Mobile
Commentary
3/24/2010
05:49 PM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
Commentary
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First Impressions Of HTC EVO 4G WiMax Phone

We spent some quality time with the HTC EVO 4G smartphone at the CTIA trade show. This impressive WiMax-powered device offers a lot and could help Sprint's bottom line.

We spent some quality time with the HTC EVO 4G smartphone at the CTIA trade show. This impressive WiMax-powered device offers a lot and could help Sprint's bottom line.The HTC EVO 4G is extremely similar to the HTC HD2. Both share the same dazzling 4.3-inch touch screen and basic size. The EVO 4G is slightly thicker and has a rounder back. Less metal is used and more plastic is in its place. The HD2 feels of higher quality, but the EVO 4G is not that far off in that respect.

The form factor of the phone is not what's most impressive on this device. The software really sets it apart. Because it is powered by a 1GHz Snapdragon processor, it absolutely flies. In fact, I'd say it is the fastest Android handset I've used. It has the newest version of HTC's Sense UI concept on board, which features a friend stream, improved widgets and other nifty features.

Beyond the hardware and user interface, it is going to be packed with software. One of the apps on there that I tested was called Radar. It is an augmented reality application that lets users search for all sorts of different things that are in their vicinity -- including Twitter friends.

There's the Amazon MP3 Store, Sprint's mobile television service, some enterprise productivity apps such as Docs To Go and the all-too-cool hotspot creator application.

Oh, what, you want to know how fast the 4G speeds are? Well, Sprint's WiMax network is operational in Las Vegas and the EVO 4G easily found and latched onto the network. In simple browsing tests, it was extremely fast. I was able to browse the web at desktop broadband speeds. The web speeds are real. I wasn't able to perform any speed tests with known tools, and Sprint pointed out that modern test tools aren't properly calibrated for WiMax. All I can tell you is that when I used it, it was fast.

How will this phone do for Sprint? Well, Sprint thought the Palm Pre was going to help revive interest in the carrier. It hasn't. This device will. It's powerful, sexy, has access to thousands of apps, and will be the "latest and greatest" -- at least until something better comes along.

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