Sprint Evo 4G hands on

We've seen and heard everybody debating whether the rumored HTC Supersonic -- now officially the Sprint Evo 4G -- would render moot the announcement that the Google Nexus One is coming to the carrier, too.

Indeed, it may well have.

We sat down with HTC at CTIA in Las Vegas for some quality time with the Evo 4G. Video and more initial thoughts after the break.

Sheer domination. There's really no other way to describe it. When the Windows Mobile-powered HD2 came about, it bludgeoned its way to the smartphone heap with its sheer size and power. The Evo 4G goes even further.

First and foremost, the thing is a beast. A 4.3-inch LED touchscreen -- same as the HD2 -- and the same 1GHz Snapdragon processor. A gigabyte of ROM and 512 of RAM round out what's under the hood.

Like taking pictures? There's an 8-megapixel camera and dual flashes -- for sheer candle power -- to take care of that. Wanna record moving pictures in 720p? No sweat. Plus, there's a basic 1.3MP camera on the front of the phone -- pretty much a first for a U.S. carrier-sanctioned device. Now you just have to have apps that support it.

Of course, if you record in HD, you might as well have HD playback, right? And for that, there's a micro-HDMI port, so you can go straight from the Evo 4G to an HD television. There's a cute little kickstand, too, which makes the Evo 4G great for watching movies.

Where the HTC Desire and Legend returned to physical buttons, the Evo 4G sports four capacitive buttons, which don't suffer from the accuracy issues we see on the Nexus One.

We just saw Sprint announce more cities that are getting WiMax data, and the Evo 4G can make good use of it. You can suck down all the data you want, and turn the phone into a mobile hotspot for as many as eight other device. That's just sick. (And in case you were wondering, it does normal 3G data just fine, too.)

Android 2.1 and HTC's new Sense are on board. Sprint TV and the usual carrier apps are there, too, but they don't take over the feel of the phone.

There's still a pretty big question mark hanging over battery life. We just don't know what WiMax is going to do to it. But speaking of the battery -- and more precisely under the battery cover. It's red. (Yeah, it looks a little orange in the photos, but trust us.) And we don't have one here, but the battery's going to be red, too. So if you don't like red, well ...

Otherwise: Is there any reason you shouldn't get this phone if you're in the market for a touchscreen Android device? We can't think of any after our brief time with it. Pricing is still up in the air, as is how Sprint will price WiMax data. But if you're anything like us, you'll be more than willing to shell out some jing to be the first kid on your block with a 4G phone.

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