Performance

Going from virtually any phone to the EVO 4G will be a pleasant experience. Die hard iPhone users will notice one thing however: choppy animations.

There’s lag or choppy animations when scrolling down a page, swiping between screens and generally interacting with the phone. What’s even more frustrating is if you leave a lot of apps resident in memory there are times when the UI will stop being responsive. If you have haptics turned off there’s no way to tell whether or not a button tap was recognized, often resulting in a double or triple tap which then results in an unintended phone call or similarly frustrating action. It definitely hampers the experience.

The best way to describe it is by comparing it to an old PC that just starts swapping to disk because it runs out of memory. It’s worse than anything I’ve seen on any other Android phone I’ve used (Nexus One, Incredible).

Remember how happy I was that HTC largely fixed the choppy scrolling of the Nexus One with the Incredible? It’s broken again with the EVO 4G. In fact, scrolling appears to be even worse on the EVO 4G than on the Nexus One for some reason. Given that this is mostly the same underlying hardware I can’t help but think it’s a driver or software optimization problem.

All I'm doing here is scrolling and running Task Panel

Scrolling isn't GPU accelerated, so a quick flick down a page will drive CPU utilization up to 40 - 50%. The only way around this is to either optimize the crap out of the code or move to dual core CPUs so there's another core ready to handle anything else you throw at it. Combined with a lightly CPU intensive app I found that scrolling can sometimes even send CPU utilization up above 70%!

To measure web browsing performance I downloaded a bunch of different web pages and saved as much of them as possible locally on a server. I used WiFi (802.11g) on all of the devices to connect to my local server and timed average load time. I repeated the test at least 3 times and threw out any unusually high or low numbers. Performance on the Android devices was from a clean restart with no unnecessary programs running in memory.

What these tests should show is the overall performance of the platform when all network bottlenecks are removed. Obviously hiding in a tunnel under a lead umbrella will make any phone slow, but we’re looking at peak performance here.

The first test is the new AnandTech front page. Here we’ve got tons of images and HTML, meaning we’re stressing both bandwidth and code parsing speed.

The EVO 4G is actually slower than the Incredible, which isn't totally surprising given that the device actually feels slower.

Next up we have the first page of our recent Zotac XBOX HD-ID11 review. The balance shifts from tons of images to more HTML processing:

Here the EVO actually inches ahead over the Incredible, but none of the HTC devices are still as fast as the Nexus One.

Using our Print this Review function, this next test loads our entire 2010 15-inch Macbook Pro review. While the other two tests had some flash ad content, this one is completely devoid of it so the HTC phones shouldn’t be penalized:

This is quite possibly our most unusual result - the EVO 4G is actually faster than the Nexus One and Incredible.

Our most intensive test is up next with a load of the Engadget front page:

And now we're back to normal, the EVO 4G is about the speed of the Incredible in our longest test.

Our most CPU bound test is up next. I put together a custom page with a ton of tabular content and a single page copy of our 15-inch MBP review to make the load take some time at least.

Once more we're a bit faster than the Incredible here.

Javascript performance shows that the HTC phones have the potential to be fast. They both outpace the Nexus One here:

Overall the EVO 4G tends to be about the speed of the Droid Incredible in terms of web page loading performance. Sometimes it's faster and other times it's slower. The Nexus One still loads web pages the fastest, while the Incredible has the smoothest UI.

Sprint Mobile Hotspot Battery Life
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  • DaveGirard - Monday, June 28, 2010 - link

    you're missing the iPhone 4 in the battery life and there is only one phone in the H.264 page.

    And I think you need to set your white point properly for the iPhone 4 pics. Saying that's the best picture you can produce is not accurate.
    Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Monday, June 28, 2010 - link

    The iPhone 4 review is next, and the white balance was actually a problem for the iPhone 4 - regardless of where I tapped to sample the white balance pretty much came out that way.

    More on this tomorrow...

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • SandmanWN - Monday, June 28, 2010 - link

    "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, even while zoomed in. I’d be willing to go as far as to say that it is almost too small for the ideal web browsing experience."

    This whole paragraph is confusing and contradicting. You say you couldn't think of a better phone for web browsing. Then say you you can read a lot even while zoomed in, which I think you meant to say out there. Then you contradict the first sentence and say it is almost too small for web browsing.

    I think that paragraph needs a mulligan.
    Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Monday, June 28, 2010 - link

    I've cleared it up a bit :) Reply
  • tipoo - Monday, June 28, 2010 - link

    It would be great if you could include Evo 4G benchies in the iPhone 4 review. Reply
  • rf40928 - Friday, July 2, 2010 - link

    Yeah, I guess u saw the Evo benchmarks.

    I have an Evo and Im considering a Iphone 4 ( my cousin got one )..

    I posted above the following: ... funny how the Iphone 4 review that Anand did proves Iphone 4 on a "slower" 3g network is consistantly faster then the Evo on a 4G network when it comes to the web .. I guess 4G's Peak performance is theoretically better.. but are Sprints 4G average 4g Speed numbers better then ATT's avg 3g speeds?? ..it would seem not.."
    Reply
  • yibrushn - Monday, June 28, 2010 - link

    Sorry just gotta make 2 corrections. The front camera is 1.3 mp and the screen is TFT not AMOLED. Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Monday, June 28, 2010 - link

    Fixed and fixed :)

    Hmm that was actually a bit confusing, Sprint lists it as an OLED screen and it is very similar to the OLEDs we've used in terms of color calibration but all the data I can find points to a TFT display.
    Reply
  • DigitalFreak - Monday, June 28, 2010 - link

    I thought the screen thing might have been a typo, until I saw there was an entire paragraph describing the "AMOLED" screen. :-/ Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Monday, June 28, 2010 - link

    That was absolutely my bad. HTC appears to have calibrated the screen to mimic the other OLEDs, it's overly red. Combine that with the OLED listing here http://shopamerica.htc.com/cell-phones/productdeta... and it resulted in my mistake. I was wondering why viewing angle was so bad for OLED, I should've been more careful in my research there instead of just making an assumption. I will be more careful in the future.

    Thanks again for catching the error early on.

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply

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