For quite some time I have wanted a smart phone, but I am fundamentally not an Apple fan. (I truly hate iTunes, and I generally want to have options regarding how I deal with my media.) So, for a host of reasons, I knew that the iPhone was not the choice for me.
I have been wanting an Android phone, and when I heard about the Evo I knew it was the choice for me. So I admit to a bit of bias before I begin this review.
The Evo is a smart phone built on Android and on the Sprint network, so I will review the hardware first, then my experience with Android, then Sprint.
Size – I know this is the first thing anyone notices about the Evo. It is about twice as big as the phone I have been carrying for the last 3 years. So it initially felt large in my hands. But now that I am used to it, I don’t think about it. If it were much bigger I would have issues. But I am a grown man, there’s plenty of room for it in my pocket and I think the large screen helps me hit the right keys when typing.
Speed – It is quick. I only notice lag in a couple of applications, they all open up quickly though. I blame the applications rather than the phone.
The screen – is pretty much beautiful. Admittedly, I haven’t seen the iPhone 4 yet, but the Evo has the prettiest screen I’ve ever seen on a phone. When I showed it to my Granny the first thing she said was, “One thing about the phone, you can see it.”
The Camera – It has an 8 mp camera. In good light it takes pictures at least as good as my Fuji finepix. Also the shutter lag is almost non-existent after the camera is focused. It has a good flash and is by far the best phone camera I’ve ever used.
Battery life – I did not expect much from the battery life on this phone, but it is so much worse than I expected. I would describe it as abysmal. With wi-fi and GPS turned on it won’t make it through a shift a work. (And I only work 6 hour shifts.) I love the phone, but a charger is needed at work, in the car, and by the bed. This phone is an addict for electricity.
Apps – I know the talking point that there are 200,000 apps in the Apple app store and only 20,000 android apps, but I’m satisfied. I have not paid for any apps yet and there is a wide variety of free ones. The Facebook app is not great, but I really like seismic for Twitter. The only thing I can think of that I haven’t found is a tilt-shift app so I can make neat pics. Also as far as I know there is no IMDB app, and their site is not very friendly to super small browsers.
Integration – I love how android integrates with the social networks, and with my gmail contacts. I did not have to import any settings from my old phone. No need to move any numbers, because everyone from my Google contact list is available. (as is Facebook.) Google voice integrates perfectly with android as well. It’s like a dream how well that works.
Intuitiveness – I am not a n00b with computers. I am sure I am more advanced than the majority of the people who have this phone. But there are a few things I have not figured out yet. There are 6 home screens, I don’t know if it is possible to move them around or to delete one. I would very much like to. One of the home screens has bookmarks. I have not figured out how to change any of those. Otherwise, I find everything easy to do.
Customer service – The only cell phone company I have ever dealt with is AT&T/Cingular. On a customer service level, Sprint is great compared to them.
Coverage – I know that coverage is unique to your area so I will just say that I am satisfied with the coverage. It is not good at my house, but they are sending me a femtocell for free, so that should soon be remedied.
Speed – At home I have DSL (1.5 mb/s) Over the 3G network I can’t notice any diference while surfing the web, updating seismic, etc. There is maybe a bit more latency, but the speed is adequate. I haven’t used tethering or made any downloads but it seems acceptable. I watched an episode of prizefight comparing the Evo with the Incredible streaming over 3G and it was perfectly acceptable.
Overall – I love my new phone. I hope that was a thorough and not too technical review.