PRICE: $199.99 w/ 2-yr contract

FUN FACT: Comes with a built-in kickstand for hands-free video viewing.

THE BACK STORY: While some wireless companies struggle to get their 3G network working for all their users, Sprint's already moved on to the next with its new high-speed 4G wireless network. To take advantage of the new speed, Sprint teamed up with HTC on an all-new Android powered handset: the EVO 4G. What is 4G? It's a fourth-generation wireless network that offers peak data rates of 128 Mbit/s downlink and 56 Mbit/s uplink over 20 MHz wide channels. To put that in perspective, it's 10 times faster than 3G, and is more than likely the future of wireless. At least Sprint thinks so. They've already planned the release of another 4G phone, the Samsung Epic. So how does the world's first 4G phone perform? Read on to find out.


High-speed network and CPU: WiMAX (4G) speed allows for super-fast web browsing, media streams, uploads, and downloads. You would think you were connected through wi-fi. The 1 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor is the processor we wished all smartphones used. There's no lag, and all transitions went smoothly. The full-system stall so common to some other phones was never an issue.

<!--more--> Stunning display and organization: The large 4.3-inch touch screen delivers vibrant output and crisp WVGA 800x480-pixel resolution. Plus, the seven home screens provide enough space to play with phone presentation and widget management. You can arrange your apps and icons anyway you like.

Multimedia wonderland: Record and share HD-like quality videos and capture sharp pictures with the impressive 8 MP autofocus camera. The EVO gets bonus points for including an HDMI port so you can display 720p vids on the big screen. Sprint TV gives entertainment buffs a variety of channels from NBA to ESPN Mobile. And if you're on a flight with no TVs, placing the phone on its kickstand and watching videos is awesome.

Communication and social networking: Make quality calls and surf the web with simultaneous voice and data capability with 4G and in wi-fi hot spots. Jump on live video chats with the pre-loaded Qik app, or easily share messages across all the major social networks with HTC's Friend Stream app.

HTC EVO 4G (1)


Limited 4G coverage: Sprint's 4G network reaches 34 million Americans, but at the moment leaves out San Francisco, Washington and New York. C'mon, son!

Weak battery: Specs claim up to six (6) hours of talk time, but using 4G or w-fi—or any of the entertainment features—cut the battery life in half. You and the power adapter will become one.

Extra fees: Get ready to drop $10 more for WiMAX high-speed. Don't forget that extra $5 for the premium Qik chat service. Turns out the best things in life ain't free.


FINAL SAY: While we wait for the Big Apple to tackle 4G service, we can co-sign the HTC EVO 4G as Sprint's best Android phone. When we did use the 4G network, downloading and streaming media was surprisingly fast, while its responsive touchscreen made navigation easy and enjoyable. Access to Google, FM radio, and Sprint GPS Navigation only add to the EVO's awesomeness. Yeah, we wish the EVO ran on the new Android OS, Froyo, but we have no complaints about the Android 2.1 system. If anything, it makes us excited to see what the future 4G phones bring to the table.

UPDATE: You can update the EVO to 2.2. It launched with 2.1, but we just got word that you can upgrade to 2.2.


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