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Living with the HTC EVO 4G

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Living with the HTC EVO 4G
The following article is written by one of PhoneArena's editors who has used the HTC EVO 4G as his personal phone for quite some time now. In contrast to our reviews, where we try to present a phone from the broadest range of viewpoints possible, this article solely presents the author's personal opinion, based on his needs and taste.


The Beginning:

Living with the HTC EVO 4G
Let me start by saying this: I was happy with my Hero.  It was rooted, I had been running Eclair for months and thanks to the many great chefs out there (special note to Damageless and Toast), I was enjoying the best that Android had to offer.  The phone did everything I wanted it to do, it was the perfect size and it was arguably the best phone I had ever owned.  Just like everyone else, I was excited when the Supersonic first poked its head out, but as everything was officially announced I decided to pass on it.  For starters, I was not eligible for an upgrade, but what really got me was that it was the same software I had been running for months now, and 4.3” seemed ridiculous.  Sure, the camera was better and it had a kickstand and other niceties, but I decided to hold out for the next great thing.  Then I got my review unit of the HTC EVO 4G.

It was unlike anything I had used before.  It was so big, so fast, so glorious.  The phone slid comfortably into my pocket, eliminating one of my initial fears, and while it was wide it was far from uncomfortable to hold.  And that display, my God that display.  For being the same OS as my Hero, everything was so different.  There was just so much more room to work with; nothing felt cramped, web pages displayed so much more info and I didn’t have to squint to watch videos.

I was on my way out the door for the Indy 500 when the EVO 4G arrived and the phone got thrown to the wolves right away.  I didn’t bring my laptop with me on the trip, so the EVO was my sole internet source.  The three hour road trip there provided me ample time to get familiar with the hardware, and everyone in the car with me wanted to get their hands on it as well.  We were looking up every random fact we could think of, often using the voice search with stunningly accurate results.  For the moment it was more a toy than anything, but it was at that point that I could see this device would change the way I used a phone.

It stood up to the weekend admirably, with the EVO 4G acting as my GPS on the golf course, my tablet for web browsing and my entertainment for downtime.  Thankfully, the HTC Hero and EVO 4G share the same battery capacity because I definitely packed a handful, though there was never a day that two wouldn’t have easily sufficed.  The phone withstood everything I put it through and I knew then that I must have one.


After the Honeymoon:


Just like any good relationship things began hot and heavy with me and the HTC EVO 4G, but on Monday I was back to the real world, back to my job and by the end of the week back to my Hero.  Our EVO had to go to Philly for some 4G testing and I was left with just a taste.  My roommate got one on launch day so I was constantly reminded of this great new device I couldn’t have.  I finally couldn’t take it anymore and managed to track down a phone through one of my local stores a few weeks later.  The new phone smell may had worn off, but I still found myself picking up my phone for no reason, rearranging widgets and generally wasting the battery just because.

I had come from a long line of WinMo phones, had a brief layover with the Pre and then moved to the Hero.  I had always hacked my phones, but for the first time I didn’t feel the need to.  The EVO 4G was that fast just as it was and I didn’t feel the need to mess with it.  Froyo was compelling, but there wasn’t anything stable and it just wasn’t worth the effort.  Finally the tinkerer got the best of me and I used the wonderful SimpleRoot program to root my phone and flashed a custom ROM.  Honestly, it wasn’t anything drastic.  Sure there were some nice programs I could now use that required root access, and I’m told that my FPS is better, though I can’t tell any difference.  The phone runs just as smooth as it did the day I unboxed it.

It’s not been all rosy, I won’t lie.  The battery could be better, and more consistent.  I don’t think my usage varies much from day to day: I do maybe a hundred or so texts- a bit more on a heavy day- and periodically check some of my favorite websites.  I don’t talk on it much, but it does act as my music player (the Hero actually allowed me to kick my iPod Touch to the curb) and I use either the Motorola T505 to stream it through my car stereo, or my Plantronics Backbeats when I’m working out.  I have gotten in the habit of turning on my Wi-Fi when at home and turning off my Bluetooth when I’m not using it.  My phone is usually off the charger by 9am and sometimes I need a charge by 4pm and others I get through the day with 30% remaining.  Still, this is nothing that an extra charger and a spare battery can’t fix.   Beyond that I’ve had no issues with my EVO.  There is no lag, there are no force closes and I haven’t had any problems otherwise.

