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HTC EVO 4G Review

HTC EVO 4G 9.5

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Right now, Android is the philosophical opposite of the iPhone. It allows developers some deeper access to the system's code, letting them create customized interfaces, widgets and so on. While this sometimes leads to problems with compatibility, delays for software updates and performance issues, it seems users don't mind it because it lets them differentiate more easily and get more specialized features like tight social networking integration for example. However, this is all subject to change, as the platforms are being updated and new features get introduced fairly often.

The HTC EVO 4G runs Android 2.1 with the latest version of HTC’s Sense UI on top (according to HTC it will see a Froyo 2.2 update in the future.)  There are no surprises here, and we’ve seen this software extensively on devices like the Legend, Incredible and Sprint’s recently updated Hero.  What is different is the speed.  Never has a device run so smoothly while doing so much.  Sense UI has always been plagued by just enough lag to be annoying, but not so this time around.  Like the DROID Incredible, the EVO 4G flies through every test we put it through.  This is Sense as HTC drew it up, without hardware limitations.

While the software may be familiar, the 4.3” display makes it a different, almost surreal experience.  We’ve been using Sense for a good time now (2.1 at that) so moving to the EVO was like having a bigger Hero to some extent.  Still, with such a large screen everything is bigger, and in this case bigger is most definitely better.  Games are easier to navigate, the ridiculously large keyboard is a dream to type on and webpages are viewed in all their glory.  Our one gripe is that, despite the extra size, the homescreens still only offer a 4x4 layout; with so much real estate 5x4 would have been plenty doable but this is a minor issue and not exclusive to the HTC EVO 4G.

The interface of the HTC EVO 4G - HTC EVO 4G Review
The interface of the HTC EVO 4G - HTC EVO 4G Review

The interface of the HTC EVO 4G

The ridiculously large keyboard is a dream to type on - HTC EVO 4G Review
The ridiculously large keyboard is a dream to type on - HTC EVO 4G Review
The ridiculously large keyboard is a dream to type on - HTC EVO 4G Review
The ridiculously large keyboard is a dream to type on - HTC EVO 4G Review

The ridiculously large keyboard is a dream to type on

The Android Market is growing exponentially with more than 50,000 apps currently available.  That number has more than tripled in the past five months, and many analysts predict it to pass the 100,000 mark in the coming months and overtake the App Store sometime next year.  More importantly we’re starting to see an increase in the quality of apps available as the devices become more and more capable.  Despite the rise in quality the majority of applications are still free, and even paid apps have a 24 hour remorse period when the user can simply uninstall an app for a full refund.  Developers are beginning to embrace the market without limits and arbitrary rules.

Android Market - HTC EVO 4G Review

Android Market

The HTC EVO 4G doesn’t have the newness that the Pre offered last year, but that may work to Sprint’s advantage.  We loved the Pre and webOS, but it has failed to capture the market share Palm and Sprint envisioned, in part due to hardware and software hiccups.  Android on the other hand is chasing down BlackBerry for the mobile OS crown, is firmly entrenched in the public’s consciousness and sufficiently mature by now.   Users won’t be taking a chance on something new when they purchase the EVO, they’ll simply be buying the best handset running the fastest-growing platform the market has to offer.

If you want to know more about the core functionality of the Sense user interface, check our Sprint HTC Hero Review.

Data and Connectivity:

Of course one of the killer features of the HTC EVO 4G is WiMAX, making it the first 4G handset in America.  Sprint’s 4G footprint currently only covers 30 markets or so, but they have announced a slew of new cities and plan to have 4G deployed to over 120M people by the end of the year. For those not yet blessed with 4G the EVO still has 3G for high speed cellular data and WiFi b/g.  It has Bluetooth 2.1 and GPS, with support for both Sprint Navigation and Google Maps Navigation.

Navigation on the HTC EVO 4G - HTC EVO 4G Review
Navigation on the HTC EVO 4G - HTC EVO 4G Review
Navigation on the HTC EVO 4G - HTC EVO 4G Review
Navigation on the HTC EVO 4G - HTC EVO 4G Review

Navigation on the HTC EVO 4G

The stock browser is improved over previous versions, with smoother scrolling and zooming.  Page loads were slightly quicker too, most likely thanks to the Snapdragon processor.  It’s still not as good as the other premium browsers out there like Safari and webOS as a piece of software, but the gap has been closed considerably.  On the Acid3 test the browser scored a respectable 93/100.  There are several other great browser options for Android such as Opera Mini and Dolphin HD, with Firefox on the way.  Dolphin HD is especially great on the EVO 4G: pages load quickly, zoom is smooth and Flash (Lite) works very well.

