Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sprint's HTC EVO 3D

The day has finally come and my Evo 3D is in hand and I must say I am thoroughly impressed thus far. I've only had a limited amount of time to play with it so here are my initial impressions so far:

The Actual Phone:

Picking the phone up it immediately feels better than the Evo 4G. Its a bit more narrow and a smidge longer but this redesign in shape makes it more comfortable to hold. The build quality seems better too. It just feels a bit more solid and the battery door (which wraps around the enitre phone) seems to fit more snug than its predescessor and feels like it is built better. The Evo 4G battery door felt flimsy and cheap in my opinion, whereas the Evo 3D's door is solid and has a nice textured design on the back which feels great and adds grip. I will say that the huge dual camera bay is going to take some getting used to; there really is no way to hold it with out having your hands all over the camera(s), aside from this however the phone feels great in hand! I have no complaints about the power button like I read in some other early reviews/previews. Weight seems to be very close to the original Evo and overall it feels a little better in my pocket (most likely due to it being slimmer).


So far I'm really impressed with the new camera's 2D functionality. The E3D uses the top camera when taking pics in 2D and despite it being 5MP instead of 8MP like the OG Evo the pics are better! This is due to improved camera sensors and camera software. Pics are taken much faster when the shutter button is pushed and the camera app itself can be launched much faster. The actual physical shutter button (another reason for my upgrade) is amazing! It feels great (very solid build quality) and has the ability to be pressed halfway to focus and then fully to take the shot, like a real camera shutter button.  It definitely makes taking photos easier and more enjoyable. The on screen camera button on the original Evo made it difficult to snap pics and hold the phone sometimes, especially since the display is so large.  If you use your Evo as your main camera like me you will LOVE the new shutter button! There have also been some enhancements to the on-screen user interface that really streamline the navigation of camera functions. 

The Evo 3D upgrades the display form the Evo 4G's TFT display with 800 x 480 resolution to a 4.3" 960 x 540 resolution display and it is immediately noticeable.  The E3D's screen is more crisp, colors seem more natural and because of the increased resolution it can fit more onto the screen. So for example, when looking at a list such as contacts you can see more on the screen (10 contacts versus 7) which means less scrolling is required.  The screen is really impressive and is one of the main reasons I wanted to upgrade; it really keeps the E3D on par with other next-gen super-phones.

When the Evo 3D was announced the 3D feature initially was a turn off for me and almost made me skip this phone. After seeing the other specs I knew I couldn't pass it up, but 3D was still not a deciding factor for me. I honestly feel like 3D in general is a bit of a gimmick. With that out of the way, I'm actually impressed by the 3D functions on the Evo 3D... I'm not sure if that will wear off over time or not but it's something I think I'd rather have than not, especially since it can easily be cut off.

The 3D is kinda weird to look at, and everyone has a different reaction. Some say it hurts their eyes, it doesn't bother mine but it is a little trippy.  You have to be looking at the screen at just the right angle and it sort of pops into focus! The Evo 3D comes with a demo for a Spiderman 3D game, Green Hornet in 3D and some sample pics that all look and play great! They really do an excellent job of showcasing the E3D's 3D capabilities.  I also watched some YouTube videos in 3D that where really impressive. I am actually looking forward to utilizing the 3D capabilities of the phone. Now if Netflix would just get some 3D movies...

Edit: I got a chance to take some more 3D movies and pics and... WOW!!! I am very impressed this is something I definitely can see myself using more!

HTC Sense 3.0:

I'm a fan of Sense and despite some of its short comings I tend to prefer it over other alternate launchers available in the market; Sense 3.0 makes this even more true! I feel that HTC does a great job of offering extended functionality and allowing customization that is easy to use and doesn't require rooting or advanced tweaking. It adds nice cosmetic improvements like 3D-ish transitions between screens and nice new weather effects.  HTC Hub lets you download themes, widgets, apps, various ringtones and notifications, wallpapers and skins to customize your phone; even down to details as small as the highlights when you make selections on your phone (which is something you typically need to root and or do advance tweaking to do). The lock screen is amazing with new animated lock screens such as weather or floating pics from your albums and customization quick launch options for up to four apps! There are a lot of small tweaks that really make it an even more enjoyable experience; like the ability to quickly access important settings and recently used apps from the notification bar. Another nice tweak that must be turned on in settings is the ability to activate Swype-like features right in the stock HTC keyboard. I haven't tried this much yet, but I think it is a feature that I will really enjoy. I always thought Swype could be useful if I could easily switch between it and my stock HTC keyboard and now I don't have to its built right in!

I haven't had much time to test the battery life yet, but so far it seems to be really good.  I have to test it more to make a final decision. Also I'm still on the fence about the updates that have been pushed out to "fix" some minor bugs; some are saying that it significantly improves their battery life, but others are saying that it causes new issues, so I have not updated mine yet.... But so far I'm very impressed and think this will be an excellent device and it is easily a worthy upgrade from the original Evo 4G... Check out the videos and pics before and I'll continue to play with the phone and post my impressions.


Screen shots borrowed from


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