Folks looking to get all the bandwidth they can for a smartphone are done waiting: the HTC EVO 4G is now on sale from Sprint for $199.99 (after a $100 mail-in rebate) with a new two-year service agreement. The HTC EVo 4G is not only an Android 2.1 smartphone with an 8 megapixel camera, 1 GHz Snapdragon processor, and a 4.3-inch display: it can tap into Sprint 4G WiMax network where available, in addition to standard 3G and Wi-Fi wireless networking services, making the device a natural for video- and media-centric applications. And Sprint is still offering unlimited data plans, so folks don’t have to worry about counting every byte they send and receive. And the bandwidth can matter: when in a 4G service area, the phone can tap into download speeds as high as 10 Mbps (3–6 Mbps is more realistic) and upload speeds of 1 Mbps. And folks will be able to use the HTC EVO 4G as a hotspot for up to eight additional Wi-Fi devices.
The HTC EVO 4G will run the Android 2.1 platform, meaning it has access to a world of Android applications in addition to built-in email, mapping, Web-browsing, messaging and social networking capabilities. The phone features a 4.3-inch touchscreen display, a 1 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, two cameras (one forward-facing 1.3 megapixel webcam for video chat capabilities and an 8 megapixel camera for photographs and capturing HD video). Also on board: integrated 802.11b/g Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1 wireless networking, an FM radio receiver, integrated GPS, and a cute little built-in kickstand so the phone can be set up to show videos or images on a tabletop or other surface. The HTC EVO 4G also has HD video cable capability, and an HDMI output for pushing high-definition content out to a big screen television or other HDMI-savvy display. The phone ships with an 8 GB microSD card, but supports capacities up to 32 GB.
the HTC EVO 4G will also be preloaded with Quik Video chat, enabling high-definition video chat.
How much is that 4G-capable service? The HTC EVO 4G requires at least Sprint’s Everything Data plan plus a Premium Data add-on for a total of $79.99 per month for unlimited data, texts, and calling. Folks who want to tether up to either other devices will pay an additional $29.99 per month.
Obviously, the HTC EVO 4G is most interesting to customers in service areas where Sprint has lit up WiMax service. Currently that includes 33 markets, including a number of major metropolitan areas—you can check a coverage map at Sprint’s site. Sprint plans to light up many additional significant markets this year, including New York City, San Francisco, Boston, Los Angeles, Miami, and Washington D.C.…but they aren’t live yet. In areas where WiMax service isn’t available, the phone drops back to 3G data service.
There’s no doubt the 4G connectivity will appeal strong to Android fans who need serious mobile data capability and who live in an area with WiMax service. For everyone else though—and that still includes huge U.S. metropolitan markets—the HTC EVO 4G is just another high-end 3G Android device.