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Thread: Sprint EVO

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    Sprint EVO

    My iPhone contract expires in 2 weeks. My iPhone started expiring Wed. The power button has stopped working. I loved my iPhone 3G, but it wasn't the toughest phone in the world.

    So, as an unhappy AT&T customer, I switched. Verizon won't service my County, leaving Sprint.

    Yesterday I picked up an EVO, & Bribo asked me to post about it. Since I'm coming from an iPhone, a lot of this is going to be in comparison to an iPhone. The new iPhone 4 is undeniably an awesome phone. But I am finding that so too is the EVO.

    Tbc....

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    This is how I roll:

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    24 hours is a fast period for a good review. Too much not really tested. The real question is what do you think of it in a year. But what the heck, here's what I think so far.

    Phone is hardware release 3, with the latest patches.

    Activation Fee. I've always thought these were Lame. And since Sprint doesn't charge an activation fee if you buy on line, even more lame, since obviously it's not a necessary cost. For two phones, they hit me for $70 in activation fees. So based on a little coaching, I called them the next day, and said I was thinking about switching back to AT&T. So they took off one of them.

    AT&T quality care. As a final F. U. from AT&T, they have made it clear that to port my numbers over, I will need to either do it before contract expires, and pay an early termination fee. Or extend my service by one full month (1 day = 1 month to them). Because if I just termination my contract on termination day, then they are going to release my numbers. But if I change my mind, I can reactivate within 2 months....

    So those of you in my phone contacts that have smart-phones, you might be receiving a new text in a couple weeks with a new contact card (and phone number) for me. We'll see, I'll try porting anyway on the day of my AT&T termination, just to see what happens.
    ---------------------------------------------------

    On to the phone:

    Battery: the biggest concern I had with this phone was that battery life would be unacceptable. What I found was that it was pretty comparable to my iPhone. I charged it up around midnight, and then put it on my nightstand. Wifi and 3G were enabled the whole time. It was at ~90-95% charge in the morning. Pretty good to me. I took it into work, and being new it got a lot of use. It lasted the entire day, and didn't need to go back on the charger until about 8:30 at night. I image that during normal use after the new is worn off, it'll be able to go at least 2 days between required charges. I'm hoping 3.


    Cover: I don't like the removable battery and memory. To access them, you have to peal off the entire back plate. It's not gasketed, and doesn't really have what I think is a good seal. Meaning dust, moisture, etc will easily enter this phone. I prefer the iPhone design. My expectation is this phone is more prone to premature wear, under-screen dust contamination, etc.

    Replacement cost. If I trash/lose the phone, replacement is $450. That's it. Only 2/3 what Apple is charging for same for an iPhone 4.

    Integration: To my surprise, I found some things actually better integrated with the Android OS than I did on iPhone OS4. If I look up someone in my contacts to call, it also shows me their latest facebook updates and/or text messages from them. Lame? Not really, I already realized benefit from it today - I saw a friends car and stopped by to see if he wanted to go out for a beer. When I opened the phone to call him, I saw that had a Facebook update stating he's out of town for the weekend. So didn't bother waiting around to knock on his door. iPhones don't have that degree of integration.


    GPS: Withholding judgement. I used the turn-by-turn instructions today to find an address I was looking for. It worked, and the GPS positioning was actually quite accurate. My iPhone always lagged by 100 yards or so while driving (I assume the iPhone 4 is much better). But launching the built-in software to actually do the turn-by-turn had a ridiculously long log in period. Probably 30 seconds. And yes, that's a long time if you're in the car. That's an App specific thing, the other GPS apps were quite fast.



    Keyboard: The larger screen makes typing easier and faster than on my iPhone. The wide screen goes almost to the edge of the device. That's actually not a good thing, because I found that holding it in my palm, it was very easy for the edge of your hand to hit and activate the edge of the screen. It causes annoying mis-navigation. The autocorrect is going to take some getting used to as well.

    Screen: My god, the acreage is amazing. The clarity is sharp and crisp.

    Web Browsing: Pretty good. Seems like I had some mis-clicks, and on one website, they have you log in by a floating pop-up that asks user name and password. That was unreliable as it would float off the bounds of the screen, and when you started typing in the password, that pop-up would just disappear. Maybe a Flash thing? Annoying. Otherwise, browsing was FAST, easy, worked fine.

