4G

HTC EVO 4G: The Hummer of smartphones

HTC EVO 4G in hand

The HTC EVO 4G is huge, and we're not talking about the hype. It is physically monstrous. Here is TechRepublic's complete photo gallery of the EVO, from unboxing to size comparisons with other popular smartphones.

More information: HTC EVO 4G review: Everything you need to know

For instant analysis of the latest tech news, follow my Twitter feed: @jasonhiner

Photo credit: Jason Hiner

About

Jason Hiner is Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He writes about the people, products, and ideas changing how we live and work in the 21st century. He's co-author of the upcoming book, Follow the Geeks (bit.ly/ftgeeks).

52 comments
aaron
aaron

My evo is still better than the other phones and I have bought all of the ones that had promise. HDMI out, rooted so i can watch Hulu, it does it all and I love it.

gstanowski
gstanowski

I have an 2 year old motorola Q and it is about a quarter of an inch longer, but no wider or thicker. It just looks bigger with the large screen, compare the size to iPhone and again not much bigger at all.

linda.feck
linda.feck

But can you use it as a regular phone? I have a blackberry that is NOT at all good for voice, and as old fashioned as it seems, I still need to make phone calls from it!

Yam Digger
Yam Digger

Steve Jobs and his iPhone; This is next smart phone that I'm going to buy.

jnenadal
jnenadal

I have taken shits larger than this phone.. However, my doctor said this is not healthy.

kerry.sisler
kerry.sisler

It really isn't that much bigger than the other ones shown. Should still fit into suit jacket pocket...and the screen is huge in comparision. I could do work on this one which isn't the case on the small screen PDA's!

tompenn
tompenn

Views of the physical phone from all perspectives, incl. back.

ElaineEllsberry
ElaineEllsberry

how does it compare to the Palm Pre? any pictures of the comparison?

dpagel
dpagel

yea, but it's tied to Sprint. No Thanks.

PalaDolphin
PalaDolphin

I have one question: Does it support double touch? Double touch is a hardware technique that allows two fingers to control the screen. With that, iPhones have the ability to zoom in with two fingers. Of course, the OS must also support it. But, with the elimination of the stylus of ALL new smart phones, accurate touch has been a major problem. Let's say you touch the wrong place. It take you some where else. Now, you have to get back. It's time consuming. And then you get it wrong again, because you fingers are too fat. A stylus has already solved this problem. Double touch to zoom in could replace the stylus. But, nobody supports it yet. Does the HTC EVO 4G support double touch and zoom?

AJKeola
AJKeola

From my research the HTC EVO is larger due to it's increased screen size, which I find positive and impressive compared to other smartphones. Seems to blow away others in almost every category!

holbrookja
holbrookja

The most complete AWESOMENESS available. All it really needs is to come with Froyo. Ah well, that will be some extra fun for those who choose to undertake the quest.

abiemann
abiemann

on my Evo I picked the Android wallpaper of the Desert picture; as you shift between home pages the background shifts too

jsokol
jsokol

I've had mine for a week now and I LOVE it. It is bigger than my Palm Centro was (both length & height), but far thinner and I actually find it sits better in my pants pocket without the large lump my Centro had. The Android OS is sleek. Far better than any iPhone I've played with. And I've found no shortage of apps on the Android store to play with, most of them free. It works great for video conferencing (imagine that) and is hands down the best phone I've ever owned or played with. Combine it with the 4G speeds of the Sprint network and it beats the crap out of the iPhone. ~josh

dburrows
dburrows

I wish I lived in an area with Sprint service. Looks like an awesome phone.

wordman1994
wordman1994

Well, I realize this article is a bit tongue-in-cheek, but come on already. I don't LIKE small phones and I have large hands, and as a web developer I'm liking the huge screen. That, and I'm getting sick of my iPhone and Apple's general pretentiousness.

rpieronek
rpieronek

It is not huge, why do reviewers think-demand newer versions have to be smaller. It would be a better product if where a bit larger actually.

d_sarkar
d_sarkar

Remember, this is a Android 2.2 phone and can also act as a hotspot. YOU really do not need to take this phone out of your pocket for a phone usage.

