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Hands-On: HTC EVO 3D, Samsung Nexus S 4G

Article Comments  17  

Mar 22, 2011, 12:53 PM   by Eric M. Zeman   @phonescooper

At the CTIA Wireless trade show in Orlando, Sprint announced a few new devices. We go hands-on with the HTC EVO 3D and the Samsung Nexus S 4G.

from Sprint


Today Sprint showed us the new HTC EVO 3D, a follow-up device to the original EVO. The EVO 3D is a fairly impressive piece of kit. It's a large slab-style phone that has a gorgeous 4.3-inch qHD display. The upped resolution makes a big difference, and the screen simply radiates.

The phone is huge, though. At 12.2mm it is slightly thicker than the original EVO, but most EVO lovers will consider the trade-off worth it. The feel of it in the hand is good, despite its size and weight. The materials are all top-notch and build quality on the pre-production unit we saw was outstanding.

EVO 3D Hardware  

The EVO 3D has the same capacitive buttons on the bottom, volume rocker, 3.5mm headset jack and other features that were on the original.

The dual cameras, used for 3D imaging, look funky on the back but not terrible. HTC has done some good things with the basic design in order to incorporate them in a way that isn't awful. What's really interesting is that next to the physical camera button, the EVO 3D has a physical switch that must e used to select 2D imaging or 3D imaging. The camera can only do one at a time, and you have to choose which you want before you take the shot.

The 3D imaging and video capture are impressive, if not headache-inducing. We were surprised on how sharp, rich, and detailed 3D images and video were on the device. The 3D effect makes pictures simply pop from the screen. The issue is that you have to hold it at just the right distance and just the right angle in order to get the 3D effect. Looking at 3D content for a mere 10 minutes gave us a right proper headache, though.

You can share 3D video via YouTube, but that's about your only option when it comes 3D video. You can't share 3D images, the camera will only attach a 2D shot to MMS or emails. That's a pity, though understandable.

Sprint bumped up the battery size by about 20%, to 1730mAh, which will hopefully translate to better battery life than that of the original.

The pre-production unit on hand was running Android 2.3 Gingerbread with the newest version of HTC's Sense user interface. We didn't notice any significant changes in the Sense UI. It was zippy, and we didn't see any issued with the software.

EVO 3D Software  

WIth WiMax and support for Wi-Fi sharing with up to 8 other devices, the EVO 3D hits all the right sweet spots. It will surely be as big a hit as the original when it goes on sale this summer.

Samsung Nexus S 4G 

Sprint had the Samsung Nexus S 4G on hand at CTIA, as well, and we spent a few moments playing with it.

Visually, it is no different at all from the original Nexus S. It has the exact same shape, design, size, button placement, and software as the version that's available for T-Mobile. The only change is within — it has CDMA and WiMax radios inside rather than HSPA+.

Nexus S 4G  

The 4-inch Super AMOLED display looks great, as have all the Super AMOLEDs from Samsung. The Nexus S 4G is thin, light, and doesn't weigh all that much. I still dislike the overall sense of "plastic-ness" that I get when I hold it. (This is the same as all the Galaxy S phones).

The Android 2.3 Gingerbread user interface is great because Sprint hasn't messed with it at all. it's a full "Google Experience" phone, and has absolutely zero bloatware on board (including even Sprint's ever-present Football and Nascar apps).

It's a fine little phone for Sprint, and will surely be a good seller. Phone Scoop reviewed the T-Mobile variant of the Nexus S back in December if you're interested in a full look at all its features.

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Mar 22, 2011, 5:17 PM

No kickstand...

...bummer. Many saw this as a mere gimmick. But, I actually found it quite functional.

Yeah, I was pretty disappointed when I noticed that as well. Though, I suppose it probably won't effect me much, as the way it is now my Otterbox case covers my kickstand and supplies its own anyway.

So maybe if we are lucky Otterbox will come thro...
I read on BGR's site that HTC minused it to keep it more pocketable. Which doesn't really make sense to me since the kickstand was built into the back, it didn't stick out unless you pulled it out.

Mar 22, 2011, 1:55 PM

Screen Dimensions on 3D

Is it just me, or does the screen look narrower and taller on the 3d than the EVO?
It is an Evo...

Mar 22, 2011, 1:32 PM

Dual cameras...

Someone help me understand the purpose and benefit of having dual 5MP cameras.
Gives you the ability to record 3D video
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