The EVO 4G is Sprint's first WiMAX Smartphone, has a gigantic touchscreen, and will blow your mind

Sprint HTC Evo 4G Review

Picture, if you will, your perfect smartphone. What features would it have? How small (or big) would it be? Would it have what it takes to get you off that BlackBerry, or iPhone, or whatever.

Sprint and HTC have done that -- and then some -- with the Evo 4G. It's the world's first Android smartphone that can use Sprint's 4G WiMax data. It has a monstrous 4.3-inch touchscreen. It has the ubiquitous 1GHz Snapdragon processor. It has the HTC Sense interface, to make your experience as easy as possible.

But that's all nerdspeak. Know this: It's big, it's fast, it's easy to use, and it's just about the best Android smartphone available today. And it is available Friday (finally!) for $199 after contract and rebate with Sprint. We explain why you'll want this one, after the break.

The links

Evo 4G hardware hands-on videoSoftware walkthrough video
Under the hood | Battery life | Storage card | 4G WiMax data | Camera test | Video chat |
WiFi hotspot | TV-out | On-screen keyboard | Etcetera | Conclusion

The hardware (meaning, that giant screen)

Let's start with the obvious -- the Evo 4G is a large phone. (Find the complete technical specs here.) It's probably bigger than anything you've used, in fact. Larger than an iPhone. It completely covers a Palm Pre. The BlackBerry Storm and HTC Touch Pro 2 have a chance, but only a chance. The Evo dwarfs them all.

Motorola Droid, HTC Evo 4G, Google Nexus One
(From left: Motorola Droid, HTC Evo 4G, Google Nexus One)

Just how big is the Evo? Measuring in at 4.8 inches tall, 2.6 inches wide and a half-inch thick (or thin, actually), the Evo has a sizable footprint. By comparison, the iPhone 3G is just a tad more narrow and about a third of an inch shorter -- and the diagonal measurement of the screen is a mere 3.5 inches, or nearly an inch less than the Evo.

Sprint Evo 4G and the iPhoneSprint Evo 4G and BlackBerry Curve 8530
(Sprint Evo 4G with the iPhone and a BlackBerry Curve Curve 8530)

The Evo is the epitome of the "black slab" phone. The front face is dominated by the screen (we've mentioned how big it is, right?). The four buttons at the bottom (in the home-menu-back-search configuration) are capacitive, meaning there are no moving parts, nothing to actually press (same as on the Motorola Droid). But that's been a cause of concern for some, as the capacitive buttons on the Nexus One (another HTC device) have had accuracy issues. We're happy to report we've had no such issues with the Evo's buttons. You get what you tap.

Sprint HTC Evo 4G capacitive buttons
(Buttons on the face of the Evo 4G are capacitive and don't physically move)

The touchscreen itself is very accurate as well. (See our multitouch test.) It's a TFT LCD -- same as the current iPhone and a number of other smartphones -- in lieu of the newer OLED (organic light-emitting diode) and AMOLED (active matrix OLED) screens. If you're the type of person who lives and dies by specs and counts pixels for fun, you'll probably be able to tell the difference. Otherwise, you're just going to be floored by the sheer size of this screen and won't miss any extra contrast or clarity. (And besides, not everybody's sold on AMOLED screens yet anyway.) There's a tad of light leakage at the bottom, where the screen panel meets the bezel. Chances are you'd never notice if it weren't pointed out to you. You can thank us later.

At the top of the screen you have the earpiece speaker, which is sizable in that it stretches for just about half the width of the phone while remaining consistent with the clean design of the Evo. Just above the "p" and "r" in the Sprint logo is a little 1.3-megapixel camera. That's right, a front-facing camera. That's a first for a U.S. smartphone. (Edit: Silly us, forgot about Nokia. Imagine that ... Forgetting about Nokia in the U.S.)

Sprint HTC Evo 4G earpiece and front-facing camera
(Front-facing camera and ear speaker)

The top bezel of the Evo houses the 3.5mm headphone jack for listening to music, as well as the power button. The volume rocker is on the right-hand bezel. The bottom bezel has the microphone hole (looks like a little pinhole), the microUSB port and a microHDMI port for connecting the phone to a high-definition television.

It's not often that we give much thought to the rear of a phone, save to say that there's a camera and maybe a flash there. And both are on the Evo. (In fact, the 8-megapixel camera on the Evo has dual flashes.)

