HTC EVO 4G LTE

When we're in New York, we know we're in for a treat, and tonight was no exception: HTC and Sprint held a little gathering tonight in Midtown to unveil their latest collaboration, the EVO 4G LTE. The next big thing to hit Sprint, the latest EVO lives up to the title of "next generation," with future-proof (ha!) specs that will at least keep us satisfied through the summer. This device is very much Sprint's version of the One X, and the specs prove it. Up front you've got a stunning 4.7-inch HD super LCD display with 720p resolution that will blow your socks off. Seriously, everyone, it's really nice. 'Round back you've got an 8 MP camera that HTC swears can replace your DSLR, and if shutter times and handling mean anything, they might be on to something. Underneath the hood we've got a 1.5 Ghz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor pushing along HTC's latest Sense 4.0 (check out our guide here) atop Ice Cream Sandwich, which we expect to translate to pretty impressive everyday performance.  Hit the break for our impressions.

The EVO 4G LTE is one of the first devices to hit Sprint's LTE network, which we're just itching to pit up against Verizon's and AT&T's blazing services. And speaking of Sprint's LTE network, it's one of the main ingredients in the EVO 4G LTE's "HD Voice" technology, which we got to listen to tonight. It's crystal clear, sharp as a pin (see what I did there?), and combined with the phone's dual mics and other goodies under the hood, it's a really impressive experience. Heck, it might even get me to start making phone calls again.

But enough of about what the EVO 4G LTE's packing, and more about what you'll think of it. It's a beautiful device and, like the rest of the One line, is poised to pull HTC out of its recent doldrums. It's thin, it's light, and it's powerful-- it may not be perfect (see our review of the One X for some small gripes), but it's certainly a step in the right direction. The device just feels like the next evolutionary step, with its focus on aesthetics and the "overall experience"-- it's got the chops to be your daily music driver with its Beats audio, and the camera can definitely allow you to leave all others at home, if you're so inclined. I'm really enjoying this new focus on more than texting and Tweeting, but rather one device across your entire life. We'll see if the EVO 4G LTE lives up to its promise.

The "second-quarter" release date is still a bit down the road, but the May 7 preorder date will sneak up on us in no time. The latest EVO will set you back $199.99 on contract, and when it finally hits, we'll have more to talk about. Until then, enjoy our hands-on photos below, and be sure to check out our review of the EVO 4G LTE's twin, the One X. 

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Hands-on with the HTC EVO 4G LTE

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Just an example of bad design in sense: Scrolling up and down in the icon menu.

You can see Andrew try and swipe side to side a few times in this video.

Looks much better in person and on video than in pictures.

Heh? Sense 4 doesn't have vertical swipe in the "icon menu". The sense 4 review specifically says they did away with that and that screens can be added as you add icons, ie in the video the page says 1/1. And you can customize new screens. The reason he couldn't scroll left or right in the "icon menu" was because there were no other pages to scroll to.

So I'm still wondering, where is the bad design?

That's preference memory. I prefer the vertical scrolling, so any time I install a new launcher that has horizontal scrolling as the default, I do the same thing: try to scroll up and down before I realize that its horizontal scrolling, then head to the option menu to change it.

Yeah, those fools at Google got that wrong too when the Nexus One came out with up/down scrolling. /sarcasm.

Come on! Give it a rest.
Side to side scrolling is purely a issue of the habit you have formed in your iPhone days or with your Moto phone.

that's the beauty of the kickstand in that it's spring-loaded so it will stay out under the weight of the phone in any position!

That's really cool. If the kickstand will hold the phone in portrait and in both landscape modes, I'm even MORE interested. ;-)

I was going to say the same thing- I am amazed it can hold the phone in portrait mode!!!

But I will say it looks like Sense 4.0 is still not landscape capable on the launcher screens (noticed from the Engadget video) :(

You have to remember, Sense is more than just the launcher. The HTC Sense Launcher may not be capable of landscape mode, but you can easily drop another launcher onto the phone and still have access to all the other features of Sense (excluding Sense widgets). I run GoLauncher on my Evo3D because I love all the transition animations and the ability to change the grid size, spacing, fonts, etc.

What was that "lag" at 1:45 when the People app was pulled up? It looked like it was taking its sweet time to paint contact pics on the screen.

I think it was updating the content, being on wifi, and prob alot of people on wifi there, prob had slow data connection.

