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HTC EVO 4G LTE Review

htc evo 4g lte

The HTC EVO 4G LTE is the latest in one of Android’s most iconic brands to emerge on Sprint. Coming this Friday (May 18) to a store near you, there probably won’t be another device this good on America’s third largest carrier for some time. With that said, how do we really feel about this phone? As a variation of HTC’s One X (unofficially), it has all of the internals to be the best in the business, but to us, internals are only half the battle. And in the case of the EVO 4G LTE, it may be losing that other battle – the battle of  design, feel, and network. 

Overall Thoughts:

Rather than put you through another full review of a One X-variant, we will simply refer you to both of our previous One X reviews (AT&T version | Unlocked version) if you are looking for camera samples, battery life numbers, Sense 4.0 overviews, and display chatter. The AT&T version is going to match up more closely to the EVO 4G LTE because of its processor and “LTE,” but both are good reads if you want to know everything there is to know about HTC’s flagship line of phones. And the reason we are skipping all of the general review jargon is because the internals of the phones are essentially identical. The EVO 4G LTE has the same amazing 4.7″ Super LCD2 display, top notch 8MP rear F2.0 camera with HTC’s ImageSense, impressive 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor (AT&T One X), 1GB of RAM, NFC, and Ice Cream Sandwich. Where the EVO differs is in battery size, jumping to 2000mAh. It also has 16GB of internal storage, but can be expanded via microSD card, unlike any of the One X variants.  It definitely has a couple of advantages there.

After you get out of the geeky, tech stuff though, it comes down to the look and feel of the phone, along with the network that it can connect to. I’ll go into this more throughout the video, but to be perfectly honest, I have to say that this phone took some risks in the design department and I’m not sure it came out ahead of the class. There are a variety of colors and finishes and metals that from a first impression standpoint, are not good. In hand, there are sharp metal edges thanks to a wrap-around band, a glossy plastic top that is never fingerprint-free, and a mostly useless dedicated camera button. The top lock switch feels squishy, the volume rocker sticky, and the rest of it is too confusing to comment on. HTC knocked it out of the park, walk-off style, with the design of the One X. With the EVO 4G LTE, it looks like an overweight middle reliever that just took a come-backer to the jugular.

As far as the network goes, know that while this is called the EVO “4G LTE” that owners of the phone won’t have LTE coverage for some time. Sprint is launching their first batch of LTE networks at some point in the near future (“mid-Summer 2012″), probably in Kansas City initially, but the rest of the country may not see it for a while (as in years). Sprint is behind when it comes to having a next-gen network, so be aware. While owners of the AT&T One X may not have LTE everywhere, they at least can fall back on HSPA+ which is no slouch. Sprint EVO users will fall all the way back to snailish 3G. There is no WiMax fallback.

Quick Review:

YouTube Preview Image

Verdict:

This phone, for the most part, is a great phone. The screen, processor, speed, performance, camera tech, NFC, and all of that fun are as good as it gets. The problem here comes down to design choices and network. For me personally, I couldn’t run faster from this device thanks to its looks and the fact that if I bought it, I would be stuck on Sprint’s 3G for the foreseeable future. However, for those that love Sprint and have made it this long without LTE, then there is no other choice. The Galaxy Nexus is the EVO 4G LTE’s only competitor on the network, and it’s at least a level or two below it. Like I said in the beginning, there are two battles that have to be won to compete with the best of them in today’s market – design/feel/network and then all of the techie stuff. On the tech front, the EVO matches the best of them. It’s the design/feel/network side that is of concern. If you can get over that, by all means, buy this phone and enjoy the hell out of it.

Gallery:

  • Chela

    I can’t believe they put the charging port on the side of the phone that rests on the table when the kickstand is flipped out. I have the Thunderbolt and it has the same issue. Seriously, no engineers noticed this glaring design flaw on multiple phones?!