The back of the Evo also sports a kickstand for propping up the phone horizontally (aka "landscape" mode) for watching videos and photo slide shows. The kickstand is easy to extend, and it's spring loaded so that it stays put when you don't want it. It's just another one of those little details that manufacturer HTC does so well to get right. (Another plus for the kickstand: It keeps the camera lens cover well away from anything that could scratch it.)

Sprint HTC Evo 4G multimedia kickstand
(Multimedia kickstand on the Evo 4G)

If you don't watch movies on your phone on a regular basis, we don't blame you. But that was before you had the Evo 4G. (And here's where we gush about the screen size again.) Don't worry about that kickstand, though, if you're not going to use it. It's completely out of the way and doesn't fall out on its own.

Included in the box with the Evo 4G are a basic USB wall charger and microUSB cable. You could actually go the entire life of your Android phone without connecting it to a computer. But if you need to, microUSB is the cable you do it with. It's a bit disappointing that Sprint didn't include a microHDMI cable with the phone for TV out, given that it's a big talking point for the Evo and not a cable that most people will already have on hand.

What's under the hood

A big smartphone needs a big processor, and the Evo has the top-of-the-line Qualcomm Snapdragon processor (we're even seeing it mentioned by name in commercials these days) running at 1GHz. [See the Evo 4G benchmarked against the Nexus One with Android 2.2]

Launching with Android 2.1

The Evo is launching with Android 2.1 (that's the version known as "Eclair") and has the HTC Sense user interface on top of it. We've proven that you can turn off the stock Sense launcher (affectionately named "Rosie," if you must know), but that's not something we recommend. This is a Sense device (same as the HTC Legend [review] and Droid Incredible [review] on Verizon). It was meant to be a Sense device.

Sense on the Sprint Evo 4G

If you're new to Android, Sense is a wonderful way to get acclimated, and the version on the Evo 4G is the same as we've seen on the Legend and Droid Incredible. Check out our Sense review and videos for the full skinny. But the bottom line is this: The pre-installed widgets and little tweaks HTC has made make Android as easy to use as ever.

Android 2.2 FroyoWaiting on Android 2.2 Froyo

Speaking of the operating system, you've undoubtedly read a lot about the latest version of Android -- Version 2.2, or Froyo.  [See our complete Froyo feature breakdown and software walkthrough] The Evo's not launching with Froyo, and that's a shame, as we really like what we've seen, especially when it comes to some behind-the-scenes tweaks. (Again, for you spec nerds: Once the Evo has Froyo and the JIT running the show, this thing's gonna scream.) It's really just bad timing that the Evo won't have Froyo at first. We don't have an official date for when the Evo may be upgraded, but we're absolutely expecting it to get Froyo.

For the hackers: We now have root

For those of you who just can't leave well enough along and want to root the Evo 4G, it can be done, and it's very easy. Follow our instructions here. [Why would you want to root? Read this.]

Battery life: Not great, but not a deal-breaker

The Evo comes with a 1500mAh battery. Turns out it's physically similar to the batteries used in the HTC Hero, Droid Incredible, Droid Eris and Touch Pro 2. So if you have any of those older devices laying around, you can keep the batteries as spares. And you may well need to do so. A 1500mAh battery is a decent size, but the Evo needs its share of juice. For many, getting through a day on a single charge may be just fine. But power users likely are going to need to plug in, or carry an extra battery. That's definitely not a deal-breaker for the Evo, it's just something to be aware of.

Sprint HTC Evo 4G battery
(Hope you like fire-engine red)

Here's our thing about batteries: They're meant to be used. You can turn down the screen brightness, turn off 3G, 4G, WiFi and Bluetooth. You can avoid playing videos, music -- whatever. But then you're not really using the phone, are you. As smartphones get better and better, we use them more in our daily lives. It'd be great if battery technology was keeping up. But it's not, and so you might actually have to plug in your phone during the day. It's OK. It's not an attack on your smartphone manhood (or whatever the female equivalent is). Go ahead. Charge your phone.

The microSD storage card

Sprint HTC Evo 4G storage card
(The microSD card is tucked under the battery)

Underneath the battery is where you'll find the Evo's microSD card slot. If you're the type who's used to swapping cards on the fly, you're going to have to get over that. First, you have to remove the battery, and means turning off the phone. And then there's the matter of actually removing the card. There's a small tab that you pry up to unseat the card. That part's easy. But actually removing the card can be a bit tricky if you don't have long fingernails (and forget about it if you have no fingernails). Keeping tweezers around will help.

