Pros Great keyboard. Many parts of the phone usage are easy to learn. Voice Search feature is amazing. Visual voicemail is huge! I love the smaller size than the EVO 4G
Cons Virtual buttons make it easy to hit incorrect keys. Still a bit bulky. Lower MP camera and camcorder. Battery life drains way too fast.
Summary The Evo Shift has a lot to offer but there are some significant learning curve issues to resolve to make it work for you. Can you believe you can actually capture HD video with a device this small that does so much?
The first thing you need to know when you get into an Andriod phone is you have to open a Gmail account to use it. Normally this would be cool with me because I am an avid Gmail user and love lots of the products that Google offers.
The problem is that the phone automatically downloads the Google calendar and Google contacts. This is a great thing if you have been using Google calendar and Google contacts correctly but I have been using Microsoft Outlook and Plaxo for years in order to sync my calendar and contacts. So when I got the phone and started using it I had outdated numbers and things were disconcerting to try and use the phone right out of the box. For some however it may be the easiest transition you have ever made into a new smart phone.
The next big hurdle for me was trying to sync my phone and get the correct data into my phone. This became quite a bit of a hurdle. Finally I was able to sync Google Calendar with Plaxo but I am still in limbo with my contacts. There is a built in sync program on the HTC memory card but I have yet to make the phone and my PC communicate as it should so I'll have to let you know when and how I get that resolved.
Here are some of my favorite features:
The slide out keyboard is very nice. It is backlit and the keys are better than anything I have ever used in a smart phone. It also has a nice navigation tool built in and the sliding mechanism seems very solid.
The operating system seems very intuitive and is easy to figure out right off the bat.
The Voice Search feature is astounding. You can say something like Map of Lake Geneva, or Call Matt Mason Photography. Then the phone figures it out and does it! I am very impressed with this. Smart phones have been trying to do this for years but the learning curve is steep and the margin for error made it seem like a impractical toy.
Voicemail has a very practical tool. Visual voicemail allows you to see the message on your screen and you can back it up or move it forward using a timeline and toggle feature. So many people say their phone numbers fast and don't repeat it so I used to find myself hitting the Five Key on my old cell phone 3 or 4 times trying to hear the phone number while I wrote it down. This will save a lot of time.
I know that the Iphone had this feature but I am glad it is in the Android too! When you make a call or answer a call as you bring the phone up to your ear the display turns off. This is useful because it preserves battery life but also ensures your earlobe doesn't hang up the phone on an important client. Also helpful is that the phone magically realizes when you pull the phone away from your ear so you can ready the display such as your calendar.
Any function you tap on the virtual buttons makes a small vibration to give you feedback that you have made connection. That seems helpful to me as I navigate around the screen.
This camcorder video is amazing in a package this small.
Size. I like that this phone is smaller than the its big brother EVO. But if you gave me the choice of a free 15 inch Macbook pro or a 13 inch I would take the 13 every time. Smaller is better to me.
Scrolling and gestures are much like the Ipod/Ipad/Iphone and I appreciate that. Glad to have the same feel I have become used to with Apple products.
Apps are useful, easy to download and install and there are hundreds that I might be interested in. I am however resisting games for now. Maybe later. Here are some apps I downloaded right away
You Version (put out by Lifechurch.tv)
Pandora (Have to try this soon!)
Advanced Task Killer (This is an absolute MUST download app) Do it now.
There is a built in Flashlight that uses your camera flash as a flashlight when you are fiddling around in the dark. So cool! The more I learn about this phone the more I feel like I got the coolest Swiss Army Knife ever! It has every gadget you can imagine.
FM Radio that uses your headset as the antennae. It really works!
Here are some concerns and issues I have with the Evo Shift smartphone.
As nice as the form factor is I have found that many times I accidentally hit the virtual home button and go back to the main screen. This is annoying and if you have big hands may be an issue for you too.
Battery life. You would think that by now they could come up with a phone that can do everything and not run out of battery by 4pm. But there are some fixes to help preserve battery life. A must have is: Advanced Task Killer.
5MP camera. Not sure why they downgraded from 8mp from the full EVO. But seriously I am a pro photographer who cares!
