on May 27, 2012
I've been anticipating the launch of this phone for what seems like forever now, and I can now say that it was entirely worth the wait. Unfortunately, I myself am not yet up for an upgrade, but my husband was - so I opted to take full advantage of the situation, and we pre-ordered the LTE the day it became available. Thanks to a customs delay, it arrived a few days late, but this allowed me a nice long weekend to hijack it...um, I mean "put it through its paces."
What you'll like:
-At just 4.7 ounces and just .35" thick, it is incredibly light and thin
-1.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 dual-core processor. In other words, FAST. Some may gripe about the lack of quad core, but I haven't noticed a single bit of lag thus far.
-A 720x1080 pixel, LCD display makes everything look crisp and clear. Sporting nearly as many pixels per inch as the iPhone, some have argued that the LTE's display looks just as good, if not better, than Apple's behemoth. As an owner of a 3rd Gen iPad, I can say it's pretty darn close.
-Sprint is including an upgraded, 2000 mAh battery (7 hours quoted talk time) in their model of this phone, and it makes a big difference. It is built in - which is usually not my preference - but after three days of use, it is consistently only draining a little more than 50% of power by the end of the day, with moderate use (And we roam. A LOT). If you're going to have a phone with a non-removable battery, this is the one to get.
-Lack of bloatware. Previous Sprint Android phones included such annoying apps as Sprint NFL, Sprint Nascar, Telenav, et cetera - all practically useless, and completely non-removable, taking up valuable space on the phone. This phone only includes the SprintZone app, which is actually kind of useful for checking usage and diagnosing network problems. Yay for Sprint getting the message!
-SD card slot. Departing from the rest of the OneX line, Sprint opted to include a removable SD card slot in the LTE. An SD card card itself is not included - and is probably not needed for the average user, with 16GB of internal storage on board - but being able to pop in up to 32GB of extra storage if needed is a great feature.
-Call quality is great, and Beats Audio offers pretty impressive sound.
What You'll Love:
-Camera = AMAZING. 8MP rear facing, 1.3MP front facing and shoots 1080P HD video. Dedicated shutter button for snapping shots, and the "burst" feature is great for snapping a barrage of pictures of those children and pets that always seem to be running everywhere. You can easily select the best shot of the bunch to save afterward, or just keep them all. Image stabilization and face recognition are also standard, and a range of effects can be added before or after snapping shots. In short, I can't really find a thing wrong with this camera - it's the best of any smartphone camera I've ever handled.
-Ice Cream Sandwich. One of the few Android phones shipping with (or even running) this operating system, it is intuitive, beautiful and a lot of fun to use. The experience is not quite "stock" ICS, but it comes pretty close.
-Sense 4.0 - light, easy to use, and includes some gorgeous widgets and live backgrounds.
What (May) Bug You:
-Physical button configuration. ICS is moving away from hardware buttons, but this phone includes three - the Back button, Home button, and an App Switching button for switching between open apps, and closing them when you are done. A dedicated Google button is omitted, which is something that's been rough for me to adjust to. HTC would have done much better to either include it as a fourth button, or omit the app switching button to include it. I view the App Switch button as pretty much useless, as my current phone includes the same function when the home button is pressed and held. The phone is capable of performing the same functions using the Google search widget on the home screen, but it does not lock, and the necessity of leaving an app, navigating to the page with the widget, THEN selecting it for use kind of defeats the purpose of instant access to voice commands. There isn't even a smaller widget I can add to the locking shortcut drawer at the bottom of the home screen. Eventually, I'll find a workaround, but for now it's a bit annoying. To be fair, this is going to be a problem on all ICS phones going forward, so HTC was just the first after the Nexus to exclude this.
-Lack of 4G network. This is the major knock on this phone right now - although it is 4G capable, Sprint's LTE network is not yet live pretty much anywhere. The phone does not include a WiMax radio to utilize Sprint's previous "4G" technology, so essentially you're stuck on 3G until Sprint's network starts rolling out next year. That said, I am not anywhere WiMax, so I wouldn't be using anything but 3G anyway, and at least this phone is capable of 4G speeds assuming it comes our way anytime soon.
-Larger size. At 5.2 x 3.7 inches, it is a good bit larger than the iPhone or something similarly sized. That said, my personal viewpoint is that this is a GOOD thing - more of that gorgeous screen real estate for your money. I have spectacularly tiny hands, and the size of this phone bothers me not one bit. Of course, I may be a bit dazzled by the other great features, so it may be worth your while to stop by a Sprint or Best Buy store and play with one to make sure it's to your liking.
In short, this phone is the best of the best. Simple enough for novices, but powerful and versatile enough for super users.
So, anyone know of any retailers looking to donate one of these to a poor, tech-starved geek-ette? My husband is starting to make noise about wanting his phone back.
I managed to get my hands on one of these for myself, and have spent the last few days putting it through even more paces. My initial review was a little more limited since I was using my husband's apps rather than my own. I'm even more impressed with it now, but there are a few more things to be made aware of.