The Evo 4G's standout features

On one hand, the Evo 4G is just another black-slab smartphone. A high-end one, to be sure, but a black-slab nonetheless. There's nothing decidedly revolutionary here, huge screen, 4G data or not. But it really is the sum of the parts that puts the Evo at the top of the heap. First and foremost is the screen, of course, which we've already gushed about (but reserve the right to do some more). The screen is the single-most part of the phone with which you'll interact, so it gets top billing. But the list goes on.

Sprint 4G WiMax data

Sprint Evo 4G connection widgetsThe Evo 4G is being billed as "the world's first 3G/4G handset," and it is. It uses Sprint's traditional 3G data (which is pretty darn good most of the time) and also uses fledgling 4G WiMax data. Sprint's line is that 4G data is 10 times faster than 3G data. And theoretically, that's true. But you're not going to get theoretical speeds. That's not to say 4G speeds aren't significantly faster than 3G speeds -- because they are, and if we had to choose one, we'd choose 4G. But the WiMax network is still young and availability is limited to major metro areas at this point (and even then, not necessarily the nation's largest).

Add to that the fact that we're seeing mixed reports of WiMax speeds from different markets. Some think it's great, others are seeing faster 3G speeds. Could be the network, could be environmental or geological factors.

As far as actually using the 4G capability of the Evo 4G? It's as simple as flipping a switch. Sprint has included a widget to turn 4G on and off, and you can also get to it through the wireless and network settings.

A lot also has been made of the $10 monthly fee that comes on top of your Sprint plan. It's been incorrectly labeled a "4G tax," as it also covers other "premium services" on the Evo 4G, says Sprint, and you'll be paying it even if you don't live in a 4G area. We can't be everywhere at once, and we'll be looking more at 4G data speeds once the Evo is in your hands. But for the moment, we'll consider 4G data to not be a deciding factor on the Evo. It's a pretty major feature, but you'll enjoy the phone just fine even if you don't live in a town with 4G.

The Evo 4G camera(s)

Let's start with the big daddy. The Evo 4G's main shooter is an 8-megapixel autofocus lens on the rear of the phone. It takes pictures with a minimum resolution of 640 pixels by 384 pixels, and at its full resolution fires off at 3264x1952. It's augmented by a pair of LED flashes.

Sprint HTC Evo 4G 8-megapixel camera with dual flashes
(An 8-megapixel camera with dual flashes)

Pictures from the 8MP camera are above average for a smartphone. Colors stand out well in full sunlight, and for the most part you should be pleased by the results. But the increase in megapixels doesn't mean you'll be throwing away your DSLR anytime soon. You can probably leave your point-and-shoot at home. But what you get with the 8MP camera here is larger pictures (and larger file sizes) -- not larger and clearer images. You can digitally zoom and crop, but you'll immediately know you're working with a cell phone camera, albeit a very good one.

Evo 4G rear camera testEvo 4G rear camera test

Evo 4G rear camera testEvo 4G rear camera test with flash

Evo 4G rear camera testEvo 4G rear camera test

Evo 4G rear camera testEvo 4G rear camera test

In addition to being the first phone with 4G data, the Evo 4G also is the first U.S.-based phone to have a front-facing camera. Yes, there's a small 1.3-megapixel shooter on the front of the phone, and it's surprisingly good. The primary function of the front-facing camera is for video chats (more on that in a bit), but it's also good for taking goofy self-portraits. You'll have to take care, however, to not cover the pinhole lens with your left hand when you're holding the Evo in front of you -- it's real easy to do. By the way: The front camera shoots in reverse. Just so you know.

Sprint HTC Evo 4G front-facing camera
(Testing the front-facing camera)

Video quality was just OK, despite all of the brouhaha over being able to shoot in 720p. Again, we're talking increased image resolution and not increased image clarity. We'd prefer quality over size at this point. But that will understandably drive up the cost of a phone. It's just one of those trade-offs. Still, for smartphone video, it's not horrible. But you also won't want to throw out that dedicated video camera just yet.

Evo 4G rear camera video test at 720p

Evo 4G front-facing camera video test

Video chat

Sprint invited us media types up to New York City for an Evo launch party, and one of the major new features we got to see was video chat, taking advantage of that front-facing camera. Qik -- one of the first live-streaming video apps to come to market on other platforms -- is on the Evo 4G, and it worked pretty well. For a brief time there were rumors that basic video chat via Qik would cost extra, but that turned out to not be true.

