Say hello to the HTC EVO 4G. Pretty, isn't it? And judging by the first early EVO 4G review posts to come screaming over the transom, the smart phone, which should hit shelves nationwide on June 4, is a good phone to boot – fast, smart, and capable. "Let us be crystal clear: we love this phone. Nay, we adore it," gush the folks over at Engadget, who were lucky enough to get their hands on an EVO 4G. Most people agree.
Let's go to the judges.
Over at CNET, one reviewer says the 4G service on the EVO 4G is solid, but not without flaws. "It's clear that the HTC Evo 4G is one of the most powerful Android smartphones on the market, but what makes it different from the rest – and we're talking all smartphones, not just Android – is the 4G capabilities." CNET says 4G, which is available in a handful of US markets – but not yet in New York – chews through most media at a rapid clip.
"CNET's full site loaded in 19 seconds, whereas CNN and ESPN's mobile sites came up in 5 seconds and 4 seconds, respectively. Downloading apps from the Android Market took just a few seconds, and downloading individual tracks from the Amazon MP3 averaged around 15 seconds or less; an entire album took 7 minutes to download," the CNET reviewers wrote.
Still, there were problems:
[D]uring peak hours, the Internet connection dropped several times in an hour and though it would reconnect within a minute or two, it was nonetheless frustrating. For comparison, we switched to 3G, ran the same test, and averaged download speeds of 0.77Mbps and upload speeds of 0.35Mbps. The same 2MB picture we used for our 4G test took 56 seconds to upload over a 3G connection, so you're definitely getting a nice bump in speed. If there's no 4G available, the Evo will automatically revert to Sprint's EV-DO Rev. A network, which might happen more often than not, since Sprint's 4G is currently live in only 32 cities, covering around 41 million people.
As for the hardware – well, let's just say the HTC EVO 4G is one seriously heavy-duty machine.
"A big, big part of the EVO's draw is the 8 megapixel autofocus camera with dual LED flash and – drum roll, please – yes, 720p video recording," notes the team at Engadget. "The shots had a little bit more splotchiness and noise (er, make that noise reduction) than we would've liked, but they still looked just great scaled down to monitor size.... What really blew us away wasn't the picture quality, but the shutter lag -- or rather, the lack thereof. You go to take a shot, and boom, the shot's taken."
"When I first turned the EVO 4G on, I was struck by how bright and crisp all the icons looked," Mintz wrote. "To get the lay of the land, I swiped back and forth between the phone's seven home screens. Like the Incredible, the Evo 4G is based on Google Inc.'s Android 2.1 software, with HTC's own user interface called Sense layered on top. The screens were already filled with shortcuts to various programs, but every icon or small 'widget' program can be moved or removed from the display entirely."
Bottom line, says Engadget, is that the HTC EVO 4G is "truly one of the best smartphones ever made, and even spotty 4G – a reality of a young technology that's going to take years to properly build out – probably won't do much to hamper your enjoyment of this thing."