Sprint HTC EVO 4G LTE Review

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The HTC EVO 4G LTE is basically Sprint’s variant of the popular HTC One X (found internationally and on AT&T). But given Sprint’s success with the EVO brand (a series of high end HTC devices), it makes sense that the carrier opted to keep the EVO name in favor of One X. But does the EVO 4G LTE differ from the One X, and if so, is for better or worse? Lets find out:

Before I get into the review, lets take a quick look at the specifications for the EVO 4G LTE:

  • 4.7 in SLCD2 display at 1280×720 resolution (312 PPI)
  • 1.5 GHz Snapdragon S4 dual-core processor
  • 1 GB of RAM
  • 16 GB of internal storage, expandable by microSD
  • 8 MP rear camera with LED, 1.3 MP front
  • 8.98  mm thick, 134 grams
  • 2000 mAh lithium ion battery
  • Beats by Dre, HD voice calls
  • NFC, Bluetooth 4.0, 4G LTE
  • Android 4.0.3 with HTC Sense 4

As you can see just by looking at the spec sheet, the EVO 4G LTE is a high end phone just like its predecessors were. You’ve got everything you’d want hardware wise from a fast processor and great camera to a big high res screen and a thin profile. But, specs are just specs. Lets get into what I like and dislike about the EVO 4G LTE.

What I wish were different about the EVO 4G LTE:

Back Cover: I like the matte black anodized part of the back, but the top half that is a glossy black plastic I can live without. I feel like it just doesn’t go with the rest of the phone. I mean, the front is matte black. The sides are matte black (with the exception of the aluminum outline). And most of the back is matte black. Why include the glossy black plastic to take away from what otherwise is a premium build?

I can’t answer that question. Only HTC can. However, some speculate that its due to the phone’s NFC capability and if it had the anodized material for the top portion it wouldn’t work. Maybe that’s the reason why HTC didn’t go for the all matte black look, but who really knows. Anyways, the top part is actually removable, so I really hope some third party accessory company makes a matte black cover that I can use instead. But its not likely that this will happen.

Power Button: I’ve talked about this before in my reviews for HTC products, and I’ll talk about it again here. I just don’t like the power button being at the top of the device. Sure, its not a big deal when its on a phone that has a 4-4.3 in screen. But when you’re dealing with a 4.7 in screen like on the EVO 4G LTE, it makes turning your screen on and off a lot more difficult than it has to be (especially when compared with the Samsung Galaxy S3).

Non Removable Battery: Its not really a deal breaker by any means, but I still don’t like the fact that the phone doesn’t have a removable battery. Sure, HTC bumped up the size of the battery compared to the regular One X to 2000 mAh. But I still like having the option to change it out should the need ever arise (like when I have an extra to swap or if the battery goes bad down the line).

Okay, now with the bad news out of the way, lets talk about the good news:

Screen: At 4.7 inches, the screen on the EVO 4G LTE is huge. With a screen this big, you know watching videos and playing video games on this phone will give you a great experience. Especially when you couple its screen size with its screen quality, running at 1280×720 HD resolution using the Super LCD2 screen type. With SLCD2, you get brighter colors and unlike SAMOLED screens the sub pixels aren’t shared. See the SLCD2 vs. SAMOLED video to see the difference.

Kickstand: The original EVO had a kickstand. And thankfully, so does this one. But not only does it have a kickstand like the original, its an improved version of it. With the kickstand on the EVO 4G LTE, you can set the phone down in landscape in either direction giving you different viewing angles. The kickstand is really sturdy, making me feel like it will  stay strong even a couple of years down the line.

Camera Button: Yes, there is an actual button for the camera on this phone. I don’t know why so many Android manufacturers are ditching the idea of a dedicated camera button, but I’m glad that HTC didn’t on the EVO 4G LTE. Having the camera button right there makes it so much easier to launch it to capture those Kodak moments instead of looking at the phone’s screen trying to find the camera app icon.

But that’s not the only benefit of the dedicated button. The other benefit, probably the bigger out of the two, is the fact that taking self portraits (you know, for Facebook) are much easier when you have an actual hardware button compared to trying to keep your finger on the shutter button which is a lot harder than it seems (most people end up pressing the home button because they’re so close).

Camera: Okay, so the camera button is great. But that’s only because the camera itself is amazing. The 8 MP shooter on the back of the EVO 4G LTE takes very clear pictures and works pretty good even in less than perfect lighting conditions. And the video? Well, just have a look at the 1080p video sample below to get a better idea:

Speed: Pretty much any phone with the Snapdragon S4 dual-core processor will give you a great experience. And this is especially true when the processor is coupled with Android 4.0.3 ICS, which makes things run even better than on Gingerbread. And given that the EVO 4G LTE has both, it is no exception. It is worth noting, however, that the SGS3 did beat out the EVO 4G LTE in my speed comparison test, but only by a few milliseconds.

Overall, I think the EVO 4G LTE is the best multimedia phone available right now:

Yep, that pretty much says it all. The HTC EVO 4G LTE is hands down the best multimedia phone I have ever used. I mean, what else would you expect when you combine a large 4.7 in SLCD2 high definition screen with a kickstand, Beats Audio, and Sprint’s 4G LTE network? Add to that the fact that the phone has an amazing camera with that all important dedicated camera button, and you have a winner. If you’re looking for a phone for multimedia and entertainment, I’d strongly recommend the EVO 4G LTE.

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About Author

David Rahimi is the editor-in-chief at PhoneBuff.com. Ever since he got his first smartphone, he has been obsessed with mobile technology and all that it has to offer. Other interests include business, investing, and neuroscience.