Hands-on with Sprint’s HTC Evo 4G, the Ultimate Android Phone

The next-gen iPhone has a competitor, and it’s name is the HTC Evo 4G. Formerly known as the Supersonic, Sprint’s first 4G handset boasts a supersized 4.3-inch 800 x 480 display, an 8-MP camera (with 720p video recording), a separate front-facing camera, HDMI out, and a neat kickstand for watching videos. Plus, Sprint will include a mobile hotspot app that supports up to 8 simultaneous connections. Yes, there’s an Overdrive inside. Are you drooling yet? You’ll have to wait until this summer. The good news is that Sprint says it will price it’s new flagship phone aggressively.

Powered by a 1-GHz Snapdragon processor and 1GB of RAM (twice as much of the Nexus One), this Android 2.1 device will do more with its high-speed 4G connection than just surf the Web. For example, both YouTube HD and Sprint TV will auto-sense when you’re in 4G range and deliver higher quality streams, and the preloaded Qik app will let you stream live video right from your device to the cloud. Sprint is also releasing an SDK to take advantage of the Evo’s zippy data rates, which will likely include video chat apps. You also get HTC’s slick Sense user interface, as well as your choice of Sprint Navigation or the free Google Maps Navigation.

Read on for our first hands-on impressions.Weighing in at 6 ounces, the Evo 4G is no lightweight, but it’s the same weight as the Droid and includes a larger display (albeit sans physical keyboard). Although we’re sure that Apple is working on an iPhone with a bigger screen, it’s worth noting that the Evo 4G’s display is 30 percent larger than the current 3GS. And we could definitely tell the difference when the two devices were side by side. We could see more of the NYTimes.com homepage without scrolling.

The on-screen keyboard is also larger than the iPhone’s. However, at least with this early build we encountered more input errors than we’d like. The Sense UI is as pretty as ever, with all of the latest enhancements on board, including the helicopter view for seeing all of your homescreens at once.

We didn’t get to spend a lot of time with the bundled apps, but Qik offered smooth streaming, and Sprint says that Google Googles (visual search) will be a much better experience on this smart phone than other devices because of the combination of 4G and Snapdragon. What’s still missing at this point are killer games (from Android in general) and premium video content, although Sprint is working behind the scenes to nail down partners.

As for battery life, Sprint says you should be able to get a full day of use. We’ll have to see what happens when that power-hungry 4G connection is active. Overall, the HTC Evo 4G has all the makings of a dream smart phone, but we’ll have to see just how fast 4G is on this device and how seamlessly it switches between that network and 3G. So far, so good. Very good.

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AUTHOR BIO
Mark Spoonauer
Mark Spoonauer
Responsible for the editorial vision for Laptop Mag and Tom's Guide, Mark Spoonauer has been Editor in Chief of LAPTOP since 2003 and has covered technology for nearly 15 years. Mark speaks at key tech industry events and makes regular media appearances on CNBC, Fox and CNN. Mark was previously reviews editor at Mobile Computing, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc.
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  1. coolfx35 Says:

    Hi all, I can’t wait for this to hit!!! I have been with Sprint for 21yrs now and have enjoyed every minute of this growing company! We have had our problems and I still say as I did back then “Sprint is the Best cellphone Company.”

    I have the HTC Hero, got it on October 9th and it ROCKS best cell I’ve ever had! I had some of the problems with my Hero but nothing to send me packing. I truly hope that this update that is going to happen, happens soon and I hope I can use the 2.1 for a little time so when the I get my mitts on the 4.3in screen and all the goodies to boot I just might have found my last cellphone that I buy?! But like everything else the day I/we buy, it will be out done by a new beast but thats the Tech World for ya..

    So what do you think about the HTC Evo 4G, share your opinion at http://www.Evo4GForum.net a site dedicated to Evo 4G.

  2. Marv Says:

    Hi, I’m loving this phone so far.. I also purchased an insurance for it and I thought I should share it with you guys since I was so happy with their service. I found Ensquared Phone Insurance while searching for an insurance provider, I am just so glad I did.

    You can check them out at http://www.ensquared.com/HTC_EVO_Insurance

  3. karil Says:

    send any free android software for thc 4g phone

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