The Sprint HTC EVO 4G Smartphone - First Impressions and A Nice Surprise

June 11, 2010, 7:41 a.m.
Lance Wilson, Research Director


I activated the phone by calling Sprint as their on-line tool seemed a bit balky with the EVO. All in all, it only took a few minutes. I found the EVO large, by cellphone standards, but this should not be a surprise since it has such a large screen (4.3"). For me, it's a kind of blessing as I find most cellphones a bit awkward to talk on as they are relatively small. The EVO feels more like a normal phone. It's not really heavy but let's just say that it's substantial. Setting the EVO up was fairly intuitive and I only had to refer to the manual once or twice. I had my EVO in 3G and Internet operation was good and trouble free. I watched a few of the obligatory YouTube videos to check things out. The display is vivid, liquid-looking and a joy to watch. The EVO also has a little "kickstand" that folds out of the back to let the phone sit upright either in a vertical or horizontal position. I found this quite neat. I tried finding a 4G signal in the Phoenix area, where I am located, but without luck. Sprint is only reportedly doing indtallations and some testing work here so a real test is not possible now locally. I have found the features that are the last thing one has in mind are frequently the ones that impress most. The EVO 4G is no exception. One of the first things I did was to get our company exchange server operational on the EVO. This was extremely easy and very comparable to the iPad and later iPhones. What happened next was the really surprising thing. When I opened up my company's exchange account on the EVO I found the layout of the Calendar and mail tool really outstanding. Of course, the large screen certainly helps but some real thought went into setting this up. The Calendar has a small vertical bar within each date square which shows a relative idea of the time of the event by a green dot's position within the bar. Very neat and very useful. In fact, throughout the day I found myself checking my email and Calendar on the EVO instead of my desktop unconsciously. This app is a real winner and one that I will use often. I will post more impressions about the EVO 4G as I wind my way through its long list of features.