Review: HTC EVO for Sprint

When I first heard about the EVO launching - I thought "Oh I'm definitely getting it.". Then, I ended up having to get a Blackberry Tour, about a month before, due to some technical difficulties with life. Either way, had I waited - I would've never gotten one. Want to know why?? Because even as a loyal Sprint customer (for over 10 years), and even as the Editor In Chief of with contacts at Sprint Corporate - it didn't matter because demand was that HIGH. The EVO was sold out before it arrived at its stores. Even with hookups (you know how that goes) it was impossible to find - but, I did find a friend of mine who did...let me introduce our guest blogger for this review - Mr...yes, he's a man...Domingo (yes - that means Sunday in Spanish) Espinal Jr. I asked him a couple of questions (in bold) - please check out his responses.

What's the scoop on it’s packaging?

The EVO 4G comes in a recyclable egg carton in a rather weird design. Rather than the traditional box that accompanies most new phone purchases, the EVO goes with a trapezoidal design that’s more fit for a frozen TV dinner. Anyhow, its fantastic, fits the EVO’s uniqueness and accentuates the growing trend towards environmentalism. Included are the usual user guides, “Get Started” manuals and even a brief explanation from Sprint regarding your new plan. Finally, the last bit provided is the charging cable and charging adapter. The usual stuff - no big deal here...

What the skinny on the battery?

Battery life sucksssssss, If you’re on your phone 24/7. Its moderate to even excellent if you know...don’t use it.

Point blank - most smart phones have terrible batteries so continue reading...

The levels of fail on the EVO’s battery life borders that of Radiris’ love life - haha! Just kidding! It has so much potential but seems like a bowl of fail waiting to tip over. This is by far the biggest drawback to the HTC EVO because what good are all of the apps/features, if you don’t have the battery life to enjoy them?

Jumping off the pessimistic wagon, I’d like to say you will be able to enjoy this phone for several hours and your usage will most likely vary from mine. I mainly used the EVO to read digital comic books, surf the web, watch an occasional TV episode, catch up on email, Facebook and I text my butt off. And even though it does pale in comparison to other smartphones’ batteries, it can be extended through minor tweaks like lowering the brightness, turning off the 4G, WiFi and GPS when not needed. Other helpful tips can be found online. Therefore, while you may get a better battery life out of it than me, carrying an extra microUSB charger isn’t a bad idea either.

How good does it feel??

(Like the announcers at a boxing match) Coming in at 6 oz. and measuring 4.8 x 2.6 x .05 inches, the EVO is a lot of phone to handle in one hand, even in my manly hands, especially after previously owning a Blackberry. However its not impossible to use single-handily. Although, for those of us with smaller hands, it is recommend to keep both hands inside the joy ride at all times. It does have a natural feel to it and after some time will feel less bulky and more elegant in your hands once you become accustomed to its size. Now the bigger question is how does this relate to texting, emailing, or simply the general use of the keyboard. One of the great things about writing in Android is that it tries to anticipate the words you’re writing, like the T9 feature on more simplistic phones but better. Once you customize it to the spelling of your most common words, writing will be simple whether in portrait or landscape mode.

Holla if you hear me (aka Does the phone work like a phone? Sorry iPhone users who had to deal with non-working phones...sorry...)

So the general consensus amongst cell phone users, or at least what the PR machines want you to believe is that Verizon has the best voice network out there. However, I’m inclined to believe that Sprint’s isn’t that far off when it comes to the major cities. The sound quality has been excellent on the EVO, crisp and clear. Now if you’re in a poor reception area, like a basement, you won’t get amazing service but you will most likely still get signal. One major concern I had regarding a touchscreen phone was whether my cheeks would accidentally call someone, write a weird text message or something odd. Luckily, the EVO saves you the embarrassment by blacking out when you’re making a call. (I hate butt dialing too)

Hottest apps to get excited for:

