HTC Evo 4G: From the iPhone Into Android’s Warm Embrace

To the delight of Android-lovers and spurned iPhone users everywhere, Sprint stores nationwide unleashed the HTC Evo 4G on the masses yesterday. And while there are about 100,000 things to marvel about in the HTC Evo 4G so far, I’ll try to pare down on decimal places and tackle my awe bit by bit. If you’re late to the game (that’s fine), catch up on the Evo basics, and see how the Evo will potentially stack up against the next-gen iPhone, which we’ll get introduced to on Monday at Apple’s WWDC 2010, presumably by a man in a black turtleneck.

Defying my current state of bedridden flu-induced misery, I crawled out of my viral den for just as long as it took to make my Evo pre-order appointment with Sprint yesterday. That said, I’m gonna prattle on about my first impressions of the phone for as long as I can manage before keeling over into the horrible twilight sleep of my illness and listlessly stare at my Evo’s 4.3″ screen for hours, swapping wallpapers when I can muster the strength.

1. Android + Sense

First off, after using an iPhone 3G for as long as I canremember, Android is absolutely blowing my mind wide open. Seriously, I feel like someone just let me out of some kind of closed-off police state or something.

For now, as an Android newcomer, I’m extremely distracted by the mobile OS in the best way possible. The HTC Evo runs Android 2.1 (code name: Eclair), and though 2.2 (Froyo) is out of the gate, the Evo likely won’t be seeing Google’s newest version for a little while yet as the Evo’s version of Android is skinned in HTC’s Sense. I’m totally loving Sense (it’s so shiny!) but it gets in the way on the kind of insta-updates that the Nexus One gets. But yeah, like I said, I’ve been using a non-jailbroken iPhone sine approximately the beginning of time, so I’m awash in customization right now. It’s amazing. If you haven’t had your senses numbed by the extremely rigid iPhone OS (you know, the black backdrop with little rounded squares all over it), this might not strike you in the same way.

2. Kickstand

Why doesn’t every phone have a kickstand? Before I had tried it, the Evo’s kickstand seemed like a f*ck you cherry on top of an absurdly maxed out spec-sheet. Now it seems essential– I love it; it’s functional. Who knew?

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3. Widgets

Wow, I didn’t realize how bored I was with my iPhone until I started playing around with widgets on my Evo. It’s an entirely customizable way to pull in as much information as you want into your homescreen and I love it. It’s going to be hours before my home screens are set up in any kind of coherent manner, but hey, I’m having fun!

widgets gone wild!

4. The size

The Evo feels larger than I’m used to phonely things feeling. But it’s super thin, so it slides into my pocket easily and that’s all I really care about. But the screen– oh the screen! It’s glorious, it really is. I’m not much of a video streamer, as I don’t really watch tv, but maybe I’ll change my ways with this glossy thing staring at me all smug-like. Either way, it makes non-mobile versions of websites look amazing. I can finally use my phone for bonafide browsing, without just resorting to an RSS app like Byline.

5. The camera

I use my phone’s camera a lot, even when it was the absurdly horrible iPhone 3G camera. But 8MP on my Evo isn’t too shabby. Sure, it won’t beat a dedicated point and shoot camera, but it’s close enough to render my point and shoot totally obsolete. I took this just a couple of minutes ago, for an example:

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34 Comments

  1. I HAVE NEVER BEEN SO INSANELY JEALOUS OF YOU.

    my htc hero (5MP camera…) is like, “laneia, you love me!! i’m better than the palm centro! always remember the horrors of the centro!!” and i’m like, “baby, i know, but i’d leave your ass in two shakes for the evo. truth. xox.”

    you can you screenshot?! I CAN’T DO THAT. tell me i can but just don’t know how PLEASE TELL ME THAT.

    KICKSTAND! i can’t even- just- !!!

    *theraflu*

    • I had a Hero for two weeks… The gap between selling my Nexus One and picking up the EVO… Going from the Nexus One to the Hero was painful…. Made the wait for the EVO even longer.. LOL… Really missed having a camera flash and the Hero was SOOOOOOOO Slow after rocking a Nexus One for several months and the EVO makes it even worse.. I can’t go backwards now..

    • I have a Hero too, but oh, I want me a Evo.

      You can do screenshots with Hero if you root the system, and a do a bunch of fancy developer stuff with it. It looked way too complicated when I Googled awhilea go.