  • Skurfa

    I am sure the accessory makers will start selling various different covers to replace the shiny black one on the back, but for me a case is necessary, I drop my phone too often. I do go for minimalism however, just a rubber bumper type, I don’t want to turn my phone into a monster with one of those Otter Boxes or something. I have been with Sprint forever but this phone could be my last. My area is scheduled for the LTE and Network Vision upgrades later this year, if they don’t improve things I might have to look at Verizon finally, though I despise the company. I live way out in the sticks and have very weak but usually usable signal with verizon. Sprint can be used for text but not calls at my house unless you stand in just the right spot. T-Mo and ATT have zero signal out there.

  • Taglogical

    Ghetto superstar…

  • JT22knight

    You sound like the guy from phone arena who said the One X had sharp edges and was not comfortable at all in the had. If anything the Evo has smoother edges than the One X and the band is just cut from the aluminum frame. Not an add on piece of metal like the iphone. The plastic top makes it look like the instagram logo, idc about the finger prints that much. its the back not the Screen. the dedicated camera button is always handy. is up to the consumer. as a manufacturer why not put one on the device, even if only half the people us it. its most likely faster to just hold down the button if your in an app doing something then pressing home or back and finding the camera app. depends when the person puts the app icon
    the network sucks. everyone agrees

  • C-Law

    So what’s up with this phone having burst mode? I thought HTC said features like that were only available with the image chip, which they said was reserved for the One series and is why the dinc 4g won’t have it. Confusing!?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=30814337 Brian Rokosz

    Buy a case = 99% of your problems and complaints solved…

    • NotoriousNeo

      Or not. I mean if a phone is really ugly, sure, but naked phones am the best. Yeah it sucks if you’re clumsy, but have insurance on the sucker, that’s what it’s for.

  • NotoriousNeo

    I’ve never seen so many reviews agree on one thing: Great phone, shoddy network. I mean, we all knew Sprint was meh, but this is the first time it has been getting grated all over.

    Personally, I used to sell Sprint and had a relatively great time, though this was pre-iPhone, but as of late whenever I happen to use my friends iPhones and Androids on that network it’s bone-crushingly slow at times, never on par with Verizon (or even AT&T). I guess if you’ve never been on the latter, you don’t notice it…

  • http://twitter.com/CharlesHussell Charles Hussell

    I really don’t understand why the manufacturers can’t just make each device the same across all networks. If phones like the GSII/III and the HTC OneX were the exact same we would see better accessories and the phones could be manufactured less expensively.

    • T4rd

      Because they have to make their phones “special” in order to differentiate themselves from their competitors. Pretty much the same reason why OEMs must have their own custom skin for Android to differentiate themselves from other OEMs running the same OS.

      I don’t agree with it, but I’m sure that’s their thought process on it. It can be a good thing in this case though; the Evo LTE has expandable storage which is an improvement over the One X. I think the US variants of the GS II were an improvement on the international variant too, esp. in Sprints case with the larger screen and notification LED. I’m anxious to see how they change the GS III for the US. I already know that they won’t keep the physical button on the bottom, but I hope they choose to ditch the capacitive buttons completely like the Gnex (doubt they will though).

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  • http://www.DavidPat.com David Pat

    This destroys the Gnex. The SOC and camera are on a different level altogether.

    • yarrellray

      Distroy’s the Galaxy Nexus that’s very doubtful. All devices coming out today are doing there very best to catch up to the Galaxy Nexus. Bottomline here I use to own both the EVO 4G and EVO 3D that was then and today I own the GALAXY NEXUS on Verizon. Their is nothing like PURE STOCK ANDROID and espically ice cream sandwich google understood exactly what they was doing. Htc has their version of Ice cream sandwich which just makes no sense at all. The Galaxy Nexus came out December 15th 2011 almost 6months ago and it’s still the top android device on the market. It will be the first to jellybean long before any HTC product that’s forsure. Software wise the GALAXY NEXUS pimp slaps the EVO 4G LTE and we won’t even discuss networks. I am not a big fan of Verizon I know they over charge and may even be overrated at best but they are still better than Sprint. This break down will leave people with much to think about. I am happy with my Galaxy Nexus and trust me Samsung is working on the NEXT GALAXY NEXUS that will show up Sept/Oct and nothing will be better than that. Espically sold thorough the google play store…..Read up gents…..http://www.androidpolice.com/2012/05/14/htc-evo-4g-lte-review-sometimes-the-ugly-ones-try-the-hardest/

  • Joseph DeGeorge

    A dedicated camera button is only a subtle difference?