View photos and video samples at this link: http://******/evoshift4g
Pros Everything good about the Evo (except front facing camera)
Awesome physical keyboard with a D-pad
Longer battery life than the Evo
Probably going to be rooted soon
More pocket-friendly than the Evo or Epic
Cons No front facing camera (a deal-breaker for some)
Won't be able to hot-swap the SD card since it's behind the battery (minor)
Would rather not pay for 4G service (disadvantage of all current 4G phones)
Summary Overall this thing does it's job very well. It's pretty much what you would expect from something that borrows so heavily from a really successful phone.Update: Several months in and this phone is going strong. Battery life has improved a little (seems to be typical with smartphone batteries), screen is still perfect, phone still feels solid (slider, etc.), and it still runs all the apps I throw at it. It's survived a few drops with no dents or dings. The camera takes pretty poor pictures unless there is plenty of light but the video is surprisingly good in contrast.
The OS experience is identical to what you have with an Evo which is to say it's all pretty much flawless. I guess the processor is slower but I'm not sure that difference actually produces a noticeable or measurable difference. The call quality is as good as cell phones get. I'm always impressed by the clarity of these phones. The audio quality out through the 3.5 mm jack is impressive (YMMV depending on headset) - definitely an improvement over previous generation devices.
The build quality here seems really high. It's got kind of a blue brushed metal thing going on around the screen and durable semi-grippy material on the back like the Hero. The display is impressive. I'm surprised at how black the blacks are. The screen seems to be glass which should make it reasonably scratch resistant (again, like the Hero). I'm excited about this. I never had a screen protector on my Hero, carried it in my pocket every day, and it still doesn't have any scratches on it. The keyboard is huge. The d-pad works really well. There are even little LED's to let you know when the shift and function (FN) keys are active. Well done, HTC. I'm not sold on the capacitive buttons but they've been pretty responsive so far. The slider is rather stiff. It doesn't spring open like some phones. Instead there is a constant friction as you slide it open. We'll see how well it holds up.
The GPS acquires it's signal in a reasonable amount of time and the navigation features are definitely robust enough for this to be used as a primary navigation device (unless you are travelling where you'll have no signal).
Battery life is good. I guess I'm a light user because I typically got almost two full days per charge on the Hero. Based on yesterday and today, it seems like I'll get about the same with the Evo Shift. (with WiFi and 3G active).
The camera is good enough. Yes, it's fewer MP than an Evo camera but with a lens so small, the quality of the image sensor is way more important. Think about it. The problem with smartphone photos isn't that they aren't high-res but that they aren't exposed well. 5MP is enough for a smartphone. I fell like it should have a front-facing camera though. With the processing power, bandwidth, screen resolution, and software, everything is there for skype (or video calling app of your choice) except the camera. I personally would not use a video calling feature often but I sympathize with those for whom "no FFC" is a deal-breaker. For me, being able to put it in my pocket (vs the Epic) was a worthy trade-off. But minus 1/2 star for no FFC.
It seems to have power to spare. Even with the unsolicited startups of the default BS apps, things open and switch quickly.
There's not much else to say. It's leaner, smaller, and more efficient than it's Sprint 4G competitors and It does what it claims to do very well. Unfortunately, it doesn't claim to have a front facing camera.
Updated on Apr 2, 2011
Pros 1. Amazing Keyboard.
2. Strong Design
4.The Screen is Nice.
5. The Camera takes Great Pics.
6. Easy on the Wallet.
7. Scarily Fast.
8. Build Quality
9. Sense helps the phone Make Sense
11. Processor never hicuped during use.
Cons 1. No HDMI Port
2. No Front Facing Camera
3. Sorta Bulky not really though
Summary Soooo...I recently got off contract on T-Mobile and even though it had great family plans, I wanted to go alone I was going to college and didn't want to share my parents minutes....so I trashed my old Touchpro 2 and looked for a new carrier, sprint was offering the best plans for a single person, but I just didn't fancy going without a keyboard...and the tales of epic owners update woes got to me and I waited...enter Shift 4G.
I went in and fondled with it for a good hour before I bought it. Aright so over the time I have had it, it has flawlessly pulled down my email, texts and the call quality is amazing.
Hell I was able to pull down a paper from my email address, and type a good page while I was waiting on the train. The thing is that whatever you need to do today this thing can do it no questions asked, no lag shown.
Now I'm going to state the bad thing's. The very first one was that there is no HDMI, and while it doesn't really affect me too much, if you ABOLUTELY NEED IT, then you can connect it to you laptop, and then connect your laptop to your T.V and stream the video then, yes I know it is a kind of longer solution but at least there is a way around that Con.
