REVIEW: Sprint Nextel’s HTC EVO 4G Smartphone is a Force to be Reckoned With

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The HTC EVO 4G is a super powered competitor to the iPhone.

With Droids, iPhones and Blackberry’s launching newer and better phones by the day, the marketplace seems swamped with more quality smartphones to choose from than ever before.

Even though I’ve been upgrading smartphones yearly since the time of the Palm Treo, my frame of reference has largely been Blackberrys and iPhones. This summer Sprint Nextel and PapiBlogger partnered together for a major project that finally gave me the chance to get acquainted with the Droid platform.  

Sprint’s latest star phone, the HTC EVO 4G, became the telecommunications center piece of my recent PapiBlogger 12,000-mile, 46-day family road trip so you might say that I got to know this very popular phone quite well.  Here’s what I think about this phone:

EVO’S TOP FEATURES ARE VERY IMPRESSIVE

If you’re on the fence about which smartphone to buy, here’s a couple of things to consider about the EVO:

- The EVO is the nation’s first 4G phone.  In layman’s terms this means that where currently available, this phone delivers Internet browsing speeds that are about 10X faster than those on 3G phones, including the new iPhone 4.  In my hometown of Miami, Sprint Nextel’s 4G network is slated for a December to early January 2011 roll out.

- The EVO has built-in Wifi capability for up to eight computers.  What this means is that I can literally use this phone as a Wifi hotspot for up to eight computers AT A TIME.  We made extensive use of this feature as we drove our Chevrolet Traverse across the country through 33 states.

- The EVO includes the Droid App store. Apple’s App store for the iPhone is larger than Google’s Droid App store but that’s hardly relevant anymore because there so are so many apps in the Droid store you wouldn’t notice the difference.  Besides, most all of the best iPhone apps are already available on both platforms.

- The EVO has a spectacularly sharp display.  The slight advantage the new iPhone is in my opinion minuscule at best as the screen of the EVO is bigger (4.3 inch screen with 800 x 480 pixel resolution) than the iPhone’s (3.5 inch display with 960 x 640 pixel resolution).

- The EVO lets you watch a variety of live TV remotely.  For an optional cost you can subscribe to ESPN, Disney Channel and many other channels.  In my case this came super handy during our vacation because it allowed my son and I to watch the LeBron James decision to play for the Miami Heat live on the road near Mt. Hood in Oregon.

- The EVO features Sprint radio.  This feature lets you get local radio channels right on your phone.

- The EVO features a powerful, full color, voice-guiding GPS system.  If you drive a lot, this feature is terrific and is comparable to any top quality GPS system you will find in the market.

- The EVO goes toe to toe in most every other feature you want from the 4G iPhone.  I won’t bore you with all the details but suffice to say that the digital and video cameras of this phone, the music playback, its ease of use and virtually everything else you want from a top of the line smartphone works beautifully on the EVO.

ONLY TWO STRIKES AGAINST THE EVO

Even the two knocks I have against the EVO are not deal-breakers (hey, a perfect phone does not exist): seamless connection to iTunes and battery life. The first one I have is that in terms of connecting your iTunes account to the EVO, it’s possible but you have to go through a third party to get it to work and even then it won’t let you buy music directly to the EVO.

The main gripe I have against the phone is that the EVO’s battery life is weaker than most of its competitors’.  It seems that  in some ways the EVO is almost too powerful for its own good so in order to preserve it’s battery you need to adjust a lot of its settings.  It can be a pain so be sure that if you buy an EVO you ask someone at the Sprint store to help you optimize the settings.

CONCLUSION

The EVO 4G is an elite smartphone that in most every facet of the game is equal to or better than most of its competitors.  If you’re in the market for a phone, visit a local Sprint store and take it for a spin.  You might be as surprised by this phone’s amazing zip and features as I was.

DISCLOSURE

Sprint Nextel is a sponsor of PapiBlogger.  PapiBlogger routinely reviews products, including other smart phones.  The web site only features reviews for products and/or service PapiBlogger believes are good.

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