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Sprint Unveils HTC Evo 4G Super Phone 284

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the spec-escalation dept.
adeelarshad82 writes "Sprint dropped a bombshell on the CTIA Wireless trade show by unveiling the most powerful Google Android smartphone ever seen in the USA, the WiMAX-powered Evo 4G. The phone runs Android 2.1 on a 1-GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon QSD8650 chipset along with a helpful 1GB of built-in memory and 512MB of RAM, which is assisted by a MicroSD slot supporting up to 32GB cards. It swaps between EVDO Rev. A, WiMAX and Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g on demand. The phone is dominated by a 4.3-inch, 800-by-480 65,000-color TFT LCD capacitive touch screen. There's an 8-megapixel camera on the back and a 1.3-megapixel unit on the front. The camera also records 720p, high-def video, which it can play through an HDMI out jack on the bottom. The Evo 4G weighs 170g and measures 120.5 mm by 67 mm by 13 mm. It's expected to hit the market in the summer."
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Sprint Unveils HTC Evo 4G Super Phone

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  • Voice? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ArhcAngel (247594) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @12:06PM (#31599856)

    "It swaps between EVDO Rev. A, WiMAX and Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g on demand"

    Does this apply to calls as well as data? If so it is even more awesome than I originally thought.

    • Re:Voice? (Score:5, Informative)

      by ircmaxell (1117387) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @12:19PM (#31600112) Homepage
      Well, yes and no. Voice still goes out over CDMA. What this means to you though, is that when voice is using CDMA, EVDO can't operate (since it uses the same radio). However, it can still use WiMAX and 802.11... So you can use voice and data at the same time, but only if you're in the range of either WiMAX or 802.11... Cool, but not groundbreaking (yet).
      • Voice and data at the same time is nothing new. All flavors of GSM 3G can do it, and even EDGE can pause data transfers (while retaining connections) when on a voice call.

        Simultaneous voice and data on cell networks has been around for 8 years. Does Sprint/Verizon not have this?

      • Well, yes and no.

        So then the answer is no. No, EVDO, WiMAX, and Wi-Fi do not apply to voice, since voice goes over CDMA. EVDO, WiMAX, and Wi-Fi are for transferring data, and EVDO will not run if you're using CDMA.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by rm999 (775449)

        "So you can use voice and data at the same time"

        According to http://www.engadget.com/2010/03/23/htc-evo-4g-is-sprints-android-powered-knight-in-superphone-armo/ [engadget.com], Sprint says it is "still in the testing phase". Not sure what this means, but it sounds like they haven't proven it is possible in their current design (or just bad PR).

        My guess is it will end up being a pretty high priority.

    • Does this apply to calls as well as data?

      From TFA: "it will make all voice calls over Sprint's CDMA 1X network". So no.
      Probably no simultaneous voice and data either, as is generally the case with Sprint.
      Probably won't work as a phone outside the USA because it's not GSM.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Facegarden (967477)

      "It swaps between EVDO Rev. A, WiMAX and Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g on demand"

      Does this apply to calls as well as data? If so it is even more awesome than I originally thought.

      Well, android 2.1 and on (maybe earlier too?) does have the built-in capability to make calls with google voice, which would then be able to use the data connection.

      I've got my Nexus One to use google voice only for voicemail and international calls. With the voicemail, it records the message, transcribes the voice to text, and can text or email you the text, or you can use the free google voice app to both see the text, click any phone numbers as links, and listen to the message a-la Visual Voicemail (by j

  • HDMI jack? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymusing (1450747) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @12:06PM (#31599860)

    A phone that records 720p video and plays it out via an HDMI jack? WHY?

    • Re:HDMI jack? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Tumbleweed (3706) * on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @12:10PM (#31599956)

      A phone that records 720p video and plays it out via an HDMI jack? WHY?

      You seem to be complaining about the HDMI port. If your phone can record HD video, why WOULDN'T you want to be able to play that on a big display?

      • Re:HDMI jack? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by QuantumRiff (120817) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @12:58PM (#31600740)

        Along with the fact that if you can download at over 8Mb/s (I've seen 4G sprint wimax equipment do that) then why the heck not watch hulu on your big tv, using your phone...