Google Wallet is included with this phone, but has since been deactivated by Sprint. My husband's phone, which was pre-ordered, is still functioning, but my app will not activate and returns a "not certified on your carrier" error. This makes sense, given the rumors circulating that Sprint is working on their own version of NFC payment, but it's still a little disappointing, as Sprint was the only carrier allowing Google Wallet on their phones.
Since the phone's launch, there has been buzz in the forums about network issues and the phone dropping the 3G signal. If anything, my experience has been that 3G is better on this phone than on my last, and I have not noticed the signal dropping in my area - although it did keep "losing" the time zone before I updated the PRL, which seems to have fixed the problem.
The only other issue I've noticed is app switching - some apps seem to behave as normal when switching around (continuing to work in the background, rather than pausing) and others pause and re-load when switching back to them. I'm not sure if this is a problem with the individual apps and compatibility with ICS, or whether it's a software thing. As this is still a brand new phone, there are going to be bugs that need to be worked out, so I'm still keeping an eye on this one. The good news is that HTC has a pretty solid reputation for staying on top of updates and fixes, and as this phone is their shining star right now, I'm pretty confident that they're working on the issues users seem to be having.
on June 10, 2012
I'm not your typical user, I tend to be very particular about little details that not everyone will care about, so I'll try to only talk about these things in attempt to avoid saying what's already been said in other reviews.
The Evo 4G LTE is not technically a part of the HTC One series found on AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile, but it has all of the same internals (including the screen) of the HTC One X on AT&T. What this has that the One X doesn't have, though, is an empty microSD slot along with the 16GB internal storage, a dedicated camera shutter button, and an officially unlockable bootloader.
Yep, the Evo 4G LTE's bootloader is unlockable by the official HTCdev method, (made easy by the folk at XDA Forums.) No hacks or exploits. You do get a warning from HTC saying that unlocking may void the Warranty in some situations, but if you're an advanced android user looking to put different versions of Android on this phone, this will likely not be a concern for you. For new users looking to get a phone that's unlocked easily and reliably, you'll want to check this one out. I have a modified version of the stock ROM that ships with this phone. It has tweaks such as remapping the functions of the physical capacitive buttons. (Replacing the "App Switcher" button with the traditional "Menu" function allows you to free up more screen space since the "three dot" software menu button won't be on the screen anymore. Then, remap the "App Switcher" function to the Back button when long-pressed. I find this as an ideal setup on an unlocked LTE.) If you root your LTE, I'd also suggest downloading Android Commander for your computer so you can easily edit system-level files such as unwanted Apps. I'd give the EVO LTE 5/5 stars if I never unlocked the bootloader for custom ROMS -- but now that I have, I'd rate this phone something like 7/5 stars if I could. It's going beyond my expectations.
Elsewhere, I have to say I'm absolutely drooling over the screen on this phone. I'm a digital artist, so I'm very perceptive of screen color casts and things. So when people say they think the Super AMOLED screens on Samsung devices still eke out the EVO LTE / One X in screen quality, I just can't agree with them. Samsung's AMOLEDs always have either a blue or green color cast (mostly thanks to usually having a pentile sub-pixel arrangement,) and the color, while vivid and "pops" with saturated colors, usually does so unnaturally. I'd rather take the neutral, natural, excellently calibrated IPS LCD screen of the EVO over an AMOLED any day. And when you look at this screen with all its size, brightness, and sharpness, it's something you just can't help but gawk at! I'm not really an iPhone user, but I have to admit, when the iPhone 4 first came out and I saw the Retina Display in person for the first time, I was awestruck at the quality and clarity of it. When I got the EVO LTE, I had the very same in-awe reaction, perhaps even more so when you take into account of the greater size and resolution. As David Pierce of The Verge said in his review of the phone, "More than once, I found myself just sort of staring at the Evo's 4.7-inch display, for no particular reason." I now understand where he's coming from with that.
I've owned a first generation iPhone and two other HTC phones in the past. (T-Mobile G2 and Radar 4G.) During all that time, I've NEVER used them for watching video, TV shows, or movies, if only because of their smaller screen sizes and limited playback functionality. But the 4.7" 720p screen here is absolutely a joy to watch video on, especially when you consider that it supports playback of HD .MKV files, and has expandable storage. Get MX Player from the Play store. It's free and supports changing subtitle/audio. (Great for those of us who watch anime.) It's a serious win.
I've been getting decent battery life. Some heavy usage will see me through the day with 30% or more left to recharge overnight. If I were more careful about disabling auto-sync and the wireless radios when not needing them, I'm sure it'd last even longer, but I'm really not complaining. I've begun using an energy-saver app that automatically shuts off certain functions/apps of the phone when idle for too long, or during certain parts of the day (like after midnight when you're likely not to be using the phone as much anymore.) This helps out quite a bit since I don't have to worry about manually shutting off these features to save power. The app will just turn them back on for me when I need them. I don't need to get facebook and gmail updates throughout the night, so with the radios turned off, I've found being able to go for 2 days without recharging while maintaining same heavy usage. (Unplug on morning of day one, go through the night, plug in end of day 2.)