Some other cons were that it doesn't have a front facing camera?.ok I really didn't like the VGA sensor on the EVO or the EPIC, and as for Video chatting?I really don't use it, but if that is a must have feature than I suggest you look elsewhere cause this phone doesn't have.
Finally people do call this phone bulky and yes I agree, compared to my friend's iPhone 4, it is kind of bulky, but the thing is you get a keyboard, and the best one of Sprint right now imo, I tried the EPC's keyboard?but it was too plasticky and flat.
So the Conclusion, Frankly this phone dominates all others on the market one reason?the price the stuff that you are getting for the price is amazing. Let me tell you getting 95% of the Features of Evo and the Epic had for 50 bucks less really make a different in this College Student's Life.
Small Enough to fit in your Pocket-Check
Amazingly fast and Fluid while running-Check
Great Camera and Camcorder-Check
Amazing App Market-Check
Extraordinary and Mind-blowing Phone-Check
Pros The Anroid OS is very fast. I was able to easily sync my google contacts and calendar to this phone. Thousands of apps to download and use. Great internet surfing capabilities. The display is crystal clear and the colors are vibrant. Easy to use.
Cons I find myself carefully watching the battery indicator. Battery life is shorter than my old Blacberry, but the EVO Shift does so much more than the Blackberry ever could.
Summary I love this phone! It truly is a smart phone and I can use it for much more than a phone. I like the touch screen which is why I left Blacberry because Sprint did not offer the Blackberry Torch, too bad Blacberry, you lost a loyal customer. I love the google calendar and contacts sync. Now, no matter where I am on a computer or my phone I am able to use one calendar and one contact list. Accessing the internet on this phone is easy and the display of web pages is fantastic! While viewing web pages you are able to zoom in and out to see everything on the page. The Facebook and Twitter apps are very easy to use on this phone. The Android App store is amazing. I am finding thousands of apps and am afraid I will soon use up all my memory.I've been using my EVO for two weeks and I love it more each day. Practically takes all my notes, thoughts or actions that I need to document and stores them on the phone. I've even synced my Kindle account to the phone and can now read everywhere. I downloaded several Bible apps and the work wonderfully. I like that my pc calendar (google) syncs to the phone calendar now no matter where I am I can add my appointment and it shows up on every calendar on every platform - great stuff. This calendar syncranization is a must for busy people on the go and mananging multiple projects/
I did download Advanced Task Killer to help save on battery life. I use the phone heavly during the day and find myself watching the battery meter. Eventhough I charge the phone every night it still needs a charge by 6pm each day. But I spend a lot of time surfing the web and I am on facebook throughout the day with this phone. Considering the way I use this phone I can't compain too much about the battery life. I just bought another charger to use at the office and that ensures I have enough battery life throughout the day.
I was a little reluctant to give up my Blacberry but I took the plunge and I am very glad I did. Sorry to say, Blackberry has lost a loyal customer. The EVO **** is a great phone for work and play.
Updated on Jan 27, 2011
I am having significant trouble getting 4G service. The batterry must be charged mid day for heavy use. This is not a big problem I just keep chargers everywhere. Also I have spent $100's of dollars on apps - hopefully that will slow down before the wife noticies.
All in All I still love love this phone and I will stay an Andriod custumer for a while. Goodbye Blackberry you cant compete.
"Great value"on by sidleake
Pros Speed,Voice Action,ROM,Keyboard,Customization options,Exchange Integration,4G
Cons No confirmation on Bluetooth voice dialing
Summary This phone is a nice option for the mobile professional. Great size, adequate screen. Another solid tool from HTC to help in my quest to lug my laptop less. I've been a long time Touch Pro 2 user and the first thing I noticed was a nice boost in performance. Not only web browsing but overall application performance. Voice action allows me to speak a text message (as well as many other tasks that I'm still learning) which should help reassure drivers all over the country that my eyes are on the road. I was planning on giving this phone to my wife as soon as the Win7 QWERTY phone hits Sprint, might be making other arrangements if I can get used to the bluetooth dialing on the Shift.With the addition of Bow Tie from the Android Market (free) I am now able to access Google Voice Search from my Bluetooth. Accuracy is around 75%.
Updated on Jan 11, 2011