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Sprint's HTC Evo 4G Available Now, Battery Life Still an Issue

HTC Evo 4G
The first U.S.'s first 4G smartphone is officially available this morning. The HTC Evo 4G can be snagged for $199 (after a mail-in rebate) when you sign a two year contract with Sprint. With a 1Ghz Snapdragon processor, a 4.3-inch touchscreen, an 8-megapixel camera capable of recording HD video, a front facing camera for video calls and HDMI out, the spec sheet of the Evo 4G reads like a geek's wet dream. But now that the phone is for sale, and first reviews have hit the tubes, it's time to find out if the Evo is worth running out to purchase.

HTC Evo 4G

Our friends at Engadget are head-over-heels in love with the device. Chris Ziegler said "we adore" the Evo, before gushing "this is truly one of the best smartphones ever made." Something more-or-less echoed by Rob Jackson at Phandroid who said, "it's hard to find things to DISLIKE about the EVO 4G." But Mr. Ziegler and Mr. Jackson appear to be in the minority. While Matt Buchanan at Gizmodo was generally impressed with the device, he found its size cumbersome (calling it the "Escalade of smartphones") and the battery life to be "miserable." The battery seems to be the major problem for the Evo. MG Siegler at TechCrunch says, "it's almost unfathomable how bad the battery is," even with the 4G WiMax radio turned off. Siegler's cohort Matt Burns at Mobile Crunch listed the Evo's cons as:
  • Horrible battery life
  • Terrible battery life
  • Really, really bad battery life
Burns was so frustrated by the battery life that he called it a "deal breaker." Siegler said "if you do buy this thing [the Evo 4G] now, you'll probably be kicking yourself in a couple of months." USA Today's Ed Baig had the same concerns about the battery, but he was quite happy with the overall speed of the device. He found that download speeds over WiMax to be "two to four times better than... with 3G," and that the EVO 4G had a blazing fast processor.

Those who are unfazed by the idea of having to carry a spare battery and a charger with them everywhere can follow some tips to milking every last bit of life out of the Evo. Most of them are pretty basic, such as turning off Wi-Fi and WiMax unless needed, turning down the screen brightness and using a static background instead of the fancy Live Wallpapers. MobileCrunch also suggests installing an app called 'SetCPU' that lets you downclock the CPU for some power savings. Even with all of these tweaks though, Matt Burns was only able to keep his Evo going for 14.5 hours when doing nothing but acting as a fancy paperweight. At the D8 conference HTC CEO, Peter Chou, conceded that battery life was a serious issue, and that "battery technology is an area where innovation is slow."

If you absolutely must have the latest and greatest smart phone and are a Sprint customer, we suppose the Evo 4G is a no-brainer -- as long as your idea of "mobile" is being able to move from outlet to outlet. [From: Engadget, Gizmodo, TechCrunch and MobileCrunch]

Tags: android, android phones, AndroidPhones, battery life, BatteryLife, cellphones, evo 4g, Evo4g, htc, htc evo, htc evo 4g, HtcEvo, HtcEvo4g, smartphones, sprint, top, wimax



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