Sprint Evo 4G

O ye of little faith. We asked for your questions regarding the Sprint Evo 4G, the first WiMax Android smartphone around, and now it's time to answer some of them. Obviously we're not hitting on everything that was asked, and the first place to go if you have a question is the official spec sheet from Sprint. Otherwise, let's get to it. Join us after the break.

How do you see battery life performing with a 1500mAH battery with Sense UI attached? - DonnieAles

The party line was that battery life holds up just fine. But we don't have real-life use, do we? We're going to have to see once it's released, once more people are using WiMax. And, obviously, battery use varies from person to person.

Here's the big question: can the Evo 4G use full WiMax speeds? For example, Clear advertises 6Mbps down, but if you're on their unlimited and uncapped plan, you can hit up to 13Mbps down. Will this be true of the Evo as well? - i2fuzzy

Heck, when was the last time you ever saw a phone or computer ever hit the theoretical speed? That and what's listed as max speed normally is as a "burst," and not a consistent stream. We'd settle for a constant 3.5Mbps.

Curious about the physical dimensions. All I can find is the screen size. L/W/H please! :-) - titaniumwombat

Because it's worth repeating, the official Sprint spec sheet. :p

I'm curious if Sprint 4g wimax with the EVO will allow for Simultaneous Voice and Data Connections like AT&T (and T-Mobile) can. - kingakuma

Ahhh, the old simultaneous voice and data question. Here's the official line direct from HTC: "If you're using 4g for data, you can't use CDMA for voice. currently the only way to do simultaneous voice and data would be through a third-party VOIP solution. However, this is not do to strict hardware limitations, so it's possible this could change with future updates."

No trackpad or trackball on this phone. Is that even a concern? It's on recent (N1) and future HTC Android phones (Desire) there will be one - why take away screen real estate for a trackball if it's not necessary? So, is it? - carru

We're not worried about it. Dunno about you guys, but really the only time we use the trackball (on the Nexus One) or trackpad (on the Legend) is when we're selecting text. Otherwise, it's invisible. Don't think they take away from screen size, either, as the Nexus One still has a very nice 3.7-inch display.

I would like to know if I can travel to europe with it? Or am I tied in to US only. And on the video where the guys presses a button and you can see multi apps is that like palm pre, have few apps running at once? - joek1971

Sorry, this is a CDMA phone, and it's not one of those newfangled "World phones" that you can take overseas. Well, you can take it, it's just not going to do much for you.

How good is the touch screen? Is it the same limited screen used on the Nexus One? - Thrab

It's pretty darn good. It's different than what's on the Nexus One, and it has a different feel to it. As for multitouch (we assume that's what you were asking when you said "limited") ... basic pinch-to-zoom seemed to work just fine in this early build. Ad for the more subtle accuracies, we'll have to get a longer hands-on with it for more testing.

1.) Why no AMOLED? For a multimedia powerhouse, why implement top-of-the-line everything else and take a step backwards with TFT LCD? Did the OEM not make 4.3" AMOLEDs? Also, is 65K colors the limitation of TFT LCD, or can this be increased with a software tweak? Viewing HD content is nearly lost on a washed-out screen that cannot achieve true-life colorization. Again, for a device whose main selling point (excl. 4G) is its video capabilities, why did they go cheap on these components?

Oh, boy. Look, unless you're putting them side by side (or comparing to Super AMOLED, but that's another story), the sheer size of this 4.3-inch screen means you're not going to worry too much about LED vs. AMOLED. Seriously. We've been using AMOLED for a while now, and we've spent time with the Evo 4G's screen in the form of the HTC HD2, and we'd be just fine using this monster of a screen.

As for the decision to not do AMOLED? You got us. Could be a number of factors, all of which are kind of moot here. It is what it is. And what it is is a 4.3-inch screen that we'd be happy to lug around in our pockets.

