After months of rumor, leaks, and speculation, the phone I’ve been lusting over has finally been revealed as the HTC EVO 4G on Sprint. And, other than retiring “Supersonic” in favor of this carrier-specific name, there weren’t too many surprises from the CTIA announcement. In fact, key launch date and pricing mysteries remain.
Physically, the phone resembles the Windows Mobile HD2, with a 4.3″ screen, and houses arguably the best processor of the moment. Of course, there’s a camera. And this baby packs an 8 megapixel shooter which, in additional to snapping stills, is also capable of 720p video recording. Plus there’s that front-facing camera. For applications unknown. But, speaking of software, the EVO runs Android 2.1, expertly skinned by HTC’s Sense UI.
The most unique feature of the EVO 4G is the 4G WiMax radio. High speed, low latency. The first such phone in the US. Although, possibly of dubious value while using the phone itself. However, as I’d hoped, Sprint will be offering tethering plan. Cost unknown, but supposedly supporting a staggering 8 concurrent connections. Excellent! Especially as I’ve just retired the MiFi. And the DC 4G network is mostly lit up, whether or not it’s official.
Of the phones and OSes we currently know of, the EVO 4G surely must land near the top. There’s no question in my mind that the iPhone offers the most polished user experience and largest selection of quality apps. But my experiences on AT&T have been something less than stellar. Including 8 hours a day of radio silence. So, given Verizon’s disproportional $350 ETF and Sprint’s solid coverage in the office, it’s pretty clear where I’m jumping next. And it looks like my top two handset contenders will be the Nexus One and EVO 4G. It’s a tough call…
The Supersonic, er EVO, looks to be just about everything I was hoping for, yet it’ll surely run more than Sprint’s rendition of the Nexus One. I could see the N1 coming in at about $200 and the EVO landing at $300. Additionally, while the huge 4.3″ screen would be great on the couch (who needs an iPad?), it’s a bit large as a phone. And that humungo display will be a drain on the only slightly more capable battery. Then there’s the 4G tethering – possibly a killer feature, but we don’t yet know pricing and coverage areas are limited. Lastly, as the Nexus One is being delivered to more carriers, I wonder if there’ll be a larger ecosystem of accessories to choose from. Decisions, decisions.