Meet the HTC EVO 4G: The First 4G Android Smartphone
Following the January launch of the Google Nexus One, HTC has struck gold again with the HTC EVO 4G smartphone. Running on Sprint's 4G Network, the EVO 4G packs some powerful specs and features a slick, stylish design.
The face of the phone is dominated by a stunning 4.3-inch WVGA (800-by-480-pixel) touchscreen with multitouch support, making it the ultimate multimedia smartphone. The 4.3-inches of screen real estate makes the EVO 4G a bit larger than your average smartphone, but it still feels pretty comfortable in hand.
Sleek, Streamlined Design
Like the HTC-built Nexus One, the four navigation buttons (Home, Menu, Back, Search) are actually part of the display rather than physical keys. This gives the EVO 4G a sleek, minimalist look. In my hands-on tests, I found the touch-sensitive buttons quite responsive as well.
Power Under the Hood
Like the Google Nexus One and the HTC HD2, the EVO 4G is powered by Qualcomm's 1 GHz Snapdragon processor. Unfortunately, the test models at the launch event were only loaded with select apps for demonstrations so I couldn't really measure how a post-production device will run. I saw a few fast-paced 3D games demoed on the EVO 4G, which ran flawlessly.
With its built-in mobile hotspot, you can connect up to eight Wi-Fi-enabled devices, including laptop, camera, music player, video player and any other Wi-Fi-enabled device, to the 4G network.
Built-in Kickstand and HDMI Port
A small, yet useful feature is the EVO 4G's built-in kickstand for hands-free, tabletop viewing. The kickstand also allows the device to double as a digital photo frame. You can also output your photos and videos in HD quality (720p) via the HDMI port. Of course, you'll have to purchase an HDMI cable--which is unfortunately sold separately.
Record and Share Your Videos With Qik
To share those videos with your friends and family, look no further than Qik, an application that will come preloaded on the EVO. One of my favorite mobile apps, Qik lets you stream live videos from your phones to your friends and family as well as share them via social networking sites like Facebook. And yes, Qik supports HD quality videos.
New Sense UI
The EVO 4G sports HTC's updated Sense user interface running over Android 2.1. Friend Stream (shown above) is a widget that aggregates all of your social networks and displays them in a single interface. Supported social networks include Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, and others. Another feature, Leap, uses the pinch-and-zoom gestures to jump to and from your open applications.
8-Megapixel Camera With Autofocus
While 5-megapixels seems to be the standard for high-end smartphone cameras, the EVO 4G goes a step further with an 8-megapixel snapper. Like the iPhone 3GS, you can touch-to-focus on a subject. The camera user interface is pretty straightforward as well and offers a handful of advanced controls like exposure, color, white balance, and various photo effects.
You can also capture HD video with the EVO's 4G camera and from what I saw in the demos, the playback quality is pretty clean.
1.3-Megapixel Front-Facing Camera
Last but not least, the EVO 4G sports a front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera with video recording. This feature--paired with 4G speeds--opens up a many exciting uses for app developers. I'm anticipating lots of apps with integrated video chat clients. Imagine, being able to play a multiplayer game while video chatting with your opponents. Or, what if you could watch a video while simultaneously discussing it with a friend. The application possibilities are endless.