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posted on 20 Oct 2010, 01:47

1. remixfa (Posts: 13903; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


Glad your enjoying it. I really thought for a hot minute about jumping to sprint to get the phone. I wouldnt bash blur so much though. People that actually use blur for more than a test or review generally really like it. Like anything it has its ups and downs. The whole motorola lockdown is a killer for me, though. I wont touch a phone that has been locked down to keep the mod community out. Not after owning a cliq and going through that hassle first hand. I have the Galaxy S/vibrant. Touchwiz 3 isnt anything to write home about. I Keep one widget up to demo to customers, but the rest i use market apps for. But for its speed and the utter beauty of the screen, nothing can compare. Even putting it up against regular AMOLED devices like the HD2 makes them look bland. Putting it up against a TFT screen like the evo makes it look like the difference between the newest LCD HDtvs and those old dial turning tvs. Not having a flash kinda sucks for a high end phone, but its lowlight shooting capabilities work quite nice, especially for wider shots where the flash just wont work.

posted on 26 Jul 2010, 17:31

19. herbiederb (Posts: 275; Member since: 28 Jan 2010)


Both HD2 and EVO have TFT screens. I have both and theyre both good in the sunlight. HTC/EVO/HD2 FTW!

posted on 28 Jul 2010, 19:47

42. remixfa (Posts: 13903; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


herbie, the HD2 has an AMOLED screen, not TFT. Thats one of the few actual differences between the evo and the HD2 besides OS.

posted on 06 Aug 2010, 17:13

46. steveymacjr (unregistered)


Um, correction, the HD2 doesn't have an AMOLED screen... This link here:http://www.phonearena.com/htmls/HTC-HD2-US-phone-pa_4345.html shows the HD2 to have a TFT screen...

posted on 26 Jul 2010, 08:45

2. cj100570 (Posts: 204; Member since: 12 May 2009)


Love, what a wonderful thing!

posted on 26 Jul 2010, 10:49

3. scottmbolt (unregistered)


iFail = A smart phone for dumb people EVO = An ultra smart phone for smart people!

posted on 26 Jul 2010, 11:08

4. sprintguy09 (Posts: 79; Member since: 17 Apr 2010)


After seeing the epic 4g preview on youtube it stole me away from the evo it just that much faster

posted on 26 Jul 2010, 11:15

5. Richcop (Posts: 19; Member since: 02 Aug 2009)


Nice article. I feel the same way about the EVO. I would not change it for anything. I also have 3 spare batteries and usually get 9-20 hours out of a charge with pretty heavy use.

posted on 26 Jul 2010, 11:16

6. PapaJay224 (Posts: 866; Member since: 08 Feb 2009)


I really hate Sprint, its against my competitive nature to like them, as well as listening to a Key Note from Dan Hesse is like nails on a chalk board. BUT with that being said, I am happy to see people are enjoying Android phones more and more and getting away from the, need I mention "look at me phone". (the phone in which we do not speak). Im happy Sprint, Verizon, T-Mo, and yes even At&t are supplying the world with these device's. A serious Hats off to Google, a once known search engine and now cell phone connoisseur.

posted on 26 Jul 2010, 12:42

9. DonLouie (Posts: 594; Member since: 22 Dec 2008)


I don't see why any type of hate for Sprint is needed just to be competitive but to each their own.

posted on 26 Jul 2010, 16:30

16. remixfa (Posts: 13903; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


more than likely it means he works at a competitor like VZW or Tmo. My guess. Besides, competition drives deep feelings. :)

posted on 26 Jul 2010, 11:47

7. SellPhones82 (Posts: 495; Member since: 11 Dec 2008)


A few questions for the editor that may help me decide between the Evo and Epic, were you able to notice the 30 FPS cap on the Evo? Also have you had a chance to use any of the Galaxy S line to compare the experience with the Evo?

posted on 26 Jul 2010, 12:19

8. sprintguy09 (Posts: 79; Member since: 17 Apr 2010)