Qik on the Sprint Evo 4G
(Quick Qik test on the Evo 4G)

But Qik quickly (erm, sorry) has found front-facing competition (erm, sorry again) in the likes of Fring, which already has updated to support the Evo 4G and its dual cameras. And even better is that it ties into other VOIP apps, meaning you can use Fring on your phone to video chat with somebody using Skype on a desktop. And speaking of Skype, it's promising video chat later this year, too. All of this early competition is bound to be good for the users, and it's likely we'll continue to see free solutions crop up.

WiFi hotspot - the $29 add-on

Another major selling point (at least as far as Sprint's concerned) for the Evo 4G is the ability to serve as a WiFi hotspot for as many as eight devices. The basic premise is this: The phone sucks in the regular cell data (either over 3G or, if you're lucky, 4G) and spits it back out as a WiFi signal that any WiFi-enabled device can access. Think of it as a Sprint Overdrive in a smartphone.

Sprint Mobile HotspotSprint Mobile hotspot

Setup is extremely easy. Launch the app, turn on the service and connect whatever device you have to the Evo's WiFi signal. You can change the access point name to whatever you want. For security, there's WEP, WPA (TKIP) and WPA2 (AES) encryption.

As with all things network, speeds will vary depending on where you live, which way the wind is blowing, how many people around you are using the same service, etc. But obviously 4G should be faster than 3G, and that's the direction Sprint's pointing things.

The hotspot feature costs an extra $29 a month.

High-quality YouTube

Evo 4G YouTube app

The YouTube application on the Evo plays videos back in high quality, provided you're on 4G or WiFi data. (OK, it actually works on 3G, too, but it's pretty darn slow.) It's a nice addition and looks great on the Evo's screen.

Simultaneous voice and data

The ability to talk on your phone while surfing the web or looking up info has long been a sticking point for Sprint. That's finally changed with the Evo 4G, as you can do both at the same time, so long as you're on WiFi or a 4G connection. We saw it demoed at the launch event in New York.

HDMI output

So there's this little connector on the bottom of the Evo 4G that looks different than the microUSB we're used to. That's because it's a dedicated microHDMI-out connection, allowing you to connect the phone directly to a high-definition television. That makes it easy to show off videos and photos you've taken with the phone. And it also means you can use the phone to show high-definition movies. Not sure exactly how useful that will be in the near-term. Android is still lacking a streamlined ecosystem for purchasing and syncing media, and it becomes even more complicated when you're talking about full feature films, which have rather large file sizes. But for you movie/smartphone buffs out there, it's a nice feature to have.

MicroUSB and micro HDMI connectors on the Evo 4G
(MicroUSB and micro HDMI connectors on the Evo 4G)

Bad news, though: There's no microHDMI cable included with the Evo, so you're on your own to find one. And do take note that you need a microHDMI cable and not miniHDMI cable (don'tcha just love all these standards?).

The keyboard - typing is a breeze

HTC keyboard on the Evo 4G and Nexus One

I've been a big fan of HTC's new Android keyboard since I first used it on the Legend, and it's what I use daily on the Nexus One. And I'm an even bigger fan of the keyboard on the Evo's bigger screen. It's ridiculously easy to use. I can fly on this thing. If you're coming from another phone, you'll need to give yourself a couple days to get used to it. But as we so often say: Pixels solve a lot of problems. If you have issues typing on this keyboard, you're just not trying.

Other odds and ends

  • Phone calls: Not a problem. Using the Sense dialer is a breeze, and calls were as clear as on any other phone.
  • Speakerphone: We're self-professed speakerphone nerds, and the Evo's speakerphone quality is just like the rest of the phone -- big, full and makes us all warm and fuzzy inside. For comparison's sake, it's about as good as the Motorola Droid's, and definitely better than the Nexus One (another HTC phone).
  • GPS: Quick and accurate, with Google Maps as well as Sprint Navigation, which uses the Telenav service.
  • Non-gmail e-mail: POP3/IMAP and Exchange connect without a hitch. We still recommend using gmail whenever possible, though.
  • Sprint apps: Sprint may have lost the NFL to Verizon, but it's been replaced by Sprint Football Live, and it still has the official NASCAR app. There's also Sprint TV and Sprint Zone (account info, etc.).

Conclusion: So it's the biggest - but is it the best?

Larger screen -- love it!

Long before the birth of Android -- way, way back in the dark ages when 320x320 was a big screen -- we would scream from the rooftops that more pixels and larger screens would cure many of our woes. The Evo 4G does that, and then some.

It's fast, and it'll get faster

The 1GHz Snapdragon processor keeps things moving just fine. And the phone will get even quicker once it gets Android 2.2. And while we don't yet have an idea of when it will get the Froyo update, we're as sure as we can be that it will get the update.

