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Hands-on: HTC's new Evo 4G Android handset

updated 08:45 pm EDT, Wed March 24, 2010

Device set for Sprint's WiMAX network

Sprint on Wednesday showed off HTC's Evo 4G, the first 4G-equipped phone to hit the US market. The Android-based device is a clear competitor amongst the range of high-end smartphones such as the Droid, Nexus One, and iPhone. With a gigantic 4.3-inch display, the Evo upstaged Samsung's latest offering, the Galaxy S, which offers a 4-inch screen. Electronista at CTIA had a chance to take a closer look at the upcoming device.

Despite the large display, the Evo still feels much lighter than Motorola's Droid and only slightly heavier than the iPhone and Nexus One. Users who find the Droid too bulky might be turned off by the large housing, necessitated by the 4.3-inch screen, although the back side offers a pocket-friendly contour very similar to the iPhone.

Overall construction appears to be top-notch, on-par with the HTC-built Nexus One and HD2. The Evo utilizes the same 1GHz Snapdragon CPU as the N1, while integrating a kickstand similar to the HD2's Extended Battery add-on.

HTC is in the process of bringing its Sense UI onto Android 2.1, retaining a similar overall appearance to the current version. The company is currently working on new widgets, although the representatives declined to provide specific details for the unannounced capabilities.

The updated Sense UI offers an exploded view showing thumbnails of home screens and opened apps, similar to Exposť on Mac OS X. The new Friend Stream widget centralizes social networking features, much like Samsung's "Social Hub" feature on the Galaxy S.

The 800x480 display was very impressive while watching movies and playing games. Like the Galaxy S, the Evo can play 720p content scaled down to fit the non-HD display resolution. The panel appeared to be brighter than the Galaxy S and Nexus One AMOLEDs, providing similar illumination to the Droid and iPhone. Users can also play content through a TV via HDMI.

The smartphone features a front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera for video conferencing, while the primary camera captures 8.0-megapixel stills or 720p video. The front-facing camera seems to be a sensible move, as WiMAX bandwidth should finally make data-heavy video communication a practical consideration.

Sprint representatives carefully danced around the battery-life issue, a question raised by many attendees curious to know runtimes on 4G networks. HTC is "working on" improving the battery life, although it is unclear how long the 1,500mAh cell will last while powering the 4.3-inch display, 1GHz CPU and 4G components. Runtime estimates are expected closer to launch.

Using Sprint's WiMAX network this week for mobile Internet throughout Las Vegas, speed tests yielded results ranging between 2Mbps and 8Mbps. The boost was particularly apparent when using the Evo with Google Earth, which refreshed satellite imagery in a fraction of the time it would normally take on a 3G network.

The mammoth display, Snapdragon processor and front-facing camera help bring the Evo to the top tier of current smartphones, while WiMAX support offers the 4G incentive currently missing from the competition. Sprint expects the device to be available sometime this summer, although pricing has yet to be announced.





























By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. iphonerulez

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Nov 2008

    +6

    Diehard Apple loyalist...

    and I'm impressed with the specs of this smartphone. HTC threw in everything, including the kitchen sink. There is no geek anywhere who will not want this smartphone. I don't know how much this device is costing HTC to build, but it can't be cheap. I'm also curious about how good the battery life would be. I'd think battery life would be very short, but there's always that spare battery you can carry around. I knew there'd be Android phones at this level because every company is going to try to surpass the next in hardware. It would seem to be a never-ending battle of Android handsets, but it's still not going to touch the iPhone due to Apple's brand loyalty. Android is going to have about 12 high-end models a year against the one iPhone a year. That's a lot of hardware competition. Fortunately, Apple has a solid ecosystem to fend off everything Android throws at it.

  1. facebook_Tom

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Mar 2010

    0

    comment title

    All bar 802.11n
    Darn that's a good looking phone. Great to hear that HTC's making it- will their be a GSM version for US, Europe?

  1. facebook_Tom

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Mar 2010

    +1

    comment title

    All bar 802.11n
    Darn that's a good looking phone. Great to hear that HTC's making it- will their be a GSM version for US, Europe?
    If ever there was a case for cannabilising sales- sales of multiple Android handsets shows this. No sooner is one out, than another is coming, and another announced.

  1. Alfiejr

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2008

    0

    More Fragmentation

    a new and different 5:3 aspect ratio. plus the latest version of Sense UI on top. and new widgets to match. Just what Android needs! don't bother me with none of that "compatibility" stuff.

  1. FreeRange

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2009

    -6

    Not today thanks...

    Having a few "better features" like slightly larger screen, higher res camera, etc. are very short term features that will fade away as Apple introduces their future devices. This whole schoolyard bully talk of "mine is bigger than yours" is not a sustainable business model. It has already been noted that this thing is so large that it won't fit easily into your pocket, it doesn't have the amazing Apple ecosystem behind it, nor the incredible app network, and 4G is a non-starter as there are barely any locations that actually have 4G service. And the battery life is going to be laughable. So the whole thing is a big "so what".

  1. appleuzr

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2006

    -3

    comment title

    Is that a droid with a stylized rear casing? These companies are all the same. The only way they can one up Apple is by "throwing in everything, but the kitchen sink". Their app stores are pitiful, their OS is pitiful, and their 3rd party accessory following is pitiful.

    If these companies were smart they would start from the ground up and try to copy the eco system. They simply continue to release device after device, which when you flood the market with that many different models your bound to make some money, but at what cost?

  1. facebook_Sunita

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Oct 2010

    0

    HTC Evo 4G

    HTC Evo 4G has an aesthetic design that makes them the thinnest in their class. They offer quick response that captures flying moments, for high sensitivities and a number of functions that reduce noise for blur compensation that results in fantastic and sharp images..
    http://www.gizmos360.com/htc-evo-4g-review.html

  1. facebook_Aaditi

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Nov 2010

    0

    HTC Evo 4G

    Android brings a burgeoning application ecosystem and the more polished Android 2.1 OS to the HTC Evo 4G. Meanwhile, HTC brings the Sense UI, which it originally developed to put lipstick on the pig of its Windows Mobile devices. HTC has taken the same look and feel and used it to design a bunch of Android widgets and a few apps. Admittedly, several aspects of HTC Sense have a more polished feel than the native Android widgets and UI features.
    http://www.gizmos360.com/htc-evo-4g-review.html

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