Sprint stores will begin carrying a 3-D smartphone and a 7-inch tablet on June 24, both of which run Google’s Android operating system and use the operator’s WiMAX network. The HTC Evo 3D will cost $199 after contract, while the HTC View tablet, a 4G version of the HTC Flyer, is priced at $399 with contract. Unique to the updated Evo handset is a pair of 5-megapixel camera sensors, capable of taking high-definition video or stills in 3-D, and a stereoscopic display to view the 3-D images without glasses.
This marks the third refresh of the popular HTC Evo for Sprint. The new model uses a large, 4.3-inch touchscreen and boosts the resolution to qHD, or 960 x 540, over the prior models. Like T-Mobile’s HTC Sensation 4G, the Evo 3D runs on a dual-core, 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU and version 2.3 of Android. HTC Sense 3.0 runs atop the standard Android interface, providing useful features such as an active lock screen and a 3-D carousel of home screens. I’ve been using the new Sense software for several days and can see why many people like it. It provides a far better experience over the stock Android user interface.
That same Sense software is also on the HTC View, which gives the tablet a “big smartphone” look and feel. The View is nearly identical to the $499 WiFi-only HTC Flyer (see our first look video here) but adds mobile broadband support. The 7-inch slate uses a single-core CPU clocked at 1.5 GHz, which — on the Flyer — I find plenty fast enough for most tasks. Sprint is launching the View with Android 2.3, but says the tablet will be upgraded to Android 3.0 when, the carrier says, Honeycomb is available for tablets.
Like the very similar Flyer, Sprint’s HTC View tablet supports digital inking on the 1024 x 600 screen, but only with a special pen. Outside the U.S., the tablet includes the pen, but here, it’s an additional $80 purchase. Sprint, however, is including the digital pen accessory with the View, provided the customer signs up a two-year data plan contract.
Note that while both devices launch on June 24, Sprint will offer its Premier customers a three-day head start on the smartphone. Qualifying customers can order the Evo 3D online beginning on June 21 to get an early look at the glasses-free, 3-D capabilities of the handset.