Okay, ‘loathe’ might be a strong word, but these things bug me. Yes, I absolutely love my HTC EVO and can’t imagine life without Android, a 4.3″ screen and a kickstand (yeah, I’m that asshole). But no device is perfect (and that includes the iPhone 4, fanbois and girls!). Android is so customizable that almost any minor complaint I’ve come across can be tweaked easily with a widget, but here’s a few annoyances about my HTC EVO that still plague me. They’re a bit different than the standard complaints about the device that I’ve run across, but deviant’s just how we roll.
1. Dearth of Android accessories
I took this for granted with the iPhone. If my iPhone 3G wanted to get gussied up and pick out a pretty new outfit for the cotillion, it had no problem. I could find a new iPhone case to suit my mood in a heartbeat. But with Android devices, the market for any given phone changes so rapidly that it’s hard for case manufacturers to keep up (or want to).
I tend to prefer a very thin, sleek case that adds a bit of color, so my iPhone usually sported a super-svelte Incipio Feather case. I absolutely LOVE the Feather line (though Incipio’s other options are way better if you like your device heavily armored). Apparently, Incipio is working on the Feather case for the EVO, and if that little rumor pans out, I’ll weep tears of brightly colored joy.
DIY Fix: This adorable actually DIY case you can find on Etsy that supports a cool lady-run Android site. They’ll fit any device– just specify when you order it! Mine’s charcoal grey and classic Android green.
2. No landscape homescreen
With a 4.3″ screen, it seems natural to want to use the phone in landscape mode most of the time, like the massive Dell Streak. Especially because I like to pretend the EVO is more of a tablet than a phone, which it arguably is.
DIY Fix: Cock your head. Lay horizontally.
3. Physical Buttons
With my iPhone 3G, I had a nervous habit of flipping the “silent” toggle on and off in my pocket. I’d still really like to have a physical button to make the phone silent. As it stands, I have to unlock it and use a homescreen widget. And there’s only one button to unlock the phone, which annoys me, because that shit is pretty small, and hard to find when you’re all sleepy or drunk or what have you.
DIY Fix: Silent Toggle Widget
4. Soft Keys A Little TOO responsive
I know Nexus One users had complaints about the lack of responsivity in their soft keys, but whoa. The EVO’s row of four buttons along the bottom seems to think it’s clicked if I even walk by it. This is mainly an annoyance when I’m using the camera, as the phone switches to landscape mode and I end up pressing the little home button half of the time and missing my totally awesome shots of like, cats doing assorted things.
DIY Fix: Turn on haptic feedback (even if you don’t care for it) to behaviorally recondition yourself. It’s like a little zap, B.F. Skinner style.
5. Camera Lens Placement
The way the EVO’s back camera lens protrudes out just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. If you lay it down flat, which I try to avoid, the lens will rest on whatever surface you set it on. I wish it was embedded a bit into the phone’s back so this wasn’t an issue. I generally use the kickstand as a solution to this, and also I use it to look like hot shit.
DIY Fix: I’ve got quite a few unused transparent screen covers lying around from my iPhone days of yore. I grabbed one and cut out a tiny circle and stuck it on the lens for protection— not ideal, but workable.
6. HTC Sense, for better and worse
Sense is a double-edged sword. It’s really shiny and I actually like most of Sense’s pre-loaded apps, but HTC’s skin for Google’s mobile OS makes us late to the Android 2.2 party. Devices like the Nexus One (Google’s proprietary phone) see immediate upgrades to 2.2 (nicknamed “Froyo”), while most of us will have to wait a few months. Sure, I could root my EVO, and make it cut the line for 2.2, but I’m pretty down with the Sense UI otherwise. And ain’t nobody gonna take my huge HTC Weather widget away from me. No way, no how.
DIY Fix: Rooting is your way toward total phone/world domination.
The iPhone camera and video recording is superior to the evo. Go to YouTube and put iPhone 4 vs evo camera and the iPhone 4 beats the evo hands down. The video on the evo is blurry and dark while the iPhone 4 video is crisp and beautiful. Same thing with the still pics so enjoy your evo with it’s inferior camera
Who buys a phone for the camera, though?
yeah, most high-end smartphone cameras pretty much equal out, in my mind. assuming you’ll use the photos at a web resolution (which 97% of people would be), the difference is negligible. just don’t expect to like, shoot a wedding, ya know? that’s what real cameras are for, jerks.
I have never really liked this swiss army knife approach to gadgets.
I am for some reason a huge retro techno nerd, so i only use film cameras.
its a phone not a camera. If you want a nice crisp pic then buy a good real camera.
YOU ARE A LAMO APPLE FANBOY… Hope you enjoy taking nice pics and have no signal to call ppl.
