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Friday, August 13, 2010

Bill’s Review - Sprint HTC EVO - The World’s First 4G Phone

Yesterday I finally had an opportunity to dump a HTC Windows Mobile device for a Sprint HTC EVO 4G Android. It has been 24 hours since I first turned it on and it has been field tested today while at work. I have to say, I can see why the Android-based phones will soon overtake the market beating out the iPhone 4. There’s only one minor thing that I have about Sprint which I will get into later in the post. It has nothing to do with the phone itself, just service.

So far, my experiences have been great and I found setting up email through an Exchange account to be a breeze, syncing all contacts, calendar appointments and mail quicker than my old Windows Mobile phone. I have already been able to add apps that help me do my job quicker and more efficiently by using the App Store.

The speed of the phone with Android 2.2 is very pleasing. I have not managed to lock up the phone as of yet while running multiple apps. I am also impressed at how slim the phone is and the size of the screen. It is visibly larger than the iPhone 4 and the screen to me seems equally vibrant and bright. The power button is a little annoying to me. It is very small and I find it hard to turn the phone on at times, but then again I have large fingers and the button is small. Every other button is easily accessible and responsive. I do recommend that if you have larger hands, go with a larger phone, the on-screen keyboard is easier to type on.

Now to my one gripe about the Spring HTC EVO 4G. The phone seems to be slightly crippled. The phone features a app called “Sprint Mobile Hot Spot” which is a feature I was VERY excited about using on the job. The feature is available on other carriers newer android phones and it enables the phone to act as a small wireless access point, connecting your laptop to the Internet without tethering via your own portable wireless network. This feature is what caused Steve Jobs iPhone 4 launch to have some problems while demonstrating it’s features. (I would like to note that the phone itself was not the problem, but the fact that there were a lot of overlapping Wi-Fi hot spots created by these types of phones.) This feature has lots of handy uses, but then again, there are so many wireless networks out there now that one would be hard pressed to not find a hot spot to use.

It seems that Sprint has taken upon themselves to disable this feature on the phone along with the built in USB tethering feature. From what I have read from other sources, Sprint is requiring those who want to use this feature pay an addional $29.99 per month on top of their current data plan. This is silly and in my mind a little shady of them to do this. If a person is already paying for a data plan, the feature(s) should be available. I am in contact with a vendor who may be able to explain this to me and give me a definite answer. I will post what I find.