I found the HTC EVO 3D to be highly responsive, no matter what task I asked it to perform. The Quadrant benchmark scores are good, coming in at 1954, faster than all of the comparison devices. This shouldn’t come as any surprise since it’s powered by a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor.
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth plus the Sprint Hotspot mobile internet-sharing feature work just as I would expect, though I was a little disappointed in the voice quality issues I experienced while testing this device. Calls come through loud and clear, but just slightly distorted, as if you’re talking to someone and it sounds like they have a cold. You can still recognize their voice, but it’s just not quite right.
It’s also easy for my callers on the other side of the line to tell that I’m using a cell phone. With other devices I wouldn’t be too surprised, but I’ve come to hold HTC to a higher standard due to this company’s consistent quality, so the EVO 3D was slightly disappointing in this regard.
The 4G performance was quite good; I was able to connect using 4G at both my office and my home quite easily, which is something I wasn’t able to do with the Conquer. Oddly enough, while my download speeds skyrocketed, upload speeds on 4G were much slower. On 3G speeds ranged from 172-256 kbps for downloads and 91-107 kbps for uploads, but on 4G I was able to get between 1139-1170 kbps downloads but only 60-61 kbps uploads.
The social networking experience is a great one of course, with Facebook for HTC Sense, HTC Peep for all of your Twitter happenings, and FriendStream to tie everything together. I’ve always appreciated the way that the HTC Sense UI really unifies the social networking experience, linking together your regular contacts with your online friends to keep the contact list clean but also so that when you tap on a name you get all of the relevant information, including their recent posts and photos, instead of just their phone number and address.
The email experience is exactly the same as any other device based on the Android operating system, so there aren’t any surprises here. You can choose which labels to keep synced, star messages, mark them as spam, etc. The Web experience is a very good one, especially on 4G, with very fast loading pages.
There’s nothing new in the PIM (personal information management) experience here; you get the standard calendar and contacts apps, and of course everything syncs with your Google account.
There is something new when it comes to Microsoft Office apps, however, because the EVO 3D comes with Polaris Office instead of the more usual Quickoffice or ThinkOffice. I found it to be a capable replacement, though it took some getting used to, as I had never used this particular package before now.
Navigational duties are handled by Google Maps or TeleNav, which can be used for free or there’s a premium subscription option for $4.99 per month. No matter which app I used, my location was pinpointed quickly and accurately. I was able to find point-of-interest (POI) information quickly as well, with TeleNav generally offering slightly better/more up-to-date information than Google Maps, though Google Maps provided better directions.
There’s nothing special about the music player here, just the standard app that organizes your music by artist, album, or song. Sound quality, even with the external speaker, is top notch and you can easily share music with your friends without having to resort to plugging in your headphones and handing them over.
There are several 3D games from which to chose; they made it easy by including a “3D Games” shortcut right at the top of the applications menu that takes you straight to a web site where you can see your options and purchase a game by charging it to your phone bill.
I picked Asphalt 6 3D from Gameloft and was very impressed. There’s a real sense of speed and immersion in the game that you just can’t get from playing on a regular device with a standard display. I didn’t experience any sort of eyestrain or headache problems either, and I played the game extensively. If racing isn’t your thing, you can also choose Let’s Gofl 2 3D, Assassin’s Creed Altair’s Chronicles, or N.O.V.A. Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance 3D for the reasonable price of $4.99 each.
No preloaded ebook readers, though you can get whatever you might want, such as the Amazon Kindle app, free from the Android Market.
The camera on the HTC Evo 3D generally takes great shots, including 3D photos and video in 720p. The regular photos are captured with a 5 megapixel camera, which is fine for everyday shots. There were a few exposure issues when I tried to take photos of sunny landscapes, but ones of people, pets, objects, etc. turned out well.
3D photos are captured at just two megapixel resolution, but they still look good and the effects are truly amazing. Even better, you can stream photos to your television if you want to enjoy them on the big screen. The only caveat is that 3D photos have to be captured in landscape mode, due to the arrangement of the cameras.
The LED flash was surprisingly helpful. It won’t light up a pitch dark room, but it does a good job of filling in and making lower light photos possible. There’s also a 1.3 megapixel camera on the front of the phone for use with video calling software.
I was pleasantly surprised in this area, with the EVO 3D easily lasting several days on one charge. The battery drained more quickly than I expected at certain times, mainly because was using the camera to take so many photos and playing around with capturing things in 3D, but I’m generally pleased by the battery performance of this device.