Why the HTC Evo 4G Might Blow Your Mind

There’s about to be a new phone on the market, and it looks sexy. I’m not normally a mobile geek, but I’m getting pretty excited for the HTC Evo 4G, due out some not-soon-enough time in June. Here’s why you should be excited too.

Design

The design may not appeal to everyone, particularly anyone who was at any point compelled to buy a teensy iPod Nano, but HTC upped the ante here, increasing the screen real estate to 4.3″ vs. the Nexus One’s 3.7″, its cousin the HTC Touch HD’s 3.8″, and the iPhone 4G’s less than 3.5″ screen.

While we watch the size of our gadgets and devices shrink exponentially, the HTC Evo heralds a welcome step back toward the era of ‘size matters.’ With the phone’s heavy emphasis on streaming video (hell it has an HDMI output), naturally a larger screen can do its feature set justice.

Aesthetically, I find the wider look really attractive, and it brings the Evo one step closer to being a mini tablet, something its feature-rich specs suggest isn’t such an absurd notion. The red accents on the lens and kickstand (more on that later) are the only parts I’m not crazy about. Because isn’t red kind of, well, Verizony

4G Network

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If the Evo could only run on a 3G network, it would still be hot shit. But it’s got 4G in the name, and that probably means somethin’, huh? Depending on how you look at it, the zoomin’ 4G network capability is either the phone’s must-have feature or the sweet, sweet icing on the cake. Of course, if you don’t live in an area covered by Sprint’s 4G, it won’t be a draw.

But if you’ve only got Sprint’s 3G to work with in your area, the Evo’s speed, good looks, stunning Sense/Android 2.1 combo, and video and camera capabilities alone are enough to make the phone more than worthwhile. 4G, by most accounts, should run with a speed comparable to your speedy DSL or whatever home connection. If Sprint’s not bluffing, the 4G should improve on the 3G’s speed exponentially.

Check here for 4G availability.

Google’s Android 2.1 + HTC’s Sense

The HTC Evo 4G will run the newest version of Google’s lauded Android 2.1 Phone OS. That means it packs all the Googly goodies your heart desires like Google Goggles, true multitasking and seamless integration with your truckload of other online services that are probably owned by Google.

Android 2.1 is a really solid OS on its own, but with HTC’s set of Android tweaks they call “Sense”, things get even better. HTC’s Sense + Android 2.1 is widely agreed to be the most robust, sleek OS out there, at least on par with the iPhone OS and superior to it depending on your tastes. While the Nexus One, a solid frontrunner in the smartphone derby, runs Android 2.1, it lacks the intuitive user interface of HTC’s Sense overlay. And it’s too early to tell how the iPhone OS 4.0 will actually pan out, all told.

Tethering

The HTC Evo 4G will natively support tethering for up to 8 wifi savvy devices. Repeat! Sprint actually wants you to tether — in fact they want their device to be a full-fledged wireless hotspot. Considering that a 4G connection will feature speeds way superior than a 3G device (Sprint claims “up to 10x faster”) this is amazing.

If you haven’t brushed up on your geek-speak lately, ‘tethering’ is the process of connecting other wireless devices (a laptop, netbook, etc.) to a phone and tapping the internet connection. If that means no more ISP horror stories from companies like Time Warner, this could be kind of revolutionary.

Camera/Video

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This phone is all about maxing out your visual experience. It can record 720p HD video. It’s got an HDMI output. There’s a front and back facing camera. You can record all manner of media (on your phone, mind you) and export it or stream it directly to whatever the hell you want. Really, I don’t know what the Evo doesn’t have. Microwave compatibility? Remote spy satellite streaming? Stop asking for shit like that.

If you do prefer your memories a little less dynamic, the Evo’s got a 1.3MP front facing camera, presumably for taking Myspace pictures in stealth mode (or video chatting), and an 8MP camera on the back, which is almost unnecessarily amazing.

And if you want to admire your artistic handywork right there on the Evo, kick back and pop out the kickstand for your viewing pleasure. No really, there’s a kickstand. That crucial little component makes me fantasize elaborately about picking up a bluetooth keyboard, popping my kickstand, gazing into the massive-by-phone-standards screen and doing some serious word processing in a cafe somewhere. Maybe with a view of the sea. Yeah.


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The HTC Evo 4G’s a showoff. Assuming when it ships there’s not some unforeseen fatal flaw, like I dunno, including scorpions in the package or something, this thing is going to be king of the hill for a while.
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Back in the day, Taylor Hatmaker was the founding Editor-in-Chief of Autostraddle's tech sister site, Technostraddle, may it rest in peace. Now, Taylor writes about technology for ReadWrite.com and Entrepreneur Magazine. For Autostraddle, she writes essays, takes pictures of things and draws comics too, if you ask real nice.

taylor has written 109 articles for us.

45 Comments

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    Don’t get your hopes up too much. I’ve had 2 Nexus one (Tmo and ATT versions) and they both had signal drop issues which most people in many of the forums are saying maybe related to hardware problem (RF radio likely). Since both phones are made by HTC, and they use the same RF radios–atleast for the 3G, I would like to see some data before jumping on the EVo bandwagon.

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      Congratulations Jin, you made an awesomely ignorant comment & you don’t even know it!!!