    PC interfacing: I prefer it over the iPhone/iTunes, but that's a preference thing more than anything. When you plug in the phone, it asks you to select if you just want to charge, want to sync calendar/contacts, use as a USB stick, or use as a tethered device to connect your PC to the internet. All worked pretty good, except the last one, where it asks me for some kind of sprint user name/password. So not sure if I need to pay Sprint a service fee to use that. On contacts synchronization though, it didn't pull over any of my contact's associated photos from Outlook. Not sure why. It did pull over their facebook photo though if they had one.

    One thing I really liked: I very often forward Outlook appointments to my home account from work, so they will be on my phone. With the Android OS, it will take those from the e-mail and put them directly into the calendar. iPhone won't. I like this feature.

    Camera: What a drastic improvement over the iPhone 3G. Good enough to replace the pocket camera. Photographs documents and receipts crisp and legible, even in poor lighting. Not quite as good as a pocket camera, but close enough that I doubt I'll ever buy another pocket camera. Time to ask for a bigger real camera for Christmas.

    Reception. Cell service is good in my area, but not amazing. The tower for my office is not near, so there are dead zones in the building. AT&T was a little better. Sprint is supposedly building a new tower in that part of town to correct this, but even if they don't, it's acceptable. Coverage in the house is also good, even in the basement, there are are low strength zones. Even with low bars, transfer rates are very fast. 3G is a nice upgrade. The bigger question is how is Beaker's coverage on her drive to work - data we won't get for a couple more weeks.

    And just an aside, what on Earth was Apple thinking when they spec'd an exposed antennae that the conductive operator is touching during use? Did they not realize this was going to be subject to all kinds of electrical ground/god-knows-what interferences? This is what happens when you hire all young design engineers - no one remembers what happens to the TV when you touched the rabbit ears as a kid.

    wifi. Initially EVO's had poor wifi reception. As in, it didn't work unless you were within inches of the router. That issue apparently has been corrected, as I have good coverage throughout the house.



    General impression: I'm liking it. A lot.

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    Glad you like your phone.

    An aside, the iPhone death grip thing is an overblown non-issue unless you're actively trying to nerf your signal by hitting the spot. You have to palm the thing aggressively like David Blaine to get the bars to drop. The iPhone 4 is worlds better than their previous iteration, even with the evil vulcan death grip spot.
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    Quote Originally Posted by [AK]Squidly View Post
    Glad you like your phone.

    An aside, the iPhone death grip thing is an overblown non-issue unless you're actively trying to nerf your signal by hitting the spot. You have to palm the thing aggressively like David Blaine to get the bars to drop. The iPhone 4 is worlds better than their previous iteration, even with the evil vulcan death grip spot.
    I have to ditto this. I've done a ton of testing of the Grip of Death on my iPhone 4 and haven't seen any loss of signal.
    lol, <3

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    I agree with you Squid that the iPhone 4 antennae issue is overblown - or at worst, manageable with minimal effort (i.e put a case on it if you're a lefty and have body chemistry particularly prone to grounding). If one is satisfied with their area AT&T coverage, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend an iPhone 4.

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    I just returned a hand full of phones including the Incredible, X, Captivate, and EVO. I also had a friends iPhone 4 to spew on.. I mean use.

    First off, the iPhone 4 issue IS overblown. It's a "real" issue, but it's way overblown. Holding the phone naturally, I did not notice any problems with reception degradation or drops. For me, it seemed the chance of it happening were more when I was holding the phone to use it as the device, and not the phone. But even then, it wasn't that big of a deal overall. None the less, I take great pleasure in seeing the negative publicity they are getting. I like to think its Karma for their arrogance and nanny attitude, and Stevie's condescending reaction to the problem.



    Overall, the iPhone 4 is one SWEET device. I think the screen is beautiful, although perhaps a bit overblown in how great it is in comparison to OLED and other new screens out there. Interesting enough, as a side note, Gorilla Glass - which is a Corning, Inc product, is the subject of an upcoming Chinese lawsuit. A retaliatory attack for the US going after Chinese steel companies for dumping in the US. Not important, just a little known side fact. They still need to improve on true multitasking and notifications (which are so lacking compared to Android). Of course, there is no rival to the iTunes integration if that is important to you. On the other hand, if you use alot of google services - there is no match other than Android in terms of gmail, GPS, maps, etc.

