Thursday, May 27, 2010

EVO helps HTC increase its hype

In a recent blog, we mentioned that the HTC Droid Incredible was number one on the PCWorld Top 10 Android Cell Phones list. It seems that HTC wants all the glory, now that it has released the highly acclaimed HTC EVO 4G. Those who have had the pleasure of testing out this fine piece of work believe it to be the best smartphone available on Sprint, and second overall to the HTC Droid Incredible on the Verizon network. What makes this phone so impressive is its accoutrement of powerful specs and numerous features packed into a slick, stylish design. The only downfall is that EVO users will have to fork over the money for its 4G connectivity, even if they’re not in the right location to enjoy this feature. What’s it matter? If you want this phone bad enough and you’re in a 4G area, you’ll pay.

There is one thing almost every review is pointing out about the HTC EVO; the packaging of the smartphone. Some have compared it to a tofu container, while others have compared it to a microwavable meal. With that said, let’s not judge a smartphone by its casing because that would be an unfair judgment, especially for this phone. Included with the EVO 4G is a Micro-USB cable, a USB wall charger, a 1500mAh battery and an 8GB MicroSD card. I would say this equipment makes up for the ugly packaging.

The first thing you may notice while removing the EVO 4G from the box is the device’s 4.3 inch WVGA (800X480 pixel) touchscreen. Physically, with its glossy black bezel and extravagant red detailing, this phone will be sure to draw attention from onlookers once you take it out in public. HTC made the EVO 4G a little larger than other smartphones, but nobody has had any complaints on whether its size makes for an uncomfortable grip. To compliment its sleek look, the EVO 4G features four navigation buttons (Home, Menu, Back, Search) as part of the display instead of they keypad.

The EVO 4G has all of the essential features, including a standard 3.5mm headphone jack and power button on the top, and an HDMI port and Micro-USB connector for both data transfer and charging on the bottom. The HTC EVO 4G shows off its 8-megapixel camera and dual LED flash on the backside. Most smartphones have a 5 megapixel camera, but the EVO 4G isn’t about standard.

This camera has touch-focus feature and offers several advanced controls, including exposure, color, white balance and various photo effects. Indoor and outdoor photo quality on the EVO 4G are impressive with vivid colors and sharp detail. You can also shoot HD video with this camera. Even better, you can purchase an HDMI cable separately and upload your photos and video in HD quality. Just when you thought the EVO 4G’s multi-media feature couldn’t get any better, I take pleasure in telling you about Qik, an application that comes preloaded on the EVO 4G. With Qik, you can stream live videos from your phone and share them via social media networks like Facebook. The cherry on top is EVO 4G’s front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera with video recording capabilities. I would think the people at Skype are excited about the possibility of this feature becoming standard on smartphones to allow for video chat. I almost forgot to mention that the EVO 4G has a kickstand to make your multimedia experience even more enjoyable.

Other features on the HTV EVO 4G include Leap, the latest adaptation of HTC Sense, which allows you to effortlessly view your friends’ status updates, shared links, and pictures from Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and other social sites. Gmail, Google Talk, YouTube HQ (better-quality videos) and HTC’s Twitter app, Peep, are all standard Android applications included on the EVO 4G.

As far as performance goes, the 4G network delivers peak download speeds that are up to 10 times faster than 3G speeds. But again, you will not notice that unless you’re in an area with 4G coverage. If you find yourself in a 4G-connected area, you’ll be able to use voice and data simultaneously, a useful function when you’re surfing the web and get an incoming phone call. One thing that should impress, the built-in mobile hotspot feature gives you the ability to connect up to eight Wi-Fi enabled devices, including a laptop, camera, music player and video player. You can connect to the hotspot by simply inputting your SSID name, the encryption type and your password. The hotspot on the HTC EVO 4G will cost you $30 per month.

Like the Droid Incredible, Nexus One and HD2, the EVO 4G runs on Qualcomm’s 1GHz Snapdragon processor. The battery life is decent with a little over five hours of power with continuous use. The HTC EVO 4G is a significant advancement for the Android platforms and Sprint’s 4G network. With all that it has to offer, the EVO 4G has definitely earned its number two ranking among Android smartphones. However, what’s to say it’s not number one over the Droid Incredible. It’s all a matter of opinion. As long as I can still enjoy the luxury of Privus Mobile, I’m good to go!

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