HTC's Sense interface

If you're looking at the Evo 4G as your first smartphone, you're making a good choice. HTC's Sense user interface makes things easy out of the box, and there's plenty of room for customization.

Gaming and everyday tasks are easier

So who should look at getting the Sprint Evo 4G? If you're a gamer, it's a no-brainer. I've been bouncing between the same games on the Nexus One and the Evo 4G, and they're much more fun to play on the larger screen. But the same goes for everyday tasks such as e-mail and calendar management. (See how we keep going back to the screen size?)

Sprint's data service

We hesitate to throw out too many overarching statements here. For many people, Sprint's 3G service is great. For others, not so much. We say pick your carrier first, and then your phone, and that still rings true. But Sprint is the first major carrier to get a 4G network up and running. And while the jury's still out on exactly how much (if any) faster WiMax is in its infancy, speeds are only going to go up.

What's the Evo cost?

The Evo 4G will set you back $199.99 after two-year contract extension and $100 rebate (so you'll be paying $300 up front). The Simply Everything plan starts at $69.99, and there's the $10 Premium Data add-on, too. If you want the WiFi hotspot, that's another $29 a month.

So the battery life is just OK ...

Look, it's not great. You're going to have to charge the thing at some point in the day, most likely. Or maybe not. You may well use your phone differently than we do. Moreover, aside from the Windows Mobile-based T-Mobile HD2, nobody's used a phone this large for any length of time, so it's going to take a little time to settle in. Would the battery life keep me from buying this phone? Absolutely not. The other features far outweigh this little niggle.

And maybe the phone's a little too large for some ...

Let's not kid ourselves: While the phone does fit into pockets just fine, it's still a bit of a hoss. And it's going to be a bit big for some people. And if you have small hands, thumbing the corners of the screen could be a stretch. But, again, going about our business on the Evo 4G is much easier and more enjoyable thanks to its size. Period.

We get it -- so is it the best, or not?

Right now? Yes. It's at the top of the Android smartphone pile, for the moment. That's not to say that phones like the HTC Incredible and Nexus One (and very possibly the Samsung Galaxy S) aren't right up there. But the screen size, 4G data and promise of an upgrade to Android 2.2 make the Sprint Evo 4G the phone to beat, and it may well hold that title through the end of 2010.

 

Reader comments

Sprint HTC Evo 4G Review

66 Comments

I gave up on AC reviewing the Evo..
A little late since I'm already set to buy, but I'll read and enjoy it during my lunch break anyway.

Just took a quick look and it appears to be the most comprehensive review to date.

And Oh yeah... 1st! q:

Well, considering that both the AC review and the Gizmodo review both popped up at the same time (around noon eastern time), I think it's safe to assume that it is because this is probably an official test/press unit sent to them and as part of NDA, they were required to withhold official information regarding it until this time.

That's very standard for tech sites. No need to give up part of your hope in AC ;-)

Thanks, I'm off to Gizmodo now. I don't check them regularly.
Just finished reading. Great review Phil, worth the wait.

I never lost faith in AC reviewing the Evo. OK maybe a little (:

AWESOME!!! Everything in one place... One issue with this article...

"But that's all nerdspeak. Know this: It's big, it's fast, it's easy to use, and it's just about the best Android smartphone available today."

IT'S NOT OUT YET :'(!!!!!!!!!

such a tease

No it's not out... freak!! I have to wait a whole....wait for it, wait for it....19 hours to get this phone!! Oh no!! What am I going to do? Anyway..... EVO FTW.

Thanks Phil, for something to whet my appetite as I count the hours until mine is in my hands! :)

Question: is that a typo in your third paragraph, where it says available TODAY (Thursday)?! Or do you know something you're not telling us! :)

Matt
MyMobileVille

As much as some of us are anticipating you can't blame us if there was glimmer of hope. Everyday I read more on the EVO the more I look at my Pre with great disappointment. So much potential :-( So the tease of the EVO being available "today" almost had me in the car. But since you did such a comprehensive review we will forgive you.

How did you get the official HTC Keyboard on the Nexus One? Could you provide a link to the .apk file? Thanks

I can't wait till tomorrow. I even ordered the Invisible shield two weeks in advance just so i can slap it on as soon as I get home with the phone.

" That's right, a front-facing camera. That's a first for a U.S. smartphone. (More on it in a bit.)"

This is incorrect.

The Nokia E71 and E72 have front facing cameras

This isnt necessarily true. The EVO was Suppose to LAUNCH with 2.2. They just ran into some issues that is why it was delayed. I would expect 2.2 to be released for the EVO by end of summer at the latest.

