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Evo 3D Review (photos)

4.2By Nicholas West July 21, 2011 11:41 PM

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Evo 3D Review (photos)

The original HTC EVO 4G was undeniably a hit on Sprint and it was one of HTC's most iconic phones ever. For that reason expectations are high for a sequel, and with that we have the HTC EVO 3D. But rather than just giving it a spec bump HTC has gone in an entirely different direction with the phone, introducing a 3D screen and a 3D camera to the device. How good is the 3D? Is the 3D worth it? Are these just gimmicks or is the EVO 3D a worthy successor on Sprint's lineup? These are just some of the questions that need to be answered. Check out our full review to find out.


 
 

Hardware

First thing you will notice is the huge red ring on the back which is where you have your 2 5MP cameras that you will use for any of your homemade 3D content. But when taking 2D pictures only the top camera is used. There’s also a 1.3 MP camera on the front of the phone. (More info in the camera section)

On to the screen, you get a 4.3-inch qHD display with a resolution of 540 pixels wide and 960 deep. This means you have more pixels stuffed onto the screen making for cleaner graphics and clearer images. On a side note though I have noticed as well as a few other people on the XDA forums that the icons on the home screen seem a bit lower res than the ones in the app drawer. Pictures on the screen look great and no not talking about the ones that come preloaded on the phone, the picture you take or even pictures from the internet look great. Since I just bring up the internet let’s talk about that pages look crisp as ever on the qHD screen, even when the text on the screen hasn’t been zoomed in on I find it easier to read than on the Evo 4G.


 

Movies on the phone look good as well. I watched 2 movies so far Green Hornet 3D and Knock Around Guys on Netflix, both looked great Green Hornet looked the stunning the 3D elements just made the movie look better. With it being in 3D a lot of people have said that it made their head hurt, I myself did not experience that at all but I know the feeling because when watching 3D movies in the theater I’m usually the one wishing I had chosen 2D instead, but with the Green Hornet on the phone I watched the entire movie without having to take a break. Now with Knock Around guys being on Netflix it comes down to streaming quality which happened to be great, with in the first second s of the movie starting it was grainy but by the time the intro was done the movie looked like it was stored on the SD rather than being streamed to the device (stream was done over 4G connection with 1 bar roughly around 2.30MB download speed).


 

Sound of the movie is a whole new subject Quality wise sound was great and clear, but then there the volume problem seems to be that the Evo 3D has a very weak speaker when compared to other phones (HTC Aria, Iphone 4, Evo 4g) in loud environments the Evo 3D failed to even pass as decent it was as if the volume was turned off, were the other phone were able to produce at least some signs of noise.

Now on the Gameplay the phone comes pre-loaded with a demo of Spider-Man 3D from Gameloft. The game looks outstanding on the screen, 3D feature seemed to work well though not as appealing as you would like. Rather than the game having moments where things would seem to fly out the screen it was most just a depth thing, which is not a bad thing but when playing a game like Spider-Man would have been a little better if it displayed more 3D cut screens or animations. All in all the game looked and played great, colors were rich and screen was bright compared to other things viewed in 3D where the screen seems it would get dimmer when the content was displayed maybe this why the wasn’t more appealing I will have to test that out by turn the brightness down some and then replaying the game hoping the game doesn’t automatically bump the brightness back up.


 

Then there’s the buttons of course as you have come to know with the EVO line and with some Android phones in general you have your 4 capacitive buttons just below the screen. Home-Menu-Back-Search, they are well lit and sometimes a bit too bright especially when watching movies on the phone the buttons really stand out and make their presence known. Then there’s the power button, some people are reporting that their power buttons are very sensitive to the touch, on my phone that is not the case it take a nice little push for it to register. The volume rocker located on the right side of the phone has the same feel to it, and sometimes is a bit hard to find and push like say in the dark while watching a movie, one time I had to get a little light a find exactly were the volume down was. Then last but not least the physical camera button which was a great addition to the phone. The button is nice and big and very easy to use, it has a two-step process to it half press for auto focus and a full press to take the picture. Next to the camera button is the 2D to 3D switch this allows you to switch between 2D and 3D easily. Though I will say around 5% of the time when loading up the camera with the switch on 3D I was presented with the camera mode in 2D, but once I switch to 2D back to 3D it was back in 3D, a little bit a hassle at some times but not a deal breaker. Also the switch has a bit of a wiggle to it sometimes and some said that the switch is affected by the haptic feedback because it makes a slight rattle noise.



The back of the phone looks and feels great it has a nice soft touch but also a grip like texture to it which feels great when holding the phone in landscape. The back of the phone actually covers the entire phone all the way around the sides except for the camera button and switch, which is nice to see give the phone a uni-body feel to it. As with the Evo 4G were the back was just a soft touch finish and  there seem to be gap between the back cover and the battery which left the phone feeling like it wasn’t fully closed



Software

The Evo 3D has one major plus in this category and that it is that it come out of the box with Android 2.3.3, also it has the newest version of Sense which is 3.0. Sense 3.0 is really one of the things that make this phone a worthy contender. In 3.0 the lock screen has gotten a total make-over, no longer just slide down to unlock, now you are presented with a smaller half circle that when you pull up it unlocks the phone. Also in addition to the new unlock method there are now 4 shortcuts that are fully customizable, these 4 shortcuts allow you to jump straight into any application that you want (as long as there one of your 4 apps you have selected) without having to unlock the phone first. This comes in handy if check you email frequently or if you have a favorite app that checks the news.

