It’s really not that big. It seems like it would be based on the specs and photos, but in reality the Sprint EVO 4G by HTC just isn’t that big. And it’s not levied as an insult, I just mean to say that the EVO is manageable in size.

The screen has the same 800 x 480 resolution of the Nexus One and HTC Incredible, but the pixels are spread out over a much larger 4.3” screen. The display setup to be overly red just like the other Android screens we've seen thus far, but it looks great. 

The size of the screen is really what sets the EVO 4G apart from the competition, and honestly I couldn’t think of a better phone for browsing the web. Loading full websites is a pleasure and the screen is large enough where you can actually read a lot of content. It's not a tablet replacement, but it is easier to work with than a 3.5 - 3.7" screen.


From left to right: HTC EVO 4G, iPhone 3GS, Nexus One, iPhone 4

I’ve heard it referred to as a mini tablet and honestly I don’t believe that’s the case. The 4.3” screen is big but I’m telling you, it’s not that big in practice. It just ends up feeling like a phone with a good sized screen. Move into the 5” and beyond territory and then you start triggering me calling things tablets.


HTC EVO 4G (left) vs. iPhone 3GS (right)


HTC EVO 4G (left) vs. iPhone 4 (right)

The phone measures 4.8” x 2.6” x 0.5” and it’s the largest smartphone I’ve ever held. That being said, it is absolutely pocketable as long as you’re not wearing skinny jeans. Even then it is thin enough that you could slip it into your back pocket.

Physical Comparison
  HTC EVO 4G (Qualcomm Snapdragon QSD8650) HTC Droid Incredible (Qualcomm Snapdragon QSD8650) Apple iPhone 4 Google Nexus One (Qualcomm Snapdragon QSD8250)
Height 121.9 mm (4.8") 117.5 mm (4.63") 115.2 mm (4.5") 119 mm (4.7")
Width 66.0 mm (2.6") 58.5 mm (2.30") 58.6 mm (2.31") 59.8 mm (2.35")
Depth 12.7 mm (0.5") 11.9 mm (0.47") 9.3 mm ( 0.37") 11.5 mm (0.45")
Weight 170 g (6.0 oz) 130 g (4.6 oz) 137 g (4.8 oz) 130 g (4.6 oz)
CPU Qualcomm Scorpion @ 1GHz Qualcomm Scorpion @ 1GHz Apple A4 @ ~800MHz Qualcomm Scorpion @ 1GHz
GPU Adreno 200 Adreno 200 PowerVR SGX 535 Adreno 200
RAM 512MB LPDDR1 512MB LPDDR1 512MB LPDDR1 (?) 512MB LPDDR1
NAND 8GB micro SD 8GB micro SD 16GB or 32GB integrated micro SD
Camera 8MP with dual LED Flash + Front Facing Camera 8MP with LED Flash 5MP with LED Flash + Front Facing Camera 5MP with LED Flash
Screen 4.3" 480 x 800 3.7" 480 x 800 AMOLED 3.5" 640 x 960 LED backlit LCD 3.7" 480 x 800 AMOLED
Battery Removable 5.5Whr Removable 4.81 Whr Integrated 5.254 Whr Removable 5.18 Whr

HTC ditched the silly scroll ball of the Nexus One and the optical sensor of the Incredible and just left the EVO 4G with a row of touch sensitive buttons along the base of the screen. Home, Menu, Back and Search are all you get.

If you need a navigational aid the screen is big enough where HTC was able to include directional arrows on the on-screen keyboard. They are awkward to use at first because you’re not used to them, but afterwards they just make sense. I hardly used the scroll ball/optical trackball of the other Android phones so HTC’s decision to reclaim that real estate makes total sense to me. The screen is used for scrolling, if you need fine tuned movement just rely on the virtual arrow keys. Fine by me.

The touch screen supports haptics, which can be fully disabled. When enabled certain button presses will cause the EVO’s motor to vibrate a bit to confirm the touch. It’s a concession for those who still want some tactile feedback.

The EVO 4G is the first Android phone I’ve used with something interesting on its back: a kickstand. The metal stand lets you prop a horizontally oriented EVO on your desk at around a 45 degree angle. It’s great for watching videos, using as a clock or an alternative to a costly dock.

The stand is actually a nice touch, unfortunately the Android UI doesn’t rotate to landscape mode so it’s only useful within apps that support rotation.

Also on the back is the 8MP camera lens (there’s a 1.3MP camera on the front), two LED lights used as a flash and a speaker for the speakerphone. Along the bottom is a standard USB micro B connector and a micro HDMI (D-connector) video out. The HDMI out can only be used to output movies, it won’t mirror your display.