A quick word on Sprint network speeds. I live in Boston, MA. We're going to be one of the first cities to get LTE when sprint rolls it out, so we already have pretty thorough coverage here with plenty of towers. On speedtest.net, I get on average 650~1800 kbps down and 500~1000 kbps up depending on exact location/time of day. It has been rather consistent for me at those speeds. I was a user of Clearwire 4G for a little while, which Sprint will likely be using as its 4G/LTE network when rolled out. On Clearwire in Boston, I typically got 12-16 Mbps download and 1.5-3 Mbps upload. Here's hoping those speeds come soon to Sprint as well!
Lastly, I'm using my phone 100% case-less. I've never dropped a phone of mine before, so I'm completely comfortable using this phone without a case or screen protector. I like the look of the phone as-is, very much, and I like the feel of the treated aluminum HTC uses. I just wouldn't want to cover that up! Plus, being as thin as this phone is, you'd barely ever notice it's in my pocket, despite its dominating screen size.
Seriously, seriously satisfied with this whole thing. I haven't been on a contract with a carrier in like 6 years. But for this phone, yeah, I'll have NO problems putting up with it for the next 2-years.
on August 23, 2012
If you don't read anything else in this review, read "The Ugly" section. Some of the problems with this phone are important to cover, and may be a dealbreaker for many. I've had this phone for a month now, and I want to share my thoughts. The device has some really fantastic features that I absolutely love. It also has some serious knocks against it that really drag the experience down. I honestly find myself wondering now if I should have stuck with my last phone, the previous Evo 4g, for a little while longer.
Most reviews rave about some specific features of this phone, and I can say that the raving is justified. The screen is gorgeous. It is bright, and the resolution makes everything crisp and clear. The camera is as good as they say it is. It is an entirely new class of phone camera. It is incredibly fast and responsive, and the picture quality is simply amazing. With my old Evo 4g, I enjoyed the pics but never harbored any illusion that they were as good as those of a dedicated camera. With the Evo 4g LTE, the camera is easily as good as any point and shoot on the market today. The slow-mo video is a fun feature, the ability to capture a pic while taking video is fantastic, the hardware button is wonderful, and most of all I love the rapid-capture ability. It really is just a fantastic camera.
ICS is a great upgrade over older versions of android. On the Evo 4g LTE it is fast and responsive, with hardly a stutter to be seen. Little things like the ability to unlock directly to an app really make a big difference. The music player has been nicely tweaked over older iterations, I especially like that it now acts as a hub for all the music capabilities of the phone: pandora, mp3s, etc. I general the OS feels more intuitive and responsive than older iterations, as it should.
The battery life seems to be very respectable. Part of why I upgraded was that my old Evo's battery was showing its age and could barely last 10 hours without needing a recharge. The Evo 4g LTE lasts multiple days on a single charge with light use, which is plenty for my needs.
The microSD slot is pretty easily accessible, and offers the ability to cheaply upgrade the phone's storage.
Apparently (according to a bit of google searching) there are multiple screen manufacturers for the phone, and not all screens are built equal. While my phone's screen is generally great, it has a VERY noticeable flicker when displaying certain colors. Specifically the light grey shade that you see when the Google Play (market) app opens flickers like an old low refresh-rate monitor. It isn't an issue very often, but it is very disconcerting.
The build quality of the Evo 4g LTE is pretty suspect. The front of the phone feels super solid and I have no doubt that the glass will hold up over time. The same can be said about the brushed aluminum bezel, back panel, and kickstand. But the gloss plastic that covers 50% of the phone's backside is already showing wear and tear, after less than a month. I baby my electronics, and my two-year-old Evo 4g is in nearly perfect condition. The glossy plastic portions of the Evo 4g LTE already creak alarmingly under pressure, and I do not feel confident that they will stand up to the test of time. There is a noticeable gap between the removable plastic cover and the surrounding aluminum bezel. The build quality is surprisingly poor compared to my previous experience with HTC, and honestly even when compared to other portions of the Evo 4g LTE itself.
A few features of ICS are not as intuitive as one would like. My old Evo 4g instantly and automatically linked all of my contacts with their facebook information, thus filling in things like birthdates, and most importantly profile pictures. ICS (and maybe Sense had something to do with this) did not. It took quite a bit of digging around, and some work on google to figure out how to enable the facebook linkage. Until then, all of my contacts had default grey outline pictures.
This is where the phone starts to fall apart for me. The network capabilities are awful. They are a clear downgrade from my Evo 4g. I live in Kansas City, and my old Evo 4g had both excellent 3g coverage, and excellent WiMax coverage. Ping times were the only problem I had with WiMax (typically in the 200-300 range), but I typically got 3-7Mbps down and ~1Mbps up with very reliable coverage, especially in my home. Outside of WiMax range, I reliably got 3g coverage that pulled ~1-2Mbps down and up. This is what I would expect, given that I am in Sprint's home market.