  2. I was an iPhone user for nearly 2 years… I think Apple and their iPhone is a pretty darn good system. That being said back in March I dumped AT&T and the iPhone and got an unlocked Nexus One on T-Mobile. I thought AT&T had a spotty network.. Whew… I loved the Nexus One but T-Mobile really put a strain on my ability to do much of any thing specially since I travel for a living and there were just way too many dead zones with T-Mobile.. So two weeks ago I actually sold the Nexus One on craigslist for $450 and walked into Best Buy the next day and dumped a deposit down on the EVO. Well I picked up my EVO Friday morning at 10:30 and instantly fell in love with this device. I have heard people call it the Escalade of phones and yeah that is about right.. WOW.. It’s freaking big.. Almost obscenely big… I am not a small guy at 6’1″ and 210 lbs and I wear an XL glove and this phone is as of right now Awkward to hold when talking on the phone.. with two days in the books I have not fully found a comfortable way to hold the phone specially on long phone calls. But I love it…. It’s an amazing device and for me Sprint is a heck of a lot better than AT&T and a million times better than T-Mobile.. and to those who biotch about the $10 EVO “TAX” as I like to call it (I don’t live in a 4G area… Coming fall 2010 to Nashville, TN) But even then $79.99 for unlimited mobile to mobile no matter the network (which 80% of my calls are to other mobile phones) 450 land line minutes and true unlimited data?????? Awesome… Back to the EVO though…. What a smooth, fast and sleek freaking phone… The Nexus One was pretty good and I thought I loved it but after two days on the EVO it’s faster and smoother.. The touch interface is so much better and the larger screen makes it so freaking easy to type out text messages and surf the web like never before….

    Awesome Phone… I love it…. I am sure the iPhone 4G or HD or what ever they call it will also be impressive but for me Android and the EVO is the monster I have been waiting for and lusting after for a while…. HTC is easily the best hardware MFG in the game right now…

  3. EVO plan is asking for $10 per month plan in non 4G area which is extremely unfair. Sprint is suffering because of the stupid business decisions they make.

    It was a perfect opportunity for them to compete with iphone but because of the wrong business decision of tacking a $10 bucks fee, they are not going to capitalize on the 4g first mover advantage.

    I am a ten years customer of sprint but soon go for iphone 4g this summer.

    • Ron
      I hear you with the 10.00 but I am going give u some inside knowledge, if you are with sprint for 10 years they don’t want you to go. ATT prices are gonna hurt you more.
      but here is what u do Call sprint disconnect dept. and tell them how you were all set to renew your contract for the Evo but because of the 10.00 increase your leaving instead to another carrier. before they let u go they will offer you a reccuring credit of 10.00 that will offset the 10.00 4G fee. if they don’t offer it say it would help if I got some type of recurring credit of 10.00
      well that’s what I did and I got it all. and I LOVE MY EVO.
      free apps free 4G and with Froyo free wifi hotspot.
      good luck

  4. This is crazy… The only reason there is an uproar is because Sprint customers are not use to paying a $10 “Tax” as I like to call it. But for what you get compared to an iPhone plan your still getting more for less.. Compare the plans… Sprint for $69.99 plus the $10 EVO tax…. you get 450 land line minutes, UNLIMITED mobile to mobile no matter the network, unlimited text messaging and unlimited data… AT&T $39.99 for 450 minutes and unlimited AT&T to AT&T mobile calls, $30 iPhone data plan, $20 unlimited texting. that $79.99 at Sprint vs $89.99 at AT&T and also with Sprint you get free navigation, free Sprint TV and those mobile to mobile minutes don’t count against your 450 which is basically just for land lines… Sprints package on the EVO is CHEAPER and you get MORE than a comparable AT&T plan. Go unlimited minutes for $69.99 with AT&T then tack on $30 for iPhone data and $20 for texting your now at $120 per month… EVO and Sprint is a steal in comparison….

  5. The one thing that keeps my eye on getting an iphone is that I’m not much of a phone person to begin with, but I really love my ipod touch. I like to be able to use itunes and download music, podcasts, etc directly from itunes. So if I can get an ipod touch with a phone function, that would be ideal. I think the ipod is the one thing that will keep me anchored to Apple, although I do love that kickstand.

  6. I, too, am a proud father of a new HTC EVO. I picked mine up Friday at 9am from Best Buy. This phone completely crushes my venerable HTC Touch Pro2 running on WinMo 6.5. Android is freakin’ awesome! I love it. I’m so not used to the instant and lag-free transitions and command executions, found on my Evo. My TP2 took like 5 minutes to execute any command. It was driving me crazy. I think what I love most about the Evo, is all of the ways you can see and understand what programs are running on your device and what programs/features are draining your battery and how much they contribute to draining your battery. That is too cool. Little things like that I appreciate the most. And the size of the phone is no issue for me. I love it. I’ve been waiting for a phone this big and I finally have it. Perfect size. I am an Android fan for life now. WinMo can kick rocks.

  7. Pingback: Former iPhone users.. are you pleased? - Page 2 - Android Forums

  8. I just love this phone I am so excited and can’t wait for mine to arrive, I just ordered it from sprint. I was waiting for the new iPhone to come out but after AT&T pulled a fast one and dropped unlimited Data from its already crappy network I decided to leave them and come over to sprint. Goodbye AT&T I hope more people leave you, maybe then you will care more about your customers instead of just ripping them off.

  9. i hate phones because i don’t like answering them. i don’t even like that i have a phone number. i don’t like people calling me. i don’t like people. and so i have a $20 phone b/c i couldn’t do my job/be a person w/out one right now. and i do pay as you go b/c i never use it/always lose it. so that’s my story. and YET i want one of those so bad now it looks so cool. i like toys, a lot. and so my like for toys may overpower my disdain for phones. you’ve done this to me with your review.