        • Re:HDMI jack? (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Tumbleweed (3706) * on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @01:06PM (#31600850)

          Along with the fact that if you can download at over 8Mb/s (I've seen 4G sprint wimax equipment do that) then why the heck not watch hulu on your big tv, using your phone...

          During the demo at the announcement yesterday, they used it as a Roku box. Crazy times we live in. I just wish the thing was shipping NOW. *sigh* 'summer'? Lame.

    • by Dracos (107777)

      This was my first thought also. Why bother keeping the analog hole closed on video that the user owns? HDMI is no person's friend.

      • by Z34107 (925136)

        Using an HDMI jack doesn't mean all the video you take on your phone is automagically DRM'd. I'm not sure why you're objecting.

        Do you suggest to fit a component jack onto a 4"x2" phone and then match it with an RCA stereo jack?

        • by red_dragon (1761)

          Do you suggest to fit a component jack onto a 4"x2" phone and then match it with an RCA stereo jack?

          What d'you mean, like on an iPhone [apple.com]? That's crazy talk!

          • by Z34107 (925136)

            I would much rather have a small, standard connector than a larger, proprietary connector.

            Still not sure why that's a better solution than putting an HDMI connector.

      • by h4rr4r (612664)

        HDMI does not have to use HDCP. I am typing this on my media center PC running ubuntu 9.10 connected to my HDTV via HDMI. Having 1 less cable and not having to worry about ground loops on the audio is a real benefit.

        HDMI is nothing more than DVI and digital audio in the same cable.

      • by Zach978 (98911)
        I'm sure the video file will be sitting on your device's SD card...not that hard to plug in your phone via usb and download it.
    • 1) Porn & Sexting.
      2) Policing the police state. How many photos/videos have we seen released in recent years of police abusing their power? Stuff that would have just been your word vs his in the past. Shoving kids off skate boards, body checking bicyclists, etc.

      I was the last person that wanted a camera on my phone. I just wanted a (*&3@ phone. That camera phone saved my ass from insurance when someone ran a red light and made up a whole lot of false claims.

      Even if 99.99% of the stuff generated on

      • by Andy Dodd (701)

        I almost never use the camera in my phone. Maybe 2-3 times a year - the quality is just not even remotely close to my standards.

        However, sometimes you just have an "oh shit" situation where you REALLY wish you had a camera, even a shitty one.

        (I'm lucky in that my company now permits cameraphones as long as you take an online training course from the company intranet, which basically says "don't use the camera function on company grounds")

    • by TheKidWho (705796)

      Sorry, I guess they should have included an Apple proprietary jack 2.0 to make it seem more cool!

    • by game kid (805301)
      I know, right? They should've went the extra inch, and make it record 1080p and play it out via 75-ohm coax, DisplayPort, and twitter. Wimps.
    • A phone that records 720p video and plays it out via an HDMI jack? WHY?

      Because its a handheld computer/digital camcorder/phone combination unit for people who want to do lots of things, but don't want to carry lots of gadgets.

      If the question is "why HDMI?", my guess is the reason is "because HDMI is what you can most count on being supported on HDTVs, which are the most likely thing people are going to want to plug in their phone to play their 720p videos on" (for computers, presumably, they'll just downloa

  • Battery life? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by WiiVault (1039946) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @12:07PM (#31599884)
    Looks really cool and feature packed, but I wonder if it will last a resonable amount of time on a single charge? If you ask me only in the last year or so have 3G radios become efficient enough to be usefull daylong in something like a phone. If WiMax/"4G" is like early 3G headsets it will likely last an unreasonably short amount of time on a charge. But hey if I'm wrong sign me up!
    • by MrEricSir (398214)

      Don't worry, it's powered by Orbo.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by dwhitman (105201)

        Don't worry, it's powered by Orbo.

        And that just great until we run out of witches. Doesn't anyone think these things through? It's not scalable.

    • I read somewhere (sorry, no source link) that WiMax radios should theoretically require less power than current 3G technologies. If this thing takes a hit in battery life, it's probably because it uses both 3G and 4G radios (unless the software's really smart about turning one off when the other has good signal). Of course, if your new 4G speeds cause you to go nuts and start downloading huge torrents on-the-go, then the energy consumption of the radio is probably the least of your battery-draining concer
    • by e2d2 (115622)

      Slow down Tex. We'll need a credit check and a sample of your DNA first.