Tony2605
Tony2605

One word is amazing instrument wow wow well done

Alfred Lake
Alfred Lake

This seems awesome.Beautifully crafted, the pride of owning such a fantastic machine must be yearning of most serious gadget lovers.

markh@yorkwater.com
markh@yorkwater.com

My wife has the Pre. She thought the EVO was too big. The EVO has a huge screen compared to the Pre, but it is much thinner. I wouldn't want the Pre in my pocket all day, but I played basketball last night with my son and had the EVO in my pocket the whole time. Here's a link from a google search that shows the Pre beside an iPhone. The EVO is a little bigger than the iPhone. http://www.ubergizmo.com/photos/2009/6/palm-pre-vs-iphone-3_468.jpg

markh@yorkwater.com
markh@yorkwater.com

The limited Sprint network was the only thing that made me hesitate, but the AT&T data plans are so expensive. When I checked it out, there's a 4G tower down the street from my house and one beside where I work. That situation made the switch easy. Traveling may be interesting, but considering the phone has a descent WiFi radio, I'll just hit a coffee shop, if I need to.

ben
ben

I keep hearing that ATT network blows, Verizon stands by that their network is the best and which is why they dont lower the prices. However Sprint has been rock solid for me traveling throughout the SE US. The EVO for me has been a great experience so far. The battery lasts fine for me, although i am in the car so i get to charge it, I spent @ 1.5 hrs the other day on speakerphone with it, when i was done the battery barely moved a notch. I use BT and Wifi, but i turn them on and off via the quick menu to manage the battery a little and it seems to work great.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

While initially the i-Phone's Multitouch chipsets seem really cool, all they did was buy an ancient and failed IR touch technology and then had a multitouch chipset added to it. they then renamed it to be Capacitive Multitouch, even though teh screen touch system really isn't a standard capacitive system at all. As far as accuracy, the base system Apple uses is the most unreliable and inaccurate touch system around, which is another reason it failed (being originally designed for restaurant POS and kiosk systems). Other devices that are CAPABLE of using a stylus, somthing the Apple's system simply could not do as it is inaccurate, have either resistive 5-wire of cpacitive touch systems, which are FAR more technologically advanced than the i-Phone's system. It has become popular for consumers because their needs are less reliant on acurate touch and more into 'cool' ways to manipulate things (stylus' are just not cool enogh for some people). This is also why it fails compared to other smartphone that are designed for business use, try inputting and formatting an Excel spread sheet's cells with an i-Phone, it's not just the proprietary issues it's the fact that it is not accurate enough. You can't sketch a quick line drawing or diagram when talking to a client on an i-Phone. With capacitive touch you can draw on the screen and it will strighten lines and curves for you, rendering a decent quality line drawing for later reference. So when it comes to "double touch" and zoom, the features of the i-Phone are really just an alternative inoput method due to the extreme limitations of the core screen design. Multitouch is not exactly something everyone is lining up to copy. HTC especially focuses their devices more towards business use and enterprise functionality, their touch system is FAR superior to apple's as instead of going proporietary and focusing on being completely different, they went for usability and what actually works...Capacitive Touch. just like all other 'worthy' business devices. Home user wants to surf net? = i-Phone Business or power user that needs accuracy and flexibility? = Anything else available.

markh@yorkwater.com
markh@yorkwater.com

It does two finger pinch zooming in and out on web pages, email messages, etc. Is that what you're asking?

Wisiwyg
Wisiwyg

I'm a happy owner of an Evo, coming from WiMo. Transition is easy, intuitive. Plenty of free and lo$ paid apps. For those worried about fitting in a pocket, it fits very nicely in front pants and shirt pocket. Battery life is good if you turn off the radios you aren't using. Currently runs 2.1, looking forward to the Android 2.2 update, as yet unscheduled.

chalicemedia
chalicemedia

... that this monster is more energy efficient than the four-wheeled Hummer.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

They make a real tablet PC and the nearly indestructable GoBooks (Itronix = General Dynamics = Hummer)but not a smart phone. LOL, actually the closest you can get to a HUMMER OF SMARTPHONES is built by Janam or the Symbol/Motorola Rugged MC-70 etc. I know, that wasn't what you meant but Hummer (GD) actually DID make a smartphone for military field use, before they started in with the rugged PC lines.

