After drooling over Sprint’s pre-release HTC EVO, I made a practical decision to go with the CDMA Nexus One instead. As I saw limited benefit from a 4G smartphone and felt the EVO was just too big. Also, real world battery life and 3G/4G switching were undocumented. Unfortunately, Google blew up their Nexus One experiment and the CDMA version has been cancelled. At least for the time being and with that branding. Having said that, the EVO ($200, $80/mo) still excites me. But after perusing a number of reviews, I’m less interested in becoming an EVO early adopter. Excerpts from the initial reviews follow:
When we got a [4G] signal, it was amazing. Hell, it was straight-up epic — full, desktop-caliber websites and apps like the Market loaded with honest-to-goodness WiFi-like speed, and we were able to make calls over CDMA at the same time. Of course, we imagine this is partially a function of the fact that Sprint’s 4G network is practically a ghost town.
When using 4G, the EVO’s battery runs down alarmingly fast. In my tests, it didn’t last through a full day with 4G turned on. The carrier, in fact, is thinking of advising users to turn off the 4G network access when they don’t think they need it, to save battery life. This undercuts the whole idea of faster cellular speeds.
Bigger isn’t better everywhere, however. The cameras—the front and the back—are disappointing based on the initial stuff I’ve shot, quite frankly. The 720p video is solid proof resolution isn’t everything. It’s safe to say this thing is the Escalade of smartphones: Big, brash, occasionally clumsy.
PC Mag (4/5 stars)
Call quality on this phone with Sprint’s 3G CDMA network isn’t that great. The sharp top edge of the phone wasn’t very comfortable against my ear, and calls sounded rough and harsh as well. It’s loud, but not clear. The speakerphone is loud but sound is somewhat thready and hollow.
CNET (8.3/10 rating)
To get a better measure of speeds, we tried out the mobile hot-spot feature and used the Evo 4G as our only source for getting online. Setup was a breeze with the preloaded Sprint Hotspot app, allowing us to connect the Evo to our Lenovo T61 laptop and iPod Touch with no problem. The Evo averaged download speeds of 3.42Mbps and upload speeds of 0.93Mpbs and reached a peak speed of 4.76Mpbs.
Laptop Mag (4/5 stars)
While the keyboard could be better and the battery life longer, the Evo 4G richly deserves our Editors’ Choice award. It’s a no-brainer for Sprint customers, and a tempting choice for those on other carriers.We just wish the device ran Android 2.2 now instead of later so you could enjoy Flash Player 10.1 out of the box.