14 Jun 10

WOW… what a week!  I’ve had such an intensely busy schedule that I actually thought I wouldn’t have time to write this entry.

First off, yes the device is AMAZING!  I read a TON of articles and reviews before getting it, including many about what apps I should download to start off since I’ve never owned an Android phone.  I’m going to address a couple of the “concerns” I read that were consistent in the reviews and give you my swing:

  1. Other Reviews: “Battery Life is Bad” – This I found to be… true.  I decided early on, before I even got the device, that I would simply run the device in 3G mode except when I really needed the 4G and that I would leave WiFi turned off unless I knew I needed/wanted it.  Well, after following that model consistently, I still find the battery life to be terrible.  Maybe 5-6 hours before a charge/battery change is needed.  For most folks, that is completely unreasonable.  For me, I’m ok with it.  I have a spare battery that I always carry.  Ordered it before I got the EVO.  Anticipated this as an issue.  Spare battery solves this issue for me.
  2. Other Reviews: “4G Coverage is Spotty” – This I found to be… true.  Even though I live in the greater Seattle area, the 4G coverage is spotty.  Part of the spotty/inconsistent service is the commonly known issue of penetration for this WiMax technology.  Most places indoors you can’t use 4G, or rather, it’s pretty useless inside.  For me though, as I mentioned above, I rarely would choose to use 4G unless I’m streaming video (up or down).  Recently I went to the Seattle Sounders match only to find that an unfortunate 4G outage was happening for the first 30-40 minutes of the game.  At first I thought, “WOW!  I have FULL 4G bars right now! a-streamin we shall go!” But then when I went to upload I kept getting errors.  I did find out from my Sprint friends that there happened to be a short outage happening, which DID turn out to be very short, but just happened to be when I was trying to upload!  Go figure.  That aside, I can’t get 4G in my condo in Shoreline and even inside my office I can’t get any 4G bars.  I’m pretty confident in saying I’d RATHER not be paying that $10 data premium for services I can rarely use.
  3. Other Reviews: “WiFi is weak” – This I found to be… true.  In my condo I have a b/g/n router that is 15 feet from my couch and I still only get 2 out of 4 bars of signal strength, nothing in between me and the router but air.  I also noticed I often get send/receive data transmission errors when connected to WiFi.
  4. Other Reviews: “Harsh Voice Quality” – This I found to be… false.  I think the voice quality is great!  And even though my original device had a faulty microphone (got a replacement a week later when new stock came into my store), I use my Bluetooth 99% of the time and I could hear and be heard very clearly.

So, here are some of my own points of interest and findings:

  1. Flexibility: I never had any issues customizing my BlackBerry devices LIKE CRAZY, but most people don’t want to spend nearly as much time as I did playing with their BlackBerry.  With that said, my EVO takes customizing and flexibility to whole new level.  I can literally take every application off of my screens and rearrangement wherever I want them, including cool widgets (widgets allow you to “operate” the software without opening it).
  2. The Camera ROCKS: That’s right! It rocks!  And not because it’s an amazing 8mp, but actually because the quality of photos it takes is wonderful!  The 8mp only really says it takes large pictures, not that it takes nice pictures.  But the EVO photos are fast, crisp and colorful.  Great job HTC!
  3. Screen Protectors: Ok, as I hope you can tell, I LOVE my mobile devices, however, for all three of my past touch screen devices I have purchased screen protectors all to simply rip it off within 24 hours of installing it, essentially flushing $10-25 down the drain.  I recently saw a review of the scratch test of the EVO and it seemed to fair pretty well and since I knew I wouldn’t be striking mine with a knife, sandpaper, or any other intentional actions I’m comfortable with it not having a screen protector.
  4. Cases: As  you can imagine there are a TON of cases available for this device.  Right now I have the Seidio Innocase II with holster.  I also have a beautiful white leatherish/weaved material case I got from the Sprint store that has cool silvery metalic edges.  And I also just ordered a third case.  Yes, perhaps overkill, but the cases are like accessories to a wardrobe!  The third one I ordered is also a Seidio, but is an “exclusive” offered by Amazon called the Seidio Innocase Active Case.
  5. Size: I LOVE the size!  Folks have aired some complaints that they’ve thought it was too large of a device.  Of course most of those folks haven’t really used it for longer than 5 minutes if at all.
  6. The magic of the web: Coming from BlackBerry land I’ve had spotty (at best) experience with mobile web browsing, but the EVO is one mean internet surfing machine!!  The EVO comes with a native browser that works well, but it was recommended on several blogs that I try Dolphin Browser HD.  It’s amazing!  Tabs so you can open multiple pages, super fast graphics and layout loading, very accurate page rendering (layout), and the COOLEST feature of all is the “gesture commands” you can use.  This means you can touch a little command “button” in the lower left and then by swooshing out a “G” on the screen it instantly moves me to Google.  If I swoosh “N” it opens a new “tab”.  And you can train it to open any bookmarked page like this.  Pretty cool and fast way to navigate.
  7. The Power Button: I don’t like it.  It’s on the very top of the device and is almost completely flush with the body making it a little difficult to feel even if you’re pressing it down.  You use the button A LOT since it’s the only button that will lock/unlock/awaken the device from sleep.  With that said, my new case coming has a button enhancement that should make finding it and operating it a little more seamless.
  8. Linking people in your life: One of my favorite “gadgets” is Favorites.  In here you can drop in a few of your friends.  But because the EVO address book “links” your friends through their various identities (you can link you Outlook contact to their Twitter profile, their Facebook profile/info, Flickr, etc.  By all their accounts together and dropping a few of them into this gadget, the gadget tells me whenever they have activity on any of their linked accounts.

Overall, very pleased with the device regardless of my airing of complaints at the beginning of the article.  I guess mostly because I knew what I was getting into with each of those items before purchasing.

Next article to come: EVO/Android software!(Disclosure: No one from Sprint or HTC has asked me to write this blog, I’m not being paid or subsidized for reviews/testimony.  These are my personal opinions and findings not influenced by others unless mentioned directly in my article)

Filed under: Droid

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