MyCoach
MyCoach

Would like to see how Web pages display normally and with phone rotated 90 degrees. Also like to see on screen keyboard.

seanferd
seanferd

What, does it drain batteries really fast? :p Never mind, I'm sure that is not what you meant. Yes, it is monstrous. Nice screen!

remmrich
remmrich

Could you shoot it next to a pack of cigarettes? A dollar bill? A 25cent coin? ANYTHING that is a common item in everyday life? If its about the size of a pack of cigarettes, it will fit in a pocket. Understant?

gil
gil

.. Will it blend?

artlife
artlife

But I will have to be patient and wait til my upgrade time in October.

millsj
millsj

Keyboard? Flip View? (landscape vs portrait)

jcoakley1
jcoakley1

The size looks a bit better for eReader apps.

fit
fit

Actually, If you get the sprint roaming plan you will use the Verizon towers when out of the sprint service areas. Unlimited roaming is included in my $69 data plan. Worked flawlessly recntly when working in northern California area the is not in the Sprint service areas. You get the coverage of Verizon where needed and the rate plan of Sprint.

zach.winchester
zach.winchester

...definition and explanation of the technologies behind touch input that I've ever read. You broke it down to a level where novices can understand it, and yet technical enough that it doesn't feel like you're being talked down to. I really appreciate your taking the time to write up this review - I thought the iPhone was cool, but not cool enough for a commitment. The Evo, well thanks to your excellent writeup of this particular technology, is looking better and better!

anonymous_user
anonymous_user

How can anyone think any phone is better than a WiMo phone? The flexibility of the WiMo phone is incredible. There are so many interest groups who create free open source applications on the web, not through some stupid app store. Hi have to laugh at the 4G network capabilities of this phone because even though it connects to the 4G it only supports speeds up to 3G....LOLATWTMWMP.

seanferd
seanferd

If those are too variable, what about it being shown next to the other smartphones? Or next to the Zune? Did you follow the link to the article where it lists the dimensions of both the device and the screen, along with everything else that you wanted to know but were afraid to ask?

markh@yorkwater.com
markh@yorkwater.com

Android 2.1. And I was about to say that I'm still getting used to using the soft keyboard, but hitting send early sort of proved that point. It's a great phone. I'm hoping they'll work on the battery life, but for now I'm good. Happy EVO Owner.

markh@yorkwater.com
markh@yorkwater.com

The pictures look really good, but it's hard to do the device justice. It has a beautiful display. The 8 m-pix camera is great. I love the apps - secure remote tunnels for RDP and VNC via Connectbot. It kills a battery pretty fast no matter what you're doing, but I hear that will get better when HTC gets the device working with

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

I wouldn't post a resume here and am very reluctant to do so anywhere else either, talk about opening yourself up for trouble! Sorry, I'm just not that trusting of anonymous people on line. :D I have probably dabbled in IT for 15 years but my network, server, scripting knowledge pales when compared to most others here. I just happened to have worked in the field and know how screens are built, what industry demands and how some manufacturers are working to address those business needs. Apple just builds a device and expects everyone to adopt it due to their marketing, not the device's ability to solve specific problems and address induvidual needs. Jason has known me around here for a long time, he views me like many others have here and assumes I am a one trick pony. In fairness, I have slammed the i-Toys around here for years, so he just assumed I was speaking from pure bias and not experience.

zach.winchester
zach.winchester

...my brain almost hurts. But, I'm impressed. Would you and Jason both post your resumes if possible? I'm just curious on what and how far back your experiences are and go. You both obviously have things FAR up on me!!! (I've been a computer & network tech for 10 years is all.) Anyway, once again, I am blown away by the wealth of information in yet a broken down for understanding iteration you seem to have a knack for. And, Jason, I know you've apologized for it, but I was thinking as I read your response to my original response "How would you know the depth of experience Oz has with this, just by his prior posts?" Your responses, however, as well as your blogs, are quite informative and I enjoy reading them. Keep producing good material, and good thought provoking blogs, and I'll keep reading and learning. Thank you both for the enlightening. Zach

jasonhiner
jasonhiner moderator

I based my comments about your experience on your previous comments in the forums, plus the fact that your assertions were pretty far out of line with most of the practical uses that I've observed with these devices. That said, my apologies for misrepresenting your experience. A few follow-up notes: - In terms of the quality of the touchscreen, the bottom line is that 90% of users will never notice any of the subtle differences here. The iPhone's touchscreen "smoothness" (as I called it) is due mostly to hardware/software integration and it gives the perception of superiority because it is quick and responsive (and in my experience, a little more accurate than the HTC Android devices - which I generally like otherwise). - I've used a lot of these smartphones for working with various business documents and spreadsheets and the real world reality of the situation is that all of the touchscreens lack the kind of accuracy you get with a stylus, but there's no perceived inferiority in any of them. They are all mediocre for "fine motor" types of tasks. The iPhone is just as inferior, but no less so than the others. - The most cumbersome thing about the stylus is having to pull it out and re-dock it constantly. Lots of users end up getting tired of the whole process and just use their fingernail instead. That's why so many of them are in love with touchscreens now.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

