The HTC EVO 4G LTE is very similar to the HTC One X on AT&T that I last reviewed. Some differences with the Sprint version of this line is that the EVO 4G LTE has the signature kickstand for the EVO line, a dedicated camera button, and is aluminum with an anodized black finish (you can also get a white version). The EVO 4G LTE also includes packaging made from recycled material for that bit of eco-friendly vibe.
The HTC EVO 4G LTE is the Sprint specialized version of the international HTC One X. I will keep this review simple since there are a lot of similarities.
The EVO 4G LTE is currently available for $199 on a 2-year contract with Sprint. Like the One X, it has the newest version of HTC Sense 4, built on top of Android 4.0. The dedicated camera button and kickstand are definite positives that you don’t see on many other devices out there. It is a great Android phone on the Sprint network, but I don’t think it is compelling enough to bring customers to Sprint.
Android OS (Ice Cream Sandwich) with HTC Sense
4.7” HD 720p super LCD2 Display (1280 x 720)
1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor
Qualcomm Adreno 225 GPU
16GB eMMC internal memory
1GB DDR2 RAM
LTE/CDMA radios for Sprint
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n
2000 mAh Li-Ion battery (embedded)
Although the EVO 4G LTE feels pretty solid, I prefer the polycarbonate material used on the AT&T One X variant. As with other Sense phones lately, I find the keyboard to be a bit intrusive where it takes up a lot of the screen real estate when typing. The 4G LTE network for Sprint is very much a skeleton network at this point, with only 6 metro areas listed on Sprint’s LTE website.
The display is just as amazing as the One X, with the HD screen with super LCD2 technology. The software seems snappy and responsive even with Sense UX being graphic heavy. The kickstand is sometimes tough to grab and swing open, but feels solid when you do. You might laugh at the “solid kickstand” comment, but I’ve seen the Thunderbolt that came out a while back where it felt very flimsy.
A significant design difference between the EVO 4G LTE and the One X is that the EVO has a black body with red accents. It looks pretty sleak, with the red kickstand standing out of the crowd.
Sprint has implemented their HD Voice service with this HTC EVO 4G LTE, which excites me. Taking signal processing classes in college makes me appreciate how great existing telephone technology was when it was created, but with the systems out today we shouldn’t be truncated (read: cutting off) parts of the voice. The reason everyone has to speak words for every letter in their name is because of outdated technology that Sprint has taken the initiative to update finally. That said, you need both devices on the line to be HD Voice enabled for this feature to work, so I was not able to test this feature out.
Why might you consider this device?
If you are familiar with HTC Sense and are a Sprint customer, then this should be your next phone. Like I said with the One X review, the biggest competition is the Galaxy S III. I think those two phones, as well as the iPhone, are a matter of consumer choice. However, I think the EVO 4G LTE and the SIII both go far beyond the Galaxy Nexus.
The phone is fairly light at 4.7 ounces, which is more than the One X. The kickstand makes it a great device to pull out and play YouTube or Hulu clips for friends, or as a makeshift clock stand.
Why you might not consider this device?
If you are the type of person that likes removable batteries and an external SD card for storage, find yourself another phone. Sprint LTE service is still in its infancy, so that should give you pause as you will most likely be stuck with 3G data for a while.
The EVO 4G LTE phone is one of the top of the line phones from Sprint, with interesting features that are not available on other One X models. However, this is not compelling enough to make you want to switch service providers. It is one of the best phones out there with updated hardware and performance.
HTC has made the HTC EVO 4G LTE available to me for a period of time to evaluate the device. The views within this review remain my own.