"Far and away the best Android device I have ever used."5.0 starson by bigDinCA
Summary: I am thoroughly disappointed with the CNET review. I don't recall the iPhone 4S being dinged points because it can never run on a 4G network, yet this phone can but is penalized. As a matter of fact the CNET iPhone 4S review states "the data speeds, while certainly not 4G, get the job done." So for the iPhone it's ok, but not for the EVO... At this time the Sprint LTE network is lighting off in several locations across the country. The speeds are on par with the LTE speeds Verizon customers have had for a year now. That being said, during what Sprint calls their "Network Vision" updates, if you are on a 3G signal your speeds can be extremely slow due to the incredible amount of work being done on tower sites all of the time. There are a couple of sites that discuss this in detail if you want to search it out for yourself. S4GRU.com is a great one. Androidcentral.com is also another one and is also a great resource for more detailed info about this phone.
The design of the EVO is different. This isn't your standard black slab. Lots of people, me included, were really disappointed that they did away with the svelte look of the One X (this phone's twin brother) for a two-tone black and soon-to-be white edition. But holding the phone in my hand was all I needed to change my mind. It is so ridiculously thin and is a beautiful piece of design and craftsmanship. I've always been impressed with HTC and their build quality but this phone is on a different level. Far better than any Motorola or Samsung device I have used, including the RAZR MAXX and the S3, and completely on par with anything Apple manufactures. There are some neat videos on the HTC site about the design and construction, but the real standout is the kickstand. Fiery red, it separates the matte black from the glossy black (FYI, the glossy black cover around the back actually houses the NFC antennas and is removed at the top, near the power button, for access to the microSD slot) but it is extremely functional. Now that there is only one port for charging and connecting the device (as opposed to the OG Evo that had 2 ports) and it is located on the side it should be noted that the kickstand is spring-loaded and easily supports the phone in landscape orientation on both sides allowing access to the charging port.
I live in Southern California and travel all over the area, including Arizona and Nevada, for work. I can confirm that the call quality is tremendous on this phone, regardless of the amount of signal I have or if I am roaming. The earpiece volume can get very loud if you need it. HTC has never been good at external speakers on their phones but this one is the best since their TouchPro 2 (Windows Mobile device). It isn't as good as what you get on an iPhone (one of the best speakers) or a couple of the Motorola or Samsung devices, but it does hold its own. There is also an HD voice capability that I have heard great things about but have not actually been able to test for myself. It is supposed to be a part of the Network Vision upgrade and will eventually be on many more handsets.
The display is one of the best I have seen. The pixel density is slightly less than the iPhone's retina display and a couple of Sony models, but the best part is the IPS. Not only is is brighter while being more power efficient but it is also clearer than almost anything else out there right now. If you put your finger on a bathroom mirror you will see a small gap between it and the reflection of it. You get the same sort of thing in smartphone displays, with an airgap between the screen you see and the digitizer panel that you touch and interact with. It can cause slight distortions, albeit not very noticeable. What it does cause is eye strain and extremely reduced viewing angles. Imagine not seeing that gap between your fingertip and the reflection. That is referred to as a 1st surface mirror. It is the type used in copiers and telescopes and rear-projection televisions and other devices where reflection, without distortion, is required. The difference is pretty amazing and the same thing happens with this display. There is virtually no airgap so the viewing angles are huge and everything just looks crisp and clean.
The battery life I have gotten is very good. I can go 24-36 hours between charges on a regular basis. I use 1-3 hours of talk time each day. I do some light surfing and gaming. I text between 20-50 times a day. I use Google Maps quite often while driving each day just to check traffic and I check email constantly. Even when I have my email set to push notifications to the device I can get over 24 hours form it. Most people I know have the same experience. The camera is excellent. It is bested slightly by the Galaxy S3 and the iPhone 4S but that is it. I think it takes better low-light pictures than the iPhone and it doesn't saturate colors like the other two do. I am not a professional photographer so I don't **** and moan that it isn't as good as a dSLR, but I will say it is just as good or better than many point-and-shoots out there. It has a ton of native Instagram-type filters, as well as HDR and panoramic modes. It also takes great video, including slow-motion video which is really, really cool. One thing to note is that while you can take photos during a video recording, those photos are not taken at the maximum resolution.
Some miscellaneous things:
-Sense UI is the absolute best, in my opinion, of all of the different manufacturer skins on Android. If you don't like skins, you won't like Sense 4.0 here. But it makes the phone different. It isn't trying to be an iPhone clone. I find the UI to be easy, good looking and intuitive.
-People have mentioned the Google Wallet issue and it is true, but it should be noted that the first update released on 7/11 has already corrected that.
-Do not let the dual-core versus quad-core discussion fool you! The S4 processor on here bests or equals the quad-core in most benchmarks if you care about those things. More importantly it is an SoC, or System on a Chip. The various radios (CDMA, LTE, GPS) are integrated, requiring fewer chips and using less battery to power them all.
-Beats audio is nice, but only works when you have a headset plugged in. It gives better low-end response without making every song a festival of bass.
-There are no included earbuds with the device, nor is there an included microSD card.
-Many people have reported being able to use the newer 64GB cards in this device with no problems, despite it being rated as capable of only handling up to 32GB.
My only complaint about the phone is the issues with multi-tasking. HTC has really gotten aggressive with killing background apps and sometimes it is a problem. Example: I am using Maps to check traffic while I drive. I pull over and text my wife that I am going to be late getting home, so she calls me. I talk to her for a few minutes and then check my email before I get back on the road. When I pull up Maps again, it takes a few seconds to completely reload and redraw the app. It gets me right back to where I was, so it isn't like I had to restart from scratch, but it isn't the same as just pulling it back up. Imagine minimizing a browser window on your PC, doing something else for a few minutes on Word or iTunes, then restoring the browser only to see that it has to reload the page. That is what happens sometimes, but hopefully a fix is coming.
If you are a Sprint customer and are looking for the best Android device out there, this is it. It beats everything else, including the Galaxy S3.