HTC Evo 4G Review – ten times faster than 3G

CellphonesOn June 2, 2010 at 4:28 am



I first saw the HTC Evo 4G at CTIA 2010 and there has been a lot of hype surrounding this phone because it is the first 4G handset here in the USA. The display of the phone is 4.3 inches big and it has capacitive touch screen interface so you can flick your fingers through it just like the iPhone. You will realize the extra real estate on the screen when you are working on applications because a lot of content fits in their easily. I haven’t seen this big screen ever for a phone in my labs. The colors look vibrant and sharp and you get a display resolution of 480×800 pixels. There is also the built in light sensor which automatically adjusts the display brightness according to the light in the ambience.

HTC Evo 4G has a large display and this makes way for a bigger virtual keyboard. A bigger keyboard, of course, gives you more spacing between the keys and hence typing is a lot easier. I can type for hours on this keyboard since they keys are quite spacious and I didn’t have any mishits while punching my messages. Things get better in the landscape mode but I was typing well in the portrait mode as well.

Presence of 4G on this phone means that you speeds for uploading photos, streaming media, downloads, and Web browsing will be faster. Apart from this, the HTC Evo 4G lets you hook up eight devices for sharing this speed. How fast is the speed? Well, according to Sprint, 4G WiMax network provides wireless speeds which are around ten times faster than 3G. Average download speed is 3-6 Mbps and peak achievable speed is ten mbps. Upload speed is 1 Mbps. As compared to that, 3G gives you speeds of 600 kbps to 1.4 mbps and the peak download speeds are of 1.3 Mbps.

I am based in New York and there is no 4G available here yet. So I went down to Philadelphia to check it out. On an average, sites took about twenty seconds to load and the mobile versions showed up in 4-5 seconds. Android Market apps downloads were really fast, music tracks from Amazon took just 15 seconds to download. An entire album took me about seven minutes. I also streamed some shows through Sprint TV but the experience fell below my expectations. In spite of the 4G connection, the videos were synced and the audio had breaks in it. On the bright side, YouTube videos were much better, the playback was smooth and noticed a gap between audio and video only once. HTC Evo 4G is based on Android 2.1 which is the latest version of the OS till date. This gives goodies like voice to text entry, live wallpapers and Google Maps along with Navigation.

Below the HTC Evo 4G’s display, there are four touch sensitive navigation controls for menu, search, back and home. Press the home key long enough and you will get a list of all the recently used apps. I tested the phone in Philadelphia and New York. There was nothing to complain about with regards to call quality. My friends sounded clear and loud and there was no background noise. On their side, people told me that the volume was loud enough and our voice didn’t distort even at the highest volume. Speaker phone calls were pretty decent but audio was a bit tinny.

For Bluetooth tests, I paired up the HTC Evo 4G with Motorola S9 Bluetooth Active Headphones and Logitech Mobile Traveller Bluetooth headset. Here too, the pairing was fast and call quality was excellent. On the back, the phone has an eight megapixel camera which records 720p HD quality video clips. I won’t recommend you to throw your camcorder in the dustbin yet but this camera certainly is pretty good as compared to other phones. On the downside, the videos were a bit grainy. Photo quality is really good, irrespective of whether you are shooting outdoors or indoors.

HTC Evo 4G comes with 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon QSD8650 processor along with 512 MB RAM. This phone could keep up with speed requirements. Don’t expect zippy speeds like Droid Incredible but there wasn’t much delay in launching apps. I reset the phone twice during testing and for the first instance; I had nothing to do with it. The handset comes with 1,500 mAh lithium ion battery but the rated talk time and standby time aren’t disclosed by Sprint yet.

Pros

Fast 4G speeds, up to eight devices can be connected for sharing the fast 4G speeds, two cameras, latest Android 2.1 OS, HDMI jack, gorgeous 4.3 inches screen, speed 1 GHz processor

Cons

4G network is limited for now, battery drains quickly with 4G, doesn’t have support for Bluetooth voice activated dialing, Sprint makes $10 mandatory fee for data add on

Outcome

This is the best smartphone I have seen till now but it is hard to recommend it looking at the $200 price tag. You have to pay mandatory $10 a month for the data access which makes matters worse

Specifications
  • HTC Evo 4G
  • CDMA2000 1X technology
  • Wireless interface – IEEE 802.11, Bluetooth, IEEE 802.16e
  • Google Android 2.1 OS
  • Included services – YouTube, Android Market and Sprint TV
  • Text messages, Voice mail, E-mail and Instant Messages
  • 2 cameras – 1.3 MP (on the front), 8 MP (on the back)
  • GPS receiver
  • 4.3 inch TFT LCD screen with resolution of 800×480 pixels
  • Supported audio formats – MIDI, AAC, WMA, AMR, MP3, AAC+, WAV
  • 3.5 mm headphones jack included
  • 1500 mAh lithium ion battery
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    1 Comment

  • vareeja says:

    It is indeed a top-selling launch day phone on Sprint.
    The first thing you notice about the Evo is the size of the device, and particularly, the screen.

    The 4.3-inch, 480-by-800 display is great. It’s bright and clear, and the additional resolution compared with most phones makes text easy to read.
    The downside is that the phone is a bit larger, though it’s about the same thickness as an iPhone.

    The EVO’s camera has a number of very nice features, including geo-tagging, face detection, and a digital zoom.

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