Htc Evo 4G, And Me
So I’ve had my EVO 4G for about a week now, and have been enjoying the heck out of it. Moving up from an old Blackberry Curve, the difference is night and day. I almost feel like I’ve woken up from a dream, nay, nightmare of slowness and small screens and poor media playback.
Ok, so the Blackberry wasn’t that bad, but it just doesn’t compare to the EVO. So enough with the Curve bashing, let’s talk about the new hotness! And I’ll try to avoid using that phrase ever again.
HTC’s superphone sports the following features:
- 1Ghz Snapdragon processor
- 4.3 inch 800 x 480 pixel display
- 8 Megapixel camera, with 1.3 megapixel front facing camera
- 720p Video Recording
- HDMI out
- 4G WIMAX, where available (not where I’m at, unfortunatly)
- 8GB MicroSD card (upgradable to 32GB, if you can find one of those…good luck)
So I’ll get the grumps and gripes out of the way first.
HDMI out, no HDMI cable.
Really Sprint? You couldn’t spring for a cheap strip of copper? Oh that’s right, you want to charge $30 for it on the side. Oddly enough, that may be your only option to get an HDMI cable and hook this phone up to your TV. I could not locate a Micro-HDMI to HDMI cable on my usually trusty (and cheap) monoprice.com, and a quick google search turned up one on Amazon for $11, but says will ship in 1 to 3 months. So it seems this cable is somewhat rare. Personally I’m just gonna sit on it and see if something pops up down the line. I don’t have any pressing need to hook this up to my TV.
“720p” Video Recording
The video is highly compressed. In good bright sunlight, there isn’t really a problem, but when you take the phone to a low-light situation, even just inside the house and away from the windows, you’ll start to see the frame-rate drop and the video quality go down. Perhaps this can be improved upon at a later date, but for now that’s how it is. I’m not too concerned about it, but if you’re the type that wants to take some videos at the bar, know that it’s gonna be a bit on the choppy side. I should add that this is still better than any camera phone I’ve seen previously, so maybe it’s just a case of expectations exceeding reality.
Camera on back sticks out
This seems odd to me, but I’m sure HTC has their reasons for it. The back camera sticks out instead of being recessed, so that when you sent the phone down, it will actually be resting on the camera lens itself. This just seems like a really bad idea to me, but is easily rectified by purchasing a case, such as the BodyGlove, my personal choice. I would have bought a case anyways, cause I tend to be a bit clumsy and want to protect the heck out of this phone.
This is the largest issue with the phone. The battery sucks, right out of the box. I saw my battery drop from 100% to 97% just three minutes after unplugging from the charger. It would tend to level out from that point, but it still seemed rediculous. I also saw a drop of 10% when streaming 64kbps audio, screen off, only mobile data on. That’s when I had it, and looked up some tricks to improve the battery life. I won’t list them all here, but here are a few links.
So I went through a lot of that, and today it has been so much better! The battery has lasted me all day without dropping below 35%, and this is with moderate usage, streaming Pandora in the car, some phone calls and emails, file transfers over wifi. I highly suggest if you have an EVO you perform those steps, you should see a drastic improvement in your battery performance.
Those are really my only quibbles with the phone.
On to the awesome!
This device is very solidly built. When I first picked it up, I was very surprised at just how solid a piece of equipment it felt like. Aside from the kickstand, there are no moving parts, and it has a bit of heft to it, but not so much weight that it tires you out holding it. It seems like a very fine balance to make, and yet it has been made. That kickstand is awesome by the way, great for watching a video while doing other stuff on the computer, and such.
Video playback is great. Videos play very smoothly, no stutter, and the screen feels very crisp. Being able to get high quality Youtube videos just sweetens the pot.
Music playback is equally as good, and if the stock media player isn’t to your liking, there are plenty of third party apps available on the marketplace. I haven’t had a chance to try any out as of yet though.
I had no idea what I was missing not having a wifi capable phone. When I get home now, I turn off Mobile Data and turn on the Wifi, and I’ll just use the phone to watch videos, stream podcasts, all kinds of high bandwidth stuff that I couldn’t have done before.
The 8 Megapixel camera performs it’s function quite well. It may not be quite as good as the iPhone 4’s 5MP, the EVO’s can get a little grainy, a tad bit compressed. But overall I think it’s excellent. I finally have a way to take some decent photos of my brochure design work for my portfolio. I find myself taking a lot more photos lately, just because I have a decent quality camera on me at all times. There’s a little more noise in the photos than I would like, but it’s nothing terrible. What I really like over my old Curve is that, if i press the shutter button, the picture is taken, boom, done. Very little shutter lag. I like that a lot.
Having a front facing camera is pretty cool too, though I don’t think I will be using it too often. But just having it available gives a sense of being future-proof…well, as future-proof as you can get in this constantly evolving smart phone environment.
This one is a little of a mixed bag. I like how easy my email is to set up on the EVO. With the Curve, I had to log in to some Sprint / BB Email Manager thingamajig, set it up all through there, it just seemed more complicated than was needed. With the EVO, I go to the mail app, tell it my address, password, and it’s set. Easier than setting up Thunderbird. The thing I don’t like about it though, is that I can’t receive emails as they come in. I can only set the phone to go out and look for mail at specific intervals. Now I could set it to look every 5 minutes, but that’ll greatly impact battery life. Gmail doesn’t have that restriction, but I don’t use gmail as my primary email. Not sure what to do about that one. And this is really an Android thing, not specific to just this phone.
Overall I really think this is an awesome phone. The smoothness of the interface, how it feels like everything flows together, makes a great experience. All the apps available, they expand the capabilities of the device so much. Is it as polished as an iPhone? I really can’t answer that, cause I don’t have an iPhone to compare it too. Based on what I’ve read, no, it’s not, not out of the box anyways. I think Android phones require more tweaking from the user, and it’s good that they easily let the user tweak as they wish. Anyways, I would highly recommend this phone, if you’re looking for a smart phone, this is the one to get.