HTC EVO 4G brings serious firepower to Sprint line

The HTC EVO 4G, a smart phone powered by the Sprint network, is expected to hit shelves sometime this summer. Sprint hasn't yet set a price for handset, but the HTC EVO 4G, which runs the Google Android operating system, is already being touted as a worthy challenger to the Apple iPhone.

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Today Sprint took the wraps off the EVO 4G, an Android smart phone built by the Taiwan company HTC. Details on how the HTC EVO 4G will be packaged are scarce: Sprint hasn't yet set a price for the handset, nor has the network specified exactly when the EVO will hit store shelves. ("Summer availability" is as close as Sprint gets.)

What's clear, however, is that the HTC EVO 4G is packing an incredible amount of firepower. According to Sprint, the EVO, which is the world's first 3G and 4G Android phone, will connect to the Web at speeds up to ten times faster than current 3G handsets. The key here is Sprint's growing 4G WiMAX network, which Sprint says currently covers 27 markets, including most major metropolitan areas.

"Sprint continues to lead the 4G revolution as we introduce HTC EVO 4G to give our customers an experience that is unlike anything available in wireless to date," Dan Hesse, Sprint CEO, boasted in a statement released today. "Not only is this feature-rich device incredible on our Sprint 3G network, but Sprint 4G speeds will take mobile multimedia, including live video streaming, gaming and picture downloads, to a whole new level."

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And to judge by early stat sheets provided by Sprint, the HTC EVO 4G doesn't exactly lag in the hardware department. The phone comes equipped with 4.3-inch touch screen, a 8-megapixel flash camera, and 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera for video calls. Like the Google Nexus One, the HTC EVO 4G gets its juice from a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, which Sprint says should eliminate subpar video playback:

With integrated HD video capture and 4G speeds, HTC EVO 4G makes slow uploads and grainy video a thing of the past. Now, it is possible to post high-quality video to YouTube or Facebook, or share moments in real time over the Internet live, via Qik. After these videos have been captured, it is easy to share them on an HDTV via an HDMI cable (sold separately).

Now the question is: Is Sprint's network ready for the HTC EVO 4G?

Talk to us: Could a high-powered HTC EVO 4G help Sprint in a way that Palm never could? Or is 4G capability and a premium handset not enough to beat rivals such as the Apple iPhone and Verizon Droid?

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