Video: HTC EVO 4G vs. HTC HD2

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Adam Lein and I went to the Sprint EVO 4G event in New York City. We got some hands-on time with America’s first 4G handset, the EVO 4G. In this video, we compare the EVO 4G with the HD2 in terms of hardware, and with the Nexus One in terms of software. In our tests, we found the download speeds for the EVO 4G to be around 2mbps on average, which isn’t an accurate assesment of its capability (Adam’s HD2 on T-Mobile 3G was getting faster speeds) because NYC doesn’t have a 4G network, and Sprint had to “fake” on with a special truck outside of the event.

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The first part of the event was an introduction by Dan Hesse, CEO of Sprint, who talked about the enthusiasm surrounding the EVO 4G. Then, we saw some demonstrations of the Qik video calling feature, plus the HDMI output which requires an extra cable.

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As a reminder, the Sprint EVO 4G is going on sale on June 4th for $199. You’ll have to pay an extra $10 over the standard data plan to access 4G speeds, and if you want the 4G tethering option, it’s another $30.

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Also, you’re probably wondering Adam and I think overall about the EVO 4G. Where take a look:

Adam: Overall I was only mildly impressed with the EVO 4G. At least in NYC at the launch event, the 4G speeds were nothing to write home about. Sure they’re certainly faster than Sprint or Verizon’s 3G, but our T-Mobile HD2 was getting just as fast if not faster speed test results on HSPA 7.2Mbps in the same location. The EVO is slightly thicker than the HD2 with the same width/height dimensions. The EVO offers an 8Mp camera vs. the HD2’s 5Mp camera, but the photos didn’t look terribly different, save for a slight difference in color balance, and we couldn’t get the EVO 4G’s flash to work. It was also disappointing that the video chat didn’t work during the announcement demos. It’s cool that the video chat uses Qik, but that probably means you can only chat with people who have Qik accounts and happen to be online with Qik loaded at the same time. Most other features and speed tests were very much the same as the HD2 and Nexus One. Perhaps if you live in an area where Sprint’s WIMAX speeds are actually faster than 3G speeds it may be worth it to be an early adopter on this one.

Me: I wasn’t as concerned about the aparent slow 4G speeds at the event, because I use Sprint 4G on my laptop in Phiadelphia, and I get speeds of 6mbps-10mbps down, so there’s no reason that the EVO 4G can’t pull that off in optimum conditions.

The device itself is impressive. It’s an HD2 with Android, and that’s a very good thing. The Android Sense interface from HTC is extremely visual – live wallpapers, smooth animations, beautiful widgets – and the huge 4.3″ display brings all of this to life.

Compared to the Nexus One, the speed of the device in launching programs, etc, is a bout the same. It’s fast…there’s little or no hesitation from screen-to-screen, and multitasking is handled well.

The only thing that could make the EVO 4G even better is an AMOLED display (which would be WAY too expensive to manufacturer at this point) and availability on another carrier. I wouldn’t mind having a non-4G version of this phone to use on AT&T or T-Mobile. Overall, I’m impressed.

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About The Author
Brandon Miniman
Brandon is a graduate from the Villanova School of Business, located near Philadelphia, PA. He's been a technology writer since 2002, and, in 2005, became Editor-in-Chief of Pocketnow, a then Windows Mobile-focused website. He has since helped to transition Pocketnow into a top-tier smartphone and tablet publication. He's so obsessed with technology that he once entered a candle store and asked if they had a "new electronics" scent. They didn't.