Sprint won’t have a working LTE network in the U.S. until mid-2012. Even then, they will only offer LTE service in select cities. But, this fact hasn’t stopped the company from releasing an LTE phone. And now that the HTC Evo 4G LTE has cleared U.S. customs, we can crack it open and compare the latest Evo to its cousin, the HTC One X.

Our Evo 4G LTE test unit had a 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of onboard storage (expandable via the microSD slot), a 4.7″ Super LCD 2 screen (1280 x 720 resolution), an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera, and a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera. It measured 5.31″ (H) x 2.72″ (W) x 0.35″ (D) and weighed 4.73 ounces.

Full teardown gallery: Cracking Open the HTC Evo 4G LTE

Cracking Open observations (One X comparison)

The Evo 4G LTE and One X share many components, such as the processor, storage module, and touchscreen controller. But, there are important differences–beyond the Evo’s kickstand and two-tone case.

  • Two-piece back cover: The One X has a single-piece back cover. In contrast, the Evo’s back cover has two sections. The top half can be removed by the user to access the phone’s microSD card slot. The bottom half covers the battery and is not designed to be removed by the user.
  • Larger battery: The Evo 4G LTE has a 2,000mAh battery, compared to the 1,800mAh power unit in the One X. The Evo’s battery is also easier to replace, as its connector is mounted to the top of the motherboard.
  • microSD instead of microSIM: The Evo’s motherboard has a microSD card slot instead of the microSIM slot found on the One X. Also, most connectors are mounted to the top of the Evo’s motherboard. This makes working on the Evo easier than working on the One X.
  • Internal construction differences: The Evo’s vibration motor is mounted at the top of the phone instead of the bottom. The lower speaker is mounted to the front panel assembly instead of the back cover. And, the Evo lacks the separate circuit board that houses the One X’s docking connector.
  • Nearly identical cameras: Although I haven’t tried to swap them out (yet), the cameras on the Evo and One X look almost identical.

Bottom Line

As of this tapping, the Evo 4G LTE has an MSRP of $199 (with a two-year Sprint contract). And like the One X, it’s a solid phone–even though the U.S. version lacks a quad-core processor. As CNET’s Brian Bennett wrote, the new Evo is a phone “that’s light-years better than its predecessors and flaunts enough features plus a delectable design to strike real fear in the hearts of competitors Samsung and Motorola”.

Read Brian Bennett’s CNET review of the HTC Evo 4G LTE for more information on the phone’s software, real-world performance, and battery life test results.

Internal hardware

Our Evo 4G LTE test unit had the following hardware:

  • 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor (MSM8960)
  • Samsung K3PE7E700D-XG2 8Gb LP DDR2 Mobile DRAM (1GB)
  • 16GB Samsung KLMAG2GE4A storage chip
  • 4.7″ Super LCD 2 display (1280 x 720)
  • 8MP rear-facing camera
  • 1.3MP front-facing camera
  • 3.7V, 2,000 mAh Li-Ion battery (BJ75100)
  • Synaptics S3202A touch controller (S3202A 2081AD AC36690)
  • Qualcomm RTR8600 multi-band/mode RF transceiver for LTE bands (RTR8600 AFN726.0 H320500A)
  • Qualcomm RTR8605 multi-band/mode RF transceiver
  • Invensense MPU-3050 MPU-3050 Triple Axis Gyroscope with Embedded Digital Motion Processor
  • Qualcomm WCD931
  • Avago ACPM-5002-TR1 Multimode power amplifier (A5002 K1144 QA6JVC)
  • Qualcomm PM8921 power management IC (PM8921 AD2R270 F3209004)
  • Silicon Image SiI9244 MHL transmitter for HD audio and video (924480 PFY711A 10L2205)
  • Avago ACPM-5005-TR1 Multimode power amplifier (A5005 K1208 QA70CN)
  • Avago LFI152 295348
  • NXP 65N04 36 1 NSD2121
  • Qualcomm WCN3660 dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and FM radio combo chip (WCN3660 PGA702G7 A208002)
  • H1207471 8901120000 0011852406 NEX