After months of speculation and weeks of delays, Europe finally has its EVO. The HTC EVO 3D (previously seen on Sprint in the US) launched in the UK yesterday, sporting a stylish bronze camera trim, 3G GSM radio and a £500 (~$815) price tag. We've been playing with ours for a few hours now, and we've prepared our initial thoughts, along with a very special 3D hands-on video of HTC's most ambitious international release yet.

Join us after the jump to find out how the EVO 3D compares to HTC's current European flagship phone, the Sensation, as well as competitors like LG's Optimus 3D. And you'll definitely want to check out our 3D hands-on video if you're into that sort of thing...

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The HTC EVO 3D is a sturdy, well-built phone. Its design is something of a departure from the smooth, curvaceous chassis of phones like the Sensation and Desire S -- instead HTC has gone for a chunkier, more industrial look this time around. Its 4.3-inch screen makes it a large phone, around the same size and weight as the LG Optimus 3D and HTC Desire HD, though it's slightly narrower than those devices because of its 16:9 aspect ratio. The back of the phone is dominated by the two 5-megapixel cameras (with dual LED flash), which can be used to take 3D photos, and videos up to 720p resolution.

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In terms of nuts and bolts, the EVO 3D is very similar to the Sensation, the only difference being the glasses-free 3D display and full gigabyte of RAM (versus the Sensation's 768MB). Performance-wise, though, we noticed a big improvement going from the Sensation to the EVO 3D. The HTC Sense launcher was completely lag-free, even when using live wallpapers, as was the rest of the UI.

The European EVO 3D ships with Sense 3.0 on top of Android 2.3.4. This small bump from 2.3.3 might not seem like much, but it means EVO owners get to enjoy Google Talk video chat right out of the box, using the phone's front-facing camera. Sense 3.0 remains a very slick and enjoyable UI to use, especially with the faster performance offered by the EVO 3D. During our brief time with the phone, we've yet to come across any performance hiccups or slowdown.

The main attraction of the EVO, however, is its 3D capabilities, which include stereoscopic recording and playback. 3D videos on YouTube looked good on the EVO's parallax-barrier display, though we noticed that the impression of depth wasn't as noticeable as on LG's rival Optimus 3D. However, the fact that the EVO's LCD runs at a higher resolution (qHD versus WVGA) means that the loss of vertical resolution when in 3D mode isn't quite as noticeable.

Our first day with the European EVO 3D has left us impressed, not just with its 3D abilities, but with the device's performance across the board. We'll be getting to know the phone in the coming days, and we'll have a full review written up for you in the next week. In the meantime, have at our selection of EVO 3D photos, and be sure to watch our 3D hands-on video above if you haven't already...