Yeah... that wasn't processor lag at all. That was either the contacts being downloaded over WIFI or the contacts being loaded from long term memory. So whos the idiot now?

How do I know? I'm a computer hardware and networking major. I watched that whole video closely because I was curious about proc lag with that many pixels being pushed, and I didn't see any.

edit: nvm, just realized I read your comment wrong/your missing a word :), but dont call people idiots

edit2: hmm... maybe, not actually sure what your trying to say...

was going to get this phone but ....Sense even though it is light Icons looks the same, why have ICS if icons dont change? Google voice search and search is not on every screen like was meant to be in ICS. Think im going to go with Galaxy on this. HTC should of updated those icons and stuck with some principles of ICS.

You're confusing Android 4.0 and the ICS launcher. If you want to have a customizable launcher, there are several that even beat the stock launcher in almost every area. And they can easily be used on a Sense device. Also, who gives a damn about icons? Seriously, I don't get the obsession. You could just root it and flash an AOSP rom shortly after release (HTC does make it considerably easier to root your phone now), or you could just replace the icons yourself. Honestly, the One series hardware completely blows away the GNex hardware. GNex was aged when it launched, now its just a pathetic toy of a phone.

So, let me see if I understand you correctly: (Full disclosure: I'm coming from the webOS world, never owned an Android device, still learning my way around the more advanced aspects of the Android world.)

Is it or is it NOT possible to tear Sense off of this device and load up bog-standard ICS?

Because from what I've seen of plain ordinary ICS, THAT is exactly what I want in my Android device. Nothing more, nothing less. I've been patiently waiting for Sprint to release the GNex, but if this is that much better AND I can load plain ICS onto it EASILY (IE: no dicking around in Linux command line) then I'll probably just go for this. If it's going to require some complex and difficult Linux dicking, then I'll just keep waiting for the Gnex.

Nothing against Linux, I'm just not in the mood to load it up on a PC right now, and I hate what Ubuntu has done to itself. Xubuntu is not bad though.

To answer your questions

1) It is not possible to "tear" Sense off with included tools. That is the ROM it comes with.

2) You should be able to, however, install your own ROM, later, that is just "ordinary ICS", as you put it. That is what Cyanomod is all about.

3) Often, there are tools that are pretty easy to root and rom, without being overly complex.

4) You don't need to do "complex and difficult dicking" in order to run Linux on a desktop.

5) There is more in the world to Linux on desktops/laptops than "Ubuntu". There are better distros that came before. Better ones during. And will likely be better ones after. Plenty of choice. Take a peek at Mageia, Fedora, or Mint...

Thanks for the reply. Ok. so it sounds like I can mod it a bit and put plain ICS on it, that's good.

However, I read a bit more into it and it looks like this thing isn't getting here until June??? What is with Sprint and announcing devices that people have to wait a month or more for?? Seriously Sprint, WTF? I think the Gnex is supposed to be coming out this month, so I'll probably just go with that. Not as fancy, but simpler and still powerful.

As far as Linux goes, please don't misunderstand. I'm not unfamiliar with Linux. I've played with and used Linux since the kernel 1.4 days. So I CAN do pretty much anything I would need to do with it. The thing is that despite playing around with Linux, I haven't been able to find a way to keep it around on a PC for long. Unfortunately so much of what I do is not severable from Windows, so I always have to go back.

Ubuntu had been my "go-to" Distro for pretty much everything Linux due to it's ease of use and the ability to run a "live" version when I wanted. But Canonical's obsession with the bad UI changes in recent versions turned me off.

I know about the other distros, but in order to load one of them up I'd have to format my Win laptop and reload both OSes. That's just more than I want to get into right now, especially since I have some work related software on there that I don't hold the discs for.

Ultimately it's just simply more effort than I'm willing to put into it right now. I'm 40 and I've got a life to live and a family to raise and OTHER hobbies that I'd rather spend my time on. This is why I want a bog-standard ICS setup on my phone. I just want it to work without any complex and time consuming fooling around, (Apple?) but I also want it MY way, not some other company's way. (absolutely NOT Apple) ICS seems like a good compromise for that.

You shouldn't even worry about any of that. The UK version has already been rooted, and I would expect this sprint version to have root before its released in June as well. So you will have your pick of AOSP roms as well as some super awesome sense ROMS as well. The top dev's from the 3D have already said they are getting this phone so development will be superb. And im sure CM9 will be released for it soon afterwards as well.