2.) Why only 1GB ROM and 512 RAM? If the rumors of the HTC Incredible turn out to be true, it will have 6-8GB ROM and 1GB RAM; also, other HTC phones have already come out with 576 RAM. How can Sprint's flagship phone ship with less than other inferior devices and still manage to adequately handle the audio/video?

Geez, somebody's a memory size queen. Also, see the answer to your previous question. We're not worried about it. The next phone will be bigger and better, sure. But if do need more, we'll point you to the 32GB microSD card.

3.) I've heard gossip that the HTC EVO 4G shown at CTIA is not in its finished form, and that HTC, Google and Sprint are still tweaking various aspects of the device and its software. Please try to find out what, if anything, they are still working on; what might change; what is pretty much done to their satisfaction, etc. - Buckaroo Banzai

Correct. The software we were shown on the Evo 4G was unfinished. (You might have noticed that we didn't film ourselves actually using the device.) We were told it's mainly the Sprint customizations that are still being tweaked, and that sounds about right. Android 2.1 and the new Sense have been finished and are available on the Legend and Desire now.

I'm assuming that it should work this way ... if not in wimax covered area it will work off of 3g? I'm hoping that we don't need to upgrade to a special WIMAX plan. - Chocmatic

Correct. If you're not on WiMax, it'll run on EV-DO (aka Sprint 3G) just fine. As for the Sprint data plans ... They haven't announced yet. Stay tuned.

Can Sense UI be turned off to make it a "normal" Android device? - gregg37

Erm, yes and no. Hang on a second.

1. Phil mentioned that he was told that users couldn't disable Sense beyond turning off the home screen, which seems contrary to what I've read about the Desire. Is there really no way to turn off Sense?

... And, we're back. I know what you're getting at. Android and Me "turned off Sense" on the HTC Desire. And we asked HTC specifically about that. What they did was turn off the Sense home screen. Other customizations -- e-mail, sms, Friend Stream and the like -- are all still there. If you want to totally get rid of the Sense customizations, you're going to have to flash a new ROM, which should be possible at some point.

2. One of the pictures of the Evo with the battery removed seemed to show that the microSD card slot was underneath the battery compartment, suggesting that the only way to remove the card was to remove the battery and thus turn off the phone. Is it possible to remove the card while the phone is still running (as it has been on every Treo I've owned)? - Gameboy70

Sorry, the microSD card is under the battery.

It's really a beautiful phone. I have two questions... Since it's not due out for the next 3-6 months, why are they using the 1GHz SnapDragon CPU, rather than going with the upcoming Cortex A9 dual core? And secondly, when will it be available in Europe (specifically NL)? - AndyR

Easy answer to the first part: They finished design and manufacturing of the Evo 4G some time ago. Processor is one of the first things (if not the first) that you work from, and HTC uses Qualcomm processors.

As for if/when you'll get it in Europe? Your guess is as good as ours.

Thanks, everybody. Sorry if we didn't answer everything, but it's a good start, and we still have plenty of time before the Evo 4G is released. And keep up the great discussion in the forums.


Reader comments

Sprint Evo 4G: You ask, we answer


It is very simple why they do not include AMOLED or a bigger ROM/RAM size: they keep it for the next 'superphone'.

Dont you guys not that yet? Thats HTC's strategy.

There will ALWAYS be something missing which could have been put in a phone.

Btw, cant wait to start using this site more: I am soon jumping to Android with the HTC Desire! Coming from Nokia, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, iPod touch (so basicly iPhone OS), Blackberry, HTC HD2. Let's see if Android OS is the 'one' :)

I think you missed the point in my questions. The theoretical speed of WiMax is much higher than what is advertised of course. My boss has Clear WiMax, and Clear advertises 6Mbps down. However, I have seen my boss hit 13Mbps because he's on the unlimited and uncapped plan. Assuming good conditions, will the Evo 4G also be able to hit the same 13Mbps, or is it capped at 6Mbps by hardware and/or software?