The Mobile Hotspot app turns the HTC EVO 4G into an Overdrive on steroids, creating a WiFi network that allows up to 8 devices to connect simultaneously via either 3G or 4G.  At $29.99 it’s half the price of a traditional aircard and even when on 3G does not have a 5GB limit.  The app is simple enough to use- there’s even a toggle switch widget- and the user can easily rename the network and change security settings.

  • Options

posted on 20 Oct 2010, 01:55 1

1. Fallout (Posts: 20; Member since: 22 Apr 2010)


posted on 31 May 2010, 09:46

2. jdmdany (Posts: 23; Member since: 23 Mar 2010)

i wouldnt really consider the kickstand to be a pro. i do think its a great idea but i dont think its something id keep in mind as beneficial over a different high end android device.

posted on 01 Jun 2010, 21:50

14. ace1122 (Posts: 237; Member since: 23 Mar 2009)

True. I can't see it being used that much.

posted on 19 Jun 2010, 10:20 2

26. remixfa (Posts: 14604; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

yea, u say that until you want to watch a movie, voice call, or utube... then that kickstand will be a priority.

posted on 31 May 2010, 11:31

3. tiolawa (Posts: 115; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)

We wants it my precious!!!

posted on 31 May 2010, 11:42

4. jdmdany (Posts: 23; Member since: 23 Mar 2010)

i hate that this website has fanboys for phones they dont own yet

posted on 31 May 2010, 16:18

7. iownthenight (Posts: 6; Member since: 06 Mar 2009)

i own it, and i am a huge fan of it

posted on 10 Jun 2010, 18:19

22. WKlingbeil (Posts: 215; Member since: 26 Dec 2008)

I'm sure there are plenty of people that hate that this website has people that complain and post a useless comment on forums.

posted on 31 May 2010, 14:37

5. Jyakotu (Posts: 852; Member since: 12 Dec 2008)

From reading the review, Phone Arena, you really didn't go indepth with 4G speeds. Other sites went further indepth with 4G speeds and how they differentiate from 3G. Are you planning to do a comparison feature soon.?

posted on 31 May 2010, 16:58

8. mr. anderson (Posts: 92; Member since: 16 Apr 2009)

from the screenshots it doesnt look like they have 4g in their area. its basically the same as wifi, it just makes everything even faster

posted on 31 May 2010, 17:47

9. Jyakotu (Posts: 852; Member since: 12 Dec 2008)

I still would love for them to go to a city with 4G and they do a cover piece on it.

posted on 31 May 2010, 14:39

6. TechBlue (Posts: 80; Member since: 06 May 2010)

IMO its to big and bulky not a pocket phone, but whatever works for ya

posted on 31 May 2010, 19:04

10. KArkhon (Posts: 5; Member since: 07 Feb 2010)

Agreed, it's way too big to be practical. However, the specs are really amazing, and it would be nice to see them in 4 or 3.7 size.

posted on 01 Jun 2010, 14:36

11. stix26 (Posts: 21; Member since: 03 Feb 2010)

there is a phone like that...Its teh HTC Incredible. Remember the Evo has the same resolution as the Increcible so that spec is not that much different. Bigger isn't always better. For me i want a 4.1 inch screen with better res better processor lighter than this...then i will upgrade from my Droid.

posted on 18 Jun 2010, 16:35

25. renegade626 (Posts: 54; Member since: 12 Dec 2008)

You can compare specs all day long, but until you can hold both phone up next to eachother and try them out, its hard to compare... I was able to do this, and I can say that between the incredible and the EVO, the EVO is by far superior.. I can think its safe to assume at least 9 out of 10 people who have been able to do this would agree with me

posted on 01 Jun 2010, 15:21

12. stashmaster (Posts: 4; Member since: 01 Jun 2010)

Why no mention of battery life?

posted on 01 Jun 2010, 21:43

13. sprintguy123 (Posts: 6; Member since: 22 May 2010)

the battery is a 1500 mAH. abit better then the iphone...but like all htc's the apps will kill it...

posted on 02 Jun 2010, 06:34

15. paynekiller (Posts: 152; Member since: 24 May 2010)

there is mention of battery life, right on this very page. They said it lasted 6hrs 18mins talktime in their tests "Similarly to the Hero, the HTC EVO 4G uses a 1500mAh battery. However, instead of being rated at 4 hours of talk time, the battery on the EVO is rated 50% higher at six hours. We were a bit skeptical, especially with such a large display, but lo and behold we were able to achieve 18 minutes more than the rated time"

posted on 04 Jun 2010, 03:13

16. suziehopedope (Posts: 1; Member since: 04 Jun 2010)

The unleashing of the EVO 4G is sure to be beyond belief. I cannot wait to get in line and wait this phone out. My local Sprint store is going to be open at 8am. I hope this phone is not a failure like the Palm Pre. Such a horrible phone. I got a lot of good info fromhttp://htcevoreview.com

posted on 05 Jun 2010, 08:29

17. chunky1x (Posts: 270; Member since: 28 Mar 2010)

why U.S. only. htc why ?

posted on 05 Jun 2010, 19:53

18. ajac09 (Posts: 1482; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)

cause sprint paid htc to make it for them

posted on 08 Jun 2010, 11:21

19. hightech3000 (Posts: 1; Member since: 08 Jun 2010)

BEFORE GETTING NEW EVO PHONE FROM SPRINT The phone will cost $10 more per month and another $30 per month for hotspot! That's $40 more each month and not worth it. When ask about 4G in Tenn they said it is not slated for TN 12 months or more. What are we paying for. They say... the best camera and it is very fast. Every phone out today has a camera and I for one do not need a 8meg photo on my phone.

posted on 09 Jun 2010, 15:38

21. mr. anderson (Posts: 92; Member since: 16 Apr 2009)

then get a hero

posted on 14 Jun 2010, 12:17

24. GoofyGirl_77 (Posts: 11; Member since: 09 Oct 2009)

I too was surprised that it was not just the additional $10 like had been discussed. But when I connected my iPad to my phone effortlessly while relaxing this weekend that $30 didn't seem like too big of a deal at all! It's all in perception. What does everyone pay monthly for their internet services? I would imagine it is more than $30! This phone is awesome! The only real complaint I have at this point is the lack of thought in design because the camera lens literally is what the phone rests on when on it's back - who's bright idea was that????

posted on 09 Jun 2010, 12:03

20. mike123 (Posts: 2; Member since: 09 Jun 2010)

great phone and for a bluetooth just as advanced, check out the jawbone icon at bluetoothandbeyond.com they have the best prices on bluetooth headsets and a great warranty.

posted on 12 Jun 2010, 04:09

23. dadoo985 (Posts: 27; Member since: 30 Oct 2009)


posted on 22 Jun 2010, 10:34

27. teamblackdroid (Posts: 4; Member since: 22 Jun 2010)

AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO DOESN'T LIKE PICTURES OF A GRAVEYARD AS THE EXAMPLE OF HOW WELL THE CAMERA WORKS?!??!?! Anyway, I really want this phone, I'm scared to go to all touch though.

posted on 25 Jun 2010, 19:02

28. swagnificent (Posts: 5; Member since: 25 Jun 2010)

I've wanted this smart-phone ever since I started seeing leaks everywhere was a lot of hype that came along with this device which isn't always a good thing In this case everyone was SPOT on! I'm getting mine at the end of July and I think I'm more excited to get this then I was when I got my Iphone.When The HTC hero came out I was so stoked and wanted one so badly. But a little voice in my head told me to wait because something better will be released and I'll be kicking myself I'm so glad I waited! Msg from Ryan via my blackberry on the sprint now network

posted on 26 Jun 2010, 08:37

29. veesion (Posts: 7; Member since: 26 Jun 2010)

Awesome phone... 4G....WOW....

posted on 10 Sep 2010, 05:39

30. YR82 (unregistered)

Can any one tell me weather its (locked) on sprint only? or can i use it on other network using other sim card?

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OS: Android 2.3 2.2 2.1
view full specs
Display4.3 inches, 480 x 800 pixels (217 ppi) TFT
Camera8 megapixels
Qualcomm Snapdragon S1, Single core, 1000 MHz, Scorpion processor
0.5 GB RAM
Size4.80 x 2.60 x 0.50 inches
(122 x 66 x 13 mm)
6.00 oz  (170 g)
Battery1500 mAh, 6 hours talk time

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