The HTC EVO Shift 4G goes on sale at Sprint today. The focus on Android smartphones has been shifted to 4G, and Sprint was the first to offer 4G smartphones. Many new 4G smartphones that were announced at CES may be worth waiting for from other carriers.
Although the HTC EVO Shift 4G is not the fastest or largest 4G smartphone offered from Sprint, it has Droid-like appeal for those who text and social network often and who also need a smaller smartphone. Because the HTC EVO Shift 4G works with 4G WiMAX on the Sprint network, you will have to pay an additional data access charge of $10 a month even if there is no WiMAX coverage in your area.
The best reviewed feature of the HTC EVO Shift 4G is the HTC Sense user interface with a new excellent music/media player. Reviewers liked the good voice quality, good to excellent photo quality and bright screen.
Reviewers didn't like the extra monthly fee for WiMAX, the lack of front-facing camera, microSD behind battery, and lack of HDMI out for playing video on TVs.
Features of the HTC EVO Shift 4G include Android 2.2, a 5MP camera, 720p HD
camcorder, and a 3.6-inch capacitive touchscreen, HD Video Recording, Wi-Fi, mobile hotspot (for $30 a month),
GPS, Stereo Bluetooth and microSD slot (supporting up to 32GB memory
Although one reviewer liked the smaller size, others thought it to be small in comparison to other 4G Sprint smartphones. With so many choices, the HTC EVO Shift 4G may fit your needs if you your prefer a smaller phone with a QWERTY Keyboard that easily fits in your pocket. EVO Shift 4G is priced at $149.99 with a contract and rebate.
Jamie Lendino at PCMag rated the HTC EVO Shift 4G 4 out of 5 for sharp/bright touchscreen, excellent music/video playback, nice UI and WiMAX connectivity running Android 2.2. He didn't like that the memory card was underneath the battery, the extra monthly cost for 4G and stiffness of the keyboard. It is smaller than the other Sprint 4G options, the HTC EVO 4G and Samsung Epic 4G. He liked the HTC Sense user interface. Smaller than the iPhone screen, the touchscreen still looks bright and is responsive. The keyboard is four rows while the Epic has five rows. Voice quality was good. Voice commands didn't always work with a Bluetooth headset. HTC's updated music player works like a mini-jukebox with album art, and the music sounded good over Bluetooth. This is no HDMI out. Photo quality was O.K. HT 1280 x720 pixel video was not quite on the mark. The Samsung Epic 4G remains PCMag's Editor's Choice.
Mike Pearlman InfoSync rated the HTC EVO Shift 4G 90%, calling it a winner for Android 2.2 and Qwerty keyboard.for text-messaging fantatics and social feed freaks. He didn't like that it lacks a dedicated camera key. He noted that HTC Sense couldn't get any better. 3D games worked well without any problems. Call quality was rated very good. The camera rating was excellent and better than the competitors.
Ginny Mies at PCMag, in her first look, noted that the HTC EVO Shift 4G has a really nice QWERTY keyboard that feels stiff. What is not nice is the small display and lack of front-facing video camera. She thought that the 800MHz processor seemed weak.