All you need to know about the HTC EVO 4G

All you need to know about the HTC EVO 4G
HTC and Sprint caused quite a stir at CTIA 2010 by introducing the first WiMAX handset for the US market, the HTC EVO 4G. We didn´t need much time with the cell phone to find out it would be an awesome smartphone with the potential to bring people out in droves and make them consider switching over to Sprint just for the sake of getting one of these beauties. Now, when we have already calmed down and feel free from all the excitement, thus capable of calm reasoning, we are ready and willing to tell you more about the super-phone.

First, let´s take a closer look at one of the elements in its name...

WiMAX and speeds of the future

This is one of the two cell phone technologies today, capable of offering people broadband internet connectivity. As a matter of fact, WiMAX is the less widespread 4G technology and most carriers around the globe have cast their lot in with LTE, since it delivers faster speeds and improved stability. What are the advantages of WiMAX then? For one thing, it is already here. Second, Sprint already has the necessary infrastructure in place in quite a few major cities. When fully deployed, the network should be covering all areas from Los Angeles to Miami, while all other telecoms are yet to catch up with the leader and embark on building the proper facilities required for full-blown 4G operations.

WiMAX can deliver effective speed of up to 20Mbps, at least in theory, although such a throughput would be next to impossible to achieve in real life. Despite that, the technology offers extremely fast internet browsing and real-time HD video streaming. Throw the HTC EVO 4G and its Flash Lite 4.0 support into the deal and it seems the mobile internet service is about to become a whole more entertaining.

One of the clear advantages of 4G is that it will enable people to use their cell phones as Wi-Fi routers and deliver broadband internet connectivity to up to 8 mobile devices, from notebooks and media players like the Zune HD and iPod touch to other handsets. This was clearly demonstrated at the presentation, with the HTC EVO 4G providing shared internet connection to (quote) „other, less smart cell phones” (the iPhone 3GS being one of them). Cool joke, right? The rumor has it, however, that people using the handset as a router will have to shell out extra cash for additional fees.

We have to point out that, aside from WiMAX, the HTC EVO 4G supports 3G via EVDO Rev. A., meaning you will have broadband internet connection even in areas without WiMAX coverage. Take a look at the interactive map showing the current 4G network availability via this link.

Design – well known, yet different

You probably know already the HTC EVO 4G resembles the HTC HD2, because of the same 4.3-inch display both devices integrate. This is not an AMOLED screen, although the overall quality is extremely good, with crisp images and pleasing, saturated colors. Still, it´s yet to prove itself against its fiercest rivals on the market, Samsung´s displays utilizing the Super AMOLED technology.

Our colleagues from Engadget have had the chance to compare the HTC EVO 4G to the HTC Desire and noticed that text appeared in larger size on the screen of the WiMAX device. The reason is its display measures 0.6 inches more, while coming with identical native resolution of 480x800 pixels.

Unlike the HTC HD2, the EVO 4G features touch-sensitive keys below the screen. Our first impression is that all of them are really comfortable to press. Still, the massive size of the device means you just can´t use it in one hand.

By the way, the HTC EVO 4G is just a single millimetre thicker than the HD2. This is a commendable achievement indeed, given the former has several clear advantages, like 8-megapixel camera, 1,500mAh battery and kickstand against the 5-megapixel sensor and 1,230mAh battery of the HD2. It´s again Engadget that has recently reported the red frame of the еаrpiece will have been replaced with silver one on retail units. 

HDMI - from your cell phone and right onto your TV-Set screen 

To many, the presence of an HDMI port appears to be insignificant aspect of the HTC EVO 4G, but we do consider it an important feature. It equates to watching all the movies and videos stored on the handset directly onto the huge flat screen TV in your living room or, say, desktop computer monitor (provided they support the standard, of course). This is a cool extra feature and not last, because WiMAX allows for relishing streaming HD-quality video. We still don´t know anything about the out-of-the-box video support the HTC EVO 4G would roll out with, but we do hope DivX and Xvid are on the list.

Android 2.1, the OS everyone craves for

Android 2.1 made its début on the Google Nexus One and we have seen many bits and pieces of information that this or that cell phone will soon get updated to it. How come? At least visually, the new edition delivers extra features like Live Wallpapers and animated main menu and we have to admit they are pretty nice indeed. More importantly, however, it runs faster and is more stable. Given all improvements that version 2.0 has brought, including synchronization with multiple accounts, Exchange support, better hardware acceleration for multimedia content, it´s quite clear the market success of the new Android core is of utmost importance. Further details about OS edition 2.1 are available in our review of the Nexus One, while more information on Android 2.0 can be found in our article on the Motorola DROID. In the particular case of the HTC EVO 4G, however, Android 2.1 will be well hidden beneath the...

Personalized HTC Sense interface

Seven home screens, a number of special widgets, synchronization with social networks... These are just some of the distinguishing features of HTC Sence. We are eager fans of the interface and happy as can be to see it in action on such a mighty device as the HTC EVO 4G. Please, take a look at our review of the HTC Hero to find out more about the Android version of HTC Sense.

With the plethora of irresistibly appealing features, it´s only logical to ask...

When does it hit the shelves then?

Sprint is expected to release the HTC EVO 4G this summer, although no particular date has been mentioned so far. We don´t really think it will be an affordable cell phone either, since it´s the world´s most powerful Android handset to date we´re talking about (not to mention it is to come with WiMAX support). Still, we do hope that Sprint doesn´t drop the ball and the HTC EVO 4G rolls out with a price-tag to make it a winner, a handset able to motivate people to switch over to Sprint´s 4G network that can´t have been inexpensive to deploy.

The HTC EVO 4G Specifications | Hands-on

Additional sources: SlashGear, Gizmodo, Engadget

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