Have you seen any of the youtube vids of the epic yet if not check them out it will make your mind up for you

posted on 26 Jul 2010, 12:43

10. SellPhones82 (Posts: 495; Member since: 11 Dec 2008)


Yeah...those vids are why I'm leaning towords the Epic and have not bought an Evo yet. Though I've seen a lot of comments regarding lag on the Galaxy S which most say is due to TouchWiz 3.0. So as long as I can load a vanilla Eclair or Froyo ROM is should be set.

posted on 26 Jul 2010, 14:15

11. sprintguy09 (Posts: 79; Member since: 17 Apr 2010)


Yea I hurd about the lag also but from the vids it looks like on the sprint version they have fixed that but I like the sense Ui on the htc so im kinda iffy about the samsung touchwiz

posted on 26 Jul 2010, 16:36

17. remixfa (Posts: 13903; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


fiddling with sense and touchwiz.. sence is nicer. Touchwiz on the galaxy series is made colorful to accentuate that beautiful screen. Otherwise, its not that great. Im waiting for Cyanogen or someone else to come out with a great mod for it. All lag is produced by the shoddy touchwiz overlays. I have a galaxy S. There is no phone as powerful. Every bench shows the Galaxy series obliterates the competition in pretty much everything. screen, horsepower, polygon pushing, battery power, touch accuracy... its not a competition. Put em side by side and it makes an EVO screen look soo old and bland its not funny. Of course, it does that next to any cell phone, not just the evo.. lol.

posted on 27 Jul 2010, 12:43

33. de 2 philly (Posts: 21; Member since: 11 Jun 2010)


Unfortunately the Galaxy S series dont have as nice of cameras, 4G or kickstand... horsepower may be more, but doesnt have as many options... well until the EPIC comes out.

posted on 28 Jul 2010, 19:59

43. remixfa (Posts: 13903; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


sprints 4g is a max of 12mb/s with a realsitic around 7s... in a very limited area. The Tmobile's max is around 21mb/s hspa+ with a real world average of about 14. The Vibrant may not get higher than 7.2 because it lakes HSPA+ capabilities, but my real world is about 4-5mb/s. The tmobile HSPA footprint is much larger and spreading faster than Sprints Wimax. Soo.. for the 85% of sprints network doesnt have 4g, it runs on a theoretical max of 3mb/s and a real world of about 2mb/s. So in most areas, my Vibrant is faster :).. so much for 4g superiority. as for the kickstand??? Really? thats a deal breaker? U cant just.. i dunno.. hold it sideways or lean it against something? The camera takes full HD 720p 30fps video, which is better than the EVOs 23fps. While it may lack a flash, it has a great lowlight mode that more than makes up for it in most situations. In fact, i just did a real world test last night comparing to my friends Incredible. When it came to up close shots, the flash won in lowlight.. hands down. When it came to getting shots of larger areas, the flash was useless and actually hurt the picture quality, where the Vibrant's lowlight mode made the picture look great. And what options are missing exactly from the GalaxyS that the Evo has? They both play TV, run the same apps, run the same OS.. The galaxy has: the better screen, more horsepower, a dedicated GPU, no FPS cap like the Evo has, and more. The evo is a great phone, but it was not the best phone for very long. That is the way of electronics. Next month somethin will come out that makes the Galaxy look old. And so on and so forth.

posted on 26 Jul 2010, 15:02

12. etownone (Posts: 40; Member since: 25 Jul 2010)


As a verizon customer, I'm really really jealous of the EVO. Especially now that the Droid X come out, and just as the stated, it's a monster. Being that both are 4.3 displays, why couldn't the Droid X be the same size as the EVO?? I held the EVO, it's just feels and looks like the perfect size for an Android Smartphone. Oh well.. Here's to looking forward to the Samsung Fascinate.

posted on 27 Jul 2010, 13:49

38. herbiederb (Posts: 275; Member since: 28 Jan 2010)


Moto cant seem to get their engineers to lose the chins and humps... or maybe they think theyre innovating. Carrying that thing is one step away from carrying around an iPad.

posted on 26 Jul 2010, 16:04

13. VZWbamf (Posts: 61; Member since: 11 Oct 2009)


I agree the Droix X is bigger, but give me a break people, its 1/8 of an inch taller! THATS IT!

posted on 26 Jul 2010, 16:45

18. etownone (Posts: 40; Member since: 25 Jul 2010)