Unfortunately, it's easy to do. They make some good devices but it seems that US carriers (for the most part) only pick up the dogs.

Regarding a 2.2 update look at just how long it took the Hero to get 2.1. Theoretically it should be easier to go from 2.1 to 2.2 than it was from 1.5 to 2.1 but right now both Sprint and HTC don't have a very good track record.

So if you are getting this phone with the assumption 2.2 will be out for it "any day now" then you are probably in for a big disappointment.

P.S. As a day 1 Sprint Hero user I am not personally qualified for an upgrade until October at the earliest. So I have until then to see where the sticks fall and see who is at the top-of-the-hill then.

Still can't get over the size of the phone. It's just slightly too large for me to want it. I know I'd get use to it after a while, but I still prefer a phone that fits well within my hand to allow for good thumb movement. Droid 2 looks to be about the same size, which is kind of a bummer, but maybe by then I'll be sold on the oversized form factor.

These concerns will melt away after using the device for ten minutes. Trust me. Suddenly, you'll see other phones and wonder how you ever used a phone with a smaller screen.

I agree. I can't get an eve because I simply don't have sprint in my area, but my next phone requirement is at least a 4" screen.

It's too bad (unless anyone knows otherwise) that Sprint doesn't give "upgrade" deals to their current customers any sooner than they already do.

I defected from AT&T and got a HTC Hero back in December and a new 2 yr. contract.

Now I have O.S.S. ("Ooh, Shiny! Syndrome) over the EVO and can't do a damn thing about it.

It really is a shame! :-(

I made the mistake of choosing my phone before my carrier when I got the Nexus One. I love my N1 but a lot of the times I don't even have enough service to send texts. I constantly drop down to Edge and I even live in the big Twin Cities. I'm switching to Spring to get the Evo, finally I'll be back on the carrier I once loved.

I love how under the "Odds and Ends" there is the phone call quality.....why are we even bothering to call these things "phones" anymore! They are mini computers that happen to make phone calls (but seriously who even makes phone calls anymore? Texting and facebooking are so much easier....)

heyman, just wanted to say it was a very well written review. It's good to get your opinion on it..Cannot wait for tomorrow!

To say its the best is a matter of opinion , although I love the phone and love all its features , I do not love the 4.3 screen, its just to big for my taste and this will keep me from buying one . I am in waiting for something a little smaller like maybe 4 inches , I hink that would be about maximum I would want a phone, with my company I have several different model of phone we all use , from the N1 to the Incredbile and the HD2 and various other phones including blackberries , My vote stays with the Incdredible/N1 and Droid . 4.3 is a deal breaker for me . enjoy your new phones everyone !!! I am sure you will !!!

I don't want a mini-tablet next to my head while talking or a giant slab strapped to my arm while running either.

Deal breaker.

4.0" to me seems to be the best compromise. Samsung Galaxy S would be perfect if they indeed put a flash in there phone somewhere.

I'm getting the Galaxy S (I'm with T-Mo). Flash isn't a big deal because I mostly take pictures in daylight and plenty lighting. Flash and great pic quality is not up to par yet on these smart phones.

I wouldn't say that, HTC's dual LED flash on the Incredible/Evo makes bearable night pictures. If HTC implemented some way to adjust the intensity it would be perfect--well as perfect as you can get in a phone--since it can be overpowering at close distances.

I don't get how .3 inches is that big of a deal for you guys. That difference is less than a centimeter. Oh well, I will be enjoying this phone soon enough and you will be waiting for your precious Galaxy S for who knows how long. EVO FTW baby!!!!!!!

Hey Phil,

Just want to say that this is one of the best non-biased reviews I have read. Your quality information on these phones is what keeps bringing me back to ur site daily. Thanks!

heyman, just wanted to say it was a very well written review. It's good to get your opinion on it..Cannot wait for tomorrow!

heyman, just wanted to say it was a very well written review. It's good to get your opinion on it..Cannot wait for tomorrow!

I cant wait for the next phone that will dethrone this thing !!it sure is getting exciting in the smartphone world !!!! Apple Who ?? iPhone what ???

Phil- Gorilla Glass or Not???

The unanswered question is this: is the screen Gorilla glass or not? There are numerous conflicting posts on various forms including quotes from HTC representatives that it is or is not. If anyone knows for sure speak up because this may affect whether I get that screen protector tomorrow.

My upgrade is not til November 1st. Can I use my friend's upgrade to get the Evo for me? Switching his upgrade to mines...