    • Tim242

      Yes. It is not needed. As you saw, it took longer to launch.

      • Tyler Chappell

        It may not be needed, but its incredibly convenient. It’s near impossible to be able to take a self-portrait with the rear-camera on my Thunderbolt due to a lack of a dedicated camera button. I can use the front camera sure, but of course wont have near the image quality.

  • Nick Kmett

    I don’t know why people don’t like the hardware design of this phone. I really like it. It is something different instead of the basic black slab design.

  • Daryel Villavicencio

    It’s a nice phone without a proper network. Kinda like buying a sportscar without any roads or freeways to drive on.

  • jak_341

    All you had to say is that isn’t the GNex. That would be enough for me to know to pass on it.

    • LiterofCola

      Jump off a bridge.

    • Zane

      Smart man!

  • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

    I have ONE question…. Does Sense UI allow Landscape mode by default on the homescreen??? I’ve been waiting for that forever.

    • ItchyEyeball

      Try go launcher…

      • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

        I know I know… but I don’t understand why this isn’t a basic thing from Manufacturers. All Launchers and custom roms have landscape options….. why not by default?

    • JT22knight

      it turns to landscape on the Evo

  • Butters619

    Seems like a lot of reviews are saying the same thing. Just curious, did you notice really bad CDMA reception on the phone? Like worse than normal Sprint?

  • Michael_NM

    That color scheme sure looks Verizonesque. This would have been a nice Thunderbolt 2.

    • paul_cus

      That’s exactly what I was thinking as I watched the video. You would think Sprint would want to make the band yellow.

    • Asuriyan

      The original Evo 4G was rocking black and red before its close cousin the DInc got it. It’s as much an Evo color scheme as it is Droid.

      • Tim242

        That is not correct. The Incredible released in April 2010…the EVO in June.

    • GNEX(MOTOX)

      Meh, kellex calls my gnex 2 steps below.. well just no. I love my gnex. Feeling some hate.. XD. My friend dropped it the other day.. it survived it like a pro.. no cracks at all, just some minor scratches on the back. :( I never drop my phone but yea.. and yea would have made a nice tbolt 2.. but since iv’e gotten stock, im not going back. ICS is the true android experience. Works flawlessly.. if vz would give me 4.0.4.. :)

    • JT22knight

      Evo 4G 3D and LTE have red and black. idk y it looks good but black and yellow wouldnt go as well on a phone like that. my opinion

  • nwd1911

    I was appalled by the looks until I saw someone’s comment about adding a case and hiding the horrible horrible train wreck that is the EVO 4G LTE’s styling. Easy fix for a major issue. Spring is the other main issue, but hey…they need to have decent phones too. I’m just jelly I can’t buy one to run on Verizon…hidden under a sheet to veil it’s ugliness of course.

    • http://www.droid-life.com/ Tim-o-tato

      For some people, a case is an unacceptable accessory for any device. Especially Kellex :P If the device is no good in its birthday suit, then forget about it lol

      • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

        I dunno something a bout Kellex and birthday suit in the same sentence just threw me off lol

      • Butters619

        I don’t case up my phones either. I like to let it all hang out.

  • Tommy Thompson

    Also, ten markets by middle of 2012, so anytime now.

  • Tommy Thompson

    I bet a white one would look great!

  • http://www.goosio.com/ Adam Siekmann

    It’s funny hearing “Camera Nipple”.

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