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Summary:

The good folks at Sprint dropped off the EVO 4G for me to share with you. The EVO has the 4.3-inch display that is simply beautiful. It’s also packing 4G that can be shared with up to 8 devices at once over the Mobile Hotspot.

CIMG2418

The good folks at Sprint dropped off the EVO 4G for me to share with you. The EVO has the 4.3-inch display that is simply beautiful. It’s also packing 4G that can be shared with up to 8 devices at once over the Mobile Hotspot. It is running Android 2.1 and sports two cameras, the 8MP on the back and another on the front for video chatting. There’s a kickstand for watching video on that big screen and as you might guess there is not much that this phone doesn’t have.

I’ll be putting the EVO through its paces and grabbing some video to share soon; meanwhile enjoy this photo tour of the Sprint EVO 4G. There are even photos comparing the EVO with two other Android phones — Nexus One and the Droid Incredible. The EVO is not available until June 4 but have a look and see if it’s worth standing in line for.

Quick Impressions:

Likes:

  • 4.3-inch display is gorgeous
  • 1 GHz Snapdragon is very responsive
  • Multitasking- fired up 15 apps and no lags
  • Lighter than I thought
  • HTC Sense
  • Kickstand

Dislikes:

  • Touch buttons on front are too sensitive
  • Camera needs lots of light
  • Power button hard to hit

You can see a short test video I shot with the preinstalled Qik application to gauge the camera quality.

 

Related research on GigaOM Pro (sub. req’d): Google Takes the Open Battle to Apple on Multiple Fronts

  1. I really want to like this phone as an upgrade from my Pre, but it looks really big. I can’t help but to imagine holding my iPad up to the side of my head to make a call.

    You say it’s lighter than expected, so maybe that would make up for the extra size. What’s it feel like in your hand and pocket?

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    1. It’s actually not much larger than an iPhone – it’s extremely pocketable.

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    2. Yes, I don’t find it too big at all. It’s very thin and light too.

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      1. I was worried about this, but pre-ordered the device anyway. I worry that after having the device for a month or two, I would rather have a device similar in size with the Incredible. But, I will wait for your full review

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  2. I have the EVO and also have a Palm Pre and I am actually surprised that the EVO is much smaller than I thought. I don’t think it is too big at all. Remember, the phones always look smaller in person than they do in the video reviews. I agree with James. I don’t like having the power button on the top and no other way to turn the device on. I am also having problems with the Hotspot app. I can’t get it to connect to any of my computers. All of them are running Windows 7 and every one has a different brand of 802.11n WiFi card. There might be a glitch with it. I also just read that QIK is going to charge $5/month for video chat. Sprint was making it sound like that was included as part of the $10 upcharge. If this is true Sprint is running out of reasons to charge the extra $10. Battery life is better than the Pre and a little worse than the Hero. That is to be expected. The other thing is that the AUX output is not as loud as the Hero or Pre. For the same music I have to turn it up about 5 more notches to reach the same volume as the other 2 devices. Build quality is excellent and the screen is great, but hard to see outside. Not as bad as OLED, but still not stellar. Call quality is good and speakerphone too. Let us know if you have any problems with the Hotspot James. Thanks.

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    1. Thanks for the comprehensive notes and comparison the Pre. If the battery really is at least as good as the Pre I’ll be happy.

      What’s the issue with the power button? James says it’s “hard to hit,” but that seems like a good thing so you don’t turn off the phone by accident.

      What are the WiFi options for the hotspot (n-only, g-only, mixed)?

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      1. Nothing wrong with the power button functionally. To compare, the HTC Hero has a power button at the front bottom of the screen. When I am making a bluetooth carkit call and the EVO is in my auto mount, the screen eventually goes black. You can’t touch the screen or any other front button to turn the screen back on. You must reach on top and feel for the power button. You also can’t set the phone to not turn off when on a call. This is a logistical and efficiency problem that I have found. It might not be an issue for others. As far as the Hotspot goes. It is compatible will all frequencies: 802.11 A,B,G,N, and my computers can see it and connect to the EVO but doesn’t provide an internet connection. The problem is similar to what Pre users have experienced with MyTether. It might be a Sprint problem since the EVO isn’t recognized in their systems until June 4th. I will find out then. There are also a few Android apps that don’t work properly. KOBO, WSOP, Adobe Reader. I am sure there are others, but these are some that I used on my Hero. I forgot to say that web browsing is super fast, even on 3G. It blows the Pre out of the water and I didn’t think I would find an Android device that would browse faster than the Pre. I also purchased a black leather PD Air horizontal side pouch from cases.com that fits the EVO perfectly. It is actually the case for the HTC HD2, but works great. It was only $29. YouTube works really well too. This will really fly when Froyo is available for it. Camera is awesome too.