Can it be possible?

Thanks,

whts the battery life on this phone? I just read an article that says 3hrs on a full charge. That's a lil scary

Wow just found out trough pocketnow.com that the Evo is ultra heavy!

Nexus 130 grams
HTC HD2 157 grams (heavy)
Evo ....170 grams! Damn, thats REALLY heavy for a smartphone. Pocketnow finds it to feel more like a slate/tablet then a smartphone.

Again, dont want to F up the moment, but TRY it first if you can. Dont underestimate this. I already know people are going to return it because they didn't think it would be THAT heavy.

Still, EVO FTW :D

lol. A larger phone with more radios is heavier?!?!?! Whodathunkit. :p Seriously, hasn't bothered me at all. But then again, I've been working out.

I work out myself. I remember the first months of this year, when I had my HD2, I would really start getting tired while having long calls (between 20 and 50 minutes). I would switch the phone to my other hand several times. I guess we humans are not yet trained to make long phone calls with 170 grams heavy smartphone's.

And I am really happy that the Desire is not so heavy. For example when I put the HD2 in my pocket (jeans) I really felt the thing. With the Desire its like there is nothing there.

So again, I know you guys dont want to hear 'negative' stuff about your beloved Evo's, but its just heavy. I guess awesomeness comes with a price :(

Three simple words if holding the phone to your head during calls is an issue. BUY A BLUETOOTH. I recommend the Jawbone Icon or the BlueAnt. If you don't want to spend that much money then get a cheaper motorola. They have worked well for me in the past.

Seriously, it's less than half a pound and people are going to return it? If it was like 5 lbs, then ok, your arms might eventually start getting toned after a while.

Lust ??? Sounds like you need a woman lol !! There isn't a phone made that I would lust over , Thats a bit extreme lol

Probably a really stupid question but... does android have visual voicemail? Is there an app for that? I had an instinct a while back and have missed visual voice mail since that phone.

The Evo is my first android phone, and I have never previously owned a phone with visual voicemail.

However, when I get voicemails with my Evo, it takes me to a screen where the voicemails are listed individually by the name or number of the person who called me. I can select a voicemail, press play to listen, and press the red trashcan to delete it. I don't have to hold down "1" to check voicemail, or listen to the boring Sprint lady telling me I have

one

unplayed voicemail.

you can use google voice to transcribe and visually show your voicemail (for your regular number as well as your GV number)

i use it, and i would never dream of paying verizon for their VVM service.

the only catch is that you need to have google voice. :)

Hey just wanted to clarify something, the simply everything plan doesnt start at $69.99 it starts at $99.99.

Now the Everything Data plan starts at $69.99 which gives you 450 minutes with unlimited messaging and data.

Other than that, great review....6:00am tomorrow cannot come sooner.

"...and it's just about the best Android smartphone available today."
Is it the BEST or just about the best? What's the best then? Huh.

Although I'd have concerns about the excessive size of the screen as well, an obvious choice for Sprint users although I wouldn't switch carriers for it.

Then again, I'm absolutely satisfied with my new HTC Droid Incredible and Verizon. (Their customer service really has gotten better btw!)

Android takes for ever to come out with updates for there phone well even the carrier and thats even if your phone gets updated android sucks because u get a new phone and a month later a newer and better one comes out and the phone u have they dont want to update it to the newer OS And if they do u have to wait like a year so while everyone els is enjoying the new OS you have to wait thats lame lmao...! =) so in other words when you buy an android phone its old a month later and know one can say this is not true... Google needs to clean up there act and make sure that the companys that they let use there OS. Make sure they keep all the phones that come out up to date...!

Under the heading "The hardware (meaning, that giant screen)", there is a picture of the Droid, EVO, and Nexus One. That Nexus One has a calendar agenda on the home screen. Is it a feature built into the OS or is it part of an app or is it a widget? I'd like to get my calendar agenda (upcoming events) on the home screen. Thanks!

Why in the hell does it take android so long to update? I understand Android is a growing, improving OS, but damn! Can't they put over the air updates on an auto schedule for ALL android phone owners? Seems like an GLARING issue that needs to be eventually fixed.....

I love my EVO. When you get to be 45, your eyes don't want to look at some squigy little fart box.

What is funny is that people want a phone the size of the Motorola Razr when it is in their pocket, that swells to the size of an iPad when you use it, and then shrinks back when you are done.

