So my experiment is over ! Android has failed !
My initial test was with the HTC Wildfire. Chosen for its diminutive size, it's a nice piece of hardware, but I found it underpowered and it had a woeful battery. Nevertheless, the apps available and the set up for Exchange sync was fast, simple and effective ... so I ran with it.
However, the temptation to continue to try something new and the fact that I am constantly looking for "the perfect device" led me to buy the much acclaimed Samsung Galaxy S. A nicely made phone. Many reviews have complained about its "plasticy feel", but this helps it remain light and nice to hold. Its excellent screen and crystal clear phone quality impressed, but it too had a totally substandard battery. Nevertheless, the phone worked (with its pre-installed Android 2.1 software) and I soon found out that by switching off 3G and using GPRS only for data (which is fine for chat and email), the battery life extends to 18 hours with heavy usage ... and this is fine for me.
So for the past week since, using GPRS, I have been content with the phone. It stuttered from time to time when opening programs, and would crash occasionally, but it basically did all I needed and now had acceptable battery life. So why, on Sunday morning when I saw the FROYO (Android 2.2) update available, did I have to tamper? The much vaunted upgrade claims to increase battery life and speed up the phone ... what a load of b******s !
My phone is ruined ! As soon as it upgraded (to be fair, the upgrade process was fairly painless - fast and smooth and all my data remained intact) the phone slowed to a snails pace. Literally a 20-30 second wait to open a programme, and the battery life was being sucked (using GPRS only) faster than the old software using 3G. The battery was draining at about 15% per hour, and this was AFTER I had switched all background syncing ... and on a Sunday ... the lowest usage day of the week !
I was frustrated all day and was trying all types of settings to improve things. I may have been able to forgive the power drain, but this slower speed had made the phone totally unusable. I lasted till about 4pm with my tampering, and then went out and bought a new BB handset. For all its weaknesses and shortcomings. It is a limited device with limited apps, but the BB works as a phone, an email device and an organiser reliably ... and that's all I ask !
Why oh why oh why over develop something to level where it doesn't work?
So I have lost my patience with Android and specifically the Samsung Galaxy, but will keep my HTC as a back up device for travelling - but have already deleted all apps and will use it purely as a phone !
So my recommendation? If you are looking at an Android phone, or a Samsung Galaxy S ... forget it !