To an extent, you are going to be limited by the hardware of the phone. For example, my Macbook Pro with an AT&T data stick is MUCH faster over 3G than my iPhone 3G because of the vast difference in processing power, etc. You can pretty much rule out this phone hitting any of the data speeds you have seen with PCs using the same data network. They may also taper it down a bit as 4G phones begin to saturate the market, they don't want their network to be constantly bogged down. I hope this phone becomes available with just a standard 3G plan, because the city I live in (Indianapolis) was not included in Sprint's next batch of cities to receive WiMax.

The data coming to the phone isn't any different, displaying pages is. I can get ~2.5mb/s using either tethering or the browser on my Hero using Sprint EVDO (their tower is right next door :)) I did the test using my macbook via wifi tether and through the phones stock browser using speakeasy.net/speedtest on both devices. I got pretty close on both in speed to make the difference negligable. I assume if someone had a USB stick or a mifi (which my gf's dad does and did use) they would receive about the same in the same area. Webpages loading aren't generally limited by data speeds, but rather hardware. Both receive the same speed of data.

you have an error on the world phone question:

I would like to know if I can travel to europe with it?

Sorry, this is a GSM phone, and it's not one of those newfangled "World phones" that you can take overseas. Well, you can take it, it's just not going to do much for you.

"Sorry, this is a GSM phone, and it's not one of those newfangled "World phones" that you can take overseas. Well, you can take it, it's just not going to do much for you."

Don't you mean CDMA?

Hey, where's my answer about the zoom function on the camera and video camera? Does it have zoom and how many times zoom? Thanks. :-)

I just fell out of my chair. Maybe I was fantasizing, but when the EVO was first unleashed at CTIA, wasn't it supposedly touting a Super AMOLED screen? I mean, a 4.3 WVGA display sounds great if it can really hold the 720p viewing, but the technology is a wee bit outdated..

Just got confirmation directly from HTC: The Sprint Dev site is incorrect. The screen is TFT LCD, just like on the HD2. (And they mention that OLED screens are topping out at 4 inches right now.)

This phone looks great. Can't wait to play with it. I have one question though. Will this phone support a landscape keyboard? I watched a bunch of vids on the normal vertical keyboard and liked it, but a landscape keyboard would be nice. Is this somehow in the works?

First off, love the phone. Looks great and can't wait to play with it. I have one question though. Landscape keyboard? I watched some vids with the vertical keyboard and it looks great, but would love to have the landscape capability as well. Is this in the works since it has not been completed yet or will it not be included?

Well At Least U can turn off the Sesne Sort-off... And for a Phone so Media-Centric Voice & Data Might be a DEAL-BREAKER For Me and I HAVE SPRINT!!

Does anyone know if the mobile hotspot functionality will come at an extra cost on sprint, or will it be free?

Sprint CDMA phone users.....If your travelling overseas (in my case it was China)just notify Sprint before you travel,and they will set your phone so it is easily used overseas. I must mention that it works excellent overseas. Ive used a Palm Treo 750wx, and last year my Palm Pre....no problems...great connections @ $1.50/min.So, If your going to upgrade to a HTC Evo 4G CDMA phone,as I might do, it will work just fine outside of the USA !

ummmm... you might want to check on that....

CDMA have decent coverage in parts of asia, which might explain your good experience. That's not necessarily true for most global sites however.

The user would be well advised to check where they are traveling... it's hardly as simple as breitmike has described it. On a side note, I'm not sure if I'd ever call 1.50 per minute "working just fine" :)

When do this come to Europe???

I'm in love with this phone <333, but got very disappointed when i readed that it only came to America in summer.. ;(

Hope for an answear :D

hey guys .... i live in jordan ... and i'm really hoping to get an HTC evo ... can this CMDA or whatever thingy work for me ? we have Orange company and Zain over here ... so is there any way that i could use an evo 4g in jordan normally like any other phone?
and is the new thunderbolt the same ? or does it work with a normal sim card ?