I upgraded to the Evo 4g LTE after hearing that LTE was officially "live" in Kansas City. Unfortunately the news that I missed was that by "live", they really mean "about 30% live". There is little to no actual LTE coverage in the city. At my apartment, where WiMax was previously very strong, I can only connect to LTE rarely, and when I do the signal is so weak that my connection times out regularly. Watching antenna strength, the LTE connection sits around -115 to -120dBm (in non-technical terms, that is just a hair above zero bars). I actually disabled the LTE antenna on my phone because it is disruptive FAR more often than it is useful.
"So what", you might say. "Just use 3g". I would agree with you. 3g should be able to get me by in the next few months while Sprint continues their LTE rollout, hopefully with an antenna near my home. Unfortunately the phone's 3g antenna is also highly problematic. 3g signal pickup is weaker than my old Evo 4g, and speeds are considerably worse than my previous phone. Pings usually sit around 200, which is acceptable, but I almost never get above 0.5Mbps down, or up. Additionally (and even more importantly), the phone has a habit of dropping the 3g signal. I tether often, and when I do I tend to lose 3g every few minutes. This is in close proximity to a 3g tower, and with a strong signal (4-5 bars, in the -70 to -80dBm range). The phone will just inexplicably lose 3g connectivity. Google around a bit and find out: this is a known problem that many people are dealing with, and HTC/Sprint have acknowledged the issue and are trying to rectify it. Problem is, it isn't fixed. I truly hope that in the near future an OTA update will fix the problems... after all, I'm basically stuck with this phone for the next 23 months. The network issues are bad enough that I really do miss my old Evo 4g, and I'm very tempted to reactivate it.
Conclusion: at the end of the day, the Evo 4g LTE is a phone, and as such I think the network issues are a pretty big deal. If you are on WiFi constantly, then they won't be an issue for you, but if you're dependent upon Sprint's network in any way, be very careful... this phone has some major baggage.
Update 9/25/2012: A couple OTA updates later, and it is still in pretty bad shape. I am very used to 500ms+ ping now, and 0.1Mbps download/upload speeds. 4g coverage is still nonexistant. According to xda and s4gru, this problem is SPECIFIC TO THE EVO 4g LTE. As in an iPhone 5 and SGIII will both connect just fine to 4g, but an Evo in the same room will not.
Try this neat trick: Go to craigslist and search for Evo 4g LTE. See how many nearly new Evos are being sold for less than half the price of a new one? That speaks more volumes than my review does.
on May 31, 2012
Well so far I have had this phone for a little over 24 hours, and it is awesome. I read on one review on some unknown tech website about how this phone was the first phone on Sprint that can surf the web and make a phone call at the same time. Now I was under the impression that sprint and verizon's cdma technology couldn't handle this, so I was skeptical. But sure enough today I was on the phone having a conversation, I loaded up google maps, it brought it up with the current traffic and found my location. I still couldn't believe it, so I went to the web browser and pulled up espn.com, yep it worked! And FYI I just tried it again to make sure I didn't mislead people. Called my house, did a google search and then went to yahoo.com, worked perfectly!
So far all the other reviews people rave about the other features. I just wanted people to know about the simultaneous data and talking that I didn't even know about and no one has mentioned.
A couple other things, ICS is a huge improvement, there seemed to be a small learning curve for me coming from the evo 3d, maybe it's just sense 4.0, I haven't played with stock ICS.
The screen is great and extremely easy to read in sunlight, unlike other phones.
People have complained that this phone is ugly, seeing pictures I agreed, it's much better in person.
This phone is extremely light and thin, I went to bestbuy to activate it yesterday and the woman let me hold her iphone 4s up to it and I could not tell which was thicker.
on May 28, 2012
Why Apple tried to keep this phone from getting into the publics hand. This phone is simply amazing and a joy to use. It is simple to use like the iPhone but with so much more horsepower under the hood and the flexibility of the Sense UI is great. I was going to get an iPhone to replace my Photon because i wanted a phone that just worked without some of the headaches of Android even though i enjoy the flexibility of it. I remembered how much i enjoyed the original EVO but i did not care for the battery. I just got through 36 hrs with 30% of juice left after moderate use. ICS and this phone seem like they were meant for one another. I honestly like Apple products because they make quality products that just work but if every iPhone user spent a day with this new EVO i think they would get one if they were due an upgrade.
On a side note, I don't have 4g speeds where i live but for some reason the internet with 3g is a lot faster than with any other phone.
I'm so impressed with phone that I am going to get this phone for my wife when they become available after the pre-order phase.
on June 7, 2012
I'll try not to repeat what has already been said, and so that you can compare your usage to mine, here's how I use my phone:
1. Talk about 1 hour or less per day
2. Text frequently all day
3. Surf the web lightly
4. Listen to Pandora and play music about 1-2 hour maximum per day
5. I use apps to read news, such as PULSE, throughout the day, and other small apps such as myfitnesspal, facebook, and yelp.
