Blog Post

Typical Day With the Sprint EVO 4G

Photo taken with Palm Pre

I haven’t done a “typical day” post in a long time and as I’ve been running all over the place today it seemed like a good idea. I’ve only had the EVO for a day, and it’s already become second nature to reach for it when I need to do something. The day is a little over half done and here’s how it’s been so far.

The alarm went off at 5:30 as usual and I stumbled out of bed to get some fresh, preprogrammed coffee. The coffee maker with a timer is the single best invention ever, and I’ll fight anyone who disagrees with that. Cup of coffee in hand, I picked up the Sprint (s s) EVO 4G to get started. This is a first, I normally grab the iPad but without thinking I grabbed the EVO.

I went through the email that came in while I was snug in bed last night. I love the way Android (s goog) handles my Gmail; it is like working with email on the desktop. The big screen of the EVO aids the feeling of no compromise doing this. Once caught up on the email I fired up Twitter to find out what was going on with those I follow. I really, really like the Twitter app on Android. It is even better than the Twitter page in the desktop browser, as it thoughtfully provides a home page with everything neatly organized. I like how tightly it is integrated with the browser on the EVO — hit a link for a web page or photo and the browser is opened almost instantly.

When my Twitter work was done, I went to the Google Reader page in the browser to spin through all the RSS feeds I follow. There are usually hundreds of items appearing overnight, and today is no exception. I spin through the item headlines, tapping on items to see a little more information and tagging those items of interest to spend more time with later. The big screen of the EVO helps me make short work of my feeds, all from the comfort of my easy chair.

After showering and getting ready for the day, I sat down in Mobile Tech Manor to get some quick work done. The EVO was sitting on the desk in front of me, and I found myself picking it up when it gave an audio signal that I had some new tweets to read from the people I follow. I like Friendstream, the social network aggregator that HTC includes as part of the Sense interface. The default notification sound is a soft, distinct tone that sounds when new tweets arrive. Checking them on the EVO as desired kept me from paying much attention to Tweetdeck on the Mac, and that led to better concentration to my real work. I was even able to respond to tweets on the EVO using the onscreen keyboard.

I like the keyboard on the EVO — that big screen makes for one that is wider than on other Android phones I’ve used. I make fewer typing errors on the EVO as a result. I usually just stay in portrait orientation to do this, where on other Android phones I always switch to landscape to get a bigger keyboard. Score one for the bigger screen.

After getting some writing done, including this week’s Mobile Tech Manor column, I needed to head out to FedEx and return the Nexus One to Adobe. I decided to go from there to the coffee shop to get some more work done before lunch, so I grabbed my backpack from the bag tree. I threw in the Ferrari One laptop and the iPad. I thought about grabbing the Sprint Overdrive modem as usual, then decided to use the mobile hotspot feature on the EVO instead. With the bag in hand and the EVO in my pocket I headed out the door.

Once I arrived at the coffee shop I pulled the Ferrari out of the bag to get it started, and used the HTC widgets on the EVO to turn on 4G and the mobile hotspot. These widgets are a convenient way to control battery consumption by turning off radios not in use. That’s why 4G was turned off — I don’t have coverage in my home office so I leave it turned off to keep the radio from attempting to find the network.

It takes almost a minute for the EVO to connect to the 4G network, which is as long as the Overdrive takes to do the same thing. I then hit turned on the Mobile Hotspot functionality and it took a little while for it to hit the Internet. I was beginning to think something was wrong when Windows 7 on the Ferrari told me I was good to go.

I also paired the iPad to the EVO hotspot, as I like to work with it alongside the computer. I use mind maps done on the iPad for writing projects, and it sits next to the computer. The 4G connectivity was nice and speedy, and both devices had good bandwidth for the duration of my writing session. I must admit it was darn convenient to have the EVO function as the hotspot, negating the need to bring the separate Overdrive.

Soon it was time for lunch, so I threw everything back in the bag and walked down the street to get a nice salad. I had a leisurely lunch break, reading a good e-book on the iPad while eating my salad. The waiter wanted to know if my reader was “one of those iPad things”, a question I get asked a lot. It was a nice lunch break that unfortunately was over too quickly.

That’s as far as I can go with this “typical day” look — I am back in the coffee shop writing this for your enjoyment. It’s a wonderful thing when technology works the way it’s intended, and it helps the work get done without incident. I have a feeling I’ll be buying one of these Sprint EVOs when they are available.

Related research on GigaOM Pro (sub. req’d): Are You Empowering Your Mobile Work Force?

39 Responses to “Typical Day With the Sprint EVO 4G”

  1. Sold!
    I’d been considering the Dell Streak. But I think the EVO is just what I need.

    p.s.– you didn’t mention the Kickstand… As with my Archos 5, the kickstand is a great feature on a device like this.

  2. James,

    When in hotspot mode can the Evo still be used for data activities (ie: email, browsing)? My touch pro cannot be used for data activities when I have WMWifiRouter going.

  3. Scotty

    James, any comments on the EVO’s touch screen? One of the trade offs I made with the Nexus One was it’s inferior touch screen which I’m reminded of every time I pick up my iPad… :-(

  4. Dennisvjames

    I got rid of AT&T because it sucks. I went to Sprint and it works great. I bought a Pre and got a seidio extended battery because I needed more umph each day (I’ve never run out of battery and believe me I use my Pre for a lot more than talking). The good news is that if you buy an EVO you will have both Sprint and a Seidio battery because they’ve just announced one. .So it looks like a bar of soap. :-)

  5. Jay P

    Finally a decent post about the Evo! Thanks james! I have to believe that most of us that are waiting for these to drop have been searching for a post with some meat on it. Especially using the phone like most of us do. I applaud you and just want to say WE ALL APPRECIATE IT.

