HTC EVO 3D  (Source:


Tablet fares slightly better than the smartphone, although neither is perfect

As we reported earlier this month, HTC is set to launch two new devices in Sprint's flagship EVO lineup — a smartphone (the EVO 3D) and tablet (the EVO View 4G) — on June 24. Both BGR and Engadget were able to get their hands on the devices for some advance reviews. While there are gripes with both devices (more-so on the smartphone than the tablet), both appear to have their merits.

First up, the HTC EVO 3D smartphone received praise from both reviewers for its physical build. While the new device is strikingly similar to its predecessor, its new aspect ratio (16:9 vs. 5:3) makes it a little thinner and easier to hold. BGR describes the feel as "incredibly solid and well-built," while Engadget says that it fails to convey the same sense of quality as the very similar HTC Sensation for T-Mobile.

The display also fails to live up to the Sensation's, BGR notes, although it is "pretty sharp, colors look great, and it’s decently bright." The 3D stereoscopic screen overlay hurts it in the realm of sharpness. Engadget praises the display, but notes that it fails to live up to the quality of the qHD display on the Motorola DROID X2.

Another design weak spot is the massive protruding cameras on the back, which are covered in either glass or plastic — likely to get scratched or dirtied up either way.

The EVO 3D ships with Android 2.3 Gingerbread with HTC's proprietary Sense 3.0 UI on top. The dual-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon keeps things running at a commendable clip. "Everything from the basic UI to the web browser to maps is utterly buttery smooth," Engadget writes. "There is no delay, no hesitation -- just pure instant tactile gratification. Still, there's no escaping Sense, and we're not fans."

As for that whole "3D" thing, it appears to be more of a lackluster gimmick than the next must-have feature. The fact that the quality of the 5-megapixel 3D cameras isn't great doesn't help the cause. "As for 3D, we're not convinced it's fully baked yet -- right now it feels like a gimmick, but we're willing to wait and see how it develops beyond the initial 'gee wiz' phase," Engadget writes, noting that even the original EVO 4G was capable of better shots.

While signal was better than average, both reviews note the poor sound quality of the speaker. 

And what really hurts the device is its poor battery life (despite a whopping 1,730 mAh battery). BGR was able to get a day out of the EVO 3D with moderate usage and no 4G. When the 4G antenna is switched on, that battery life quickly drops to 4-5 hours with even limited use. The 3D cameras also eat up battery more than normal, Engadget adds.

Overall, BGR was able to overlook its drawbacks and enjoyed their time with the device:

The EVO 3D is a better, faster, thinner, lighter, and more capable EVO 4G. ... After spending a week with it, I can confidently say this is my favorite Sprint phone, hands down.

Engadget was not as forgiving:

Ultimately, we've come to think of the EVO 3D as a Sensation with a lesser camera, cheaper materials, worse battery life, and without the ability to roam worldwide.

We won't dedicate as much space to the EVO View 4G tablet, simply because it is almost identical to the 3G HTC Flyer that we saw back in May (with the addition of WiMax support and some small cosmetic differences).

An excerpt from Engadget's wrap-up:

When we think about what made our week with the View so enjoyable, we keep coming back to the well-tooled ergonomics, bright display, and long battery life -- all things that warmed us to the Flyer.
The addition of WiMAX isn't enough to soften our criticisms of the Flyer -- even if you prefer the comfort of Gingerbread, this thing still needs more apps that are optimized to take advantage of that bright 7-inch display. With a chunky shape and no ETA for Honeycomb, the View 4G isn't the sexiest or most cutting-edge slate of the bunch.

And BGR's:

I love the form factor and absolutely solid build quality of the View 4G. It’s a top notch tablet, the size is great, and it’s lovely having 4G WiMAX data speeds wherever I go. My biggest gripe is that it doesn’t run Honeycomb yet.

It appears to be a commendable effort for both devices, although the tablet generally scored better marks.

"This week I got an iPhone. This weekend I got four chargers so I can keep it charged everywhere I go and a land line so I can actually make phone calls." -- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

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