Wee someone’s a little riled up right thar. ^
I too am an iphone fan, but it pays to keep up on stuff like the evo- it definitely has perks the iphone doesn’t. But i appreciate the equal reporting here, aka the “awesome things about evo” list and the “not awesome things about evo” list.
/random 2 cents.
thanks! yeah, i’m not a stockholder either way so i don’t really understand the completely rabid google vs. apple fanboyism thing sometimes.
And Eddy is the first to try to hate on the Evo. No i do not hate apple as a matter of fact i own two macbook pros. There are things that i like of the iphone but honestly i got the Evo and would not consider for a bit returning it and getting the iphone. Are there complaint with the Evo yes but like the OP says there is no perfect phone.
I am not sure how widespread this is but Eddy have you read about the new camera issues some people are having (whites coming out yellow. Yeah that is a better camera lol. Are both the evo and iphone great phones yes they are it just comes down to a persons choice.
Holy crap everything you said was spot on, and don’t worry – you aren’t the only asshole to use the kickstand to look like hot shit. I love my evo.
but we’re so hot, right? #kickstand
If you love your Evo now you’ll really, really love it when it gets the 2.2 update. If you feel comfortable doing it I’d root the phone and then get ‘Beautiful Widgets’ from the market which is a super customizable version of the Sense clock/weather widget. Getting the android 2.2 update is like getting a new faster version of the phone, it’s that good.
I, too, am loving my Evo, but I have one major gripe. I cannot stand the fact that you can’t easily get rid of pre-loaded apps.
As a practical matter I don’t often even notice that I have an app for NASCAR or Sprint Football Live, but as a matter of principle I find it infuriating that I am paying Sprint so they can force this crap upon me.
Our Evos should high-five.
Yeah, that’s a good gripe! That Nascar nonsense is no good. Though maybe after a few beers, it’d be excellent?
Thanks for your honest and different take on the EVO. I’ll be receiving mine in the next couple of weeks and I hope someone takes to heart your suggestions.
I’ve had Palm phones in the past including the Palm Pre that I have now. I am accustomed to shutting off my ringer with an physical button. It’s just easier that way. Don’t know why that isn’t standard design on all phones.
I’m already looking for good accessories for the EVO before I get it, but I’ve noticed that it’s harder than one would think. Hopefully with the success of the EVO, there will be more accessories in the coming months.
I didn’t think about the camera lens protruding as it does but I heard it can be a problem. Some people have already broken their lens which requires replacing the whole phone.
Thanks again for your review! I agree with an earlier poster. I would like to know what you really like about your EVO.
here’s a start! http://www.autostraddle.com/htc-evo-4g-preview-47608/
I love my evo too….
I hope sombody comes with a matching kickstand above the camera in a hard case. Mine seems to fall over when I have my rubber case on and I love to look like hot shit also not like an unbalanced loser. The iphone is pretty sweet too but after getting used to my evo the iphone seems too small and coming from a hero I just cant go back in size despite its nice screen I prefer the larger. woops that goes on the inappropriate board haha
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For a case you might look at Piel Frama:
2. No landscape homescreen – This can be fixed by having a custom launcher (Not the sense UI). There is a Launcher Pro app in Android market for the same. Its absolutely awesome with a host of features. I use it on my N1
Wow– I didn’t know Launcher Pro did that! I’ve got it, just haven’t played around with it enough to figure that out apparently. What else do you like about L.P.? I’ll give it another look!
just installed launcherpro and i’m loving it and the landscape homescreen- thanks for the heads up :)
Most of these don’t bother me, but more accessories would be nice. It’s tempting to root it to get Froyo now, but no matter how simple it is to root I’m pretty sure I’d horribly mess it up, so I’ll just wait for the official update.
No need to use a widget to mute – just hold the volume down and it will go to mute mode and then mute with vibrate if u want.
i weirdly hate having it vibrate before it mutes though, which is a weird preference, probably.
Well the widget weather thing for my Evo (which is included with the clock at the main page) seems to not work. This drives me crazy. Any solutions or generic problems like this cause this is driving me nuts. I had a perfect Evo.. now its imperfect and downgraded my comparison to the iphone. Any help?
I am not sure if this will fix your issue, but if you slide to the screen to the left of the main hime screen, there are four things to click on and off one of which is GPS. Make sure GPS is on, and it will figure out where your phone is located and cause the weather widget to give you the weather where you are in a matter of a minute or so. (I have only had my EVO 2 days, so I am no expert.)
what about it doesn’t work? hmm
Apparently, the weather widget needs to be goosed. Even when I set it to update every hour, the setting does not “stick.” However, tapping the weather will bring up a screen that will allow for a manual update, which will then display on the home screen.