I was forced to use an i-Phone for 8 months until I finally talked the boss into buying me an HTC instead. So I HAVE used an i-phone, or tried to, for business. As far as KNOWING what I am talking about, I have helped designers create touch screens for banks, kiosks, gas pumps, restaurants etc. I was trained on touch screen technology of ALL types, capacitive, 5-wire, Acct, IR, Acoustic Pulse, iTouch touch-on-tube (Acoustic Pulse), and many others, I am not wrong when it comes to my previous comments on touch input and I don't speak from limited experience, as you try to suggest with no actual knowledge of my experience at all. As for Win Mobile, yes it has been my preferred device OS due to personal business needs, however I currently own a Symbian device and have used but don't own an Android too. I also put Android on top of i-Phone when it comes to functionality. You mention smooth use of the touch screen, we were discussing "accuracy" and not "cool it's smooth" as I also mentioned in my previous post. How is using a stylus "cumbersome"? Is the stylus large and heavy, hard to grip and use, clunky and inaccurate on the screen for handwriting and text input? Is it the ability to tap and click that you found "cumbersome"? [i]"All in all, Oz's assertion about touch performance simply doesn't hold up to real world testing"[/i] They are facts BASED on real world testing, using real world examples. Having worked as a channel manager with the manufacturers, engineers and designers of these devices and touch systems and filled the business needs of many, based on market research and client demand as to what devices DON'T offer them, I'd say I certainly have more 'real world' testing experience than a reviewer; who gets to play with devices to determine what feels best for his needs and the 'speculated' needs of other businesses based on what he finds on the Internet. REAL WORLD means filling the business needs and working vertical markets to see where devices are missing their needs, then working with the device manufacturers to fill those needs. Apple doesn't even make it out of the WiFi security gate, forget all the other limitations it bring to an enterprise, they don't even consider i-Phones beyond asking "does it yet? Didn't think so." What "real world testing" are you referring to? Are you suggesting it is easier to manipulate a spreadsheet, edit a PDF, jot down notes, select and manipulate text etc with an i-Phone? Scan a bar code, Image a PDF tag, power and manage an RFID reader, update and send a brochure to clients, be scrubbed down when contaminated, provide an intrinsically safe battery change in the field? Do tell. As far as business use devices and software, there is far more, useful business software available for MOST other devices than i-phones and at low to no cost at all, straight from the developer, including regular patches and updates that you can also get straight from the manufacturer without waiting for it's approval from Apple. Your article where it is PREDICTED that UBS MAY Be able to solve their third party software issues with Apple was merely a comparison to their existing RIM devices, "It could happen". They also note that the software manufacturer is making said software for devices INCLUDING i-Phone and that it allows them to have access to business and personal data at the same time, this does NOT mean that they have started migrating to Apple because it is as efficient, easy to use or accurate enough for them to use for business, not at all. They are testing that, the article is actually stating a company that designs software is now making it mobile for several devices, and they are TESTING it on i-Phone. Do you have any idea how many devices I have seen "field tested" that never even make it to the RFP due to limitations? The desire and trend is there but the functionality isn't. I guarantee, promise and swear to you that if we sat side by side, I would be able to perform FAR more business operations with a real, capacitive touch system with stylus input, that you could on an i-Phone, and that is entirely due to the input limitations of the i-Phone. Absolutely 100% guaranteed, faster, easier and more accurately. When it comes to business, is application compatibility, ease and ACCURACY if input not the most important feature to have in your mobile phone? Or is it an ability to VIEW spreadsheets, PDF's, Docs, XL's, but not do anything with them that floats enterprises? Apple's i-phones are used in very limited, unregulated business cases, I have filled the government RFP's and i-Phone does NOT even begin to meet their business needs, I filled Van Olympic Committee(VANOC) RPF's and i-Phones (and even most other smart phones) failed to meet the basic requirements, I have filled the RFP's for medical use, oil and gas industry use, city works use, forestry use, supply chain management and retail use, restaurants (literally jotting orders on a smart phone that are sent directly to the kitchen and tied into their POS system), I have provided RFID reading smart phones to the Airport and on and on and on, every industry, all different and very specific needs where the i-Phones don't even begin to meet the requirements of these common businesses...i-phones didn't even do what the laundromats needed! So before you wing off saying what I use, what I know and what I am referring to, maybe get a clue about what I have done and used first. i-Phones were available to me to offer for ALL of those issues, but did not stand up to the much better designed input interfaces, durability, software use and redesign as needed. I have a specific need and Motorola/Symbol builds a device and offers it in a few months, specifically for the application I need, if it's not already built in. Such as a scanner and camera, a camera AND RFID radio. Will Apple work to offer what a specific business needs and not just expect a business to adjust their needs to fit the device? Not bloody likely. At the end of the day though, we are discussing one specific function here only. 'Input accuracy' and there's no possible way that i-Phone's lack of input "accuracy" will even come close, unless you have a very pointy finger and can teach a multi touch chip how to read your finger's input accurately. In short, i-Phone accuracy is like trying to pick your nose with your knuckle. Is it fun and cool to use and does it surf the web and play with pictures in a really slick manner? You bet. Does apple make SOME business software available, even if with limited functionality? You bet. Is that an example of input accuracy? Not even close. Here's a good site to begin understanding industry needs: Funny how they all require different touch systems that are designed for their marketplace. http://www.elotouch.com/Solutions/default.asp You want to begin understanding different touch technology and how it works in the real world:http://www.elotouch.com/Solutions/default.asp The problem is, they won't sell their technology to Apple, they sell it to many other device builders though. Even their mobile device screens offer 3 completely different touch systems suited to the users needs: http://www.elotouch.com/Technologies/HandheldMobile/default.asp This is the company that sets the bar and provides touch systems that everyone else uses, except Apple. I seriously don't think you can say that Apple designed a superior system, as the company they bought out was trying to sell to ELO/Tyco (unsuccessfully) before Apple bought them. They initially tried to be a competitor of Tyco but their technology failed and they filed for chapter 11.