You right .... But try holding them in your hands side by side. And you'll see that the Droid X really does seem like a monster while the EVO got the size, feel, and look just perfect .... IMO. And I really wish this wasn't the case cause I went on day 1 to buy the droid X and just got turned off by the size

posted on 26 Jul 2010, 16:04

14. VZWbamf (Posts: 61; Member since: 11 Oct 2009)


But... HTC's Sense UI is amazing... I wish they would sell it in the market! Hahaha

posted on 26 Jul 2010, 16:12

15. Whateverman (Posts: 3191; Member since: 17 May 2009)


Not a fan Sprint either, but it is nice to see them turning things around. Two great 4G phones but still not sure about wimax. LTE would have been a better choice but who knows maybe that can make it work. Good job Sprint.

posted on 26 Jul 2010, 18:02

20. RORYREVOLUTION (Posts: 2957; Member since: 12 Jan 2010)


I love my droid x and i have no issues holding the phone and it feels nice in my pocket. I would have gotten the evo if it weren't for the x.

posted on 26 Jul 2010, 18:38

21. agentoj (Posts: 100; Member since: 29 Oct 2009)


Will swype work on the evo. If you download the swype beta, will it ork right off the bat or will you have to tweak with stuff?

posted on 26 Jul 2010, 21:36

23. QWIKSTRIKE (Posts: 853; Member since: 09 Mar 2010)


Go to thee EVO 4 g website forum and download the Swype keyboard. I am using one made for the EVO 4G and it's better than the Beta floating around......And Yesssss....I love my EVO 4G!

posted on 26 Jul 2010, 23:01

24. agentoj (Posts: 100; Member since: 29 Oct 2009)


which forum are you talking about? the one on sprint's website, one on howardforums or where? -PS i am planning on getting the evo in a couple of months since that is when i am eligible. My only concern is battery life, since the hero got bad battery life.

posted on 27 Jul 2010, 10:02

26. herbiederb (Posts: 275; Member since: 28 Jan 2010)


Full cycle the battery a couple of times the 1st week and keep control of widgets/active wallpapers and you should be fine. Dont forget download ATK.

posted on 27 Jul 2010, 10:03

27. markemark11 (Posts: 47; Member since: 07 Jan 2010)


i hate the battery life argument. it is what it is. you dont buy a corvette if you are looking for fuel efficiency, so you dont buy a super smartphone if you are looking for battery life. just take necessary preperation such as an extra charger and car charger. life will be fine.

posted on 27 Jul 2010, 10:43

29. remixfa (Posts: 13903; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


normally thats true, but both the gayphone4 and galaxyS series have good battery life (galaxyS being the best of the bunch). So bad battery life is the norm, but not the rule. The evo was truely something when it came out, but sadly its old hat now. Im happy to lose .3 of an inch to gain so much more in the galaxy.

posted on 27 Jul 2010, 11:02

31. QWIKSTRIKE (Posts: 853; Member since: 09 Mar 2010)


http://www.evo4gforum.net/htc-evo-4g-apps/swype-for-the-evo-new-version-that-works-flawlessly-fo r-mine/ send the down load to your gmail account and then open. Thats how I got this to work. After using this a week battery life improved substanciallly. Also use ATK.....this helps alot.

posted on 27 Jul 2010, 13:14

35. herbiederb (Posts: 275; Member since: 28 Jan 2010)


that touch wiz nonSENSE was killer for me. i think ive become an HTC snob. looking forward to messing with Epic when it comes out. sammys got a lock on super AMOLED

posted on 26 Jul 2010, 19:36

22. Flip7 (Posts: 31; Member since: 27 Nov 2009)


Woow n I thought that I was the only one to b hooked into my evo, I really don't see any different with the fps but everyone has their own opinion my wife wants the epic so ill compare them but after video chat n kickstand n this screen I also don't see my self getting anything smaller

posted on 27 Jul 2010, 08:58

25. narley (Posts: 357; Member since: 14 May 2009)


I was at a Sprint kiosk in a mall over the weekend... I wanted to speed test the EVO on their "4G" and see how well it worked. I speed tested it sitting right at the kiosk and it got 1.6 mbps.... ... my Incredible then walking thru Nordstrom nowhere close to the Verizon kiosk did the same speed on "3G". that is purely the facts... no exaggerations at all.

