For those of you still rockin’ a MotoRzr and bragging about T9, you probably think this is just a phone, a cellular phone. Crawl out from under that pet rock of yours and bask in the light of Sprint’s HTC EVO 4G “Supersonic”. It isn’t just a phone, it’s a “smartphone” damnit. So what’s the big deal and why is this a worthy item to blog about? Because it’s my little piece of technological heaven and it’s my blog. There are fanboys and there are fanboys, I happen to be the latter…a benign one at that.
The HTC EVO has a; 4.3inchtouchdisplaya1GHzSnapdragonprocessor8megapixelcameraand1.3megapixelforwardfacing camerawith3G/4GhotspotcapabilitycurrentlyrunningonGoogle’sAndroidOSversion2.2FroYo(FrozenYogurt). Did you miss that? Pay attention next time. Google uses dessert names for it’s OS, prior to this newest release there was 2.1 Eclair, 1.6 Donut and 1.5 Cupcake. The next release, perhaps on a more powerful handset will be 3.0 Gingerbread. Makes you hungry doesn’t it.
I’ve been asked about the EVO and my thoughts on it since release back on June 7th. Ok, so it’s over 3 months late but the honeymoon stage is over. I was looking to upgrade my aging Android G1 so I jumped from Tmobile and headed for Sprint. This handset is a beast! in a good way, it’s big…the screen in 4.3″ SON! It’s approximately 2.5″ W X 4.75″ L X .50″ thick. For you 40+ folks, you need this, trust me. Progressive lenses plus this screen means no blind dialing but won’t help with drunk dialing or drunk texting. The processor speed is snappy and if you happen to be in excellent 3G coverage or on Wifi, it’s a demon, like bat out of hell stuff for a smartphone. 4G? meh, the SF Bay Area doesn’t have it yet and doubt the $10 permium I pay is gonna speed up Sprint’s buildout. If you are out in Modesto/Fresno, I dislike you. You Los Angelenos, your Dodgers suck but you got 4G.
The UI, user interface, differs depending on the manufacturer. The UI is skinned on top of the Android operating system. HTC uses Sense UI, which is very smooth like that of the iPhone. Motorola uses their MotoBlur UI and Samsung uses TouchWiz…which to me sounds kinda pervy. My TouchWiz experience recently did not impress me, it’s choppy and awkward…yeah. MotoBlur, not much better IMO. If you want a true Android experience, try getting a hold of a Nexus One using Vanilla Android. Vanilla Android really refers to a plain desktop, pretty sterile and no wow factor. This is actually better for processor speed but the N1 is not an EVO.
But is it an iPhone killer? Nope. They are two different animals, period. Yes I agree the iPhone is much more polished, but what sets these two apart is control and flexibility. What “Jailbreaking” is to the iPhone, “Root(ing)” is to Android. In laymans terms, you can hack the crap out of the Android platform and customize it to your liking. You can get rid of all the branded items from the carrier, which results in increased memory storage and faster processor speeds. Why do you need it to go faster? Because fast is good, slow is bad, it’s that simple. Stock Android runs very well and for most folks that’s all they want, and that’s just fine…mine is currently stock, for now.
Like the iPhone, there is the Android Market with a plethora of apps to choose from. Some apps are going to suck and others are just lame, literally there is an app for your needs. You have a Twitter account? There’s TwidRoyd, Facebook for Android, WordPress, AnyPost(Ping.fm client), QuickOffice Connect, DropBox, and of course “Push” email via Gmail. If you live your day by phone, this HTC EVO is a great platform. It’s clearly a viable alternative to the monster that is Apple and is gaining momentum. It’s not just hype folks, you can multitask with this handset and it doesn’t even flinch.
Now while the EVO is a great piece of hardware, it does have one particular shortcoming. The battery life can drive you insane, it’s not so much an OS issue but more of a carrier issue as it is constantly searching for a network for voice and data. Network coverage where I work sucks. This in itself drains the battery faster than any running apps in the background. Sure, there are some tweaks to extend battery life but why cripple the phone entirely just to squeeze an hour or two more juice? All together I currently have 3 spare batteries and recently purchased a battery wall charger. While this sounds crazy, for me it’s all about and being prepared. I’ve never had to switch to a 3rd battery ever and I suspect most of you never will either.
If you’re into; surfing for mobile versions of bomba movies, like to have every single service turned on even though you’re not in a 4G area, poll for or post updates every 30 seconds from or to FB or Twitter, Text, MMS, IM, take random pics, post random pics, watch movies or Youtube when you should be working, playing games when you should be working, receive bulk email or playing Pandora like it was going out of style, this EVO can handle it…just carry a spare battery. This is hands down the very best Android handset to date, it does what I need it to do and recommend it to anyone who wants to jump on the smartphone train.