GWallet wont work with custom ROMS. I use GWallet and I DO NOT want root or unlock my new phone. Moto and Samsung did a good job REFRESHING their layout. Hardware wise yes I love it...like i did with my OG EVO 4G.

Great to see the kickstand works in both horizontal positions. If the microSD card goes where the microSIM card is supposed to go on the One X, then where does the LTE SIM go?

Hahaha, are you serious? SIM cards are only used on GSM networks like AT&T and TMobile. CDMA's technology (like Sprint, Verizon, and the vast majority of all other smaller carriers in the US) doesn't support the use of SIM cards. Kinda sad, but whatev-- I'd take sprint over shitty AT&T any day.

Umm.. LTE isn't CDMA. Different technologies. LTE can and does use SIM cards, so there is the possibility that Sprint LTE phones will, although it sounds like they may have decided to go integrated with it, which is a bit of a disappointment.

Sprints LTE is integrated within the S4 processor, so there is no need for a sim card. Thats a good thing because not having a seperate radio for LTE saves on power consumption and will make battery last longer.

This battery better last two days....wtf were they thinking with no removable battery...wtf is this apple

Do you have to post that on EVERY thread?

As I already replied to you, Apple is not the only one to design phones without a removable battery. Better "wtf" to Motorola too. And most of the Android tablet designers too.

Deal with it! An efficient processor with a 2AH battery and the ability to use a small external battery pack should take care of maybe 95% of people's needs or more.

I'm not particularly fond of the un-removable battery myself. I've had more than my share of phone (and other) batteries die or have a cell go bad, and in recent years too. I REALLY don't like the idea that if my battery has a faulty cell that fails I have to take the phone back for replacement. Not. Cool.

Also, just because some fruity manufacturers do it doesn't mean it's a good idea, it just means people are stupid for buying products with a massive built-in failure point.

Nobody said the battery was unserviceable, just not SWAPPABLE. Perfect example was my iPod Nano. It had a non-swappable battery. But with some effort, you can replace a defective battery. I am sure there will be similar tricks for the Evo LTE.

That said, batteries of the last few years are better than ever for longevity and reliability. I think battery failure in something like the Evo LTE is probably going to be very unusual.

Right. That's what I meant. You can't swap out the battery yourself without voiding your hardware warranty. You have to take it back to a service center for replacement. Not. Cool.

Battery tech is NOT that advanced. I have had brand new batteries within the last MONTH arrive with a bad cell. We had a brand new iPhone arrive here at my company that had a faulty battery in it. BRAND NEW 4S. Bad battery. Nothing to do but send it back. BOY was that employee pissed! If it had a swappable battery like our old BBs did we would have just swapped out the battery and done.

This is why I loathe non-removable batteries. They are a failure point. One you don't need to have.

batteries you are probably buying = lithium-ion... the battery in the EVO 4g LTE = Lithium Polymer. go read up on the difference. have a good day.

This phone spec wise is definitely one to be reckoned with. With this, the upcoming nexus and SG3, and rumors of a Motorola Maxx variant along with all you can eat upcoming LTE, its a great time to be a sprint customer :-) Keep pushing on Sprint!!

I was looking down the gallery, and wondering where the microsd slot was (being the battery is 'integrated') and pleased to see HTC killed two birds with 'ONE' stone...

Pull off the upper "gloss" cover to get the microsd card in, but, it also makes it MUCH EASIER to fix a scratched lens cover! Now the protruding lens doesn't bother me so much knowing that a cover replacement can easily cure scratches.

I've got my last Premier Member upgrade expiring in September, and I will be gleefully using it to upgrade my OG EVO (Launch day, if I can get the wife to sign off on the finances for mine AND her's).

The Evo was my first WIMAX device and the Evo will also be my first LTE device, lol. I'm glad that they kept the kickstand but I wish the camera had a higher resolution.

The camera does take 1080p video...and megapixels aren't eveything. Its all about the lense, software, and how good the hardware for the camera is (which goes along with lense)

I just wish we would get Sprint 4G of SOME TYPE in my 2,000,000 person area SOME TIME THIS CENTURY.

I would have gladly given up a bit of thinness for the once rumored 2650 mah battery. Not a deal breaker but I will be in the market for a pocket-size battery backup that can be charged via USB.

I have one made by Duracell and it works like a charm. Small, light, easy to use, and not very expensive either.

Would look better if the entire back was soft touch, and also if it included an HD SuperAMOLED screen instead of the LCD.

