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.

4) 4G. I knew this was somewhat of a gimmick to begin with. Sprint’s data network is shifting over to WiMax — more powerful towers that blanked larger areas with higher data speeds. Sprint purchased the existing towers and networks built by Clearwire and others to get going on this. The 4G system is very limited in LA. I’ve experienced it in and near downtown as well as in parts of West Hollywood. It is nice to get download speeds of 4MB down (and up to 1MB up) from a cellular connection (in reality, this is a wireless connection transmitted to a WiMax receptor in the phone). But truth be told, I regularly get 2-3 Mbps down in the same areas with AT&T 3G (note: not tested with iPhone).

htc evo spring 4G android phone mobile cellphone

But… ANDROID FTW! I am in love with the Android platform and the variety of applications made available on it — mostly for FREE. Similar to the iPhone platform, it is very easy to download and upgrade (as well as uninstall) third-party applications. This is not the case on Blackberry.

Do I feel like I’m stuck on AT&T? Yes and no. I don’t want to blow $500 bucks to switch (and buy the new phone). I’d rather wait for AT&T to get a top notch Android phone (hopefully by the end of the year). The service isn’t THAT bad and truth be told… I make very few calls.

On the other hand, I have already used over 3.2Gb of data on the Evo over the course of this 3 week trial. While it is likely easier and cheaper to use tons of bandwidth on an Android phone than an iPhone, it’s still likely that I’d go over the 2Gb limit that AT&T is apparently enforcing (although I’m not certain if that is just for iPhone owners or for all data plans). I’m going to miss Android but it doesn’t pay for me to switch off of AT&T right now – perhaps I’ll pick up the Samsung “Captivate” Galaxy S when it is released (supposedly in July) – assuming it isn’t too overloaded with AT&T bloatware and allows third-party apps including Swype.

I’ve posted an update to this post, My Life with the HTC EVO.

That said, stay tuned for my review of the many Android apps I’ve tried (ALL FREE!) on the HTC Evo 4G

For a list of the final 101 apps that I ended up keeping on the phone (before wiping and returning it) for a grand total of FREE, see below:

[inline][script type=’text/javascript’ language=’javascript’ src=’http://www.appbrain.com/api/api.nocache.js’][/script][/inline]

netzoo’s Apps on the PC36100 (Sprint HTC Evo)

Phone: PC36100
101 total, 101 free (100%), 0 paid (0%), 98MB total size, $0 total price

View this app list on AppBrain

The Sprint Free Guarantee:

We love and believe in our products and services. We’re confident you will too. That’s why, as a new customer — or an existing customer adding a new line of service — we’ll give you 30 days to try us for free.

If for any reason you’re not happy and want to cancel service, just call us to deactivate your service, go to the original place of purchase to return your undamaged phone or mobile broadband card, and we’ll:

  • Refund monthly charges incurred as part of your service plan*
  • Refund the activation fee
  • Refund the purchase price of your device
  • Waive the Early Termination Fee
  • Waive the restocking fee
  • Refund taxes and Sprint surcharges associated with the above charges
*You’ll be responsible for extras like usage not included in your plan, premium content, 3rd-party billing, international charges, and any taxes and Sprint surcharges associated with such extras.

Just one more thing we give you that our competitors don’t. And one more reason why there’s never been a better time to give us a try.

3 Replies to “The Sprint HTC Evo 4G: Fun Toy; Great Distraction; Much Too Big”

  1. Jeff, that makes sense — I’ve actually found that the battery life has improved quite a bit (relatively speaking) since yesterday’s software update (which i grabbed before it was <a href=”http://www.mobilecrunch.com/2010/06/28/sprint-kills-the-htc-evo-update-in-light-of-bricked-handsets/”>pulled</a>. Apparently there was an issue with Facebook constantly syncing with contacts…

  2. I agree on battery life but I recently found rooting the phone and using custom ROMs or just cleaning out a lot of the crap HTC and Sprint put on the phone does a lot to increase it.

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