    Of the Android devices I listed above, so far the X stands out to me. It's 4.3" screen and form factor are just "perfect" for my taste. It's big, but not too big. I think the X and EVO straddle the near perfect size - or at least the largest size - of a true smartphone you can still carry in your pocket before it reaches being too big. The X is 'smooth' and the screen is beautiful. Not as pinpoint crisp as the iPhone, but I found the text easier to read on the X just due to the default resolution and the text being smaller on the iPhone, again - by default.

    I'm still using the Original Droid as 'my' phone. I almost bit on the Incredible, but keep holding out just to see what's next and until Froyo is available all around. I have a $100 upgrade discount available so I might bite on the X at some point. The Droid 2 looks nice - but I've come to determine that I do not need the keyboard. Originally I liked having it, but as the interface and multitouch has improved along with the Swype keyboard and total vocal input of the Android OS, I almost never use it now. Also, I want to get my hands on a Galaxy S as well.
    Last edited by [AK]Hylander; 07-19-2010 at 12:34 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by [AK]Clay View Post
    Cover: I don't like the removable battery and memory. To access them, you have to peal off the entire back plate. It's not gasketed, and doesn't really have what I think is a good seal. Meaning dust, moisture, etc will easily enter this phone. I prefer the iPhone design. My expectation is this phone is more prone to premature wear, under-screen dust contamination, etc.
    Sure enough, my phone got knocked off the table and hit the office carpet - and the cover and battery went flying. Not a big deal, they both went right back on, but just reinforces the reality that the iPhone sealed design is actually better IMHO, than the replaceable battery concept.

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    I've never had a problem with the covers coming off or battery getting dislodged on any of my phones, but like you - I don't think the sealed battery thing is that big of a deal really. At least until you have a bad battery which the odds are against. I don't think I'd ever use a smartphone long enough for a battery to reach 'end of life' that replacing it is a big deal. I suppose if battery life was a big issue on a device and there were larger / long lasting batteries available as an option - that might be a factor. Otherwise, no biggie.
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    So a week in, and still learning this thing. It's not as intuitive as an iPhone, but I'm OK with investing time into a learning curve, if it means I get to customize my phone a lot more in the end.

    But the music player is just a bad joke. I mean... seriously? This is the best they could do? The music management is just horrible. I assumed it would at least be as good as a basic WinAmp/Windows Explorer combination style interface. Instead, it just lumps all your music into one listing, regardless of your subfolders. Good grief, they couldn't even figure out how to do the side rotation thing to let you flip through albums like on an iPhone? Is it really this hard? You can sort of sort by subfolder, by calling them albums. But that only partially works.

    That aside, the device overall still satisfies. The huge screen was a good call, and makes a big difference. And I do much enjoy finally being on a decent network. 3G speeds are nice, AT&T should try upgrading from EDGE to that sometime.

    One minor annoyance, the clock remembers it's last position when you put the phone in sleep mode (i.e. turn off the screen). There's a .1 second delay from when you reactivate the screen, where it displays the old number. I don't like this.

    The calendar integration continues to impress, nicely done.

    The weather feature is just neat. When you awake the phone on the home screen, it displays a subtle overlay animation on the homescreen for the first few moments. You can still do everything, there's just little graphics going on too that are cool I love it, so when it's sun shiney, the sun has beams of light going across the screen. When it's raining, rain drops fall down the screen, and even a little wiper wipes them off. Cheesy, but I love it.

    The app store is pretty good. Basically everything I had on my iPhone is represented here. Some renditions better, some not. But it even has 1Password now - they finally ported to Android. Though the Beta is not as good as their iPhone version.

    I've learned a few things about EVO too, that are interesting. The hardware specs are higher than what it actually runs. Android 2.1 is a 16 bit graphics OS, whereas the EVO has a 24 bit screen. The screen outperforms the Android OS, and is being throttled back by Android. Also, the phone is limited to 30 FPS display rate, but for no real reason. Rooted (which is the equivalent of jailbroken) EVO's can fly a lot faster then that, especially with Android 2.2 hacked onto it.

    One thing I really don't like is the "expandable" memory really isn't. Apps, data, etc are installed on the MicroSD card - which is a lame 8 GB. If you want to buy another, and have it handy to swap out for more music, that's fine, but you'll lose your Apps and data when you do that. That's just lame.

    The QIK video voice chat feature sounds really cool. I say sounds cool, because I can't actually test it, because it won't interface with a laptop on the other end - only cell phones. So the Apple-sucks because iPhone 4 will only talk to another iPhone 4 argument, effectively applies to the EVO right now too. That can be corrected by a software update later, but so too can the iPhone.

