We've had our mitts on the EVO 4G for just the briefest of minutes (but have more time soon) and so far our verdict on this pre-production model is that it's a winner.  It is quite large - those of you who have seen the HD2 have a good point of reference. It's a little thicker than an HD2 as well, but the back has such a soft, supple feel to it that it's hard to complain. The screen looks crisp and expansive and while 4G has been a little hit-or-miss on our Overdrive, we're betting that when this rolls around this summer (price unknown), you're going to feel like Sprint is right: it's radically different to use a phone with these speeds.

Specs are mighty mighty impressive: EVDO RevA/ WiMAX, 4.3" screen, 1GHz Snapdragon Processor, 8mp camera on the back, 1.3mp camera on the front, Shoots HD video, streams HD Video via an HDMI-out port, 1500mAh battery, digital compass, 3.5mm headset jack, HTC's excellent Sense UI, Visual Voicemail, and on and on.

HTC dropped the trackball / trackpad, opting instead to give you 4 directional buttons on the keyboard for when you need to make fine-grained text selection. 

We have more (and better) photos and video on the way. Stay tuned. Meanwhile, a few shots from the press event are after the break.