Just got back from Europe and Evo was waiting at home. I have had it for three days and just returned it to Sprint to test. Sprint's coverage map says I have 4g in my home area, and I could not get connected on 4g nor 3g. Normal Sprint coverage sporadic. Evidently map wrong or something wrong with phone. Connected phone to home wifi and have had an intermittent connection for three days, while my two blackberries and pc were constantly connected. I even left it next to wifi and still had intermittent connection, constantly loosing the connection, then it automatically tried to connection it re-established, and then getting re-connected for a few minutes to start the process all over again. Initial reaction is as you can imagine negative and conclusion is either the phone is a POS or Sprint service is a POS. I will wait and see. Otherwise, I really like the Android system, downloaded my Slingplayer while I had some sustained wifi connection, and played it. The Android version of the Slingplayer was much better than on my blackberries and better than on the Ipod. Android on the EVO is the only plus I see for now.
I will let you know what Sprint says.

I finally returned to the Sprint store to pick up my Evo and there was definitely a problem with the phone. They offered to exchange it but had none in stock in all of Houston.. The after reading further reviews on the net and experiencing the awful battery life, I decided to cancel my account with Sprint under their 30 day amnesty period in which yo can return your phone and cancel everything. Thank goodness. I guess I will wait for improvements in the EVO including a new battery that lasts longer. My recommendation to all is to wait also. I will live with my Blackberry even if I will miss Android. Until a get another Evo or a better Android phone!!

For heaven's sake, how much battery life do you expect a 1ghz Snapdragon processor and a 4.3" capacitive touchscreen to get? Anything above 3 hours of use is amazing! Stick with your out-of-date BlackBerry with it's dated OS; you're not cut out for the bleeding edge.

I am a new Sprint customer. I switched from T-Mobile (which I loved!). I did this simply because T-Mobile can't seem to keep up with technology when it comes to new cell phones. I bought the HTC Evo before the Iphone 4 came out. Previously, I had Iphones unlocked to use with T-Mobile. Thankfully with antenna issues...I did not get one (though still a great phone...AT&T is the worst).

Sprint offers $69 unlimited (more a less). Not a bad deal. I don't go over at all but after taxes and hidden charges, my bill consistently is over $100. Keep in mind, I have not gone over mins at all.

$10 Premium data (for 4G coverage that I cannot get in my area)

$5 Surcharge which they cannot explain

$5 For minute limitation (essentially if they can't auto-draft your payment...you have to pay this)

That takes us up to $89 per month. Add another $20 for taxes including state AND city tax?!?

Total: $109 per month. This is NOT unlimited minutes...just cell to cell plus awesome 4G that I cannot use. Not to mention...I have had my Evo replaced 3 times (once per month) for overheating, screen going out, battery issue. This means loosing my apps, contacts, appointments, music, and settings that take time to customize. All and all...getting a phone that is just a phone (such as a freebie) is less costly and more reliable.

My bill for my iPhone 3Gs was $170, and I got only 20 SMS/month and NO MMS. Spring is a bargain, no way around it. T-Mo is a bargain, too, but with less awesome phones.

The bleeding edge does cost more than a possibly free feature phone.

I've had the luxury of being able to jump from phone to phone over the last 3 or so years. Started with an Instinct(smart phone wannabe), after 6 months moved on to the Pre (good smartphone but too small for me) and 8 months and moved to the EVO on launch date. Afet 4 months I can say I have found the phone I was looking for. I can do and do everything I can think of with this operating system. I have found the market to be an excellent source of apps both free and paid.....and have since converted 6 others to the EVO and all just love it (even the former I-phone users). I only have ONE small request......the ability for the home scenes to rotate (like when using the openhome themes apps.

I got this phone in August 2011. I switched from a Blackberry Curve that I dropped in a creek.. But that's another story haha. I chose this because it was big and has a front camera. I didn't have my mind set on it when I went to the store though, I just kinda picked it out. Here is my personal list of pros and cons:
PROS:
Front Camera
8MP Rear Camera
Flash
4G (If it works where you live, it doesn't where I do..)
Huge Screen

CONS:
Terrible, horrible, no good, very bad battery life
Touch Screen occasionally becomes unresponsive when charging
Sometimes it thinks I'm pressing somewhere when I'm not
HotSpot doesn't work(for me)

... Obviously some of these things only apply to me or a select few but it has happened since I'd say a month or two after purchase. Also if you crack the screen (EVEN IF you have insurance), you must pay a $100 deductable. Sometimes this damn phone is as slow as Windows '98. I really do not reccommend this phone for anyone who is impatient, gets irritable, or uses their phone all day long without a charger.