  10. my brother just got the evo…im jealous because I drive a 2010 evo x and it would really go well with the car bwahahaha…but anyways saw the phone played around with it…..and now I hate my palm pre…he gave me his htc diamond which is pretty nifty..im thinkin eait a few months and get an evo myself. I honestly think it will destroy the iphones app GAME. Other then certified royalty apps owned by apple….only opinion don’t bash me ha..get a chance to look at it and I guarantee you’ll have an awesome opinion about it…also people complaining about th extra 10 buck fee for non 4g…seriously..sprint gives you everything else and ur going to complain. Be real..even in a perfect world..practice makes permanent…later days take it easy and the surf sucks right now in va

  11. My area doesn’t even support 3G service yet. It’s like you guys are riding around in your flying cars on your way home to the robot maid and your boy Elroy and I’m powering my car with my feet on the way home to see my bone-adorned wife and child.

  12. I got the evo and was disappointed with the battery life, but then again I’m a creature able to adjust to change, plus there’s either a wall socket, or computer around me were I can get a charge. I love the speed on this thing, and that’s just 3G alone. The wireless coverage, OMG! I can’t emphasize enough on the coverage that Sprint offers compared to my previous carrier At&t, is hands down the most reliable zip fast and did I say reliable, yea I did. However the camera is ok, but I found a program on the app market called Camera Zoom FX and it is incredible. I didn’t know software can do that to a camera. All in all, I love my Evo, its the best smartphone today that money can buy.

  13. I feel like everytime I get a new phone a better one comes out. I got the HTC hero when the Nexus One came out and now I’m getting the HTC Desire (which I don’t think you have in the US). Whatever, the Desire will still be the best smartphone here for a while cause we don’t have a 4G network!

    I don’t think I can ever buy a phone that doesn’t have Android and isn’t made by HTC, they’re just so good. I mean, a kickstand?! Genius.

    I do have a question about the Evo, can it fit in the pockets of skinny jeans? Doesn’t it look weird?

  14. Pingback: iPhone 4G Release Date tomorrow: Sprint HTC EVO gets mixed reviews

  15. I picked up my EVO at 9:30AM Friday and have been playing with it non stop. As a long time sprint customer who was considering jumping ship to ATT or Verizon because of the lack of phone choices on Sprint and a little bit of IPhone envy, 30 minutes with this device will rid you of any question on whether or not it can compete with the Iphone. As for the $10 charge, trust me I am in a 3G market, but “true unlimited data” will make a difference as I have been streaming music from Slacker and Pandora non stop and viewing video from all sorts of media outlets. So while I was a little upset with the charge when I first heard about it, I’m sure removing the data cap regardless of 3G or 4G for the EVO was a wise move by Sprint.

  16. Pingback: EVO 4G vs iPhone - Sprint Android Forum

  17. I had been waiting to see what the upcoming iPhone had to offer … until Friday night when I went to a Best Buy and had a change to play with an Evo. Suddenly the iPhone seemed a lot less sexy.

    I found a Sprint Store on Saturday that hadn’t sold out yet, and now I’m also spending way too much time exploring the possibilities of this thing and gradually customizing it.

    I am in a 4G city, so the $10 fee is not an issue for me. But I do wish they wouldn’t charge those without 4G service until they actually provide the service.

    I was totally blown away by Google Goggles. I downloaded it because an article online about must-have apps recommended it. From then, all I had to do was let Goggles read bar codes in the article and take me directly to the download links. Amazing!

    Here’s the article … Get Goggles and be totally blown away.
    http://androinica.com/2010/06/03/best-evoapps/

  18. I got the HTC Incredible for verizon last month. It is my first smart phone and I am obsessed. I am still getting used to how quickly the battery goes compared to a regular phone (obviously) but I love having that camera on it. I also recently discovered the bar code thing and was obsessed and scanning like every object in my home that had a barcode to find where it is sold cheapest haha. I don’t know how I went so long without 3G….but now 4G..im jealous

  19. The EVO is literally the smartest phone I have ever seen. I couldn’t be happier with it and I recommend everyone to get one! Congratulations to HTC and Sprint and Thank You for offering such a great product. Apple – I would be nervous if I were you!

  20. you guys are gonna laugh at my idiotic question, but I have to know: is android an operating system akin to snow leopard or tiger or windows vista? is it the same thing just being put into different brands of phones? i feel so out of the technology loop its insane. someone please explain this to me! (ps i have a droid from motorola and i love it, but i had never even heard of evo til this post…what is the difference between the two besides 4g?)

  21. Aw man…
    No.
    Do not do this to me.
    WANT. TOTAL WANT.

    I have an IPhone. I do not need another phone. This looks so awesome though (my Iphone is a work one – maybe I can justify getting this HTC on the basis that it’s a personal one..hmm…maybe..)

    On a non-phone related note, where did you take that pic of that room – that place looks *fit*..

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