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HTC EVO 4G from Sprint  (Source: Sprint)
Welcome to the future of smartphones

The next generation iPhone packs some pretty attractive hardware, but the HTC EVO 4G phone from Sprint packs virtually identical or superior stats in every category and will be available sooner.  Preorders for the phone just began exclusively at Best Buy -- with RadioShack and Wal-Mart soon to follow.  The phone itself will ship on June 4.

The EVO, like the iPhone fourth generation, features two cameras -- an 8 MP rear camera and a 1.3 MP front-facing camera for video conferencing.  The EVO, though offers something the iPhone can't -- 4G coverage in the handful of cities that Sprint has rolled out WiMAX services to.

Cities with 4G coverage include Georgia - Atlanta, Milledgeville; Hawaii - Honolulu, Maui; Idaho - Boise; Illinois - Chicago; Maryland - Baltimore; Nevada - Las Vegas; North Carolina - Charlotte, Greensboro, (along with High Point and Winston-Salem), Raleigh (along with Cary, Chapel Hill and Durham); Oregon - Portland, Salem; Pennsylvania - Harrisburg, Lancaster, Philadelphia, Reading, York; Texas - Abilene, Amarillo, Austin, Corpus Christi, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Houston, Killeen/Temple, Lubbock, Midland/Odessa, San Antonio, Waco, Wichita Falls; Washington - Bellingham, Seattle.

Like the iPhone the EVO can simultaneously handle data and voice transmission -- something its fellow Android phones on Verizon can't offer.  Unlike the iPhone, though, it features fully upgradeable memory via a microSD slot and a larger screen, measuring an impressive 4.3 in.  The Phone can also take HD video.

The phone also features dual flash (compared to one on the fourth generation iPhone prototypes), FM radio, and a hands-free kickstand for watching movies.  And the icing on the cake is a mini-HDMI port that will allow you to pipe video to external monitors and wireless tethering which will let you use the phone's Bluetooth and Wi-Fi capabilities to turn the phone into a mobile hotspot on the go.

Sprint announced yesterday that tethering for up to eight devices would be available for $29.99 a month.  A $10 premium is tacked onto the $69.99 Sprint charges for its unlimited everything plan to handle the extra expense of 4G.  The phone itself will retail for $199 after $100 rebate with 2-year contract.

In its announcement Sprint also extended a 30 day satisfaction guarantee.  Writes Sprint:

With the Sprint Free Guarantee, customers can take advantage of HTC EVO 4G for 30 days and if not completely satisfied, may return the device within 30 days to get reimbursed for the device purchase and activation fee, get both the early termination and restocking fees waived, and receive a full refund for the monthly service plan charges.

The EVO looks like a hot deal.  For around the price of an iPhone's service plan (and probably less for hardware) you will get 4G coverage, better hardware, and wireless tethering.  Or you can opt out of the tethering and get the other aforementioned perks at an even cheaper cost.  The EVO looks like it just may make Sprint's 4G investment finally pay off.

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Voice and data at the same time?
By DigitalFreak on 5/13/2010 2:45:53 PM , Rating: 2
Like the iPhone the EVO can simultaneously handle data and voice transmission

Can it do this without WIMAX, since most places don't have it yet?

RE: Voice and data at the same time?
By omnicronx on 5/13/2010 2:48:06 PM , Rating: 2
Assuming that it has CDMA fallback (it is sprint) so I would guess the answer would be no..

RE: Voice and data at the same time?
By cgalyon on 5/13/2010 3:04:23 PM , Rating: 2
Strangely I've seen another Sprint phone (Touch Pro 2) achieve voice and data simultaneously without using WiFi already. It appears to be more a limitation of how the phone hardware implements voice/data than anything else at this point. I'd imagine, then, that you don't need to have WiMAX to achieve this, but it'd be great if some Sprint users could confirm/deny this once the EVO launches.

