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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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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.

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