As its name bluntly states, the EVO 4G works on Sprint’s 4G WiMAX network. Sprint’s 4G service is currently only available in 43 cities spread over 15 states, if you find yourself in one of those states then the EVO has more than its large screen to tempt you.

The phone currently sells subsidized for $199 from Sprint after a $100 mail in rebate. Service starts at $69.99 for 450 minutes and unlimited messaging/data and goes all the way up to $134.99 per month including tethering.

Cost of Ownership Comparison
  AT&T iPhone 4 Sprint EVO 4G Verizon HTC Droid Incredible
Cost of Device $199 w/ 2 year contract $199 w/ 2 year contract after $100 MIR $199 w/ 2 year contract
Plan with 900 Minutes, Unlimited SMS/Data $104.99/mo, unlimited SMS, 2GB data $99.99/mo, unlimited SMS, unlimited data, 4G $109.98/mo, unlimited SMS, unlimited data
Tethering + $20/mo + $29.99/mo + $25/mo*
Total Monthly + Tethering $124.99/mo $129.98/mo $134.98/mo
Total Cost of Ownership over 2 Years $2718.76 $2598.76 after $100 MIR $2838.52
Total Cost of Ownership over 2 Years w/ Tethering $3198.76 $3318.52 after $100 MIR $3438.52
*Verizon hotspot service goes up to $30/mo in late July

Without the mobile hotspot service, the EVO 4G is the most affordable smartphone out of the three majors over the course of two years. AT&T actually offers a better deal with tethering but you need to keep an eye on your usage; go over 2GB per month and you'll incur additional charges, which isn't tough to do if you tether a lot.

Death to Physical Buttons
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  • DigitalFreak - Monday, June 28, 2010 - link

    Problem is, no one knows when the EVO will be getting the 2.2 upgrade. Sometime this year is the only official word. Reply
  • finbarqs - Monday, June 28, 2010 - link

    The "choppiness" and/or "lagginess" during scrolls is due to one MAJOR flaw in the EVO 4G Design:

    30 FPS cap!

    our favorite XDA developers found a way around it on some EVO's with the proper hardware...
    Reply
  • MrBrownSound - Monday, June 28, 2010 - link

    Hopefully Froyo will sway people to take a second look at evo. Reply
  • alfredska - Monday, June 28, 2010 - link

    Little late to the game with an EVO 4G review aren't we? Engadget and others already have quite comprehensive reviews. Reply
  • RamarC - Monday, June 28, 2010 - link

    I just got an evo today and I like it. Since I have 4 phones on a family plan (including a hero and moment), I'm married to Sprint. And since all 4 only cost $170 a month (with unlimited text n data), the price is too good to consider a divorce. Performance is good and it meets my expectations. Comparatively it might be a bit lacking, but it's a good upgrade to anyone who doesn't have/want an iPhone. Reply
  • MrX8503 - Monday, June 28, 2010 - link

    Awesome review Anand, I wish I was able to hold off on buying cellphones before your review as it would of helped a great deal.

    After buying the EVO, I also noticed the lag and performance issues. People thought I was crazy and most review sites don't even mention this. A lot of other tech sites get their reviews out quick, but none of them are as thorough as yours or pick up the little details.
    Reply
  • nkf - Tuesday, June 29, 2010 - link

    While the default keyboard on the EVO is pretty good (big screen helps), you might like to try out the Swype beta. Usual disclaimers (yes, it's a beta. no, I have nothing to do with swype except as a user, etc, etc).

    Have had it for a few days now (on the recommendation of some other android owners), and it has sped up my typing and accuracy by a huge amount.
    Reply
  • mrdeez - Tuesday, June 29, 2010 - link

    I have had the Evo since day one and haven't noticed any lag whatsoever...I don't know what phone your talking about but this one loads pages fast and have had no lagg issues on mine...I'm stock with Advance Task Killer and some games and apps 2.1...

    What I like:
    Speed
    Screen
    Speech to text
    Camera and camcorder
    Android
    Options Galore
    Its not an iphone

    What I don't like:
    Screen sometimes too sensitive
    Music player is too low
    Paying for 4g-don't have it...aah the cost of early adoption!

    This is my first android phone and I left apple pho..I mean at&t because I was tired of waiting for a android phone......I'm very happy with sprint.
    Reply
  • t13190 - Tuesday, June 29, 2010 - link

    Just wanted everyone to know that as of now a Sprint/Clear is limiting 4G upload speed to 1Mbps until they get more bandwidth available Reply
  • Deusfaux - Tuesday, June 29, 2010 - link

    You might find the HTC Desire to be the right mix of what you're looking for in a phone. It's the 4th pillar, if you consider you've looked at the top HTC Android phones for the other 3 big networks.

    Should be out in a month or so.

    Also, how does one go about emailing or contacting you about something else?
    Reply

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