The Sprint HTC Evo 4G: Fun Toy; Great Distraction; Much Too Big

htc evo spring 4G android phone mobile cellphoneI was thinking about trying the HTC Evo — Sprint’s latest offering which was rumored to rival iPhone. And I’ve never had iPhone nor do I care much for the platform (not to mention the principle of needing to plug something in to iTunes). So I walked into the Sprint store on June 5th and heard about the Sprint Free Guarantee. 30 days. Try it out. You don’t like – you get everything refunded (new Sprint customers only). We’ll see if this is actually the case – I still have about ten days left to play with this toy — and it really is a toy.

I still have two devices (a Blackberry and a Sierra Wireless Laptop Connect 3G USB card) on AT&T that I would add up to about $200 in ETFs so it’s just not practical to switch. Not for the Evo. The Evo is less than perfect.

1) It is too big to function as a phone. I feel like I’m walking around with a mini-iPad and STILL

2) I can’t type as effectively with a virtual keyboard as I can with the Blackberry Bold’s physical QWERTY.

3) The battery life is unconscionable. Completely unacceptable and unheard of. This is simply not a portable device — it must always be plugged in or on its way to being plugged in. A two battery approach MIGHT get you through the entire day with minimal internet and app use. NOTE: The software update pushed out this week has improved battery life quite a bit (relatively speaking). I was lucky to download it OTA before it was halted.

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Apple iPhone Finally Gets Official $5 Video App

Somehow Steve Jobs always makes it a big deal when he announces something that for some reason or another his company had been holding back on for years. This time, I’d be surprised if many journalists and consumers alike bite on today’s Apple iPhone 4 announcements from WWDC.

So yeah, you get to record video — on Apple’s iMovie software which will run you $4.99. It’s about time. recording video has been a native function of nearly all semi-smart and even some stupid-phones since before the original iPhone was announced in 2007. But somehow, this is a revolution.

The only thing relevant to me — which I demonstrate in the video below (shot and livestreamed via the Qik app on the HTC Evo) — is that AT&T is so desperate to lock customers up for another 2 years that it is offering nearly everyone new contracts on the spot (meaning new, subsidized phones). Dial *639# from your phone wait a couple minutes and you’ll likely get the same plea message from AT&T:

As a valued customer we can offer you an upgrade with a new 2-yr commitment and an $18 upgrade fee.

Yes, I can re-up as well, despite never having owned an iPhone — now if only AT&T has a killer Android phone I might consider extending my contract. Of course — I used to take advantage of this shortcut-to-upgrade for $18 quite frequently, first when it was freely allowed as an employee of USC and later when I worked for WMG. Although Sprint’s service has been very good in the few days that I’ve been testing the Evo — much better than 5 years ago when I tested phones from all carriers and found that not one could make calls from my house. Sprint is also matching the corporate discount I received for years from AT&T.

Anyway, as I typically say about overly dramatic Apple releases: WHATEVER. But there is one more thing: FaceTime?!? WHATEVER 😉 Get yours June 24th. Or get a phone that runs Android, don’t be restricted by Apple, impress your friends, and be happy.


 

TechCrunch Disrupt Day 2

mike arrington vic gundotra tcdisruptFull house of tired startup geeks and aspiring entrepreneurs and VCs at 9am for the first panel — The Mobile Disruption–What’s Next? — with Chris Cox, VP, Facebook, Dennis Crowley, CEO, FourSquare, and Vic Gundotra, VP, Google. Moderated by Mike Arrington, Editor, TechCrunch.

Proclaiming the panel and 1,000 or so in the audience are not waking up, Arrington cues the YouTube video of Gundotra with Conan O’Brien when O’Brien visited the Googleplex earlier this month. Arrington then gets the crowd involved by declaring Facebook needs a better Android app and then prompting a Question Queue in which 3 HTC Sprint Evo phones are given away to the best questions. Only about 10 people line up to ask questions. Second question elicits some great under-breath commentary from the stage:

Q: “Is facebook evil?” Foursquare’s Dennis Crowley to Facebook VP Chris Cox: “this is where you shoot laser beams from your eyes.” Cox, after a long pause, answers “no.”

Later, Arrington interviews Tim Armstrong, CEO of AOL. “I got a little down yesterday,” Arrington slips in. “Something happened on this stage.” “Oh really, what happened” counters Armstrong… “do you want a hug?”

Steve Case and Mike Arrington:
steve case mike arrington

Click here for the Day One post. Follow the action live below: