HTC EVO View 4G Review
Just a short year ago the tablet market was pretty barren. You had the iPad and…well that was about it. There were some no-name Windows CE ones out there and maybe even an Android tablet or two floating around in Chinese flea markets, but if you wanted one you were getting 9.7” with fruit on it. Samsung was the first to really put their hat into the Android tablet market with last year’s Galaxy Tab, but not until the announcement of Honeycomb and the Motorola XOOM has Android posed a serious threat in the tablet world. Now it seems everywhere you turn another sexy Honeycomb tablet is being released or announced.
Arguably the leader in Android smartphones, HTC found itself in a curious position being tablet-less. After months of speculation they finally announced the Flyer back in February, and while the 7” tablet would be running a new version of sense with HTC-worthy hardware it curiously was only running non-tablet optimized Android 2.3. We later found out that Honeycomb is not yet open source, and HTC had not been provided with the source code. To some extent they have countered with their own excellent Sense interface, and with the release of the EVO View 4G on Sprint they have added 4G data to the model, but will that be enough to compete against the Galaxy Tabs and Transformers of today? Read on to find out!
The HTC EVO View 4G shares the same design as the Flyer we reviewed last month, but in keeping with the EVO family, the color scheme has been changed to charcoal with red accents. We approve. We really approve. Not to say the Flyer isn’t good looking, but the EVO View 4G makes you take notice whereas the Flyer can blend in. Couple that with the aluminum unibody construction that HTC is so good at and you have a seriously good looking device. The EVO View 4G still has plastic accents on the top and bottom; the top one can be removed to access the microSD slot and we’d imagine that the bottom one houses the antennas for less interference. This bottom insert is raised significantly above the rest of the body which gives it a nice hand hold when held in landscape mode, but makes the EVO View 4G feel a bit awkward in portrait orientation.
The HTC EVO View 4G is noticeably heavy at 15oz, but that is due in large part to the metal casing and glass screen. The 7” display with 1024x600 resolution seems noticeably better than any of HTC’s smartphone panels, it is quite bright, vivid and can be viewed from just about any angle. There are four capacitive buttons below the display: Home, Menu and Back as well as a dedicated button for the HTC Scribe Pen (more on that later.) Rotate the display to the left and the same four buttons will light up below the display with the 1.3MP front-facing camera above it.
top of the EVO View 4G is a power button and 3.5mm headphone jack, on the right is the volume rocker and a microUSB port is on the bottom. On the back the 5MP main camera is trimmed in red and two speaker cutouts are along the right side, also accented in EVO red.