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      2. The power button works fine, it’s just even with the top of the phone and I find it hard to operate by feel. This is significant as it must be hit many times a day to bring the phone out of standby for use. It’s a personal thing, but I am constantly feeling around for the button when I need to turn the phone on.

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      3. There’s no issue with the power button.

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  3. Hi James (and others that have the Evo): I am curious about how the touchscreen experience compares to the iPhone and to the HD2. I am guessing it is somewhere in the middle of this too. I find the larger screen size of he HD2 (and the Evo) more appealing than the iPhone, but the touch experience is better on the iPhone hands down. Does the Evo hit a sweet spot in terms of screen size/touch experience?

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    1. I find the touchscreen works as expected. I have encountered no issues using touch on the EVO.

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      1. “as expected”, hmmm, doesn’t that depend on what you expect? Is it (in your opinion) better/equal/worse than the iPhone?

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      2. It is very similar to the iPhone.

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    2. I find the EVE to be even more sensitive than my Ipod Touch. The multi-touch experience is fluid and instant. I would not hesitate recommending this device to any Iphone user. The web browsing is faster and better than my Palm Pre and ipod touch.

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  4. What happen to the unboxing video James Kendrick?thanks

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  5. OK, here’s the big question. It looks to me that the EVO is a great phone even if I live/work in a 3G-only area – I don’t see anything at Sprint that’s better, and there’s no price penalty for having the 4G option that I’ll only use when traveling. (I’m upgrading from the Pre.) Does that make sense or am I missing something?

    By the way, I’m assuming that the hotspot feature works in 3G mode too and not just in WiMAX areas, right?

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    1. I have the EVO and a Pre before. The EVO is hands down better than the Pre. I love Web OS much better than Android but until they come out with better hardware, a larger screen, processor, and business functionality like office doc editing I will be sticking with the EVO. You can use the hotspot with 3G and web browsing is much faster and more desirable on the EVO over the Pre. The device is not as large as I was expecting. Very slim and solid.

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    2. Yes, hotspot works in both 3G and 4G.

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  6. I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the phone. I’ve been using it for a week and mostly love it. On the software side, it’s just missing Skype and Tweetdeck, both of which are coming. On the hardware side, the only complaint I have is that I often hit the search button when using the phone in landscape.

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    1. Try twicca, Twitter (official), or Seesmic for Twitter clients. I highly recommend twicca, some swear by Twitter or Seesmic. Some even like the first Android client, Twidroid, and some like HTC’s Peep :)

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      1. Have you found a way to keep Peep from running with the Friendstream widget active? I like the Twitter app and Friendstream, but it fires up Peep and keeps it running all the time.

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      2. @TNKGRL I’m okay with HTC Peep for now. Twicca is cool, but I really just want all my Tweetdeck columns on my Evo. The app is due in a few weeks so I can wait.

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    2. I too find the search box popping up when rotating the phone to landscape. I’ve carefully tested this to make sure I’m not hitting any button and it pops up almost every time I rotate to landscape when on the home screen. I wonder if there’s a setting that can be turned off. I can’t find it.

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    3. @James Peep and the friend feed both use the same twitter account (listed under accounts in the settings), so I’m not sure it’s possible…

      I don’t use Peep or the friend feed – so I removed the account in the settings (after originally creating it). Instead I use twicca, and rely on its notifications and widget – works great!

      The official Twitter client has a widget that shows the latest updates, so perhaps you want to use remove the Twitter account in the settings and use Twitter and its widget instead?

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      1. Yeah, I need to experiment. This EVO is going back quickly so probably wait until I get my own.

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  7. Very very nice! This blog post settles it, and the fact today I was out in the open and couldn’t receive a phone call from my dad who was sitting in a car next to me – with three bars. Yeah, I think I am not going to be waiting very long. Hopefully I’ll have this by next weekend. Not bad, with Sprint shipping these on the 4th!

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  8. I bought one and it is great, I only wonder why Farmville won’t work on it, but Farmville works on the Nexus and The incredible.
    Is this a sprint thing?
    I get a picture of the farm and a Zynga box saying, “Howdy Farmer, Farmville isn’t available on this device.”

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