Sense 3.0 is still the same old Sense you know and love or for those few hate (which I can’t understand why) but also adds some new tweaks that make it that much better. The Notification bar has had a little work done on itself with the addition of a 2nd tab and a bar for recently used apps. The second tab is full of Quick Settings options, Wi-Fi, Hotspot, 4G, GPS, and a bar that tell you how much total memory is left and also acts as a short cut to the task manager application. Home screens haven’t changed much, some widgets have a little depth animation to them when rotating the screens slowly, and also if you flip through them fast enough you are presented with a carousel effect. The app drawer has a little change to it now instead of a never ending scroll effect it has a page by page scroll to it were it lets you see 20 apps per page. Also 3 tabs at the bottom one for all apps, one for frequently used apps, another for downloaded apps. But all in all it still has the same 7 home screens, all of those widgets some new and some old, and of course the all helpful toggle switches (4G).


 

As far as preloaded apps go, there are a decent amount of apps that come on it out of the box. The greatest thing about this though is that Sprint and HTC have allowed for the option to uninstall some of the apps that come preloaded with the phone. Now even after you uninstall them they are completely gone there files are still there on the phone, but with root this won’t be a problem.


 

Quick list of some preloaded apps

·         3D Games

·         Blockbuster

·         HTC HUB

·         Mirror

·         Nascar

·         Peep

·         Qik

·         Polaris Office

·         Spider-man 3D

·         Hotspot

·         The Green Hornet 3D

·         TeleNav

Call Quality

This phone had one of the clearest Voice Quality that I have used. Calls made in high signal areas were very loud and clear. Calls made in poor signal areas even had some good quality to them aside from the sound dropping for a sec or two when there were no interruption the call sounded great. I heard no complaints from the people on the other end of the call, never asked to speak louder or that I was too loud and only once was I asked to repeat myself but that may have been because, I myself was mumbling. Coming from an Evo 4G were I was constantly finding myself being asked or having to ask the other person to speak up or repeat what they said, or having to walk outside to get a better signal just to talk on the phone which led to me not making phone calls unless needed. This all changed with the Evo 3D I know can call and receive calls without a problem.

Speaker Quality for phones calls was decent but the speaker is very quiet on the Evo 3D, clear voice quality but just not a loud enough to enjoy fully. Also again coming from the Evo 4G were the speaker was much louder but also on the downside of the quality of voice, but  it still made for an easier speaker phone conversation.

Performance

Now the Evo 3D is powered by Qualcomm newest processor which happens to be Dual-Core 1.2GHz, along with an Adreno 220 GPU. Also to add to the list is a full 1GB of RAM, which leaves about 803MB useable, and let me just say this makes this phone glide through everything you through at it.


 

Gameplay along with Movie playback on this phone has been butter smooth no hiccups no stutters. The Dual-Core really help when doing things like muti-tasking for example playing  a game while you have your favorite music playing in the background all while you take every 15 mins or so to check your email and messages and maybe a quick post on Google +, the Dual-Core allows you to do this seamlessly with out and force closes or haven to close a certain app to open another one.

Battery Life


 

I must say this has been one of the most impressive things to me, if you look at what this phone does and how well it does those things you would think battery life would be just a not pleasing as with the Evo 4G, well that’s not the case I mean within the first couple of days with the phone I experienced a couple of time where the battery died rather quick but after those couple of day things straightened out battery life had improved greatly. Getting around 12-15 hours on just about moderate usage and on top of that in a poor signal area as well which is quite surprising .

Camera

Now the big question here is “how well does the 3D work?” and we’ll save that for last. For now let’s just cover the basics. You get two 5MP cameras on the back and a 1.3MP camera on the front.  When taking standard 2D pictures only the top camera (portrait) and left camera (landscape) is used. It takes pretty good pictures colors come out nice a bright when outside. Lowlight picture are a little washed out look to them. But the overall camera performance is great it’s not the worst camera on a phone and it’s not the best camera on a phone. Now onto the video part it supports 720p even though in the press releases it stated that supported 1080p. It handles 720p recording very well colors come out bright, though the lighting sometime seems to be a bit off.


 

Now on to the 3D taking pictures in 3D is one of the coolest features. 3D pictures are actually fun to take works better with things at a distance rather than thing that are close. The picture look great and the 3D effect is just as good as you would think it would be when taking 3D pictures with a phone. Also the same goes for 3D video, video really shows the level of depth between the items in the frame. A lot of people have said that the 3D tends to hurt you eye or head but I have not yet felt that when viewing picture or video, though sometimes when you first look at the 3D photo it feels like my eyes cross for a quick second. To some things up the camera works great rather it’s a 2D or 3D photo or video, one of the best camera’s I’ve used on a mobile device.


   

Does it meet the challenge?

Does it have dual-core? Yes, it one of the first phones from HTC to have a Dual-core processor from Qualcomm a 1.2GHz Dual-core processor at that. Most Dual-cores have been just 1Ghz this is one if the first phone with a 1+Ghz Dual-core processor. How big is the screen? It has a 4.3-inch qHD display, which is a resolution of 540x960. Most high-end phones only have a screen resolution of 480x800. Does it run the latest software (2.3.4 Gingerbread)? Yes and No, it has Android 2.3.3 but the latest is 2.3.4 which is most known for the addition of GTalk with Video Chat. But in a way it’s still up to date with software, compared to some phone launching with only Android 2.2 Froyo. So does it meet the challenge as far as spec and software wise yes it meets the challenge it also sets the bar a bit higher. Is 3D a gimmick as much as I know you guys want me to say yes it is I have to say no it’s not. If you take the 3D of the Evo you still have one the best phones on the market. So before you say it’s not worth the money because 3D is a gimmick look at what else the phone has to offer. I give the Evo 3D 8 out of 10.


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