    Wish I could post all of this on all the other blogs I have been scanning…

  6. Emotionless

    I can’t wait to get the EVO! I have been reading everything I can find about it. There is a new site called with useful information, is one of my favorites, and puts up great coverage of the EVO too. I am so grateful that all these sites exist to help people like me bear the wait!

    Thanks for sharing your day with the EVO, James.

  7. Thanks for the info! I’ve pre-ordered mine from Best Buy and am all set to pick it up first thing Friday morning. It will already have my gmail credentials input and have a protective Zagg Invisible Shield installed. I can’t wait!! Question for you, James. Any idea when 4G will be coming to the rest of us Houstonians, re: inside the loop?? I am so tired of looking at the map and seeing seas of blue with my own area that bright orange 3g of doom!!

  8. Maybe you can help me with my dilemma. Just enough money to buy either the iPad WiFi & 3G or the HTC Evo (where I’d have to pay AT&T to drop the service). I am at a location where the network I bring with me is the only network I get.


    • GoodThings2Life

      If you’re in an area with 4G coverage available, it’s a no brainer. But if not, my opinion is that it’s always a matter of usage needs. Either you want a combination phone/hotspot/mobile content device, or you want a mobile content device.

    • Andy G.

      I’m in the same boat.

      Looking to terminate my AT&T contract if the new iPhone doesn’t suit my needs, and move to Sprint. They’re beginning to spread their 4G coverage around Philadelphia and AT&T is terrible here, for the most part. Really contemplating the Evo.

    • In case anyone is wondering, I ended up going with the Nexus One. While I could consider the ETF, when I looked at the current monthly cost versus the Sprint monthly cost ($40/month on an AT&T Family Plan vs $80/month on Sprint), I just couldn’t justify it. Though I still have my CradlePoint and Clear 4G USB modem, so I guess I still have 4G. At least y’all helped convince me to go Android :-)

  9. Scotty

    So it’s a Dell Streak e.g. a 4.3 android tablet. Now if we could just buy it from Sprint with out a voice plan I’d be happy myself.

    For example, if whilst you have the iPad and Ferrari One hooked to it in Hotspot mode you wanted to make a phone call with the EVO? What would you have to do and how long would it take? Then how long to get back into hotspot mode again? And while you are talking on the phone do you get your tweet alerts? If the person you are talking to sends you an email can you check the email before you hang up, or do you have to hang up, read it and call them back?

    • I didn’t get or make any calls so I can’t state with experience. But, voice calls can be done while on 4G without impact according to Sprint. You should thus be able to check things while on a call and return to the call without interruption.

      • Scotty

        James, the local Sprint tech is saying you can’t make/take calls even on 4G. He’s researching if it takes 1 minute to bring the 4G back up after making/taking an EVDO voice call. if so that would be very annoying… but I figured you might be able to test that quicker than he seems to be able to research it. :-)

      • Informed


        If a local Tech rep did in fact tell you that, that person needs to quit their job. All Sprint reps who will have direct contact with customers, whether it be via phone or in person has gone through EVO training. The EVO can do simul-voice/data while on 4G and Wifi. Also, voice calls do not go over EVDO, they go over CDMA. Sprint uses EVDO for data only.

    • Scotty, keep checking the Sprint Relay store; there’s a good chance it’ll be offered with a data only plan (probably new and more expensive than the current $30 SRDO plan). Note that the EVO release date is 6/4 and the Sprint Relay store now says current offers only valid until 6/5.

      • Scotty

        Tony, thanks for the tip. My hope is to use Fring to get me into Vonage and then with some magic into my Google Voice. I’ve got my name on one at the local Sprint store for next Friday, we’ll see what cooks up between now and then.

      • SRDO is still good deal: for 2-year contract, EVO 4G is offered at $199.99, data plan is $39.99 ($29.99 + $10 EVO 4G surchage, includes 4G), no official PAM

  10. Thanks for giving us an insight to your day with the EVO. I’m counting days to get one of these babies on hand. It’s gonna rock my world. What do you think of the battery life? That seems to be the only downside to the EVO so far according to all the reviews that I read.

    Thanks again!


    • I can safely say that many EVO owners are going to need a second battery. All of those radios and performance definitely take a hit on the battery. This is not just EVO-specific, any phone would be hit hard by everything that is going on in the EVO.

      • GoodThings2Life


        I’d be interested in knowing how it performs for a day with wi-fi and 4G disabled and strictly using 3G coverage. That’s more indicative of how I use my phone since I’m not in a 4G area and rarely use wi-fi unless I’m tethering my laptop.

      • The EVO and the Incredible have a slightly different Snapdragon chip than the Nexus One.

        Nexus One: Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ QSD8250 (1GHz)
        Evo/Incredible: Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ QSD8650 (1GHz)

        Not sure if that makes a difference either, but its another factor to add to the equation.

        • Right, but if I recall, the only difference is radio support: CDMA vs GSM. And if even if there were a performance difference in the two, it wouldn’t explain why the EVO is faster than the Incredible.

      • Scotty

        My guess would be the Germans.

        If you set the way back dial to a few months ago a german company had developed a Dalvik Turbo that was going to be sold to OEM’s to allow them to differentiate their products from other Androids. Perhaps HTC or Sprint bought in for the EVO 4G?

        But there are other very tasty features in Froyo such as the ability to store applications on the microSD card…