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printed October 2, 2014
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Review: HTC EVO 3D

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Is It Your Type? Body The Three S's  

The EVO 3D is an attractive smartphone. It borrows heavily from last year's model, but makes some tasteful changes that let this new device look current. The material - mostly plastic, rubber, and glass - are of the best quality and feel fantastic in the hand. Despite its size and weight, the EVO 3D doesn't feel ridiculously large. The combined soft-touch paint job and ribbed texture of the battery cover give the EVO 3D an amazing amount of traction against your skin. It may as well be glued into your palm. Of course, these also provide some friction when you're trying to get it into a jeans pocket.

Unlike the HTC Sensation 4G, which has a fantastic feel to its front face, the EVO 3D has a sharp ridge framing the display. This edge is somewhat uncomfortable at times. Circular capacitive touch buttons rest below the EVO 3D's display, and are similar to the ones on the original. I like that they’re separated visually, but there is no texture to the silver circles. Your thumb will slide right over them without feeling any difference. These four buttons offer haptic feedback if you so desire.

 

Click a thumbnail above for a larger view.

On the left edge, the microUSB port is all by itself. This lonely port is naked, not covered by a hatch. The 3.5mm headset jack is on the top, as is the power/lock key. Both are well positioned, and the power/lock key has good travel and feedback to it. I wish it had a slightly larger profile, though. It's a bit too flush with the top surface of the EVO 3D.

Most of the action is packed onto the right side of the EVO 3D. Closer to the top, you'll find the volume toggle. It is too thin, too flush with the side surface, and has somewhat mushy travel and feedback. It’s not a satisfying button to use. Below it, we have a duo of controls for the camera. The first is a sliding switch that toggles the camera between 2D and 3D modes. It’s a bit stiff, but otherwise works well.

The camera button itself is perhaps the best camera button on any smartphone, ever. It’s distinct, easy to find/use, and has absolutely perfect travel and feedback. Hell, it's better than the shutter button on many standalone cameras I have used. It’s a two-stage button for auto-focusing, then snapping the shot. Both stages are well defined and let you know exactly when you've focused and when you're about to take the picture.

The twin cameras are positioned on the back of the phone, about 1.75 inches apart from one another. A dual LED flash is between them. The whole assembly is framed in an attractive silver and red rim.

The battery cover (thankfully) peels off easily. HTC has boosted the size of the battery to 1730mAh to help with the battery life. Sadly, it must be removed to access the microSD card.

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