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printed October 30, 2014
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Review: HTC Evo 4G

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Photos

Photos from the eight megapixel camera on the HTC Evo 4G looked pretty good. They looked better than most other cameraphones, including other eight megapixel phones I've seen recently (I'm looking at you, Kin Two), but the quality still wasn't close to what you'll get from a dedicated point-and-shoot camera. Under good, outdoor light, pictures looked sharp and colors were accurate. At full crop, though, details tend to fall apart and an oversharpening effect makes images look decidedly digital. I also saw plenty of noise in shady areas, even shots that were not so bright elsewhere. Inside, noise was much more prevalent, dominating every part of an image that wasn't blown out by the excessively bright dual-LED flash. Using two bright, low quality LED flash lamps does not replace a higher quality Xenon flash, and though the Evo 4G could light up a dark room like a supernova, that didn't make pictures looked balanced or well lit.

Photos will look great posted to your favorite social site or used as wallpapers for a desktop monitor. Some of the best pics might be print quality, but the sharpening issues and unbalanced light will keep you from wasting paper on most shots.

 

Click a thumbnail above for a larger view.

Video

Video quality didn't hold up as well as photos. I was especially disappointed with the so-called high definition, 720p recording. Sure, the Evo 4G packs in all the pixels of an HD video, but the quality was very low. Details were blurry, filled with compression artifacts and noise. In my video of the pool, for instance, it's impossible to discern individual ripples in the water. The camera can't hold up under the brightest outdoor lighting conditions, and it was even worse indoors. The Evo 4G's camcorder doesn't come close to replacing a real camcorder, and it can hardly compete with a mini video recorder like a Flip HD.

Here's a sample from the HTC Evo 4G's front-facing camera:


3GPP / MPEG-4 format (viewable with QuickTime)
File size: 3.5 MB

And here is a high definition movie shot in 720p on the Evo 4G's camcorder:

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