    Movies generated by 1-click-to-iPhone work quite nicely on the EVO too. And they look beautiful on that huge high resolution screen. But what I'm really excited to test out is the HDMI output port. I intend to use that a lot, as I think it's a cool option.

    Overall satisfaction score remains very high, but I did want to point out some of the minor things, for comparison. One item that I do like a lot more than my iPhone, the web browser doesn't crash. Actually, the whole phone is very stable. My iPhone crashed all the time.

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    Clay - Download DoubleTwist for your music needs.
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    DoubleTwist is OK, but still pretty hokey compared to the iPhone interface. One concept though that really struck me was museek. It does a pretty decent job successfully transfering over cover art and genre information. What made it really stand out for me though was the 2D aspect of aranging albums. iTunes is 1D, in that music is arranged alphabetically in a linear fasion. museek arranges your albums in clumps by genre, in 2D fasion, or even 3D, with different zones of music. It's an impressive concept, that leapfrog's Apples interface. But the execution itself is borderline amaturish (a problem that plagues Android it seems). I'm liking it better than DoubleTwist, but it needs a lot more polish.

    By the way, the Facebook app sucks. Apple's if far better.

    Astro on the other hand rocks, as it lets you navigate your memory like it's a HDD, which Apple does not. I like the Kindle app a lot better too. It seems to just run better, but maybe it's the bigger screen. an iPhone screen is just pretty darned small to use as a reader. Tricorder cracks me up. Not only is it cheesy and fun, but it's also actually pretty useful! But my compass doesn't work for some reason - I don't know why, but it always points me in the wrong direction. This annoys me.

  13. #13
    Accept no substitutes. [AK]Bribo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by [AK]Clay View Post
    But the execution itself is borderline amaturish (a problem that plagues Android it seems).
    Welcome to the Android marketplace.
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    Quote Originally Posted by [AK]Clay View Post
    DoubleTwist is OK, but still pretty hokey compared to the iPhone interface. One concept though that really struck me was museek. It does a pretty decent job successfully transfering over cover art and genre information. What made it really stand out for me though was the 2D aspect of aranging albums. iTunes is 1D, in that music is arranged alphabetically in a linear fasion. museek arranges your albums in clumps by genre, in 2D fasion, or even 3D, with different zones of music. It's an impressive concept, that leapfrog's Apples interface. But the execution itself is borderline amaturish (a problem that plagues Android it seems). I'm liking it better than DoubleTwist, but it needs a lot more polish.

    By the way, the Facebook app sucks. Apple's if far better.

    Astro on the other hand rocks, as it lets you navigate your memory like it's a HDD, which Apple does not. I like the Kindle app a lot better too. It seems to just run better, but maybe it's the bigger screen. an iPhone screen is just pretty darned small to use as a reader. Tricorder cracks me up. Not only is it cheesy and fun, but it's also actually pretty useful! But my compass doesn't work for some reason - I don't know why, but it always points me in the wrong direction. This annoys me.
    I like DoubleTwist because "it just works". It's designed to be utilitarian and it will sync with any device - something that iTunes obviously does not. As far as just a media manager on Android - all I can say is hold on, there are several good products for that in the pipeline other than what will be in Gingerbread (Android 3.0).

    I haven't used the Kindle app, since I don't have any Amazon e-books, but I've read the same thing in other reviews. Also, from experience, the Audible app for Android is also more polished than the one for iPhone, and it's still technically a beta. I plan to test out the Nook software more thoroughly in the coming weeks since my wife has a Nook and a library of books I can use for it.

    The compass on my Droid works fine, so I'm not sure why it wouldn't work properly on your phone. Maybe it's a 'design feature' and you're just holding it wrong? Is it a built in app or are you using the 3rd party compass application from the marketplace?

    The 'new' Android marketplace will make it much easier to find the more 'polished' applications in the near future, along with many other areas of integrations. Froyo does take a nice step in that direction, but Gingerbread is going to be the 'biggie' in terms of polish and integrations.

    Once I have my hands on the new Samsung, I will decide if I'm going to pull the trigger on ordering a Droid X or hold off a tad longer for the Galaxy line.
    Last edited by [AK]Hylander; 07-26-2010 at 06:23 AM.
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    Accept no substitutes. [AK]Bribo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by [AK]Hylander View Post
    Once I have my hands on the new Samsung, I will decide if I'm going to pull the trigger on ordering a Droid X or hold off a tad longer for the Galaxy line.
    Just don't death grip the Droid X.

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