By jnemesh on 5/13/2010 3:23:52 PM , Rating: 4
I have a Palm Pre, and I can confirm that you CAN have simultaneous voice and data, but only when connected via WiFi. The problem is that for whatever reason, the CDMA archetecture used by Sprint and Verizon can not handle voice and data simultaneously. This applies to EVDO as well as 1xRTT data. WiFi uses a separate radio, so it can operate independantly of the "phone" radio. I imagine that the WiMax phone also has a separate radio for data connections, so it should be able to handle a call and data at the same long as you are in a 4G area.

RE: Voice and data at the same time?
By mcnabney on 5/13/2010 5:06:40 PM , Rating: 2
CDMA was designed to operate only one radio at a time. That means no voice and data at the same time. Don't like it, whine to Qualcomm. LTE will function at the same time as voice.

However, if you are running Skype on your VERIZON Blackberry or Android device you CAN use both voice and data (since voice is being handled by VoIP under Skype).

RE: Voice and data at the same time?
By themelon on 5/13/2010 5:26:04 PM , Rating: 2
EVDO revA, a CDMA tech, does simultaneous voice and data. I just do not think it was widely deployed.

RE: Voice and data at the same time?
By mcnabney on 5/13/2010 9:54:18 PM , Rating: 2
Nope. I have heard a lot of excuses for it, but it is part of the spec going back to 1xRTT. The best excuse I have heard is to improve battery life, which makes sense due to CDMA's power inferiority to GSM.

Truthfully, until I heard AT&T's smarmy ad I had never even tried using data while on a call. I have played games while on a call (God bless the Mute function while on a conference call...), but have never tried to connect online. You can write text and MMS, but they do not get sent until after the voice call.

Also, FYI - Clearwire is considering switching to LTE. Seriously. In 2012 Wimaxx could be dead in North America. Happy shopping....

RE: Voice and data at the same time?
By bodar on 5/14/2010 10:05:38 AM , Rating: 2
I've heard that it may be possible to switch device from WiMax to LTE with a firmware update, and if not they should have the spectrum available to run both for a while.

Additionally, Clearwire and Sprint would have to deal with the already deployed WiMax devices in the hands of customers, either by running a legacy WiMax network for several years, pushing out a software upgrade for those devices (likely not as easy as upgrading the towers), or by taking the expensive step of replacing all customer-owned WiMax cards with LTE cards. Of all options, running a legacy WiMax network for a few years seems to be the most likely option, giving Sprint and Clearwire the time to let those contracts expire and pull the plug.

By ThePooBurner on 5/18/2010 3:00:15 PM , Rating: 2
ou can write text and MMS, but they do not get sent until after the voice call.

This is 100% incorrect. I have text conversation at the same time as a call all the time. Even MMS. I have an LG 8350 flip-phone on verizon.

By notposting on 5/14/2010 12:01:11 AM , Rating: 2
Are you sure? For domestic calls I have read it just uses your voice minutes and goes through the voice network. It only kicks into true VOIP for international calls.

RE: Voice and data at the same time?
By torpor on 5/14/2010 2:26:11 PM , Rating: 2
I have a 5-year-old MotoQ, running Windows Mobile 5 on the Sprint network.

I have always been able to do simultaneous voice and data.
So the network can definitely handle's up to the phone. So I shouldn't expect a problem.

By muhahaaha on 5/13/2010 3:12:54 PM , Rating: 3
The great Steve jobs must be fuming as his iPhone empire begins to slide away. locked in with AT&T untill 2012 and no 4G in sight... poor Apple.

RE: lol@apptards
By muhahaaha on 5/13/2010 3:58:23 PM , Rating: 2
Exclusivity, lock-in, and vertical marketing have historically been shown to fail and likely come back and bite you in the butt. Apple is no exception, and you'd think they'd learn from their own past mistakes.

Jobs, just retire already. How much more money do you nee anyway?

What drives people to want more more more, when they already have it all? I do not understand.

RE: lol@apptards
By Jalek on 5/14/2010 1:02:15 AM , Rating: 2
I suspect Jobs' time away from Apple showed him what life is like post-rockstar and he'd rather keep the attention than become a box seat commentator like Wozniak.