6. Check weather and stocks several times per day, use google maps navigation once in a while.
7. Brightness set at maximum (yes, I know it can be turned down to save battery, this is a benchmark for you)
8. Only sync gmail, all others are manual sync
9. I have bluetooth and 3G active. Wifi is turned off, as is LTE and GPS.
10. Take a few photos now and then.
All in all, I consider myself a medium light user. That being said, here is my experience with the phone (my previous phone as the original HTC EVO 4G).
1. Good screen. It gets nice and bright and looks good. However, I just got my daughter and my wife the Samsung Galaxy S2 (Epic Touch) and while I don't think overall the screen on the Samsung is 'better' it certainly seems to have better color 'pop'. Between the two, my personal preference is the Amoled screen over this LCD screen, but it's close enough for me not to care and both look good.
2. Hardware: great form factor. The phone is slim and light, yet feels sturdy. I bought the Diztronic TPU matte black case for it and it's the best case I've ever had...slim and fits great/looks great. Who cares if the back of the phone has a glossy plastic cover and is a fingerprint magnet??? How many people will use the phone without a case? Not many. It's such a dumb issue that has received so much attention (the back of the phone and what it's made of). Plastic, glass, black, blue...who cares. Buy a case and it doesn't matter. Our whole family held the iPhone, and especially for the size, it feels so clunky and heavy! These new android phones are very sexy and light!
3. Interface: I like some of the new features of ICS 4.0 and/or the new Sense UI. Just adding widgets and such is easier, as is creating folders, opening folders, closing folders, etc... pretty cool. I'll need to get used to some of the changes, but all in all, I like a lot of the UI improvements. When you press the app switching button on the bottom right to bring up open apps, you can swipe 'up and away' to close that app down. Very cool.
4. Main rear camera: It's very good. Not great (not consistent), but very good. When inside, the Samsung Galaxy S2 (Epic Touch) takes MUCH better photos. I like how the LTE can take rapid photos, and the slow motion video is fun to play with. I thought I would really like the dedicated photo button on the side, but alas, I do not. It's actually a pain to find and to press it and only take a single photo, not several with the rapid shooting. Yes, I know I can turn off the rapid shooting in the settings, but I don't want to configure it all the time. Plus, it's suppose to be a 2 stage button. Pressing it half way is supposed to focus and lock, and I don't see it doing that. I really haven't figured out what pressing and holding halfway does...yet. Maybe it just locks the exposure setting? I also don't really find it that convenient to press with a case on. I find that the on screen photo shutter button is way easier to use, and hence that is what I'm using. The camera interface is great, and has the cool image adjustment features (black and white, sepia, distortion, etc..) conveniently located and easy to get to when taking pictures. All in all, a good camera, but with all the hype surrounding this phone, I am let down especially knowing that my daughter's Samsung is taking way better photos indoors. In fact, the indoor photos from the HTC down right suck. The HDR photo setting works well for photos against a bright sky...just be prepared that the colors come out vivid and funky...looks almost like an Andy Warhol painting, plus any motion like moving leaves or grass will be blurry. All in all, a big improvement over my last EVO 4G, although I got some good outdoor shots with that phone. Macro photos (close-up) come out amazing, so long as the lighting is bright and even. I wish I could post some photos of some flowers I took. They are the best looking close-up photos I have ever taken, even with a DSLR camera!
**Update: I finally turned off the rapid shooting mode, as when I used the physical camera button on the side it would take too many photos, and sometimes it wouldn't stop even when I wasn't pressing it, and it would take all 20 or 30 quick photos. A real pain!
5. Call quality: excellent. Sounds are clear and reception is good (at least in my area). Speakerphone is not as loud as it was on my old HTC EVO 4G. I'm bummed. The one thing I really loved about the original EVO 4G was the super loud speakerphone. It was nice when talking to someone or even playing music when working out if I didn't have a stereo handy.
6. Facial recognition: very cool way to unlock your phone. I love it!
7. At the bottom of many screens, you will have three vertical 'periods' just like ... except vertical. Hitting this opens up your 'menu'. I like this and is quick and easy to get to application settings wherever you go.
8. The unlock screen is cool, and I like how you can drag an icon into the unlock circle and it will open your phone and launch that application. You also have your choice of several unlock screens (you can have a clock showing, stocks, weather, etc...).
1. Power button location: it is still on the top of the phone. Wow, it's a pain to get to, especially with a case on. I like how Samsung has their power button on the side where it's easy to turn on and off with your thumb.
2. Battery life: I'm surprised to hear so many people raving about battery life. I unplugged my phone at 6:30am and by 2:30pm I had to plug it in with 14% battery left. I made about 30 mins of phone calls, did some light internet, listened to Pandora for about 30 mins, and just navigated around my phone for about an hour or so. Screen is set to maximum brightness (again, yes I know I can turn it down to save battery, but I hate dim screens and what's the point of this great screen if you don't get to see it???, plus I just want to see what this battery can do), and only have 3G and Bluetooth enabled. All other items are disabled. I'm hoping the battery will get better after it has been through a few charging cycles. As of now, I'm really disappointed in battery life. With this light of activity, I should be able to go all day/evening, and with my old EVO, I was able to go till about 10pm at night no problem.
