Ever since the original HTC EVO was released on the Sprint network and boasted its 4G capabilities it has been an item to be desired on other cell phone providers line ups. Well, we are happy to announce that Rogers Canada has released its first two 3D glasses-less cell phones. The first is the LG Optimus 3D and the second is the HTC EVO 3D. We are going to cover the HTC EVO 3D in this article and try and get our hands on an LG Optimus 3D later on for comparison. Hope on past the break for a detailed breakdown of the HTC EVO 3D running Android’s Gingerbread, seeing what is new and what awesome things they have left in for us!
Fresh out of the box the hardware was impressive. With the sizing specs being 126 x 65 x 12.1m it is a little on the bigger side of things. The feel you get when holding it in your hands in very natural and was not hard to navigate to all buttons with one hand. The top of the device houses the headphone jack and power button. The left is home to the charging bay where we were disappointed to not find a cover for (we hate pocket lint collection) and the right has the volume rockets which were a little larger than normal but we found were easier to use than most. The front of the device is home to the 4.3″ screen with the buttons on the bottom circled in silver and lit up when the phone was on (depending on the lighting conditions). We liked the speaker on the front of the device and the notification LED they included to tell you if you have something to attend to (text message, email, etc.). Right beside the speaker is the front facing camera which we will cover later on. The back is home to the Dual 5MP Camera with dual-LED flash and the ability for Stereoscopic pictures (3D without the glasses). Overall this is a sleek and sexy device if we do say so ourselves.
New with the HTC EVO 3D comes the new Sense UI. This version is 3.0 and they have really stepped up their game when it comes to the widgets available, the feel when using it and most of all, how fluid it is and doesn’t detract from the android experience by slowing things down. We found that after disabling the Sense UI speed did increase but not monumentally and we actually longed to get the Sense UI back. With 3.0 Rogers is also shipping some of their bloatware with it including MobileBackup, My Account, On Demand, Ringbacks, Ringtones, Shop, urMusic and Wi-Fi Calling (not enabled by default you have to pay extra). Some of the cool features of the new Sense UI are when you throw the screen your on left or right fast it makes all screens zoom out and whirls around in a circular motion, modifying the notification pane to include the music player, a list of running/recently used apps, a seperate tab for quick settings and a icon that denotes how much free memory you have. All of these things have redeemed the HTC Sense UI n our eyes and we hope everyone that uses this phone does as well. If not you always have the pure Android experience option at your fingertips as well.
This device is boasting a 4.3″ screen as mentioned before but that’s not what really got us. We were impressed at how easy on the eyes the 3D experience was. We have played our fair share of Zelda for the Nintendo 3DS and have come away from it with our eyes almost bleeding. This is not the case for the HTC EVO 3D, as it presents it in a crisp and subtle manner to be more pleasing to the eyes which will lead to extended use of 3D in the future I presume.
We were very suprised when we started testing this device as we had only ever used a single core processor phone before the HTC EVO 3D. Let us tell you straight, never again will that be the case. The sheer power that this phone is capable of is almost limitless as we are yet to push it to make an application crash or even lag for that matter. Multitasking was flawless when moving from a high powered game to answering a text message, then we decided to check our visitor statistics on the WordPress application and finally returned back to the 3D game we were playing without so much as a bat of an eyelash. This device is fast, there is no question about it.
We were very impressed when it came to taking pictures to test out the 3D capabilities of the device. The phone presents you with the 3D image and how it will look once taken. Once the 3D picture was taken you can also choose to see that picture in 2D as well to send to your friends if they do not have a 3D glasses-less device. We found that snapping pictures and videos worked well in a well lit area as opposed to dim/no light situations.
The call quality was good as long as we were in a 3/4G area otherwise it got a bit rough. We found that when using the headphone with the speaker included in them the call was suprisingly fluid considering how low the speak is from our head and us not moving it closer. When off of the headphones the callers voice tends to be on the quieter side as well, even at full volume. When we judge a phone on the greatness of its connectivity we find that the call itself is only a small factor. We like to do things while we talk to people. So when we were in the midst of a call we would put them on speaker (which worked great) and pulled up Facebook and Twitter to send out some status updates and at one point we even started playing a game with no loss of quality or performance.
We found that battery life was on the lower end of the spectrum than what we were used to considering that it shipped with a Li-Ion 1730 mAh battery. To be fair, we had 9 gMail accounts, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Kik Messenger and Foursquare running in the background sending updates as soon as they were received. This being said the phone when in use only lasted around 6 hours. When the phone was idle we found that even with all of those running we could go a whole day and not even break half of the battery life. What impressed us most about the battery was the power saving options that HTC included. When the battery got to 15% left the power saver would kick in and disable all unessential services and background data. This was awesome for those hectic days where our phone was almost dead and the power saver function would give us enough time to get to a charger for a boost.
This is definitely a high end model that Rogers has brought to the table and it will be a bar setter for the Android devices to come. This device is definitely in the same bloodline as the EVO 4G but evolves above and beyond the expectations that we had of it. Using a Windows Phone 7 and a Single-Core Android device before this we now wonder if this will be our primary device. We will have to wait and see when Windows Phone 7 Mango is released to be sure but as of right now this is the phone we use when we want to make things happen!