The HTC EVO 4G, launching from Sprint today, is the first WiMax-enabled phone available to U.S. consumers. It has a 4.3-inch display, a 1 GHz Snapdragon processor, 8 megapixel camera and 1.3 megapixel forward-facing secondary camera, and 3G/4G mobile hotspot capability, all running on Android OS 2.1.
It is now available from Sprint for $200 with a new two-year contract.
BUILD & DESIGN
Make no mistake, the EVO 4G is big. It isn't bulky by any means, but it is just a bit taller than an iPhone, and definitely wider. It is very thin, which means that it is still comfortable to hold in the hand.
Even though this device is relatively large, it isn't too heavy. The feel is solid, with no flaps or access doors on the sides.
The overall design is quite sleek and modern. The "buttons" under the display are touch sensitive, so the front of the device is unbroken. Almost everything is black, with a few silver elements on the speaker grille and branding logos, plus red accents around the camera lens and kickstand on the back of the device.
That kickstand deserves special mention; the EVO 4G is the first phone I have encountered that has one. It works very well in landscape mode, and makes watching video on the device much more pleasant and enjoyable.
Unfortunately the kickstand doesn't quite work in portrait mode. The phone can be balanced on the stand in portrait mode, but it is somewhat unstable and if you touch the display the phone will likely tip over.
The 4.3-inch WVGA touchscreen on the EVO 4G is absolutely gorgeous. That is due in part to the significantly larger display on this device as compared to other mobile phones.
Colors are rich and vibrant, and everything just looks good, whether you're doing text-heavy tasks like checking your email and surfing the Web or looking at photos and watching videos. This isn't an AMOLED display, but the EVO 4G doesn't really seem to need it.
As far as the touchscreen is concerned, I did find it to be a little "twitchy" and it seemed at times to be too responsive, if that makes any sense. Sometimes I would accidentally get my fingers too close to the Messages or Voicemail icons when holding the phone and launch applications I didn't mean to. It could be that I'm not used to the phone yet, having only had it for the past few days, or it could be due to the fact that there is less of a border around this screen than on some other phones and I need to adjust my grip.
The EVO 4G does not have a physical keyboard, instead relying upon a virtual keyboard that you "type" on with your finger. I found the virtual keyboard to be much easier to use on the EVO than on other devices I've used recently because it is bigger, thanks to the 4.3-inch screen. That means I'm much less likely to tap in the wrong place.
Since everything is spread out a bit more, I also didn't find the word completion utility as distracting and frustrating as usual. That tends to be one of the first things I turn off when I try out a new device, but the extra screen real estate on the EVO 4G helps to solve that problem.
Other Buttons & Controls
The headphone jack is on the top of the phone, as is the power button. The rather long and narrow volume buttons are on the top right side. The charge/sync port and the HDMI video-out port are on the bottom of the phone.
The lens for the forward-facing camera is just to the right of the speaker centered above the display, and right above and between the letters "p" and "r" in the Sprint logo.
On the back of the EVO 4G you will find the camera lens and dual led flash on the top, with the kickstand near the bottom of the device.
The battery compartment cover is relatively easy to remove if necessary. The microSD card slot is underneath the battery. An 8 GB card comes with the phone; cards up to 32 GB in capacity are supported.
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