16 Comments

Summary:

The HTC EVO 4G has two video chat options to take advantage of the second camera on the front of the phone. Laptop Magazine and I were wondering how well each client works, and we set out to do a comparison of Fring and Qik.

qikvsfring-screen02

One of the innovative features of the HTC EVO 4G smartphone is the front-facing camera for video chatting. HTC and Sprint have worked with two video chat clients to make sure both are capable of taking advantage of that second camera. Both programs work a bit differently, and it is natural to wonder how each fares for both audio and video quality. My friends at Laptop Magazine were wondering the same thing, and set out to do a comparison of video chatting with Fring and Qik on the EVO 4G.

I was happy to lend a hand with Laptop’s testing, and had a series of video chats with them so they could capture them on video. The comparison is up and Laptop has published three videos of the test sessions for your information. Overall the video quality of Qik is better than that of Fring, but Qik has a weird handling of audio that you’ll have to see to understand.

Image credit: Laptop Magazine

Related research on GigaOM Pro (sub. req’d): Report: The Consumer Video Chat Market, 2010 – 2015

  1. I tried to watch one of your demo videos with them, but no way am I sitting through a 30 second pre-roll video ad. Yikes. In that same 30 seconds I get to write this whiny comment instead. ;)

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  2. This to me is a perfect example of why apple products have been so successful the last few years. Other devices have the same functionality but it doesn’t just work like apple does so many times. I will be able to give my iPhone 4 to my grandmother as I could my iPad and she would figure it out with way less help than other devices. By the way, I am not an Apple lover. I haven’t drank the coolaid, I just like their recent product offerings.

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    1. But isn’t iPhone 4 video chat only mentioned to work between iPhone 4s?

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    2. OMG!? Freedom has a price. So what if the program doesn’t start out flawless. After user feedback and a few updates, all of that will be worked out. When it’s time for the iPhone 4’s review I’m sure JK will be sure to touch on the quality of the product. I mean just like he did his iPad…
      Every time someone on any website says something about the Evo, someone has to say something about a product that hasn’t even been released yet. I personally can’t wait for the iPhone 4’s review.

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      1. The point is that the premier video chat app for the EVO 4G hasn’t been eating their own dog food. They’ve let their technical necessity over ride usability.

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    3. It is a good example.

      Build a tightly controlled platform — iPhone 4 to iPhone4 only, wifi only — and the result is an experience that has consistent quality, with very little configuration issues.

      Have a platform that is isn’t nearly as tightly controlled — allowing PCs and other devices to connect to phones and vice versa, a variety of data bandwith scenarios — and you will have to deal with things like the lowest common denominator, compatibility issues, etc. That said, my mother who doesn’t have an Evo 4G will still be able to skype with me on the webcam that I got her for Mother’s day.

      It’s all about trade offs.

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  3. What facinates me is how the Apple Fanboys are comparing their next iteration with the Evo that has been launched in the hands of 200,000 consumers.

    The Evo, as an avant guarde, is testing many frontiers simultaneously, such as 4G, video conferencing, simultaneous tethering of 9 devices, larger screen etc. This being the case you are bound to have glitches, but all of them can easily be redressed and rectified.

    What’s important is to know the difference between between platforms that these phones work on. First, Sprint’s 3G platform is twice as large as ATT’s. Second, Sprint is the only carrier with a 4G platform. Third, ATT and the iPhone won’t have a 4G platform available for their phones until 2012. Proof of which is manifested in Court documents and statements from ATT. Sprint Video Conferencing does not rely solely on WiFi like the iPhone, nor does it rely on just one devise like the iPhone. It is open to all devices and works on 3G, 4G and WiFi. The iPhone’s screen limits, make it difficult to use the phone as a reader, whereas the Evo negates the need for an iPad. The Evo’s ability to allow tethering simultaneously to 8 different devices also is a major leap that is lacking in the iPhones, not to mention how much it will save those of us that use data cards. How about mentioning the Evo’s 8MP camera with dual flash vs the iPhone’s 5MP v with single flash. Their are many things on the Evo that the iPhone lacks, such as Adobe Flash and numerous Google Apps.

    My whole point is that only time will manifest which phone is truly superior and may the better phone win on merit not hyperbole.

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    1. On related news: HTC follows the road of more features win. I think this may be a corollary of most programs or greater clock speed win. I am using an Ericksson T39 far after other phone out featured mine-because it is built like a tank and does what I need. The EVO bristles with features but it doesn’t FEEL like I can use it for years: it feels like it was made to last only until the next shiny enters my field of view.

      In summary: this user is not looking for the most features. I am looking for a device to move into my life with little (or no) luggage and do the things I need. I do not need 4g, this year’s marketing hype in the US. (My T39 only has GPRS) I do not need Retina display. What I do need is a phone that will outlast the contract, surf, email, and provide media. Right now the winner for my saved bucks, because it provides the best media experience, seems to be the iPhone.

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  4. This is just horrible. I would hope the Apple FaceTime app can do better than this.

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  5. Sorry Jonny, the HTC EVO 4G just isn’t an iPhone. Get over it, you are second class using Android.

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    1. You are correct – the EVO is not an iPhone as I can actually make phone calls with it that do not drop every few minutes. Liking my “second” class Android device just fine.

      BTW – I too really want to see FaceTime in action – real world, not a marketing demo. I was actually impressed with the Qik demo, but I guess I was not expecting some sort of professional video tele-conferencing process as some of you apparently were.

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  6. your right. the Evo is not an Iphone but at least i can still afford gas after recieving my bill from sprint. att is ridiculous and i would never spend $130 a month on a phone that does what the evo does. and on top of everything 75% of the apps through the android market are free as where the apps on the apple store you have to pay for. i am a huge sprint fan. and i love my evo.

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    1. Here Here I agree wholeheartedly my good chap. Wait i,m not British. Any way just got my evo switched from deeeerrrrizon and with froyo 2.2 coming very soon. i fell like it’s the best move i could have made. Oh and re the best buy cartoon for iphone 4 and EVO4G. Funny stuff!!

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    2. Im fully an evo fan over apple ofcourse (specially after video chatting from evo to evo) but I wanted to point out that the apple store has tons of free apps

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    3. Heyy I was thinking about. Buying the evo but every one says that its battery only lasts like an hour and I text a lot so how long does the battery last and is it worth my money?

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      1. I have an htc evo that I bought about 2 months ago n I just love it, I would never switch it for an iPhone 4 n its a lie that the battery only last for an hour of course u huv to consider that it has a large screen… at first I was hesitant to buy the evo bcoz previously I had the HTC g1 n that one really lacks on battery life but they have made a great improvement on the evo I am a very heavy txtr n browse the web all day, plus social networks n I can go my whole day with it u just have to be cautious about having you gps, bluetooth n WiFi on when u don’t need it and little things like that… I don’t know about everybody else but this is the most amazing phone that i have used BTW I had the iPhone 4 for about 3 months but it didn’t convince me :(

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