3. Front camera: HORRIBLE! It takes really bad photos. The samsung Galaxy S2 takes WAY better photos with the front camera. I don't care too much since I don't use it that much, but still...after all the hype I was really hoping for a kick butt camera all the way around.
4. Back button: they moved the 'back' button from the bottom right to the bottom left. It's the button that I use the most at the bottom of the phone, and now it is located the furthest away from my thumb!
5. No more 'search' button: they got rid of it, and instead you have the button that brings up all open apps. As one other reviewer said, you used to be able to get to that simply by holding the 'home' key down. I miss having my search button and especially long pressing it to bring up the google voice command prompt.
6. I am 5'9 and have decent sized hands. I like the size of the phone, especially how slim it is, but the size is just large enough that it is precarious at times to use it with one hand. I have almost dropped it a few times trying to 'one hand navigate' my phone. This isn't really a 'con' and I am not marking down the phone's grade by the size, as I knew what size it was before I ordered it so it shouldn't get dinged for that. I'm just making you aware of it. If I had my wish, it would be 4.5", just like the Galaxy S2...that phone seems to be the perfect size (I know, some of you are saying "just go buy the darn Galaxy II since you love it so much! :) I'm not attached, just calling out the good and bad points as I see it so you can have a real comparison.)
7. LAG! As some other site reviews have mentioned, I am also experiencing lag in certain areas of the phone. Mostly, it is when I'm in the app drawer browsing all of my apps and swiping side to side to go from screen to screen. Also, when scrolling through photos, there's definitely lag. It doesn't scroll smoothly. When clicking on the 'app switch' icon on the bottom right of the phone and switching to another app, many times the app will come up, the screen will go black, and the app will have to be reloaded. This does not happen all the time, but frequently. I'm not sure this falls under 'lag' but it is annoying.
Miscellaneous thoughts, not big enough to be a pro or con:
1. Beats audio is just 'okay'. I have decent headphones, and I don't notice that much difference. Maybe if I had Beats headphones? This is certainly something I was looking forward to, but now find it really isn't that big of a deal.
2. Charging port on the side: I don't like this. I like the charging port on the bottom. With it on the side, it makes it harder to use or move the phone when it is charging in my car(I don't drive and text/talk, I have Ford Sync) or next to my bed since you have this chord sticking out of the side. Pain in the rear.
4. Keep in mind they say 16gb of memory, but you really only get access to 10gb of that. Plus, when you put in an additional SD card, it places it as a sub-SD memory (if that makes sense) since it already has the 10gb of internal memory that it gives you, and I have yet to find a way for my applications to read from the extra SD card slot, since it is located 'under' the internal memory. I backed up my applications to the SD card from my old phone, and when I go to restore on my new phone, the applications can't find the backup file. I just need to keep playing with it. EXAMPLE of the file path to your external memory card: /sdcard/ext_sd Now, this means that all items on your SD card are now in the subfolder of sdcard...get my meaning? The phone's internal memory is the 'sdcard' folder.
5. Taking self-portrait photos with the front camera: The phone is just large enough and the on screen camera and physical camera buttons are located such that it is VERY hard to take one-handed self-photos with this phone! I've learned that turning the phone upside down may be about the only way to do this and reach the shutter button with a thumb and not drop the phone! Good luck!
6. I can't stand how when you go to your photo gallery, your newest photos are always at the very bottom of the list...I have to always scroll way down to see my recent photos. They need to put a 'sort' feature at the top so that you can choose to view by size or date, etc...
7. I wish they would have added more color options to the LED notification. It only has red/green/yellow. I would prefer to add blue for text notifications, etc... Samsung has this.
8. Phone dialer screen: this hasn't really changed from the last EVO, but my gripe is how when you hit the 'key pad' button, the keypad screen goes over the mute and speakerphone buttons. This sucks for me as I'm always on conference calls with my phone, and I need to be able to enter keys and also quickly mute or put on the speakerphone, or when calling some customer service number, and they want you to enter keys, and then when the rep gets on you have to scramble to close the keypad screen in order to unmute or put on/off the speaker. I hate to make another Samsung comparison, but when you click their 'dial pad' icon, the dial pad slides up the screen, keeping the mute/speaker buttons available to you. Small annoyance, but to me is just poor design and bad usability.
9. Kickstand: some people wonder about the kickstand and if they'll use it. I use mine everyday and night. At night, it's on the nightstand next to my bed, with a digital clock showing and playing rain or ocean sounds to help me fall asleep (I use Lightning Bug). I like being able to look over at it and see the time. Also, sometimes when working out or taking a shower, I put it on the table and near a wall, and being propped up with the back towards the wall helps the speakerphone bounce against the wall and makes it louder. Unlike the HDMI micro port that my old EVO came with, people actually use this feature! :)
10. When you get a calendar reminder notification to your lock screen (if your phone was off), you get two choices: dismiss or reminder. When choosing dismiss, it still takes your phone to the calendar appointment. This is a pain since I have my work email synched to my phone and I have a lot of work meetings, so the reminders are nice, but I hate having to close my calendar even after dismissing.
