HTC Phones

HTC EVO 3D Review

4 months have passed since the Evo 3D launch, 4 months we’ve been reviewing this phone; 4 months of continuous feedback and yes! A lot of novelties have been announced and released and a lot has changed in these 4 months, but when it comes to 3D, we still have the HTC Evo 3D — it’s not the first 3D smartphone in the world, but it’s the first glasses-free handset in the U.S.. Are we late here? You tell us in the end! But if 3D technology still interests you and you are still biting your lips while looking at this phone in your local tech shop, then stay with us after the cut to know more about it.

Yes, before this phone LG managed to launch the LG Optimus 3D, but the carriers didn’t hurry to bring it to their stores. This situation was in favor of HTC, which properly assessed the market and quickly started working on a similar handset. Everything was planned perfectly and the U.S. market met the HTC Evo 3D on June 24. It was launched via Sprint. This date was revolutionary both for the company and the carrier.

Being the successor of the HTC Evo 4G this smartphone is better “armed.” And though it’s not perfect, the features it comes with let the carriers and retailers require a tidy sum. This is why the phone’s price hasn’t dropped, though almost four months have passed since its launch.

We prefer to review smartphones a couple of months later because at the moment of their launch they seem to be perfect, yet later we are  having a clearer picture, which brings forth their so called “weak points.” The same goes for the HTC Evo 3D. So let’s see what features make this phone perfect and which make it weak.

Design

The HTC Evo 3D can be called the most respectable and the most strictly formalized smartphone from the entire range of current HTC lineup. Personally, I liked its design very much despite its being rather heavy and large. All in all, the HTC Evo 3D’s design completely contradicts to the design of the other smartphones offered by the company. It’s even somehow hard to tell immediately whether it’s an HTC handset or no.

I’d call the HTC Evo 3D a device meant especially for men. It looks stylish and perfectly lies in the hand. You are sure to feel both its build quality and nice monoblock housing. The smartphone looks like a rectangular bar; the designers have given an interesting and attractive solution.

The HTC Evo 3D comes in dimensions of 126х65х12.1 mm and weighs 170 grams. If we compare it with a similar device launched by HTC last year, the HTC Desire HD, we’ll see the dimensions and weights are almost the same. However, unlike the HTC Evo 3D, the Desire HD looks like a standard HTC device.

The housing of the HTC Evo 3D is made of plastic. There are no metal details, but the phone weighs heavy. The edges of the screen are in black. On the upper side of the screen, where you’ll find the speakers, there is a light indicator that’s activated depending on the situation, for example, when a message is received or a call is missed. On the right a camera for video calls or self-portraits is located.

The screen is under a solid glass, which means it won’t be scratched during time. Below are the four touch buttons, “Home,” “Options,” “Return” and “Search.” Actions can be signaled by vibration. Plus, the buttons have backlight and are clearly seen when circles are lit around each of the characters.

The volume button is moved from its traditional left place — now it’s on the right side. It’s thin and long. There’s also a lever that changes the shooting mode and lets you choose between 2D and 3D. It moves in two directions and is fixed rigidly. Next to it the camera button’s located. It’s round, two-position and is very comfortable to use. On the other side there is the microUSB port (the protective caps are not provided for it).

The top traditionally brings several components together. They include a 3.5 mm headset output, headphone jacks and the screen lock key. It’s on the right and differs by a pliant course. It’s pressed gently and is convenient to use.

Rubberized plastic covering the back of the smartphone smoothly moves into the side faces, their surface is flat and smooth. But the very back of the device is decorated with incisions. It turns out to be a rough cover, which doesn’t allow the device to slip from your hand.

The two cameras are located on the back. A dual LED flash is between a pair of lenses.

The HTC Evo 3D is compiled qualitatively. The panel fits the body snugly and there is no backlash and no squeaks — everything’s in the best traditions of HTC. The battery and the SIM-card are located under the panel.

Hardware

The device includes a Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8260 processor clocked at 1.2GHz. There is also a graphics accelerator, Adreno 220. Moreover, the HTC Evo 3D comes with 1GB of RAM, 1GB of internal memory and an 8GB chip in the box (you can expand the memory of the phone with a microSD card slot). These features show how fast the phone works.

Display

The HTC Evo 3D boasts of a 4.3-inch 3D LCD capacitive touchscreen with a resolution of 540 x 960 (qHD!). It supports 16 million colors and 4-point multitouch. So we can say it’s almost the same screen we saw on the HTC Sensation, though the density of pixels exceeds all the existing handsets of the company. It becomes more obvious when we look at the other handsets where WVGA (480×800 pixels) has become a standard.

There is a sensor automatically adjusting the brightness, and a sensor of zooming that blocks the screen during a call.

The screen is good under the sunlight, though the image blurs, but remains readable. To have a broader idea of its advantages, you just need to compare the Evo 3D with its only competitor, the LG Optimus 3D.

