The HTC EVO 4G LTE is Sprint’s iteration of the One X. Many were quick to disown Sprint when they altered the design of the One X to better suit their needs. Does it really take away from the phone? The EVO 4G LTE still packs the same hardware specs, plus more than the One X, so maybe the compromise is worth it? Read on for our full BriefMobile review to see what we think of the device.
· Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich, integrated with Sense™ 4
· 4.7-inch HD super LCD display
· 1.5GHz Dual-Core Qualcomm™ Snapdragon S4 Processor
· Near Field Communication (NFC) technology
· 3G/4G mobile hotspot capability, supporting up to 8 Wi-Fi enabled devices simultaneously
· Wi-Fi® – 802.11 a/b/g/n
· Advanced rear-facing 8-megapixel camera with f/2.0 lens, super-fast auto-focus
· HTC ImageSense to take great photos, in adverse conditions
· front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera with 1080p video recording.
· Beats Audio enables customers to hear music the way the artist intended
· 3.5 mm headset jack
· Dimensions: 5.3 x 2.7 x 0.35 inches (LxWxT)
· Weight: 4.7 ounces
· Display: 4.7-inch HD 720p super LCD (1280 x 720), 16.7 million colors
· Battery: Imbedded 2000mAh Lithium Ion (Li-ion) battery
· Memory: 16GB internal memory* (ROM); 1GB RAM; supports up to 32GB microSD
A big selling point for the One series was the step up in design and build quality. When Sprint decided that it needed a little changing, people worried. When it was announced, the people’s fear became true. I want to make something clear though, the EVO 4G LTE would be the best looking phone if it wasn’t for the One X. The changes had to be made for the microSD slot to be included. The back had to be removable, but the battery had to remain unremovable.
So the kickstand was built in the divide the back of the phone from the top and from the bottom. The top piece was made of a chincy plastic that was glossy black in color. The bottom piece of the EVO has a metal text but is flat black in color. So the back is two-toned— not in a good way. I wish they would have tried to make the top piece of the device the same material as the rest of the device, then it really would outdo the One X.
Aside from the back design, the phone is everything you could possibly want. There is a built-in metal kickstand that is strong enough to support the device numerous different ways. The dedicated camera isn’t as great as the EVO 3D’s button, but it had to be thinned out to accommodate for the thinner device. The brushed metal band that runs around the device sure does look good too, but vaguely resembles the iPhone’s band.
We all would have liked for the screen to include the buttons for Android, and not HTC’s capacitive buttons. That extra half of an half really makes a difference. The device is extremely tall, but skinnier than the One X. The front of the device is almost identical to the One X as well. I have to agree with HTC’s decisions to put the hard keys in all the right locations, power button top-right, volume keys top-right, and the camera button bottom-right.
What confuses me is the placement of the ports for the device. The charging port was placed on side which goes down when the kickstand is used. Of course you can flip the phone over, but it just looks weird from behind. The 3.5mm headphone jack is at the top, and it’s mainly a nuisance. Placing both of these ports on the bottom of the device would have rectified both of these issues. Keeping the wires out of your way when plugged in should always be a concern.
We were fortunate enough to get the opportunity to review the One X and experience the new Super LCD 2 display first-hand. “Flatly stated, HTC’s mounted the best display I’ve ever seen on a smartphone,” was said by Kenneth Pennington in his review, and I can only whole-heartedly agree. A 4.7-inch monster display paired with a 720p resolution and the SLCD2 technology puts HTC in the lead for the screen war.
The colors are magnificently illustrated, not over-saturated like the Super AMOLED displays. The screen can turn up the intensity too, taking the brightness award away from the IPS+ display. Well really helps out the EVO is that the screen is not PenTile, making all the color perfectly colored. The whites are pure, and the blacks are nearly absent of color, but I can’t help but notice that the grey hue is still there. LCD will always be flawed with the backlight requirement.
Moreover, the screen is rocking at 313 pixel-per-inch, which is only 7 shy of being consider “Retina” display quality set by Apple. For what it is worth, I can’t tell a difference. This screen makes the 4S look extremely dull in comparison. The colors aren’t there anymore when I use the 4S. A better comparison to the EVO 4G LTE would be to the iPad 3, but even that screen doesn’t match up with the EVO 4G LTE’s display. Samsung and Apple are going to have a hard time competing with the SLCD2 if they don’t improve drastically.
