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Hands-On: HTC EVO 4G LTE

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Apr 4, 2012, 4:42 PM   by Eric M. Zeman
updated Apr 4, 2012, 4:54 PM

Updated: corrected name of the phone in the ttle

HTC today revealed Sprint's variant of the HTC One smartphone, the EVO 4G LTE. Though this smartphone closely mirrors the One X headed to AT&T, it has plenty to make it unique.

The HTC EVO 4G LTE is a good looking phone and will make fans of Sprint's EVO line very, very happy. It packs every spec anyone could possibly ask for: dual-core SnapDragon S4 processor, 8-megapixel camera, 4.7-inch HD display, and the latest Android 4.0 operating system, enhanced by Sense 4.0. Oh, let's not forget the kickstand!

Unlike the HTC One X, the EVO 4G LTE is not made of polycarbonate. Instead it is made from a mix of materials. HTC goes a bit retro and brings back the milled aluminum. The EVO 4G LTE is milled from a singe block of metal, and features both anodized and brushed surfaces. The strength and rigidity of the frame is unparalleled.

The brushed aluminum wraps around the outer edge of the EVO 4G LTE, and forms a band of gleaming metal. The top of this band has a bit of an edge to it, which makes the EVO 4G LTE feel a bit uncomfortable in the hand. It's not painful or anything, but it's not buttery smooth against your skin, either. The rest of the metallic surfaces are anodized with a black color -- it's not paint, but it has a pleasant, gritty feel to it.

 

EVO

Click a thumbnail above for a larger view.

What I don't like is the plastic surface. The upper portion of the back of the EVO 4G LTE is covered in a black plastic material that can be removed (though you can't get at the battery). This bit of plastic, which is glossy and reflective, cheapens the overall look of the phone.

The kickstand is below the plastic covering, and is spring-loaded. It is strong enough to support the phone on either the left or the right edge. It requires a little bit of fingernail work to pull out, but the red metal kickstand feels good as well as strong. Yes, you can watch movies with your EVO 4G LTE sitting on your desk.

The side buttons are on surfaces angled a bit toward the front of the phone, which results in your fingers having wrap more of the way around the phone than usual to to reach them. This makes them more difficult to reach than most phones, and the size of the phone doesn't help. But if you can manage the right finger angle, they work well.

The display is outstanding. It the same 4.7-inch Super LCD with 1280 x 720 pixels as the other One X variants. The full HD resolution and screen technology combined make it dazzling to behold. It has bright colors, sharp detail, and excellent viewability from steep angles. It truly impresses. The display feels awesome. It's made of Corning Gorilla Glass 2, and has a smoothness that makes rubbing your thumb across it enjoyable.

Similar to the AT&T version of the One X, the EVO 4G LTE doesn't have a Tegra 3 quad-core processor. Instead, it favors the SnapDragon S4 dual-core processor with both cores rating 1.5GHz. The user interface, which is Android 4.0 with the newest Sense skin from HTC, was lightning quick, with nary a stutter or hiccup.

The HTC EVO 4G LTE runs an identical version of software as the One X, One S, and One V.

 

Comparison

Click a thumbnail above for a larger view.

In the time I spent with Sense 4.0, I found it to be a subtle upgrade to Android 4.0. It loses all the over-bearing chrome of Sense 3.0 and lets Android 4.0s unique design language lead the way. However, the personalization options are still there if you want them. You can switch themes and even skin the whole UI all you want. Really, the enhancements are kept to things that improve usability, such as the lock screen app shortcuts and app menu options.

Those HTC lock screens are one of the best things about Sense. You can have your secret passcode lock AND a direct camera shortcut with Sense. (The camera shortcut bypasses the lock code, but of course keeps you from using anything else.) You can have a lock screen with notifications that you drag down to got right to that new email or missed call, etc. You can have a lock screen of shortcuts to favorite contacts. There are also stock quote and photo lock screens with delightful 3D animations.

Another impressive aspect of the device is the camera. It is insanely fast. It has its own HTC-made processing chip to speed up the image-capturing process. It's truly amazing in its speed. But that's not all. It focuses in an instant, and can capture 1080p HD video -- and 5-megapixel still images at the same time! Neat-o, HTC. Then there's burst mode, where you just hold down the camera button on the screen to take a series of photos at a (truly) incredible rate.

THe HTC EVO 4G LTE may not have the striking visual appeal of the polycarbonate-skinned One X, but it certainly has its own identity, and one that will appeal to fans of the EVO range of devices from Sprint.

The device will have a competitive $199 price point, and should be available before the end of the second quarter.

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Subject Author Date
hands model tica23 Apr 6, 2012, 9:58 AM
Great phone rawrdeviant Apr 5, 2012, 10:40 PM
"has a smoothness that makes rubbing your thumb across it enjoyable." MarryTheNight Apr 4, 2012, 4:50 PM
 
 
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