I will update this review in a week, after I've charged the battery at least 10 times. Hopefully it will improve. Hopefully this helps you in your decision at least a bit. With all the reviews online, it's hard! I'm sorry to make so many comparisons to the Samsung, but it's the nearest competitor that I had access to since my other family members just got it. I don't think you can go wrong with this phone or the S3.
**Update on battery 1 day later - I set my screen at 'auto adjust' instead of maximum brightness today. I used my phone (very lightly) from 7am till 6pm and I have about 28% left... not bad at all. Not GREAT considering this phone is supposed to have the 2000mah battery and I really miss having that nice, bright screen all the time.
on October 6, 2012
Let me say this up front. I would love to have a great Android phone. I love Android's operating system much better than IOS. The flexibility, the interconnection of apps, and screen size all make me love Android phones.
The crucial difference is fragmentation and manufacturer support.
My wife had the HTC Evo a couple of years ago and HTC did a decent job of patching and updating Android. I had a Samsung Epic 4G and it was a crippled mess with Samsung pushing few updates to the phone, including one that hobbled an already awful GPS.
My wife liked her Evo, so when it came time to upgrade, we saw the rather lackluster reports of "improvements" forthcoming to the iPhone 5 (we were hoping for a large screen version) and decided to stick with Android and the new Evo, since it was going to be a marked improvement over the Evo my wife found reliable.
We got the phone and were pretty happy at first. The Android upgrade and the faster phone meant that it was a joy to operate. We loved the great screens. The camera was a huge improvement on the terrible one on the Evo. We had so much love that I don't think either of us really realized a major flaw in the Evo. Reception and connection speeds sucked.
To be fair, we both assumed part of the problem was the Sprint network in my area, which used to chug along at speeds far greater than those of AT&T. THen Sprint added the iPhone and it was like 10000 people in a hotel all trying to take a hot shower at the same exact minute. We assumed that these sluggish speeds and connection drops were more of the same problems we'd had with our old phones. Sprint, as always, was "working on it."
But then we noticed that places where we could connect before we had zero signal. And the phones would have a perfectly good connection for 20 seconds and then suddenly data would fail completely and drop the network. We started comparing our phones to others who had Sprint phones and their connections were much stronger than ours and pulling down data speeds that were better than ours, sometimes 4 times as much.
That's when I started Googling and finding out that 3G connections on the EVO LTE are a known issue. Trying to get Sprint to do anything about the phones or acknowledge a problem has been a story for another day to be told over seven pitchers of margaritas.
While Sprint keeps blaming their network for the connection issues, nobody can explain why four separate EVO LTE phones (all four brand new) cannot keep and hold a 3G connection when older phones can do so and do it faster. A few separate Sprint reps speculated that a weaker antenna or chipset may be in the new EVO, but couldn't explain why a company would do this, especially one with a 4G network that is probably going to take three or more years to roll out.
If you Google "EVO 4G LTE" and "3G connection issues", and look at some of the negative reviews here, you'll see I'm not alone. Some people have had perfectly fine 3G connections, and great for them. But many people have unresolved issues that neither Sprint nor HTC want to acknowledge or fix. Sprint's representatives told me on numerous occasions that I should have figured this out in the 14 day return window. None of them could explain why Sprint would sell a phone that was worse at pulling in a signal than the phone it replaced from two years ago.
Back to my original point. Samsung and HTC have created numerous variations of Android. By fragmenting their approach, they've created an environment where they have way too many variations to maintain, the ownership is spread too thinly to have complaints amplified like the iPhone, and it appears that neither HTC or Samsung really has any interest in making a product that will survive as a working and useful phone the two years until you can upgrade again.
Contrast that with Apple. The same day we first took our phones into Sprint to get a fix, we also took a broken iPad into the Apple Store. Apple gave us a new one under warranty in TEN MINUTES. When the latest iPhone had issues with Verizon and Wifi, Apple turned a patch around almost immediately. Contrast that with the length of time the EVO LTE has been out and my inability to get a working phone with Sprint or HTC. To be fair, Sprint has finally made an offer that I'm willing to live with (assuming it comes to pass, which I have fears it won't), but the entire experience with both this phone and the carrier have been a train wreck.