Haven't you been following the reviews? People are generally saying this is the best display they have ever seen on a phone. Why would you want anything different?

I agree that the phone might look better if it were fully soft touch, but the screen is supposed to be amazing on this. Don't buy into samsung marketing slogans that don't actually matter.

Can we hear you now... GEKKO????

Or do you prefer to suck on an obsolete before released G-wiz?

That's so stupid of HTC! How are we supposed to charge the phone when it's in landscape mode with the ki--- OH I see now.

Lol, I love when people freak over things that are easily fixed.

Um, I gave up on the video after listening to about 100 ummm's and spending almost 2 minutes swiping back and forth between the screens on the UI. I'm sure Anndrews presentation skills will improve :-)

So if they had to switch to a dual-core for LTE, what's to separate this from the Rezound on Verizon other than a new OS? Which the OS can easily be replaced with better ROMS anyway.

different/better processor, camera/sense chip/lens, larger screen, better integration of beat audio. I really hope that verizon uses the One X specs to make a Rezound 2.

That glossy black top sure shows finger prints/grease like mad! Yuck. It's also a bummer that the phone doesn't stand more upright in portrait mode when the kickstand is out. It's virtually laying on its back instead, not very useful. In comparison, the Thunderbolt stands almost virtual making the screen easy to view and also easy to access/use with one finger.

Well, remember, this is an EVO... The OG EVO wouldn't stand at all in portrait mode. This is a step up for that!

I love to read the "complainers" complaints. Quite hilarious. I guess that is 'solely' their job -- complain for things that doesn't make sense.

Can you imagine if Sprint's announcement today, was about a device other than the variant of the 'infamous' One X. Lol.

Although I am sure a lot of people are excited about the beats audio I am glad they left the branding of it off the back. It looks cheap to me.

I really don't like the glossy part of this phone, but then I thought, hey, maybe, just maybe, someone will make a cover that matches the lower aluminum section. That would be 10x better in my opinion, and I will buy on the spot.

looks like my username will live on :) I have been an Evo owner since its introduction and will continue on with the Evo line. Although the 3D was more "gimmicky" the phone as a whole was still really well put together and I have loved it since day one. I admit I was a little swayed by the SGII and even owned it for a brief period but a lackluster GPS radio convinced me to return it and stick with the Evo 3D. Now with THIS beast I will happily retire my 3D with no regrets and continue the Evo journey on Sprint. I haven't been able to find any information on when 4G LTE will go live in Los Angeles and what we will be able to do at launch. I had to wait a couple months for wimax so i guess I may have to wait again for LTE. That's ok. I'm patient enough. Long live the Evo!!!

Per the back of the phone: Meh... I'll just slap a case on this anyway. The front's all I care about. I'm lusting over that screen and LTE... Plain and simple those are the important parts for me.

Only phone I'll give up my EVO 4G for.

Everything I love about the EVO 4G plus lighter, faster, prettier screen, better camera, and truly advanced voice technology.

Oh, and of course, they kept the kickstand. I use that so much, its indispensable on a phone for me.

I was impressed with the phone until I saw that the charge cord plugged into the side and not the bottom of the phone. That was the reason I retired my EVO 3D early after I got it and went to the GS2ET4G. My wife still hates it on her EVO 3D.

+1000 on this. I have no idea why charging ports on the side have become almost standard. It makes so much more sense to have them on the bottom of the device.

I love the kickstand. Have one on my T-bolt, but one major design flaw on both. Watching video drains the battery, so I like to plug into an adapter while watching netflix. But the charge port is on the left side of the phone, and it wont rest on its own in portrait mode. Move the charge port to the top or the bottom!!

My concern isn't the glossy back but rather the fixed battery. Which genius signed off on this decision. In what alternate Android reality was this a good idea. It's never been a welcomed idea by users so why do it now. It just opens the door for major issues & bad press when this phone freezes & you can't pull the battery to reset, then what. Get ready sprint customer service. These devices are powerful but not perfect so what happens when it hiccups.

The only meaningful argument I can make for integrated batteries seems to be a pretty strong one: Build Quality. I'm talking structural integrity. Without the need for a replaceable battery, which puts the mass of the cover AND the battery separate, you can make a much more solid device that can withstand more drops and whoopsy-daisies. An alternative solution, which seems fine to me, is to go old school. Remember when we had battery powered toys as a kid? How did you get the battery door open on those?