HTC EVO 4G LTE Review
Motorola Droid no doubt sparked interest in Android, but the unapologetic angles and massive heft of the phone made it hard to love. The Nexus One had everything you could want except a place to try it and buy it. There were whispers of a superphone coming to Sprint from HTC, but other than a few blurry pictures of a white slab and some rumored (hoped for) specs no one really knew what to expect.
Then it came: the HTC EVO 4G. The original EVO was the nation’s first 4G phone, the first phone to have a 4.3” display, the first phone with a kickstand, the first domestic phone utilizing a front-facing camera allowing for video chat, and the first phone to make Apple really take notice. It won universal acclaim, Phone of the Year honors and opened the flood gates for Android. Though the EVO has spawned a family of phones and the flagship EVO 3D was launched a year later, many saw the 3D capabilities as a gimmick and have patiently waited for a true successor to the original EVO 4G.
The wait is over, the EVO 4G LTE is here. The name says it all; instead of going by the EVO One (in reference to its HTC One X bloodlines) or the EVO HD (a nod to the 4.7” 720p display), Sprint has chosen to stick with the EVO 4G nameplate and bill it as “a true successor to the original.” For a phone with such pedigree, this is a bold claim. Read on to see if HTC and Sprint can back it up!
In a day and age where spec sheets look increasingly similar, HTC has put an emphasis on using premium design to set itself apart. We took notice when the One series of devices were announced, and the EVO 4G LTE is crafted with that same philosophy in mind. Fashioned from an anodized aluminum unibody, the EVO 4G LTE is a pleasure to pick up. The finish gives the phone sufficient grip, and at just 8.9mm thin the EVO 4G LTE is comfortable in both your hand and pocket.
You can compare the HTC EVO 4G LTE with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.
The 4.7” Super LCD 2 HD display is as beautiful as any display we’ve seen. The vivid colors pop off the screen, images are crisp and sharp and with a 312ppi density it is nearly impossible to spot individual pixels. S-LCD2 suffers from the same oversaturation that AMOLED does, but to a lesser degree so that it is not nearly as noticeable. Utilizing IPS technology, the viewing angles are amazing and we could approach 90o and still read the display. The display is very bright and we didn’t have any wash-out issues using it outdoors in direct sunlight, though there is some glare from the Gorilla Glass 2.
Like the One X, HTC is sticking with three capacitive buttons on the EVO 4G LTE, leaving the user with more screen real estate. Along the right side of the phone is the volume rocker and camera shutter button, with the power button up top. They all have a small but sufficient travel, with good feedback to let you know the button has been activated. The sides of the phone are part of the aluminum unibody, but have been milled down to a natural aluminum finish creating a visually pleasing contrast to the matte black. The uncovered microUSB port and 3.5mm headset jack almost perfectly blend into the black body of the HTC EVO 4G LTE.
Around back is perhaps the most controversial element of the EVO 4G LTE: the two-tone black. At the top is a plastic door with a glossy, piano black finish, under which lies the microSD slot. It is in sharp contrast to the matte black of the anodized aluminum that sits below. The two are broken up by a quarter inch EVO red band housing the kickstand. The two finishes of black are a matter of personal opinion, and we’d probably prefer an all matte finish, but in our opinion the two-tone finish doesn’t look bad and is growing on us.
kickstand was a trademark feature of the EVO 4G, so it is nice to see its return. While it may be thin it is unbelievably sturdy, so much so that it can work easily in both directions and when the phone is resting along the length of it you can adjust your viewing angle. When you open the kickstand on the EVO 4G it resists to a certain point, then springs open. The opposite is true on the EVO 4G LTE, which is what allows you to sit the phone at different angles.
Like the One X, it is apparent that HTC has put a premium on design with the EVO 4G LTE. If you haven’t seen their “making of” video you should check it out on YouTube to get an appreciation of what went into the design of this device. The EVO 4G LTE truly feels wonderful in the hand while packing a powerful punch with the display. It will be large for some, but felt more natural to us then smaller phones like the Epic 4G Touch. The materials used are absolutely premium and even without a case this phone is built to withstand the wear and tear of everyday life. We’ve said this before, but in a market dominated by black slabs HTC continues to stay recognizable.