The coolest apps included on the EVO are definitely the Gmail, Google Maps, Qik, Facebook and the Google Voice App. But that’s the great thing about the Android OS, you have a market that gets you even more apps! While not as numerous as the Apple App Store, the Android market definitely comes with some noteworthy apps. It’s got apps for mobile banking, living a healthier lifestyle and so much more. Some of my favorite apps right now include Google Goggles, a visual search app that allows you to take pictures to search the web or even business cards to import into your contacts. The other Android app I love using whenever the opportunity strikes is “Barcode Scanner.” This sweet app allows to scan any and everything with a barcode and allows to find it in either the Market, Google or product websites. Another awesome app recently release is Chrome to Phone and the similar Fox to Phone. This allows all you Google Chrome and FireFox users to send any link to your Android phone so you can continue viewing that webpage on the go. Finally, the Google Voice app. Briefly exclusive to Android, the Google Voice app allows you to get a secondary number, FOR FREE, so you can forward annoying texts, translate voicemails, or when you wanna save minutes.

Do you dig the screen & quality?

Officially, the EVO 4G has a 4.3 inch screen which means it’s meant for HD goodness. I have tried movies, YouTube and read comic books on this thing and I can vouch that it ALL looks glorious. Picture quality on imported video files are absolutely stunning. Websites look fantastic, YouTube has its HD features available and pictures look great. This also means that anything you’re watching that lacks in quality will also be shown in it’s disheveled glory. The EVO has an 8.0 megapixel rear camera which takes great shots and a 1.3 mega-pixel fixed focus front facing camera that allows for some video conferencing or some model/MySpace shots in the bathroom when the mood strikes.

Favorite feature:

My favorite feature thus far is the kickstand. By far the coolest/dumbest thing to brag about to other smart phone users but it has its benefits. It absolutely convenient when you wanna watch a video while you sit down and study, eat, etc. as it frees up your hands to allow to do stuff while you’re phone is propped up displaying your current video. But in all honesty, best feature on the HTC EVO is the Google integration. While some of you may be fighting off the monster that is Google, embracing it and doing it all on an Android phone like the EVO is one of the best things out there. Gmail reads like if it was on a actual computer. Google Voice is so integrated, you’ll wonder why you even have a mobile contract to begin with and Google Contacts & Calender sync seamlessly to keep you up to date on your life and those in it.

Also, quick mini feature that will be a lifesaver to the women who have a “stalker” problem, to say the least. Under every contact there’s an option to send any calls from that contact to voicemail. So those of you with stalkers, frenemies or just annoying people in general, congratulations. Problem solved.

Least favorite:

Now as to my least favorite feature. Wait a minute... if you have an EVO, is it even acceptable to hate this phone?! Like is that even possible??? I would marry this thing if I was technologically obsessed and socially and emotionally deprived. Yea, no way anyone who has this phone can hate it... its not possible... I refuse to believe its possible. Better yet, I dare you to find someone..... I’ll wait.

Worth the wait?

This phone was the Moby Dick to my Captain Ahab, the Ramona Flowers to my Scott Pilgrim. In essence, I almost started believing that this phone was a myth and I’d never be able to find it this year. That’s how high the demand is for this phone and proves how low its supply is...but once I got my hands on it....Oh Baby!!! What a thrill ride its been. After solidly searching weeks, calling just about every store south of 86th St. in Manhattan, leaving my name and number in the hopes that, soon, this mini-computer would be mine, to then finally receive it, is a journey I would happily complete, albeit with the hopes of finding this phone quicker than the last trip.

Besides the cute reference to my love life, which just so happens to be blossoming like spring's beautiful flowers - I thought it was a pretty darn good review. Thanks Mr. Espinal. Thank you very much.

Here's a little humor for those that still don't believe the hype...please excuse the language - has no affiliation with the makers of this video. If you beep out the F-Bombs, it is actually a pretty funny video... -Radiris