Living with the HTC EVO 4G

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:

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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47 Comments

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.

45. markemark11

Posts: 47; Member since: Jan 07, 2010

2.2 August 3rd :)

41. de 2 philly

Posts: 21; Member since: Jun 11, 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!

40. lsutigers

Posts: 832; Member since: Mar 08, 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.

39. ccarrier012

Posts: 24; Member since: Dec 24, 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!

37. deejh

Posts: 34; Member since: Apr 14, 2010

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

34. de 2 philly

Posts: 21; Member since: Jun 11, 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.

25. narley

Posts: 357; Member since: May 14, 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.

28. markemark11

Posts: 47; Member since: Jan 07, 2010

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

30. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 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.

32. narley

Posts: 357; Member since: May 14, 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....

36. herbiederb

Posts: 275; Member since: Jan 28, 2010

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

44. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 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.

22. Flip7

Posts: 31; Member since: Nov 27, 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

21. agentoj

Posts: 105; Member since: Oct 29, 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?

23. QWIKSTRIKE

Posts: 1461; Member since: Mar 09, 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!

24. agentoj

Posts: 105; Member since: Oct 29, 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.

26. herbiederb

Posts: 275; Member since: Jan 28, 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.

27. markemark11

Posts: 47; Member since: Jan 07, 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.

29. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 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.

31. QWIKSTRIKE

Posts: 1461; Member since: Mar 09, 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.

35. herbiederb

Posts: 275; Member since: Jan 28, 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

20. RORYREVOLUTION

Posts: 3131; Member since: Jan 12, 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.

15. Whateverman

Posts: 3295; Member since: May 17, 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.

14. VZWbamf

Posts: 61; Member since: Oct 11, 2009

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

13. VZWbamf

Posts: 61; Member since: Oct 11, 2009

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

18. etownone

Posts: 40; Member since: Jul 25, 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

12. etownone

Posts: 40; Member since: Jul 25, 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.

38. herbiederb

Posts: 275; Member since: Jan 28, 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.

7. SellPhones82

Posts: 569; Member since: Dec 11, 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?

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