  • How bout battery life? It's great having all that power, but if it only stays running 6 hours between charges it's just a desk brick. No mention of multi-touch/tasking? itards will be whining for that if you're trying to horn into the apple market.
  • a helpful 1GB of built-in memory and 512MB of RAM

    That should read "1 GB of storage built-in and 512MB of RAM", shouldn't it?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mcgrew (92797) *

      That should make you question the accuracy of the rest of the entire article.

  • Also.. (Score:5, Funny)

    by AnotherShep (599837) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @12:12PM (#31599984)
    The expected battery life is 20 minutes of standby or 5 minutes of talk. A replacement high-capacity battery adds 104g to the weight of the unit, 20mm to the depth, and extends standby time to 68 minutes and talk time to over 10 minutes.
    • > ...talk time to over 10 minutes.

      Or two hours if you add a whip antenna, but no smartphoney would ever do that.

    • Or you could do what we did 20 years ago to make our HAM gear portable -- drag around a couple lead-acid gel-cell batteries in a backpack. That'll get you a couple hours talk time!
    • http://www.engadget.com/2010/03/23/htc-evo-4g-nexus-one-and-droid-face-off-on-the-charted-field-o/ [engadget.com] It has multitouch and a bigger battery than Droid & Nexus one, but that doesn't tell how long the actual life will be.
    • Re:Also.. (Score:5, Informative)

      by IorDMUX (870522) <mark.zimmerman3NO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @02:46PM (#31602438) Homepage
      As a member of Qualcomm's power-management IC engineering team, (and hoping I do not sound like a total shill,) I'd like to point out that battery life and power efficiency is one of the big selling points of the Snapdragon. As opposed to the Intel Atom, which was designed by a desktop/server CPU company, at Qualcomm we're is coming from a background of years of low-power mobile device design.

      Hopefully (though I can't say for certain as full specs have not yet been released), HTC also used our power management platform this time, rather than the third-party, battery-gulping solution they installed on their G1's. That was an embarrassment.
  • Game Changer! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by suraj.sun (1348507) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @12:13PM (#31600000)

    to put it simply, it's a game changer for Sprint.

    • Only if you live in a large city and never want coverage when you are traveling.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by wolrahnaes (632574)

        Yea, because dropping back to 3G coverage with a 100% roaming agreement with Verizon/Alltel and US Cellular is such a pain....

        This device really makes the Nexus One on the Sprint network all but irrelevant, since it seems it will be available around the same time and has all the specs either equal or better.

    • It could be a game changer for Sprint. The reviewer only commented on all the geek technical specs. The reviewer didn't review it for actual usability. Most consumers care about usability first, app availability, coverage, etc. Technical specifications are at the bottom of that list. The only thing the reviewer did say was that it was fast but the network connection wasn't on.
  • by jandrese (485) <kensama@vt.edu> on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @12:17PM (#31600066) Homepage Journal
    1. What is the battery life.
    2. What is the price.

    I'm slightly concerned that this will be like those Japanese or European phones that have a huge laundry list of features, but skimp out on basic usability and essentials like good radio paths and battery life; plus half of the features don't work properly (camera has a lot of pixels, but a worthless lens; screen is dim or difficult to read; interface requires 15 button presses to do anything; front camera can't be used for teleconferencing because the carrier disabled that feature, etc...). There's a definite concern that this will be priced at the "enthusiast" level as well, meaning almost nobody can afford it or the plan required to drive it.

    The ball is in your court Sprint. What are you going to do with it?
  • Everybody questioning about its battery life in here, listen, we have provided a mobile battery charger just keep shaking [treehugger.com] it will charge.
  • The *best* feature: (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ThreeGigs (239452) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @12:23PM (#31600172)

    FTA:

    "It works as a Wi-Fi hotspot, supporting up to 8 devices;"

    Wow! That's insane, considering that laptop wireless sharing is only now just becoming mainstream.