Long story in summary. The HTC EVO LTE 4G is a great phone made worthless by terrible 3G reception. The lack of ongoing and timely support for Android phones from HTC and Samsung is a huge strike against an operating system that I think is superior in every way. If I were Google, I'd move to an approach like Apple's and crack down on quality. It's fine to mock Apple for pretending features from a year ago are innovative and new, but remember that those same idiots lining up at the Apple store on launch day will probably still have a functioning and updated phone when it's time to buy the iPhone 7.
on June 5, 2012
UPDATE: 6/26/12 - The phone is awesome. The battery is the best I have ever had in a phone! I thought that I wanted a replaceable battery like I did in the EVO 3D.... but this battery is so large that it has me covered all day! The camera takes far better pics than the 3D... and it has a super cool SLR feature. The camera will take rapid fire pics as long as you are holding the button... and when you are done it allows you to choose the best pic in the bunch! I hated missing those cute pics of my toddler because he moved at the last second.... with this feature I can take 10 rapid fire pics and get the shot I was looking for! This feature alone has made my day!
This phone is everything you want out of an Android phone! It has speed, the latest Sense and latest Android OS, the most gorgeous screen I've seen on a phone. The LCD2 is really as bright as any AMOLED screen I've seen... without seeing any pixels! It also boasts a kickstand, SD Card slot, and external shutter button (unlike the very similar One X,) it's thin and lightweight, has a fantastic camera, AND, unlike it's great predecessor, it has far better BATTERY LIFE!! My old Evo, I would charge at night, and need to plug it in by the time I got back from lunch. This phone easily lasts me until I get home, with fairly heavy usage. With moderate usage, it will easily last all day.
I also had the EVO 3D. The battery performance was better than the old EVO 4G but the new EVO 4G LTE is even better! The camera pics are a huge upgrade from the EVO 3D too. I was disappointed with the 3D camera performance... but the new EVO 4G LTE is absolutely sharp and vibrant! The phone is bigger with more screen area than the EVO 3D BUT it is thinner and lighter. It feels better in my hand and in my pocket even though the phone is physically larger. Between the two... the new EVO walks all over the EVO 3D in every aspect!
About the 4G.... in my case it is a minor issue waiting on the deployment of the Sprint LTE network. I use wifi at home and at the office... and 3G in between, when needed. I am not a power user in the car... for safety purposes. I know that when the LTE deploys it will be an upgrade from the old WIMAX system which will be good enough for me.
All in all... this is one sharp and powerful work of art. A great start to the Sprint LTE era! Have fun with your new toy!!!
on June 14, 2012
It was a tough, tough decision coming from the Samsung Galaxy S with the S3 coming out next week. I owned the first android phone G1 made by HTC and loved the feel of that. And I missed that feel compared to the plastic build of the Samsung. So I broke down my decision between:
1) Processor, RAM
4) Feel and Build
5) Checking out the forums after the phone was a couple of weeks old to read the complaints and issues
1) Processor, RAM - When I found out that the S3 was not going to come with the quad core, the HTC EV0 4G LTE came back into the mix. With identical processors, I gave the edge to the S3 due to the 2GB RAM.
2) Camera - I checked Engadget and the Verge for the reviews and both gave a very slim edge to the HTC EVO camera (for a thorough review on that I recomend checking both sites). The dedicated camera button has been handy so far and using the front facing camera to unlock the phone is pretty cool.
3) ROM - I'm not a fan of the Touchwiz. The HTC Sense has been easy to use and is a lot more configurable than the the Touchwiz. Not sure how it's going to be in the S3, but this ended up being an edge towards the HTC Sense after using it for a few days. Keep loving it more everyday.
4) Feel and Build - My fear was that it'd be bulky and too big. i was dead wrong. It was thinner than my Galaxy S just a bit wider and much taller. Feels good on the hand and feels very solid.
5) Customer Reviews - If you go to the Sprint site, there are a lot of complaints. Some were just dumbfounded, some legit, and majority were service issues with Sprint. The fact the phone doesn't support 4G and the 4G LTE is not available yet, I was ok and can live with the 3G for now. Not a deal breaker since I'd still have to wait if I got the S3.
6) GPS - I've read that the GPS for all generations from the Galaxy S and beyond has been poorly done. I can't tell you how much I've used the GPS and be frustrated with the inaccuracies, intermittent loss of GPS signals, and constant re-routing. Believe or not, that was a deal breaker for me to not take the same chance with the S3.
I can't wait until the 4G LTE comes to Chicago. This phone will just enhance my experience with Android. Hope the different view I wrote up helps. You won't regret getting the phone.
on June 24, 2012
I have always been an iPhone user. Until recently havin the screen crack on my iPhone 4 a second time I was ready to consider somyhing that was not solid glass. I walked into a sprint store and saw this behemoth looking awesome on its display. After checking.specs trying the os I was sold. It not only did everything iPhone could do but it did it better. Larger screen that looks better than retina honestly. Better battery life, more customization, no dumb fluff apps like stock that never used but couldn't remove. Ability to make calls and check web or text at same time. Awesome!!! Expandable memory, easily rooted to unlock full potential. Thinner, lighter, faster camera shutter speeds. Faster 3g speeds n if your in Texas n couple.other states that have LTE up and running.. its insaley fast . And only phone of its class with true 4g speeds when it arrives that is unlimited. If your on sprint.. this is best phone on market