Evolutionary steps are hard to come by nowadays as we've come to that fork in the road where it looks like we've witnessed the pinnacle of 3G's grace in our mobile phones. Always continuing its legacy in being a dominant figure in the smartphone market, HTC is once again in the hunt of reigning supreme amongst the feverish onslaught of smartphone makers intent on taking a piece of the overall pie. In the last one year, we've witnessed HTC's transformation into the innovative company it is now – at the same time, they've done their part in making the mobile experience refreshing thanks partly to their magnificent mix of smartphones. Today, they've teamed up with Sprint in announcing yet their latest accomplishment, the HTC EVO 4G. Evolutionary? Yes! Similar to the events that lead up to 3G's connectivity of choice here in the US, the 4G smoking HTC EVO 4G is taking things to the next level where no device has truly attempted to go.
From a quick glance, the HTC EVO 4G looks considerably similar in terms of design with the HTC HD2. There's no doubt that the HD2 is considered the king in the Windows Mobile space, but the EVO is about to supplant itself into the same category in the Android front. We might've thought that the HTC Nexus One clicked it up a notch in terms of the Android handsets that are concerned, but the HTC EVO 4G blows everything about Android that we know and love right out of the water. Gazing upon its massive 4.3” LCD touchscreen, it doesn't surprise us that it's always accompanied with a gasp on anyone's face as they lay their eyes to the gorgeous display. Although it is not AMOLED, colors jump out with refreshing tones that are easily complimented with its slick detail in reading out text (thanks to the 480x800 resolution) – the bright display equally plays to its responsive feel when navigating. Similar to the HTC HD2 with its gigantic touchscreen, it still looks extremely streamlined and doesn't add any thickness to its frame – so it doesn't affect the way you feel it in a pocket. There's that nice soft touch feel when you hold it as its industrial design is made more evident with the piano black covering of the smartphone. Surprisingly, its weight is deceiving as the light weight phone doesn't put a strain in the hand as you casually hold it. The circular sized touch sensitive buttons below the touchscreen aptly add a hint of quality refinements to the handset as they are differentiated with their subtle raised borders. Other highlights include a front facing 1.3 megapixel camera, 8-megapixel camera with flash, 720p video capture, 1GB ROM, 512MB RAM, HDMI output, and of course its 4G/3G connectivity.
Under all the impressive hardware specs, the HTC EVO 4G is running Android 2.1 with the Sense UI tacked on top of it. Even though the HTC Desire might've taken most of its glory first, the EVO 4G clearly lives up to the expectations as navigating on the device was smooth and responsive – not to mention a beautiful experience thanks to the high resolution screen. When you double click the home button or use the pinch out gesture at the home screen, the phone will automatically display all 7 home screens simultaneously so you'll have visibility to everything as opposed to swiping to each portion. One application that was demoed at the event was Qik which essentially uses either the rear or front-facing camera to stream videos – something that's easily accomplished with 4G connectivity. The HDMI port plays to some interesting features that one can accomplish with the smartphone. You can output an HD video from the HTC EVO 4G and be able to watch it on a television display or something else – specifically, the phone acts as the controls while just the video is displayed on a screen. Unfortunately, it wasn't clearly specified if the feature would work specifically with the web browser – like being able to use the handset and view a web page on a big LCD/plasma television. One thing worth noting is the fact that the phone is enabled for multi-touch and has support for Flash Lite 4.0 – easily cementing its eclectic mix of in-depth features. Still, its media rich aspects clearly set itself apart from a lot of smartphones currently available – plus it's extremely rare to see a front facing camera on a US bound device. Finally, there's no doubt how being the first 4G enabled device in the US market will make it even more appealing – it literally has opened the gate for a new revolution.
Setting the precedence in the smartphone market is something that we see HTC accomplish time after time – we've seen how they've steadily continued to be a big innovator in that segment. The HTC EVO 4G undoubtedly will usher in a new era as we commence on jumping into the next generation data networks. Although there is no specified pricing or exact release yet to be confirmed, its marriage with Sprint may bode well for the number three wireless carrier that's looking to find something to really call its own. With an expected timeline for a worldwide summer release, the HTC EVO 4G is knocking around the corner as we all look forward to its arrival.