      Just because T-mobile & ATT have miserable 3G coverage, doesn’t mean it’s a hardware issue. I’m quite sure that HTC uses the same GSM radio in millions of other phones.

      Sprint is a CDMA network, so the 3G radio in this phone won’t even use the same band or wireless standard as the GSM radios in your Nexus Ones. Also, Sprint’s 3G coverage is 10x that of T-mo & 3x that of ATT. Think before you speak.

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          No, “not knowing the technical details of two particular phones” is not “awesomely ignorant.” But pretending that you do to draw inaccurate & unfounded conclusions absolutely is.

          PS: Sweet spelling of “Nicholas.” Your parents must have hated you something fierce!

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            Hey, one of the reasons I like this site is that no matter how heated debates get, people don’t resort to derailments via pointless and venomous personal attacks. You obviously have some technical information and observations on the issue, so why undermine your own credibility with such unpleasant responses?

            I’m also pretty sure that the many parents across Scandinavia that call their kids Niklas do so because that’s how they spell it and, you know, there’s a whole world out there.

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            Oh, to see our loving little blog bubble pierced by members of the web at large! I’m happy to see people ending up here. But not when they act like Douchecanoes.

  2. Pingback: Official Sprint HTC EVO 4G Info - Page 112 - Android Forums

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    I work for T-Mo and am a die-hard Verizon customer. If I can find out how to jailbreak this phone, I will. It’s such a nice piece of equipment and a nice relief after seeing the piece of crap HD2 (the WinMo OS slows things down so much) that T-Mo allowed HTC to put out without ever testing the phone. HTC is one of my favorite phone manufacturing companies. They know what they’re doing – if there’s some fatal flaw, it’s because the service provider pushed the release before the kinks had been worked out.

    Look at the Moto Cliq for instance. It’s more like a glorified paperweight most days; when customers call in for troubleshooting, I don’t even master reset their phones because some fatal error will decline them access to their MotoBlur account in which access is required for use of the device. That’s what happens when you don’t test out the phone/OTA updates that Motorola is famous for before releasing them

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    Did you see what that guy on the android forums trackback said?! That this article is “for the people out there who may not be so…geeky as the rest of us.” I’m thinking there needs to be some engagement in geek warfare, possibly with geek dance-off, in order to defend our honour.

    That aside, this and the forthcoming 4G iPhone are starting to gnaw at my modern-phone-resistance. Although I still resent how much money they want a month to pay for the services I don’t actually want (i.e. the phoning bit), the apps and functionality finally seem good enough that it’s worth the plunge.

    Kind of tricky to pick between android/iPhone though. I’d be interested in app development, and the open source-ness of android appeals far more. However, iPhone is way more popular and has the massive established userbase and app store. Never mind, I shall probably procrastinate indefinitely and end up getting neither.

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    The last paragraph is my favorite, when Taylor says:

    “Assuming when it ships there’s not some unforeseen fatal flaw, like I dunno, including scorpions in the package or something,”

    Although the processor in the EVO 4G is called the Snapdragon, the name of its core is called the Scorpion, so yes, it actually does have a scorpion inside. Maybe Taylor knew that, maybe not, but I thought it was funny either way.

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    When they say iphone 4G, 4G means their 4th phone NOT that it will be on a super fast 4G network like the Evo. Just thought i would throw that out there because people are thinking they can finally have a fast iphone. Wrong!

    I’m a complete tech geek! My wife better step her game up beacause this Evo is sexy!

    Just kidding honey!

    (no but really)

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    I ran across this site when I was searching for my new obsession. (evo) Just when I was about to jump the sprint ship, they hook me right back in. I digress. Love the site (aside from the qwerty commandos that rear their ugly heads now and again) Also, I like the concept of a geek dance off. Somehow it just…works, but only if the dance off is on a DDR machine…

  8. Thumb up 0

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    Taylor, Fantastic review! I have been drooling over this phone since I found out about it a few weeks ago! I do have Sprint right now and i dont live in a 4G city (yet) but i will definitely be getting this phone! word of advice though, i would wait a month more to see how the kinks get worked out and wait for a possible price drop (just look at the Droid Incredible – $199 then a week later $149)

    If you want a free one, Sprint has a contest that you could win with your witty writtings! Check it Out!

    God Bless

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    I am a Sprint customer and do like their wide coverage they already have. I sooo want this new Evo and am stuck waiting due to contract stuff. Or the price comes down a bit. It will be my next phone for sure. My husband and my mother in-law both want this phone too. We have an iTouch and it is ok for the apps, but not much else. For those saying they want everything but the phone this would be there solution. Why in the world would you buy a phone and then cut off the phone? It would just make it a glorified iTouch which you must have outside wireless in order to work all the features. Evo has my vote without a doubt. Thank you for your article. I read this one and the verses one you did and it just confirmed my wanting of the EVO.

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    I found one of these under my bed on vacation the other day… My nerdy self picked it up and made some sort of choir of angels noise. I was so close to keeping it, but alas, I’m getting the iPhone 4 at the end of this month. Plus, I’m not evil like that. It was pretty neat looking though! :)

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    Hi Taylor!

    I love your article I think is great and I would like to buy a EVO! You convince me haha :D but.. have a problem… I am not from USA I was thinking to buy it from amazon but I don’t know if it will work with my country’s companies :S
    What do you think about it?

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