The EVO 4G LTE is running the latest Sense build that HTC has produced. Sense was once the best and most beautiful UI for Android. With Sense 4.0, it just isn’t the same. Features, such as the carousel effect, were removed, while only a few minute features were introduced. Even so, these features were mainly changes and additions to the widgets.
Of course, HTC removed numerous features they deemed to be excessive and bloating to decrease the resource requirement of Sense. This did not help at all. The EVO still uses around 500MB of RAM at boot, and the EVO only has about 680MB available for use. I will say that this phone is one of the smoothest running devices without any modifications I’ve used. I remember saying this about the EVO 3D as well. At least HTC is ensuring their device run smooth before releasing them; maybe LG can take a lesson.
The EVO 4G LTE has put up some of the best numbers and performance we have ever seen with a device. The HTC One X put up similar numbers, but the EVO seems to have a slight edge. AnTuTu Benchmark scored the EVO at 6898. It isn’t a secret AnTuTu gives an advantage to quad-core devices, and since this is a dual-core S4 processor it is at a disadvantage to the SGSIII and Transformer Prime when it comes to pure performance. However, the near 7K score is the highest out of any smartphone tested so far.
Linpack followed suit with the high marks. Single thread test brought in a whooping 102.737 MFLOPS, normally a score we see with a Multi-Thread test. The EVO was able to produce 205.191 MFLOPS on the Multi-Thread test. I have never seen a score that high on any device, running any type of custom modification ever. Could you say I was impressed? I would say so.
Though, the EVO’s train doesn’t stop there. The Adreno 225 GPU was able to process 58.1 FPS on Nenamark2, which is around 20 frames more per second than the average. Only the T-Mobile SGSII comes close to competing with it. On the web side of things, Vellamo was at the EVO’s mercy. The EVO 4G LTE brought in the top score on Vellamo, even over the One X and XL. For a device that is suppose to have the same specs as the One XL, it surely seems like it has something giving it the advantage.
In real world experience, the EVO 4G LTE is the best performing device available in the US, and probably the world. It runs smoother and faster than any other device. When I reviewed the EVO 3D over a year ago, it brought in a new level of performance in the smartphone market. The EVO 4G LTE is basically deja vu. The margins might not be as large, but the EVO can run circles around the Epic 4G Touch and the Galaxy Nexus 4G LTE.
HTC has started a challenge to see if you can pick the professional photograph over a photo taken by the One X. Sure, it is completely bias because they probably picked the best photos they could find that were taken with the One X, but you gotten give them props for their moxy. I failed miserably at the challenge and the EVO 4G LTE proved that to me.
The sample photos I took came out with unparalleled performance. The Nokia 808 PureView might put up a good fight with the One series, but nothing can compete with HTC’s new imaging software. It is so fluid and easy to use that even the most novice user can figure out how to take a professional looking photograph. My favorite feature of the imaging software is the continuous burst mode, and then the auto-selection of the “best” photo. This ensures you always get the perfect shot every time.
The video camera abilities of the EVO, not to sound repetitive, but are unmatched in every way. The sound quality is of the utmost clarity. Not only was the sound clear, but so was the video itself. The spectacular 1080p recording was the best, even over my own DSLR camera. Not to say the least, I was jealous.
I rarely use the front-facing camera on my smartphones. But I do test a lot of them, and these produced results that I’ve never seen before in a ffc. The quality was on-par with some 5-megapixel smartphone cameras. I was satisfied with my pictures.
Now we get to HTC’s worst attribute, the battery life. HTC is notorious for their poor performance when it comes to battery life, and the EVO is no exception. Though, the device is better equipped than its sibling, the One X, with a 2000 mAh battery, it still barely manages to make it though a day of above average usage. This could be due to numerous things, such as the intensity of Sense 4.0 or the massive SLCD2 screen. Either way, the device isn’t going to out-match a Samsung or Apple device in terms of battery length.
AnTuTu battery tester, unfortunately, backs up my findings. It gave the EVO 4G LTE a 415, which is even lower than the Galaxy Nexus. I can only hope that a company like PowerSkin makes a case for the EVO to boost the battery life a little more.
I must say, there isn’t a device that is available today that can compete with the EVO 4G LTE. While the battery life may come up short for some, the device overall blows away the competition, including the One X. The two-tone black back may discourage the naysayers, but the EVO has the microSD slot, a bigger battery, skinnier, and lighter than its sibling. On top of all that it is HD Voice and 4G LTE ready for Sprint which will be available later this year.