HTC EVO 3D First Impressions

Aaron Baker
member from Dallas, TX
Published: June 17, 2011

HTC EVO 3D 1

While it's not likely to draw the crowds that the original did due to the plethora of Android devices on today's market, Sprint's HTC EVO 3D is quite the phone on paper.  Powered by a 1.2 GHz dual-core Snapdragon CPU, it offers a 4.3-inch stereoscopic qHD display with 540 x 960 pixels, dual 5-megapixel cameras with 720p HD video recording capabilities (in 2D and 3D), and Android 2.3.  It launches on the nation's third largest carrier on June 24th for $199.99.

I've had 24 hours to put the newest 3D smartphone to the test, and here's what I've discovered so far:

  • I'm warming up to the EVO 3D's build quality.  It's no match to the similarly-equipped HTC Sensation 4G, but the texturized battery cover, red accents, and metal housing gives it a premium feel.
  • Sprint's new superphone ships with Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) and the latest version of HTC's Sense user interface, version 3.0.  It's more of an evolutionary update from Sense 2.0; new features include a customizable lockscreen, carousel homescreen animation, and a revised interface in the app drawer.  Those familiar with stock Android will see Gingerbread's revised email and Market notification icons peeking out from under HTC's custom skin.
  • The EVO 3D feels faster than the recently launched HTC Sensation 4G, probably due to its 1 GB of internal memory (the Sensation has 768 MB).  That said, Sense 3.0 seems like a resource hog in comparison to competing user interfaces like TouchWiz 4.0 and (gasp!) the newest iteration of Motorola's UI.  Despite the added memory, I still see lag here and there, particularly when working with the 3D features of the phone.

HTC EVO 3D 2

  • EVO 3D has dual 5-megapixel cameras that are capable of shooting 720p HD video in both 2D and 3D.  Overall, the image quality is decent, though it pales in comparison to the 8-megapixel shooters out there.  That's the tradeoff required for 3D, though.  
  • On the 3D note, I'm still undecided on the overall quality of the content.  I get a headache after using the 3D camera for more than five or ten minutes due to the way it displays the picture.  The 3D content on the LG Optimus 3D is much better, with clearer images that are far less brash.
  • EVO 3D has a 1,730 mAh battery, and with moderate use like calling, text messaging, emailing, browsing the web, and downloading a few apps (all on 3G, mind you), I was able to make it into the evening before the phone powered down.  It's not the most impressive Android on the block in regards to battery life, but it should get you through the day.  Kick on 3D or 4G though, and you're looking at a dramatic reduction in battery life.

HTC EVO 3D 3

  • Call quality is clearly not the focus of this device.  The earpiece volume is loud, but I find that the wireless radio struggles in areas where the Samsung Nexus S 4G and HTC EVO 4G don't.  Sprint is mediocre at best in my office, and the EVO 3D has trouble holding on.  While standing in the same place, I regularly rotate between zero, one, and two bars of service.

There's much more to come with the HTC EVO 3D.  In the meantime, check out the unboxing video!

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