updated 11:15 am EDT, Fri June 24, 2011
HTC Evo 3D and Evo View 4G go on sale
Sprint on Friday launched its two flagship devices of the summer, the HTC Evo 3D and the Evo View 4G. The Android phone and tablet are on sale at carrier shops, Best Buy, Radio Shack, and some other dealers. The Evo 3D sells for $200 on a two-year contract where the Evo View 4G sells for $400, with its signature pen input, on the same terms.
The Evo 3D is an adaptation of the HTC Sensation and adds glasses-free 3D to the 4.3-inch, 540x960 screen along with twin five-megapixel cameras to capture 720p 3D and two-megapixel 3D photos. For the Evo View 4G, Sprint has taken HTC's Flyer tablet mostly unchanged aside from adding its namesake WiMAX Internet access.
Sprint saw only modest demand for the devices on Friday morning. Sprint staffer Crystal Nicole Davis spotted a line of more than a dozen at the North Miami Sprint store and several at the close by Pembroke Pines store, but lines appeared to be the exception despite early openings at Best Buy and elsewhere. One Twitter poster noted a Radio Shack with heavy promotion but no line, a trend consisted when searching for queues across the country.
Sprint may have partly diffused demand itself through pre-sales to some customers but may face concerns given the significantly lower attention relative to the Evo 4G launch last year. The carrier has become Google's primary focus through efforts like Google Wallet now that Verizon has the iPhone, but the promotion might not be enough. Sprint has been rumored getting the iPhone itself and may turn to Apple itself.
New Evo 3D owners have discovered an upside to the phone, however. Android Central forum users have found that, unlike many Android phones, nearly all of the carrier-installed apps are removable. With the exception of Sprint ID, any "bloatware" app, such as Sprint's usual NASCAR titles, can be removed as though it were third-party content. Critics of Android have noted that many carriers often contradict Android's openness principles by requiring users take apps for carrier stores and portals even if they will never be used.