Photo: Steve Kovach, Business Insider
HTC keeps pumping out winner after winner this year.The latest is the new EVO 4G LTE on Sprint.
The new EVO is very similar to HTC’s One series smartphones on AT&T and T-Mobile. It runs nearly identical software (the latest version of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich), and packs a powerful camera with a ton of options.
Oh yeah, HTC brought back the iconic kickstand that we saw in the original EVO two years ago.
As was the case with the HTC One X on AT&T, I’m in love with the EVO 4G LTE. The core experience is pretty much the same, so I’ll stick to what sets the EVO apart from the One X.
First, there’s the design. The EVO has the same gorgeous 4.7-inch display as the One X, but it’s housed in a much different body. Overall, the EVO’s design isn’t as friendly and inviting as the One X’s. It has harder edges with metal accents all over. It’s not bad, just different.
The kickstand pops out from the red metallic band wrapped around the back. After using the phone for several days, I couldn’t find a practical use for the kickstand though. If I’m going to watch a video on my phone, I want to hold it, not prop it on a coffee table. Luckily, the kickstand is hardly noticeable when its closed.
I only have a few complaints with the phone, and one of them is a doozy.
First of all, I’m not a fan of the dedicated camera button on the bottom right of the EVO. It’s handy when taking photos, but I found myself accidentally pressing it almost every time I gripped the phone to make a call. I’d rather have no camera button than one I keep nudging against when I don’t want to.
Sprint also boasts that the EVO will be able to make HD voice calls. The technology allows for high-quality audio, similar to what you’d experience on a Skype call over the Internet. But HD voice isn’t ready on Sprint’s network yet, so it’s going to be a while before you can try that out.
And now for the doozy: there’s that “4G LTE” in the name. But Sprint’s 4G LTE network isn’t up and running yet. That means you’re stuck with 3G speeds until the LTE network goes live. Even worse, Sprint will only launch LTE in six cities at first, so you’ll likely miss out.
And boy are those 3G speeds slow. My tests showed speeds well below the average 3G speeds I’m used to getting on other carriers. It’s pretty lame that Sprint blatantly labels this phone a “4G LTE” device (even the box boasts “4G LTE Speeds”), yet only delivers 3G. Even worse, I’m sure it’s going to confuse a lot of new Sprint customers when they see that little “3G” symbol in the status bar.
There’s a bit more to unpack with the new EVO 4G LTE, so check out the rest of the photo review below.