At a tech event last night in New York City, Sprint took the wraps off of its HTC EVO 4G plans and pricing. The EVO 4G was first announced at CTIA as the first 4G WiMax smartphone for the US and was met with great enthusiasm and fanfare by members of the press and by the general public. According to Sprint, the Android smartphone with the latest HTC Sense experience will retail for $199 after a $100 mail in rebate and a two-year agreement. Sprint customers can choose from existing plan options that they have now, including the popular and affordable Sprint Everything Data plans with Any Mobile Anytime for $69.99, plus an additional $10 for advanced features, which is read to mean the 3G and 4G capabilities that the phone has to offer. Additionally, with the EVO 4G, users can turn on the mobile hotspot app to connect up to 8 devices (the EVO 4G plus seven other peripherals) using wireless tethering to share the mobile broadband connection for an additional monthly surcharge of $29.99.
The EVO 4G will launch on June 4th and will be available at Sprint, Radio Shack, Best Buy, and WalMart.
The data tethering option, in my opinion, is definitely a worthy add-on for its price. At CTIA when the phone was demoed, Sprint had streamed Netflix using a set-top box made by Roku without any stuttering in performances or stops for buffering mid-movie–that in itself is quite an impressive feat when you consider that a fast, reliable cable modem at my Los Angeles, California home would occasionally stop and buffer for a few seconds on occasion when I stream via Roku. Additionally, the data tethering charge is still much cheaper than getting a 3G or 4G USB modem and you can share the connection on multiple devices.
According to Sprint, 4G is currently offered in “Illinois Chicago; Maryland Baltimore; Nevada Las Vegas; North Carolina Charlotte, Greensboro, (along with High Point and Winston-Salem), Raleigh (along with Cary, Chapel Hill and Durham); Oregon Portland, Salem; Pennsylvania Harrisburg, Lancaster, Philadelphia, Reading, York; Texas Abilene, Amarillo, Austin, Corpus Christi, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Houston, Killeen/Temple, Lubbock, Midland/Odessa, San Antonio, Waco, Wichita Falls; Washington Bellingham, Seattle. For more information, visit www.sprint.com/4G.
In 2010, Sprint expects to launch 4G service in multiple markets, including but not limited to, Boston, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Denver, Los Angeles, Kansas City, Miami, Minneapolis, New York City, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, St. Louis and Washington, D.C.”