"The most fully-featured cell phone available today..."4.5 starson by Arvin_C
Pros: - Big, bright, gorgeous screen
- Fast performing Snapdragon CPU
- Multi-media powerhouse
- 8MP camera, shoots 720 video & front 1.3MP camera for video conferencing
- Sprint's reasonable data plans
- 4G is here in Baltimore!!
Cons: - Big size makes it BARELY pocketable
- Android & Sense UI not as polished as Apple's iOS (Yet..)
- Only 8GB Micro-SD card provided
- So capable, will take some time to learn how to fully exploit & customize
Summary: The HTC Evo 4G is simply the most fully-featured & most capable phone on the market today. It's spec sheet reads like a cell phone designer's wet-dream. So, while you can easily read or watch one of the dozens of Evo reviews out there on the web, let's talk about some real-world impressions from some one who used to be a die-hard iPhone user.
First off, this is one big phone...it's barely pocketable. Although it's tall & wide, HTC kept it pretty thin. It feels great in the hand and there's a solid heft to it. I bought a limited-edition White model which has a smoother, harder feel to its back than the rubber-like back of the black model. The 4.3" screen is fully HD-capable. And while it doesn't pack the pixel-density of the iPhone 4's display, the Evo's screen is very bright and clear. Pixel counts aside, the two displays look comparably gorgeous. The upside to all this size is how easy the Evo makes things. Reading documents, surfing the web, customizing your home screens with apps and widegets...everything is better because of all this real-estate. Overall, this is one sharp looking phone and a definite attention grabber.
The Evo's 1GHz Snapdragon CPU makes for one very fast and smooth performing phone. Apps launch quickly and due to Android's native multi-tasking support, bogging down is virtually nill. The latest Evo updates seem to have fixed any early issues with memory and power management during app use.
All that processing power makes the Evo an incredible multi-media powerhouse. Everything from music to video is handled without a hiccup. The 8MP camera with dual flashes is very good, easily replacing a point-and-shoot in my case. The only problem is that the flashes maybe too powerful, as some indoor shots can have washed-out colors. The camera also can shoot 720p video with pretty good reults. On the front, a 1.3MP camera is provided for video conferencing with the included Qik app. Video conferencing is supported in all modes, not just in Wi-Fi like on the iPhone 4.
Another nice surprise was the quality of Sprint's cellular and data network. When I left Sprint 5 years ago, they were truly the worst. I guess all those commercials since then about Sprint investing in improving their network must have been true because I get a great signal everywhere I go. No recpetion issues here, no matter how *ahem* I hold the phone!
We have 4G here in Baltimore and the performance is really awesome. The big downside is the battery draw, enabling 4G really kills it. Over-all battery performance is not as bad as some sites have reported, but it's not as good as any of the iPhones. Leaving the 4G off, I've gone an entire day without re-charging.
Sprint's data plans are also very reasonable, especially considering that the data is still un-limited! And while you need to pay an extra $10 bucks for the 4G "tax" and another $30 for the tethering function, it's worth it considering you essentially have a mobile hotspot in your pocket that 8 devices can access. Incredible!
The Evo comes with HTC's Sense UI built ontop of Android 2.1. It's a very slick and friendly interface, but here, Apple's iOS 4 is much more polished in feel and operation. That isn't to say that Android is bad, it's just that there is a definate learning curve to it where the iPhone is much more pick-up-and-play. Android's newest OS version, 2.2 (Froyo) will be available later this summer for the Evo. Expect Android to only become more polished and more customizable with every update.
One minor issue is storage. You only get an 8 Gig Mini-SD card pre-installed with the phone. You'll fill it up quickly with all the apps, music, HD movies and pics you'll be shooting. With Motorola throwing in 16 Gig cards with the Droid X and Apple packing 32 Gigs in their top iPhones, the Evo seems a bit lacking in the storage aspect right out of the box.
The Android community seems to be really hitting its stride right now as there are more and more apps being introduced every day. Not quite as many as the iTunes Store, but you'll be able to find an Android version of your favorite apps or a very good alternative. Apps costs are much more reasonable as well. You can't beat free...
So, is this the perfect phone? Maybe...for now. It'll be hard to find a phone to compete with the Evo feature-for-feature. Eventually, there will be a new topdog, but for now, today, the Evo 4G's spec sheet is as full as it gets. Throw in the fact that it's the only 4G-capable phone available in the US right now, the competition seems lacking.