Profit growth year over year is one expectation of the job, shareholders are a fickle lot.

RE: lol@apptards
By seamonkey79 on 5/15/2010 9:22:46 AM , Rating: 2
Strangely, The Woz doesn't come off as an arrogant turd that likes to think he's the second coming of all that is tech related.

RE: lol@apptards
By UnWeave on 5/13/2010 4:10:01 PM , Rating: 2
Apple have traditionally (well, traditionally of late, if you follow) been in the high-margin, low-market-share business. It wasn't until the iPod came along that they had a sector that wasn't catering to a niche. I don't think they will be particularly concerned that they've dropped down a notch or two in market share.

I also don't think that the hardware/4G is going to draw that many people (I'm talking about your average Joe here) away from the shiny, Apple-branded iPhone. Kind of a shame, I think. Having used both iPhone OS and Android I 'get' the attractions of both, but I think for anyone who's willing to spend more than 5 minutes setting the thing up, Android is the way to go. HTC <3.

RE: lol@apptards
By Targon on 5/14/2010 5:19:39 AM , Rating: 2
Have the Android phone set up in the store, and the setup time won't be an issue.

what 4G?
By vapore0n on 5/13/2010 2:46:14 PM , Rating: 2
At least they made 4G optional. Unlike ATT what upped their prices because of their 3G, whether you got coverage or not.

Still think it should be part of their unlimited package.

RE: what 4G?
By corduroygt on 5/14/2010 1:20:34 AM , Rating: 2
That's actually not true. The $10/month is mandatory with the EVO.

RE: what 4G?
By Targon on 5/14/2010 5:21:05 AM , Rating: 2
That is because the big draw is the 4G support. If you don't live in a 4G enabled area, you would be better off with either another similar device, or waiting.

RE: what 4G?
By corduroygt on 5/14/2010 3:49:04 PM , Rating: 2
Unfortunately, all other sprint phones are crap, someone would want this to get a nicely specced android phone on sprint. Unfrotunately, that'll cost you $240+ over 2 years.

extra charges but still cheaper
By robert5c on 5/13/2010 2:49:20 PM , Rating: 3
even with what they charge for 4G or tethering, the plans should still come out cheaper in most cases than Verizon or ATT with similar specs.

$110 a month for unlimited Voice, Data, SMS, Picture mail, TV, GPS, and what not else sounds pretty good to me at the fast speeds of 4g and pretty reliable network with good overall coverage.

good luck getting the same from an iPhone on crappy ATT

RE: extra charges but still cheaper
By ksherman on 5/13/2010 3:16:34 PM , Rating: 2
Not sure how you calculated $110, unless you were including tethering... Otherwise, it's only $79.99 for all that you list, which is fantastic.

I'm tempted on the tethering option, but I'd rather see if there are Apps or the pending OS update that will negate the need for their service. I have no need to have more than one device (laptop) connected to the internet. But I do need to have my laptop connected to the internet, and event at $109.99 a month, it's cheaper than a separate plan for mobile broadband.

By robert5c on 5/13/2010 3:42:42 PM , Rating: 2
i was speaking of there simply everything plan that includes unlimited anytime minutes

the 69.99 unlimited mobile plan is the same however voice is only unlimited to any cellphone in the country, land lines would still charge minutes, of which you have 450.

however sprints nights and weekends start at 6pm unlike most people so for most everyone 450 is enough. so yes 79.99 or 109.99 a month still beats the other providers in service and features at that price.

i agree with above user though that the simply everything plan should stay at 99.99 a month and include the 4g coverage. we'll see what develops.

Is 32 cities a handfull?
By maevinj on 5/13/2010 4:40:42 PM , Rating: 2
4G coverage in the handful of cities that Sprint has rolled out WiMAX services to.
I would have thought a handfull of cities would be like 10 or less?

RE: Is 32 cities a handfull?
By Yawgm0th on 5/13/2010 5:35:47 PM , Rating: 3
That's not even a handful. Thirty-two metropolitan areas would have been a lot more than a handful. In fact, it would probably top AT&T's 3G coverage. I count about twelve large metropolises in there, and that probably doesn't include the full area around each of them.