jasonhiner
jasonhiner moderator

While most of the facts that Oz cites are correct, his conclusion is off base and it's clear that he hasn't used many of these devices. As he's said in the past, he's mostly used HTC devices running Windows Mobile. Sure, that device will work better than a touchscreen when using a stylus to draw a diagram on your smartphone. Unfortunately, a stylus-based OS like Windows Mobile OS is also far more cumbersome to use and it doesn't have nearly as much (or as good) daily productivity software as Android or especially the iPhone, which he still wants to paint as a toy that has no business value. In terms of touchscreen performance, I've tested and reviewed them all (Android devices, iPhones, Palm Pre, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, and more) and the iPhone has the most accurate and smoothest touchscreen performance of them all, in my experience, with Palm Pre a close second. That's mostly because Apple has invested very heavily in touchscreen technology. Android tocuhscreens are solid and very usable, but they are just a little more sluggish and less touch-sensitive. All in all, Oz's assertion about touch performance simply doesn't hold up to real world testing. And while HTC is making some excellent Android devices like the EVO and the Incredible, Oz is also wrong to assume that because they devices are made by HTC (which has a lot of enterprise expertise from its Windows Mobile devices) that these Android devices are naturally a better fit for the enterprise. Not true, but that has a lot more to do with software than hardware. Unfortunately, Android is still catching up to iPhone in terms of its enterprise software capabilities. It will definitely catch up, but it's simply not as mature yet. That's why we don't hear about very many enterprise deployments of Android devices yet. Meanwhile we're seeing big companies like UBS that could migrate up to a third of their 18,000 BlackBerry users to iPhones: http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2010/06/11/iphones-for-blackberries-at-ubs/ So the idea here is not to justify iPhone over Android for business users. They both have plenty to offer, and BlackBerry isn't going away yet either. But, it's definitely a three-way race between those three in the business world. You could originally write off the first iPhone as little more than a toy (I certainly did), but it's now developed into a legitimate option for business users. Also read: What enterprise IT needs to know about iPhone 4 http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/hiner/?p=4968 Five reasons why BlackBerry is still winning in the enterprise http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/hiner/?p=4158

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

Because some people have a clue. And yes, I have a WiMo phone too.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

Is touch screen recognition. They use very high end touch systems that are made by the world's leading touch screen mfr. I absolutely LOVED the stylus and handwriting recognition and sketch to line drawin gconversion that my HTC P4000 gave me, just hoping they'll do the same again. It really was light years ahead of other touch and recognition systems, too bad everyone else offers crappy touch systems otherwise I think they would have caught on a lot better than resorting to multitouch chipsets like Apple did. Sadness indeed, one trendy company offers a crappy touch system and decent touch systems go to the wayside.

seanferd
seanferd

as to whether it drains batteries like an electronic Hummer. Serves me right for not reading the entire thread before posting, I guess. ;)