Camera

Though the HTC Evo 3D is one of the first smartphones shooting 3D, we can’t say it’s the best. There is the LG Optimus 3D and the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc, which is able to take 3D pictures too with a single camera. It uses the average modulus at 5 megapixels with not the best quality recording. The colors fail in daylight and even when there is no motion. 3D photos can be snapped only by 2MP (the LG Optimus 3D captures by 3MP), and the videos can be recorded only at 720p (The LG Optimus 3D records at 1080p).

2D shooting takes 3 seconds to take the shot, save it and go back to take another one, but in case of 3D shooting the time doubles to 6 seconds.

Anyway, when it comes to 2D shooting, HTC’s changed nothing, and the 5MP camera can’t be compared to other handsets. I mean the image quality is average, because current smartphones are mainly packed with 8MP cameras, which ensure Full HD video recording and HQ photos.

Moreover, 5MP cameras were known for their inability to take acceptable images in low light conditions, but the HTC Evo 3D differs a little bit from other similar handsets with its ability to take good macro shots.

Not going deep into the 3D technology note the following — if you want to take 3D pictures in the best quality, take objects that are a few feet away. It’ll be even better if there are also other objects in the background or somewhere around.

HTC Evo 3D photo samples

HTC Evo 3D video samples

2D

3D

Software

Well, we reached the point that makes users love the HTC Evo 3D. Many people think HTC Sense 3.0 UI is the main advantage of this phone. Honestly, it is one of the best interfaces on the market, and until v3.5 is available in a few models like the HTC Sensation XE and the HTC Rhyme, we’ll adhere to the opinion it is the successful version we have met ever. Even if it is not, HTC Sense 3.0 is most beautiful and convenient.  Of course, it is not the fastest one, but the HTC Evo 3D is not the fastest handset as well, so there are no mismatches here.

Sense transforms the phone and makes it much more ergonomic. Moreover, not only noticeable improvements are seen but also trivia. For example, you can disable the transmission of data, load birthdays and weather directly in the calendar and so on.

The new version brought a lot of interesting things. First of all, the lock screen is seriously changed. You can launch one of the four applications by dragging its icon onto the circle. By default, they are phone, email, camera and messages, but you can choose your own. If you receive a message, you can drag the appropriate icon and immediately appear in the desired application, which is convenient.

The second lock screen feature is the active themes. There are five themes clock, stocks, weather, Friend Stream and a photo album. I know many people who set the Weather theme on their HTC Evo 3D and when they turn the smartphone on, they immediately see the beautiful animated forecast without the need to unlock the device. Similarly, flying messages of social networking sites to Friend Stream are made.

Other changes are not that obvious, though it’s difficult not to notice the new animations of homescreens. Now they are in 3D with nice scrolling. Plus, new widgets are added to the old ones. Finally, new games are added as well — dice, mirror and HTC Watch.

Otherwise, it is the same Sense with a lot of apps. And as you remember we have one disliked feature in it — ignoring the local services. Though in many countries Facebook and Twitter are not so popular, as in the U.S., HTC persistently ignores this and adds the official Twitter client in addition to its native Peep, but not to the local domestic services. In this sense, LG is the most beloved and differs from the rest. We hope HTC will pay appropriate attention to this factor too.

Traditionally HTC Sense offers a very comfortable keyboard that corrects typing errors. I guess it is more comfortable than what the iPhone offers. The browser looks pretty nice as well. It adjusts page content to fit the screen. That’s clear, because it supports Flash including streaming players, OpenID, Prostopleer and so on. The HTC Hub and Locations are still there as well as Polaris Office and Reader. In short, the company’s kept all favorite apps. It has just improved them and also added several new ones.

Conclusion

The HTC Evo 3D was launched in the U.S. via Sprint for $199.99. Later the phone was offered via different retailers, too. So at the end of summer, RadioShack exclusively offered the white version of the Evo 3D at the same price tag Sprint required for the device. A couple of days passed and Best Buy started selling the purple version of it. However, the HTC Evo 3D is a revolutionary phone, and it’ll always be as an exemplar, this is why its unlocked version is sold for $699.99.

Almost simultaneously the phone sailed to Europe. UK was one of those first countries to meet the Evo 3D. Nevertheless, all mobile operators denied it at the last moment, and the smartphone was sold via retailers like Clove (£534), Unlocked Mobiles (£515) and MobileFun (£499.99).

Anyway, the phone is not perfect, and as you already saw there are many features to be improved. I don’t say which one’s better, the HTC Evo 3D or the LG Optimus 3D (and I guess the opinions differ greatly), but before the U.S. got its version of the LG Optimus 3D in the face of the LG Thrill 4G, HTC’s product was an absolute leader.

Cons

  • Quite bulky
  • Design
  • Not perfect 3D features

 

Pros

  • 3D functionality
  • Screen
  • Processor
  • HTC Sense 3.0
  • Battery

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