RE: Is 32 cities a handfull?
By lagitup on 5/14/2010 12:19:25 AM , Rating: 2
It is true: I live in Lakewood, WA which is an hour and change South of Seattle and we have 4g all the way down here.

Best Phone hands down.
By deputc26 on 5/13/2010 2:55:21 PM , Rating: 2
It will definitely be the best phone, if I was in a 4g area I'd get one, I wish VZW would get it as the hdmi out and kickstand are killer features for me but the network leaves something to be desired.

Love it!
By themaster08 on 5/14/2010 4:11:10 AM , Rating: 2
HTC just keep getting better and better! They are the benchmark in my opinion, forget the iPhone with its revolutionary folders and half assed multitasting on the way. I'm sure the next iteration of iPhone will be nothing special either, after seeing it get dissected by Giz.

Keep it up, HTC, and continue to leave Jobs and reader1 green with envy!

data and voice
By Xarthos on 5/14/2010 10:32:00 AM , Rating: 2
I have the HTC Incredible and I have to say after a few weeks with the phone. I am in love with it now more than when I preordered it. It doesn't have the silly button issues of the nexus one where you have to press them more than once to get a response and it just works for everything I throw at it. the hdmi out and kickstand will be nice features as will as the bigger screen of the evo but honestly it isn't that different from what I have now. If you are on sprint there is no better choice. If you are on verizon you should really give the Incredible a look. Hope those of you one the fence or waiting for iphone give these phones a serious consideration. I really think you will be impressed.

Damn I want this so bad
By bill4 on 5/13/2010 6:08:58 PM , Rating: 1
Yet I dont think I can get it because it wont get good reception at my workplace :(

Just another phone.
By reader1 on 5/13/10, Rating: -1
RE: Just another phone.
By muhahaaha on 5/13/2010 3:14:39 PM , Rating: 3
jealous huh? lol @ u

RE: Just another phone.
By reader1 on 5/13/10, Rating: -1
RE: Just another phone.
By robert5c on 5/13/2010 3:46:32 PM , Rating: 3
well being it is actually the first 4g phone, read the specs, it also brings 1st to the cellphone market in other ways...unlike apple products that simply do the same things done before, but perhaps better, not magically or revolutionary as steve would have you believe.

RE: Just another phone.
By muhahaaha on 5/13/2010 3:51:13 PM , Rating: 2
reader1 won't listen to reason and doubtfully has ever even tried an Android based phone. He is too drunk on the Apple Kool-aid. But he always makes me laugh pretty hard, and I've spit coffee all over my monitor several times.

RE: Just another phone.
By UnWeave on 5/13/2010 4:14:03 PM , Rating: 1
That's funny; I bet if this was an article about the next gen iPhone your reaction would be completely the opposite because, of course, that is NOT just another phone. It is another iPhone.

I swear you just do this stuff for fun, and don't really believe half the stuff you write. But whatever, I bit.

RE: Just another phone.
By bissimo on 5/13/2010 4:19:18 PM , Rating: 1
I like reader1 more and more by the day.

Iphone haters LOL
By Soldier1969 on 5/13/10, Rating: -1
RE: Iphone haters LOL
By fifolo on 5/13/2010 7:43:10 PM , Rating: 1
Funny. In your own lowbrow, neolithic fashion you summarized Apple's core demographics.

RE: Iphone haters LOL
By acase on 5/14/2010 9:00:14 AM , Rating: 2
Verizon is for girls and homos by the way.

Oh yeah I saw all of them at the local Starbucks using their -- oh wait, no those were Apples.

RE: Iphone haters LOL
By cerx on 5/14/2010 10:14:48 AM , Rating: 1
The EVO is for Sprint, not VZW.

RE: Iphone haters LOL
By Dradien on 5/14/10, Rating: 0
"Can anyone tell me what MobileMe is supposed to do?... So why the f*** doesn't it do that?" -- Steve Jobs

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