HTC EVO View 4G Review - Interface and Software - PhoneArena

HTC EVO View 4G Review

Interface and Software:

The HTC EVO View 4G runs the new Sense 3.0 user interface, similar to what you’ll find on the new Sensation and EVO 3D. We took an in-depth look at it in our Flyer review, but if you’re looking for the short version it retains everything we love about Sense, then adds some slick new animations, ups the homescreen count to 8 (the Flyer “only” has 7), adds a more functional notification drop down and a handful of new widgets. With so much more display space the new widgets offer better functionality in portrait mode. For example, the full screen calendar widget shows your month view on the top two thirds or so, and the bottom third has an agenda view. The interface will rotate 90 degrees when you turn the EVO View 4G, but when in landscape mode this extra pane disappears in the widgets. Despite the larger display the menu still sticks to the 4x4 grid found on Android phones, so there is a lot of spacing between elements.

While Sense does a good job of masking the lack of Honeycomb, HTC wasn’t able to get around it completely. There are times, such as when browsing the Market, when you are reminded that Android 2.3 is not designed for tablets and you wish the font or pictures were larger. You’ll notice that spacing isn’t always right, or that all apps won’t run full screen either. Another big drawback is the lack of Google Talk video chat since the EVO View runs Android 2.3.3 and not 2.3.4 (the device later received an update to 2.3.4, but video chat remained absent).

Despite this HTC shows just how good it is at UI design with Sense 3.0 and it flies on the EVO View 4G. The interface has a number of 3D transition effects that don’t hurt system performance at all. This is thanks in part to the 1.5GHz single-core Snapdragon processor.

One of the really, really cool features is HTC Scribe pen. Sold separately on the Flyer ($80), if bought through Best Buy, the Scribe pen comes bundled with the EVO View 4G. It allows the user to scribble notes on the screen as well as interact with some specific items. A stylus is nothing new, in fact it is something manufacturers and operating systems have tried to eliminate over the past few years, but HTC brings it back with a bang. Simply tap the screen with the Scribe pen and the software captures a screenshot that you can scribble on. The pen icons on the bezel can only be activated with the pen itself, and it brings up the options such as different writing instruments, colors and sizes.

There are two buttons on the pen. Holding the top button changes the function from write to erase. In certain applications, such as the HTC Reader app (yep, another bookstore) if you hold the bottom button it will highlight selected text in the book you’re reading. To top it all off it syncs with Evernote for immediate cloud backup. Even though the pen is light and no bigger than your average pen, it is another item you need to carry around with you. If you can get past that there are a lot of cool applications for the Scribe technology, and it will no doubt be a solid business tool.

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