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printed October 22, 2014
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Review: HTC Evo 4G

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The HTC Evo 4G is a nice looking phone, but it didn't win me over with its design. With a large, 4.3-inch WVGA touchscreen, there's room for little else in the design, and sometimes it feels like you're carrying around a small dividing wall. It's still comfortable to hold for making calls, though, thanks to a nicely rounded shell and a grippy soft touch finish on the back.

Beneath the screen are the standard set of Android buttons: Home, Menu, Back and Search. The buttons are touch sensitive, and I always prefer real, hardware buttons to capacitive, but these worked fine and almost never missed my taps. On the right side is the volume rocker switch. It's a little small for my taste, I'd like a more pronounced button. Up top is the screen lock / power button, also a bit small. It's almost flush with the top of the phone, and slightly off center, so it was easy to miss.

There's no camera button on the Evo 4G. That's a poor choice, because the Evo 4G has a nice, 8 megapixel camera with auto focus. It's much easier to hold a stable shot with a two stage button on the side of the phone, instead of using software buttons on the touchscreen.

On the bottom of the phone are a microUSB port and a miniHDMI port. MiniHDMI is still a rarity on phones, though it's a bit more common on digital cameras. Still, HTC and Sprint should have bundled a miniHDMI cable with this phone, but none is included.

Around back, there's a kickstand to keep the phone in landscape at a slight angle on a desk. This might be nice for casual viewing, but I imagine it's even more useful for video conferencing. I'll find out once the video conferencing feature goes live, some time before the phone is launched. The microSD card is located under the battery. I'd complain that it's an inconvenient placement, but the real problem is the microSD card is so difficult to remove on this phone. It's placed at an odd angle and not spring loaded, so you have to pry with your fingertips.

Also under the battery cover: red plastic. Lots of bright red plastic for a striking look that highlights the camera lens and the kickstand. It's a cool touch.

 

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