that this should justify a subsidy.

Yes, I like the Shift and so far it has fulfilled my expectations. I was aware of the limitations before I bought it. Nonetheless, I would like 2GB RAM better than the 1GB, an 80GB HD (or 64GB SSD) better than the 40GB HD that is installed … maybe in Shift II or Shift III :-)


I really don’t understand this shift bashing.
First,let’s talk inking:

I never experienced vectoring. Never. I know I can make it vector when I want to do so, but even without thinking, my one notes needs are fullfilled without the dreaded vectoring.

But back to the point. You are always talking about the price and comparing it to the U1010.
First the price: It is extremly well priced for Europe. A Q1? Nearly the same price. OQO? higher. Other brands? Forget about them, none available.
You don’t have to pay an arm for data charge, so it can be used at it’s fullest capacity.
Honestly, it is a device for a small fraction of the PC users, but believe me, for those needing a small pc and a PDA, this is a no brainer.
But you can still compare it to a P1610,and a P1610 to a dell XT, and a dell XT to a powerhouse. The point is that the vista part is extremly responsive, and the WM part is found nowere else.
I’m currently syncing my one notes with the WM part,so when I need a quick info, I just press a button, and I get it in 3 seconds.

Matthew Miller (aka palmsolo)

Yes, any pressure at all on the screen sent the inking off in all directions. It almost seemed like vectoring started before I even touched the display and I am thinking maybe it was the hairs on the back of my hand that sent it off vectoring.

There is some vectoring on the U810, but it is much more tolerant of pressure than the Shift was.


Wanted to like it, but it just does not meet the grade. Plus, (using JK’s HP-Mini index for assessing value of PCs), I could buy 2 HP Minis for the same price!


The way things look, I can’t totally blame HTC for the devices bad reception. I believe there was a fair amount of hype behind this device that influenced our judgement.

But I am in agreement that the device like this shouldn’t have cost so much, given the really similar specs to the U810, minus the worse screen and additional Network options, this should have cost about the same as the U810. At about $899, I’d say thats fair.

One question for you guys though, was the inking really that bad, given the device specs? I know you say that the u810 is better experience but I don’t really understand why, is it the device preformance out of the box? Or is the lower resolution a problem? To me I would think that inking is better on it, since you have more realestate than with the u810.

Matthew Miller (aka palmsolo)

Don’t forget you have a $60/month fee to use the device on top of the high initial purchase price, which makes this a very expensive device. I would rather have the option of popping a wireless card on any device I want (which I suppose you could do with the Shift too).

I like the form factor and the hardware was solidly constructed. However, the internals are lacking for such an expensive device and the inking was horrific and completely unusable. Shoot, I can ink 100 times better on my small Fujitsu U810 device.

Also, the very small battery and short battery life defeat the purpose of being a mobile device and is really the Achilles heel of the device.

It will be interesting to see if HTC continues with a follow-up to the Shift because I know they can make some outstanding hardware (check out the Advantage) and for some reason the Shift came just 1 year too late.

Kevin C. Tofel

I’m right there with you Wayne. I think they did a great job on form factor, but I’m stuck on some of the hardware specs that I consider UMPC 1.0. At that price, it would have to offer me more in terms of performance and battery life.

Wayne Schulz

I don’t know — I’m stuck right on the price. I can’t get by the fact that for about another $300 I could have a MacBook Air.

I know there are pros and cons to the Shift but I really think they overshot the mark by about $750.

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