Sprint/HTC Evo 4GKevin Connolly here, doing yet another review on yet another geeky tech product. Today it’s the Sprint/HTC Evo 4G / Droid phone. Video here; text below. I made a part 1 and a part 2 because I didn’t know YouTube had lifted my 15-minute limit until after I started the upload. So future videos shall not be split thusly in twine.

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Specs

  • Android 2.2
  • Big 800×480 screen
  • 1GB RAM
  • 8GB microSD card
  • 8 Megapixel camera
  • 1.3 Megapixel front-facing camera
  • 4G, 3G, Wifi b/g, BT 2.1+EDR, aGPS
  • FM Radio
  • TV Out (HDMI)

Intro

My initial impressions were a little biased, because I’m coming from the world of Windows Mobile. WinMo5 makes it a pain to do everything. Therefore, I believed that all phones made it a pain to do anything. Not so here; the droid has completely renewed my faith in the mobile device platform. This is actually fun to use, which is an experience I’ve never had on a phone.

Pro

  • Standard Micro-USB port
  • Standard power adapter (USB)
  • Kickstand
  • Big, high-res display (800×480)
  • Reception / signal
  • Good virtual keyboard
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth, wifi, WiMax, CDMA; Shows the user what kind of security wifi networks have. Unusual feature.
  • Good PC sync tool; works in background. Phone can still do other stuff.
  • Web browsing is actually not painful. Can read 1000px page on 480px screen; pinch zoom, pan, etc. Also supports Flash (though that’s kinda a downside – Flash sucks). Must download Flash from Market.
  • Can use phone and data simultaneously
  • Automatic sync with Facebook, Exchange, Flickr, Google, Twitter; apps for additional services
  • Elegant, global notification system
  • Mobile Hotspot – easy bypass for not having a tethering plan (WiFi Router)
  • Photo and Video: Excellent, for a phone
  • HDMI Out port (micro)
  • Dual cameras, including front-facing camera.
  • Rear cam is 720p, despite what specs say.
  • GPS
  • Comes with an 8GB Micro-SD card
  • UI is clean, easy to use, and performant
  • Functional, effective multitasking
  • Sprint TV doesn’t suck. Sprint TV always sucked. There are better online services, like Fancast, which work via Flash.
  • User reeplaceable battery
  • Inconsistent behavior in landscape mode

Con

  • No support for syncing to Outlook 2010 x64
  • Kickstand doesn’t work well in Portrait orientation
  • Even large phone displays are still small
  • WiMax exists almost nowhere; CDMA is pretty slow; really 2G as there is no UMTS support nor coverage; 4G/WiMax/”Premium Data” plan mandatory, even if you’re not in a 4G area. Which almost nobody is.
  • Sync doesn’t work with Outlook 2010 x64
  • Takes a while to detect when mounted as a disk drive. Thought it was broken.
  • Web browsing will never be great on a mobile-size screen. Then again I’m spoiled (5760×2160 desktop size)
  • Some data stuff doesn’t work with WiFi on (i.e. Market, etc). Can’t use two data connections simultaneously.
  • Confusing interface; two stock Calendar apps, two different ways to connect to Facebook
  • Voicemail icon and notification won’t clear
  • Tethering shouldn’t be extra when you already have an Unlimited Data plan (can’t count this against the phone; this is a carrier issue)
  • Didn’t come with a cord and I only have a Mini-HDMI and regular HDMI, so couldn’t test this
  • No bundled apps that make use of front-facing camera, and it’s kinda concealed, so you don’t even know you have one until you look it up
  • No single button for camera and “take picture”. I’ll miss that from my old HTC Touch now that I have a non-painful way to transfer pics and vids off the camera.
  • WTF is a .3gp video file? Lost audio when copied over to Windows.
  • If the cam can do 720p, why default to 480p setting?
  • Small internal memory
  • Everyone suddenly wants to be like Apple. It sickens me. Does nobody innovate anymore?
  • Multitasking shouldn’t be a feature. It should be assumed.
  • Sprint TV still sucks.
  • Hulu blocks droids
  • When I plug it into a computer, it tells me it’s charging, but it really doesn’t. Eventually it dies from lack of power, so I have to keep switching the USB cord between my USB hub and its chargre.
  • Must remove battery to get to the MicroSD card
  • Some settings are in confusing or hard-to-find places in the menu system. For example, the Battery Meter isn’t even a setting! The bundled task manager sucks.