If there ever was a phone that could supplant the venerable HTC EVO 4G as Sprint's best-selling Android device, the new EVO 3D could well be it. Spend just a few minutes with the device, and that much is clear. You're going to want this smartphone.

"But Phil," you say. "It's got all that 3D stuff, and I don't care about 3D stuff."

Know what? That's fine. You don't have to use it. We're well into our review of the EVO 3D, and it's time for some initial thoughts. Find 'em after the break.

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It's an HTC phone, and it's an EVO, so you pretty much know what you're getting, right? Like with almost every other HTC device, it's plenty solid. On paper it's as wide as the EVO 4G. But it's also 2 mm thinner, and that makes it feel a little smaller. It's also a tad taller -- 2 mm, the specs say -- than the EVO 4G.

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All in all, it feels really good in the hand, in no small part due to the soft-touch-coated battery cover. It's done up mostly in a textured finished, though there's a small part that's smooth leading into the camera buttons.

Let's talk about those camera features. You've got a two-step shutter button, meaning you press it partially to focus, and completely to snap the picture. It's got a good feel to it, so you shouldn't be left wondering if you've pressed it enough. Next to that is the 2D/3D toggle switch, which, as the name implies toggles the camera from 2D/3D mode. It's clearly labeled, and the switch has a good feel to it.

We're less impressed with the dual 5MP cameras. They protrude from the back by a millimeter or so. That in and of itself isn't a big deal, but the only protection for the lens is the plastic that's on top of it, and it's not a part of the batter cover. In other words, once you scratch it, you're screwed. And we managed to scratch the hell out of our EVO 4G without really trying.

As for the screen: We're pretty blind and our eyes are pretty tired. But in 2D mode, things look just fine. The qHD resolution looks darn nice.

Couple other aesthetic features: There's a nice, bright notification light in the earpiece. And the capacitive buttons are throwbacks from the original EVO 4G.


The EVO 3D's got Android 2.3.3 and the new Sense 3.0, which we're very much madly in love with. A big reason for that is the lock screen. And while we thought we really loved Sense 3.0 on the HTC Sensation, we're even more over the moon about it on the EVO 3D. It's fast. Really fast. No lag at all. In fact, switching back to the Sensation, it's almost painful. And that makes us sad.

Sense is still Sense. Not a lot to say there. You've got all the usual apps, plus Spider-Man 3D. HTC's Watch video store is on board, and you'll get to watch The Green Hornet 3D for free once you're signed in. No word yet on whether the 3D makes the movie any better.

The 3D implementation

Yeahhhhh. We'll be taking a few more Tylenol after trying that out, even for a minute. The larger issue: HTC's missing a one-stop hub for all 3D content. Games, apps, pictures, video, whatever. LG did that right on the Optimus 3D.

We'll have to shoot our own content and see. But right not, we're not impressed. (And might well be going to the eye doctor.)

More's coming

That's it for now, folks. We'll have a full review when we're done testing the phone. TTFN!