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Review: HTC Evo 4G

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The camera app on the HTC Evo 4G is very good, with touch focus and a fast, easy menu system to change settings. Still, this doesn't make up for the lack of a dedicated camera button. Self portraits were especially difficult on this phone. You have to line up your finger before you turn the phone's screen away from yourself. Even then, it was very easy to slide a finger past the capacitive touch buttons beneath the screen, and this causes the camera to quit entirely.

Otherwise, the camera boasts an impressive level of image control. You get white balance and ISO controls, in addition to a range of color contrast and metering methods. The phone can use face detection to make sure faces are in focus. You can geo-tag photos, and there are some artistic effects, including a few unique color filters, like a solarize and a posterize filter.

In addition to the 8 megapixel camera around back, which can also shoot video at 720p resolution, there is a front-facing camera on the Evo 4G. It uses a 1 megapixel sensor and can record VGA videos. Best of all, the front camera gives you a view of yourself, so you can line up a self portrait more easily, if you don't mind the low resolution. That front camera will be much more useful when Qik and other third party developers start producing video conferencing software for the Evo 4G. Qik's software should be available before the phone hits stores, but HTC tells me that any developer can use the front camera.

One strange issue came up since I originally published this review. It seems that Qik on the Evo 4G fails to reverse the image it sends to the Qik Web site. Usually, a video chat camera will show you a mirror image of yourself in preview, but your friends see a normal image. The Evo 4G shows your friends a mirror of you. Text looks backwards, right is left, and so on. It's not a huge problem, one I might have never noticed, but it is a glitch that could use a fix.

Image Gallery

The image gallery on the HTC Evo 4G is great for viewing photos and sharing them with your favorite people and networks. There are few image editing tools available; nothing beyond cropping and rotating your photos. But the gallery offers a few different viewing styles, including a slidehow, which pairs nicely with the phone's kickstand to make the Evo 4G a digital photo frame. The gallery supports pinch and zoom gestures, and zooming was very smooth on the Evo 4G.

When you want to send a photo from the gallery, it's easy to share pictures with your social networks, Flickr and Picasa, or send pics as an email or MMS attachment. Unlike most other Android phones I've tested, the Evo 4G even includes the Bluetooth OPP profile, so you can send image files over a Bluetooth connection with your desktop machine.


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