Death to Physical Buttons

Along the top of the EVO 4G, just to the right of center is a power/lock button. It barely protrudes from the chassis which makes it difficult to hit both on accident and on purpose. On the right side of the phone is a volume rocker switch, which squeaked on my review sample. Those three are the only physical buttons on the device. The EVO 4G is all about its screen and HTC did nothing to detract from that.

The line of capacitive touch buttons along the bottom of the screen are responsive and by default have haptic feedback enabled (the phone vibrates slightly when you hit one of them). Unlike the Incredible I reviewed, the back of the phone didn’t rattle whenever the phone vibrated.

The touch buttons themselves are just as responsive as on the Incredible, which also means they are much better than those on the Nexus One.

The EVO 4G feels pretty solid. The front is nearly all screen (minus the row of touch buttons at the bottom), the border of the phone is glossy black plastic and the back is a very soft feeling plastic that’s wonderful to pet. The device doesn’t feel fragile.

Since there’s very little border around the screen and buttons I found myself accidentally triggering the quick search and sometimes the camera app with my palm while holding the phone.

Getting the back cover off is simple enough: just stick your finger nail in the opening at the top and pull it off. It snaps back on just as easily. I found that in general the EVO 4G seemed to be better built than the Incredible but not quite as solid as the Nexus One.

Beneath the rear cover you’ve got the now typical HTC arrangement. A beefy 5.5Whr battery and a microSD card slot for media (and eventually app) storage. The phone ships with a 8GB microSD card by default.

Along the bottom of the phone you’ve got a micro USB connector and a mini HDMI connector. The latter can only be used while playing back videos; it won’t mirror the EVO’s display to your TV unfortunately.

The phone comes with a USB cable and USB power adapter. The HDMI cable is sold separately.

Let’s Get Chippy

Inside the HTC EVO 4G is a Qualcomm Snapdragon QSD8650 SoC. This, unlike the Snapdragon in the Nexus One, supports both GSM and CDMA networks, which is what lets this phone work on Sprint.

The Snapdragon SoC has an amazing amount of integration that brings the CPU, GPU, video encoder, decoder, camera processor and modem all onto a single piece of silicon. To enable WiMAX support HTC turned to Sequans and used its SQN1210 WiMAX radio; this is what gives the EVO its 4G network support.

The 4G radio has an easily accessible on/off widget on one of the home screens by default, but honestly the Sequans chip appears to do a good job of being power efficient. I didn’t see a substantial difference in battery life with 4G enabled or disabled as long as the workload remained the same. Obviously with a faster connection you’re more likely to surf and download more, which will in turn kill your battery quicker but from what I’ve seen 4G battery life is roughly the same as 3G battery life for an identical workload (more on this later).

A Broadcom BCM4329 controller enables 802.11n support as well as Bluetooth and FM Radio tuning. Yes, the HTC EVO 4G can function as a high priced alarm clock radio if you want it to.

It's Not That Big The Basics
POST A COMMENT

98 Comments

View All Comments

  • 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

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now