I gave up on resetting the widget to update hourly after a few tries. Maybe one day there will be an OTA to address the issue. I’ve found a worse problem with the Froyo update, but I will address that separately.
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ADW.Launcher or Launcher Pro both support horizontal main screen. Which one’s better? Changes daily, they’re both being updated very quickly. Launcher Pro feels a /bit/ smoother, ADW.Launcher has a few more neat touches. Both support new scrollable widgets that are very neat to see.
Cases, I bought a camera + SD Card holder, slightly re-inforced, and trimmed the middle divider out to make it comfy. It works. I’d advise anyone with a new phone to also look at Camera protectors and see if there’s something that’ll work for you.
great tips- thanks!
These issues are certainly peoples are talking more for HTC EVO. Changing case is what some people prefer most while buying phones but for android it seems to be a bit harder s you said.
it’s kind of depressing that even an article about EVO’s negatives makes me want one as bad as I want it. I want one really bad.
Yes I agree with a lot of what your saying. I was very careful with my evo and everytime I sat it down I would lay some kind of cloth under it than two weeks after I had it I dropped it hard on the cement well after I screamed and finally opened my eyes I noticed the screen was horrible cracked but still surprisingly worked just fine. I turned it over thinking the camera was gonna be damaged a lot, not one scratch on the lens. Ordered a new one even though it still worked (just looked very bad) had to pay $100 for what I thought was going to be a refurbished phone turned out to be a brand new phone with another charger etc… I now have a case I got mine from seidio.com I think it was called the active something not bulky at all and you can get a couple different colors. than I got body guards as well. I should have had the iphone for its safe glass but I don’t think i would give my evo up for anything. As for the camera and video I don’t see a problem I like mine very well I did watch a YouTube trying to do a comparison with the iPhone and evo but they didn’t switch the evo to 720p so it wasn’t a good comparison hopefully most people don’t see that and think its horrible. And for the records I’ve never dropped a call from just holding my phone. ;) at least they got a free case out of it….
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Workaround for EVO Calendar bug
The EVO Froyo update had a little extra hidden “feature” – a Calendar bug that wipes out Description information and replaces it with the “Where” field. HTC, Google and Sprint are all aware of the bug, and I’ve been waiting for an OTA fix.
After having experienced the frustration of losing my “description” information when editing a calendar event, and not being satisfied with the idea of entering description information in the “Where” field for future events, I saw a suggestion in one of the forums involving downloading a third-party calendar, Jorte.
I downloaded Jorte a few days ago. I chose to have it interact with the Google calendar, though one could conceivably use it in a standalone mode. I can now happily change the time of an appointment without invoking the calendar bug, without having to wait until I can go to my office and edit an event in Outlook, followed by a sync.
Jorte comes with a number of homescreen widgets in various sizes, that cover the calendar and “Tasks” as well. About the only thing I didn’t find that I like from the standard calendar, is that Jorte doesn’t have a 4×1 widget for showing the next appointment. So for that I am still using the standard application’s widget on my main home screen under the clock, while I have the Jorte calendar in its 4×3 full month mode on another home page. I’ve even begun to appreciate that this also allows me up to four more widgets (well, four 1×1 widgets) or app buttons on the same screen, unlike the HTC Sense/Google calendar full-month widgets.
There is also a reasonable amount of customization available by opening the program, or tapping on the widget showing the calendar, and then tapping on “options” or another of the buttons.
Aside from the lack of a 4×1 horizontal “next appointment” widget, there really isn’t a downside to Jorte.
Jorte is a free app that can be obtained from the App Market or through AppBrain. So if you’re tearing your hair out over the speed at which the EVO’s Froyo Calendar Bug is being fixed, Jorte can be your temporary, or even permanent, solution. After working a few days with Jorte, I think it’s a winner!
Forget HTC EVO or Nexus one. You NEED an LG OPTIMUS. I am so in love with this phone!!! If you’re on virgin mobile its an LG OTIMUS V, if on Sprint its an LG OPTIMUS S, or T-mobile its an LG OPTIMUS T. Either way, its got an accelorometer like iPhone so you can go landscape or portrait with whatever your looking at (browser, apps, gallery, etc). Its also wifi enabled, so you can shut off you 3G and use that instead if youre in a cafe or want to limit your dataplan usage. Also its got Android 2.2.1 (Froyo) not gingerbread (2.3) but thats no big deal unless you rather have netflix. In that case, root your phone!
I have the virgin mobile optimus. It’s the best thing ever. I paid way less for it than any of the android phones my friends have, and I have way less problems. Also, with virgin mobile, service is dirt cheap. I tell everyone I know to buy the damn thing.