HTC EVO 4G LTE impressions: A good reason to consider Sprint

Check out our full HTC EVO 4G LTE review.

Sprint unveiled the HTC EVO 4G LTE flagship phone in early April. Even in our first hands-on, we were quite impressed with the new phone. Sprint and HTC got a lot of attention with the first EVO 4G, which helped usher in the era of phones with screens exceeding 4.3 inches. It was also the flagship for Sprint’s WiMax 4G network. Still a distant third in the race, Sprint has seen its rivals kick it up a notch, pushing high-speed LTE networks and high-end exclusive devices, but because of its major investment in the iPhone 4S, Sprint may not have been able to afford to launch much else for a while… until now, that is. The EVO 4G LTE will be Sprint’s top 4G LTE device and the first phone to integrate HD Voice, a much clearer way to hear and be heard over a wireless network.

If you want to know the nitty gritty of the HTC EVO 4G LTE, look no further than our review of the HTC One X. The new EVO is essentially the same phone, minus some outward tweaks and the addition of HD Voice. Like its brother, it runs Android 4.0 and has all of the perks of the new One phones, including the HTC Sense 4.0 user interface and the ImageSense chip that aids the camera, providing some fairly stellar video and still shots (watch our hands-on with the One X camera). Thanks to a simple new UI, you can actually record a video while you take screenshots as well or hold down the on-screen shutter button to take a burst of up to 99 photos; you can save the ones you like or select to keep all of them.

On the outside, we’re not huge fans of the black and red design HTC has gone with, especially with the fingerprint-prone removable back cover, but it doesn’t look particularly bad when compared to other devices on the market. There is one big benefit too: Like the original EVO, the EVO 4G LTE has a kickstand on the back as well, allowing you to pull out the red band on the back and prop up the phone in a few different ways. This is especially helpful if you use your phone as an alarm clock or want to watch video. It’s too bad more phones don’t have a stand. The phone has a good feel to it, much like the other new HTC devices this year. At 4.7 inches though, it may be a little large for some users. 

There are undoubtedly many other benefits to the phone. We got a chance to try out HD Voice a while back, and it works quite well. The only caveat, of course, is that both people need to be on Sprint’s network and using an EVO 4G LTE. It will be a while before more carriers integrate the HD Voice standard and enough phones support it to make it useful. Still, it’s good to see Sprint marching forward.

The HTC EVO 4G LTE will hit Sprint on May 18 for $200, with a two-year contract.