posted on 27 Jul 2010, 10:06

28. markemark11 (Posts: 47; Member since: 07 Jan 2010)


i find it hard to believe but im not going to call you a liar. if so i will say thats impressive.

posted on 27 Jul 2010, 10:45

30. remixfa (Posts: 13903; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


are you sure that the evo was getting 4g signal, or did you just assume it did? From the speed test, I'd say you were on EVDO, just like your incredible. That said, no matter what the indicator at the top says, you want to go into the actual "about phone" where it shows which signal type your getting. That is your true meter. My galaxy loves to say "3g" even when im in an HSPDA area getting 4.5mb/s or higher.

posted on 27 Jul 2010, 11:08

32. narley (Posts: 357; Member since: 14 May 2009)


i'd say between the lit up 4G at the top and the lady at the kiosk saying it was on 4G and being a VZW employee i knew what i was doing....

posted on 27 Jul 2010, 13:22

36. herbiederb (Posts: 275; Member since: 28 Jan 2010)


ive never gotten more than 1mbps from vzw here in nyc. what city are you in?

posted on 28 Jul 2010, 20:04

44. remixfa (Posts: 13903; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


lol, being a rep doesnt mean you know anything about phones. Im a rep and i can safely say the majority of the people dont know crap about what they are selling... LOL. Besides, people will say anything to make a sale. They probably put a little "4g" sticker on it so it said it. And again, the indicators at the top are not always accurate. You have to go into the menu, about phone, and see the signal indicator in there.

posted on 27 Jul 2010, 12:45

34. de 2 philly (Posts: 21; Member since: 11 Jun 2010)


I completely agree! I cant put my EVO down... I also use the backbeat headset when working out and that coupled with the new music player app I DL'd (Mixzing - equalizer etc.) makes that a breeze! Ya, the battery isnt great, but I def. use the crap out of my EVO! I have dolphin browser HD (a lot of flash works) and the list goes on and on and on... best phone ever IMO - I will keep this phone forever lol - first 4G phone is historic ahaha.

posted on 27 Jul 2010, 13:41

37. deejh (Posts: 34; Member since: 14 Apr 2010)


I Love my EVO.......................Hands Down best smartphone I have ever owned.

posted on 27 Jul 2010, 15:09

39. ccarrier012 (Posts: 24; Member since: 24 Dec 2008)


You know, I don't think I have ever seen people on this site have a civilized conversation about an article until now. Congrats on getting along and being able to see each others views without shooting them down!

posted on 27 Jul 2010, 20:50

40. lsutigers (Posts: 713; Member since: 08 Mar 2009)


I think that goes to show just how much people respect the EVO 4G for what it is, a truly amazing piece of technology that has been embraced by the press/media, industry professionals, reviewers, developers and users. I am glad to see awesome Android phones on all carriers now for everyone to enjoy. By the way, add me to the list of very satisfied EVO customers.

posted on 28 Jul 2010, 11:55

41. de 2 philly (Posts: 21; Member since: 11 Jun 2010)


Its extremely disheartening that they didnt make enough EVOS at launch. Everyone doesnt know this phone and THEY SHOULD. This phone is quit' amazing and the country should know. This phone beat the iphone4 in CNETs prizefight but unfortunately theres prob. at least 10,000 people that dont have the phone because of the back order on parts. GO SPRINT!

posted on 29 Jul 2010, 19:41

45. markemark11 (Posts: 47; Member since: 07 Jan 2010)


2.2 August 3rd :)

posted on 08 Aug 2010, 04:51

47. MasonStorm (unregistered)


I'm just about to return my Droid X because of the shortcomings of the Calendar and Contacts apps. For example, when I go to enter a recurring appointment - one that occurs daily for 21 days in a row - I'm able to choose the start date, and the fact that it's a daily occurrence - but that's it! So the appointment is entered for all days thereafter, forever! I can only stipulate an end date by going to Google Calendar from a desktop browser. Does anyone here use their Evo's Calendar app a lot - and if so, does HTC's Sense overlay do anything to improve the app, such as setting start and end dates for recurrent appointments? And how about the HTC Contacts app - does it allow you to enter a person's Job Title? Because the Droid X doesn't allow that. And yes, I've already tried an extensive and bewildering array of Market apps that were supposed to improve upon the Calendar app. But they didn't. Here's hoping Pocket Informant comes out soon.

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