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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  • Adul - Tuesday, June 29, 2010 - link

    Any another thing.,,
    EVO owners I suggest you try the swype KB.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YnQts9NUnL4&fea...
    Reply
  • alainiala - Tuesday, June 29, 2010 - link

    While I agree that 99% of the time, Sprint's apps are beyond useless, I have found Sprint TV to be fantastic during this World Cup season. I can catch games over 3G or 4G while away from home. In fact, I watched USA vs Ghana from a coffee shop over 4G and the experience was fantastic. Smooth playback with only a very occasional hiccup that would clear itself up after a second. Now that both of the teams I've been rooting for have been eliminated, Sprint TV will go back to being useless. Reply
  • Zebo - Tuesday, June 29, 2010 - link

    Great review Anand. Good things come to those who wait, right...:P

    Evo is a non starter for me since I spend at hours on the phone each day and in the field and battery life kills it in addition to poor screen outside.

    Looking forward to iPhone review on battery life and outdoor capability.:)
    Reply
  • sapient2k7 - Tuesday, June 29, 2010 - link

    One thing not mentioned in the article while comparing plans is the fact that Sprint Navigation is also free on EVO with the plan. Sprint family plans are also much cheaper than any other carrier.

    Personally I like the sprint apps, Sprint TV, Sprint navigation and the Nascar app are great. On an EVO Sprint TV looks great much better than my PRE. However, I am waiting for the next version of Palm PRE before making a jump :).
    Reply
  • docmilo - Wednesday, June 30, 2010 - link

    I'm dealing with the issue of Evo on Sprint's poor coverage and finding a phone the wife likes as much as the Evo. Motorola's version of the 4.3 inch screen the Droid X is out on July 15th. Any info out there on this device? I would prefer to stay with Verizon. The Droid X doesn't have the front camera and the fancy kick stand my wife really likes.

    We took the Evo on a trip to Leavenworth a few weeks back and rarely got signal. Yesterday we were off to the Seattle Aquarium and I popped out the Evo, turned on Sprint Navigation and if I didn't know where we were, we would have been lost. Sprint Navigation was off a couple of blocks.
    Reply
  • adam7425 - Wednesday, June 30, 2010 - link

    You(and others, including Engadget) have described Sprint's $69.99 plan as just giving you 450 minutes and unlimited messaging/data. A little more clarification would go a long way. The 'Everything Data - with ANY Mobile, Anytime' plan gives you Unlimited talk to any cellphone on any network. The 450 minutes only apply to landlines. For some people thats all the unlimited they need. I myself have months where I don't use a single one of those minutes. Reply
  • adam7425 - Wednesday, June 30, 2010 - link

    You should point out that sprints 450 minutes are for landlines only. Any cellphone to cellphone is unlimited. Reply
  • sssbbb - Thursday, July 01, 2010 - link

    on Performance page: "Zotac XBOX HD-ID11" -> "Zotac ZBOX HD-ID11" Reply
  • steeda1974 - Thursday, July 01, 2010 - link

    I personally own this phone. After around 10 days, the battery life got extremely better. Has anyone else experienced this? It went from around 4 hrs max with everything running. I would highly suggest to turn GPS, 4G, and WiFi off when your on the move or at work. This has increased my battery life to around 12-18 hrs. And to anyone that says they need to have 4G on to watch flawless TV, who the heck watches TV on a 4-5in screen for more than 30 minutes at a time? I would just go upstair or downstairs and watch it on a Flat Screen TV instead of this smaill screen. If I'm wrong then I apologize but I think everyone is with me on that one. As far as the UI being a little shaky, who really cares, its hardly noticeable and its just a phone that is mearly played with for over 10 secs at a time. The phone is the best thing that I have personally come across in 2-3 yrs. For all that get this phone, immediately save contacts to google account as soon as you get it. This is the only way to get back your contacts from Sprint at this moment. Reply
  • steeda1974 - Thursday, July 01, 2010 - link

    I personally own this phone. After around 10 days, battery life got much better. I would suggest turning off WiFi, bluetooth, GPS, and 4G when on the run. GPS will automatically turn on if you use navigation. UI is smooth, I do not notice any lagging at any given time. I'm sure if you pay attention all day long, you would find a problem or lagging at times. But its not that big of a deal compared to all other phones at the moment. Its been the best thing to come along in around 2-3 yrs. I love it!! Plus if your using it as a mobile hot spot, dont you think you would plug it into a USB connection from the device that you are using and turn 4G on? Just me personal opinion though. Reply

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