    How many people will buy this phone, and ditch dsl, cable, etc? Smaller than any dsl or cable box, uses less power too I'd bet.

    • Smaller than any dsl or cable box, uses less power too I'd bet.

      And probably only costs about 8x as much. You expect people to replace their internet connection with a phone? I'll just point out that won't work for anyone who lives in a household containing more than one person and doesn't want to buy a dedicated phone to act as their gateway. For anyone living alone, maybe that would be an option, but it sort of sucks that if you lose your phone you also lose your internet connectivity at home.

    • by D Ninja (825055)

      How many people will buy this phone, and ditch dsl, cable, etc? Smaller than any dsl or cable box, uses less power too I'd bet.

      Might not be a bad idea. Data speeds of 4G (according to Wikipedia) should be somewhere in the range of 275 Mbit/s downstream and over 75 Mbit/s upstream. Of course, it also depends if companies are going to allow for "unlimited" data plans.

    • by Jeng (926980)

      And with an HDMI port to boot. Could be the lowest power and smallest home theater device.

    • by dingen (958134)

      How many people will buy this phone, and ditch dsl, cable, etc?

      Even the best mobile connections are godawfully slow and have insanely high latencies compared with even modest wired broadband connections. You'll only switch if you absolutely don't care about the speed of your internet connection.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Enjoy your 5GB monthly invisible cap that you'll hit in an hour with 4 teens surfing mytubebook and listening to lasdoralip.fm.

  • by Rew190 (138940) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @12:27PM (#31600230)

    Too bad there's no hardware keyboard on this beast. I can't stand using touchscreen keyboards. Hopefully this isn't becoming the norm.

  • Eh (Score:5, Funny)

    by teknopurge (199509) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @12:28PM (#31600256) Homepage
    Slower than a Cray. Less storage than a ZFS SAN. Lame.
    • by e2d2 (115622)

      Oh come on mods. Even I, the Lord of Curmudgeon and Admiral of the Irascible and Cantankerous, laughed at that one.

      Yup, i'm going for a word score.

    • by NekSnappa (803141)
      Sorry I burned all my mod points yesterday. Then I could undo that -1 Troll that was laid on you.
      Obviously someone who doesn't understand the meme has mod points today.
  • by dingen (958134) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @12:33PM (#31600324)
    We aren't calling Dell's latest machines "super computers" either, so there's really no need to name new phones with up-to-date specs "super phones". It's technology. New devices with faster hardware and more features are going to come out. Every new phone will be a "super phone", because that's how the market works. This phone will be deprecated in a year or so, just like every other IT toy.
    • by imgod2u (812837)

      The difference is Dell's more powerful computers today does the exact same function as Dell's less powerful computers years ago. They still run word processing, spreadsheets, games, a task manager, etc.

      The "superphone" is more an indication that it's taken on far more functionality, not just getting better at what it previously did.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by kimvette (919543)

      Agreed. Today's supercomputer is tomorrow's soft drink can.

  • I chuckled when I saw someone had added that tag. That was my reaction too.
  • The phone runs Android 2.1 on a 1-GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon QSD8650 chipset along with a helpful 1GB of built-in memory and 512MB of RAM, which is assisted by a MicroSD slot supporting up to 32GB cards.

    OK, so this phone has more jam then my wife's and I's two celeron laptops, and is just about as powerful as my Sempron desktop. Why have a computer?

  • Front Camera nice (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Nukenbar (215420) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @12:57PM (#31600724)

    It is nice to see phones that are adding front cameras. Asian phones have had this for years allowing for video chatting with the handset.

  • by gabebillings (1001269) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @01:07PM (#31600864)
    Would someone tell me how this happened? We were the fucking vanguard of wireless in this country. The iPhone 3G was the phone to own. Then the other guy came out with the HTC Hero. Were we scared? Hell, no. Because we hit back with a little thing called the iPhone 3Gs. That's 3G speeds and a fucking compass. For orienteering. But you know what happened next? Shut up, I'm telling you what happened--the bastards went to 4G. Now we're standing around with our cocks in our hands, selling the 3G and a fucking compass. Orienteering or no, suddenly we're the chumps. Well, fuck it. We're going to 5G.
  • Will it support 3G bands or just 4G?

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