Aaron's First Impressions: HTC EVO 4G (Sprint)

Aaron Baker
Writer from  Dallas, TX
| May 28, 2010

What's Good: Huge 4.3-inch display, 1 GHz Snapdragon processor, 4G connectivity, front-facing camera for video conferencing, Android 2.1 with Sense, Mobile Hotspot.

What's Bad: Though the screen is larger, I found myself missing the AMOLED display found on the Incredible and Nexus One.

Verdict: The HTC EVO 4G is the flagship Android device on the market, but I think the April launch of the Incredible stole some of the EVO's thunder.

The HTC EVO 4G launch is right around the corner (June 4th), and simply put, the EVO takes the prize for flagship Android device.  Though other high-end devices like the Incredible offer friendly competition, the EVO's combination of features blow everything else out of the water.  With a 1 GHz Snapdragon processor, the EVO offers a 4.3-inch display, 8.0-megapixel camera, front-facing camera, kickstand, 3.5mm headphone jack, and 4G connectivity.  That being said, the EVO isn't a tiny device.  At 4.8 inches long by 2.6 inches wide by 0.5 inch thick, the device weighs 6.0 ounces, making it one of the heaviest smartphones on the market.  It's certainly large, and even with big hands, I was conscious of the size of the device.

I've been working with the EVO 4G in the Charlotte metro area, and in my limited testing, call quality has been very good.  Callers told me that they could hear me well, and I had no challenges on my end.  The speaker is loud and clear, and I connected two Bluetooth headsets with ease.  I'm still working with 3G and 4G speed numbers, and will report back with my findings.

I'm still testing the battery life on the device, but I can say that the 1500 mAh battery appears to be holding its own, despite the battery drain that comes from 4G, Mobile Hotspot, and Wi-Fi.  With moderate use encompassing calling, text messaging, Google Maps, Sprint TV, and the Android Market, I was able to make it through one full day before the phone powered down.  It's not a battery warrior by any means, but I've had more success with it than I have with other Android devices.

When the EVO was announced at CTIA in March, I was stunned (and with the number of phones that I see on a regular basis, it's hard to surprise me).  The feature set at the time jumped leaps and bounds ahead of any Android device on the market - or any device ever, for that matter.  All I could think during the press event (and in the numerous events following) was "wow, Sprint really went all out and created a great device."

And then the Incredible came out.  Now, don't get me wrong - I still think the EVO's feature set is greater than the Incredible's, but where there was a huge gap between Android device number two and Android device number one, the gap has shrunk a bit.  Before, I would have said that any user on any carrier should consider a switch to the EVO.  I still think it's a great device and would recommend it to anyone who's searching for a new phone, but for Incredible users, I really can't see most people dropping $350 to terminate and $199.99 for another device.

Little things I like about the EVO 4G:

  • The charging port is on the bottom of the unit, versus the lower left-hand side like the Incredible.  Makes it MUCH easier to use the device while charging.
  • You can turn HTC's Sense UI off.  Personally, I absolutely love Sense, but for those that want the full Android experience, the option is available to you.
  • The volume rocker is on the right-hand side of the device, and the actual button is firmer than the one on the Incredible.  I'm left handed, so I usually grip my phone with my right hand.  As a result, my fingers are forever adjusting the volume on the Incredible.  The combination of the new placement and firm button means that I'm not changing the volume every 12 seconds.
  • Front-facing camera for video chat.

Little things I like about the Incredible:

  • The AMOLED display, though smaller than the EVO's, offers a richer experience.
  • Smaller device makes it easier to hold.
  • I like having an optical trackpad.

Products mentioned