April 4th 2012 8:35 am

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9.0
final rating

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Criteria Comments Rating
  • Reception and call quality I haven't had any problems at all. good
  • Display Easily the best display on the market when it came out, and still one of the best available. Absolutely beautiful. great!
  • Battery life For the avg user, I think the battery life is fantastic. For a very heavy user like me, there's always room for improvement. Non-removable hasn't been an issue. good
  • Camera Burst mode is a HUGE plus, and the hardware camera button is a nice addition. Image quality is very good for a camera phone, but this comes down to preference. good
  • Ease of use HTC's Sense UI is intuitive for new users, and as a power user I have few complaints. It's worth noting that I'm reviewing Sense 4+ on Android 4.1. great!
  • Design and form factor More like 3.5. Not the most attractive design, but it grows on you. Size is great, though, and the kickstand is a wonderful staple of the EVO line. good
  • Portability (size / weight) It's big, but it works. It fits in my pockets without issue, and I can use it one-handed despite not having large hands. good
  • Media support No better or worse than any other Android phone as far as I can tell. good
  • Durability Solid construction and Gorilla Glass. Don't drop it and you'll be fine. good
  • Ecosystem (apps, accessories, etc.) Android ecosystem is great, HTC MediaLink is a nice accessory, and I had no problem finding a car dock. great!
Detailed review
It's worth mentioning right away that this phone was greatly improved after updating to Sense 4+ and Android 4.1. When I bought the HTC EVO 4G LTE (EVO LTE) with Sense 4 and Android 4.0, I experience a handful of very frustrating bugs that I won't get into here - because they are completely gone after updating, and anyone looking at buying this phone has no reason not to update.

The GDGT review is a bit outdated since it mentions Sprint had yet to roll out their LTE network. It's out now in many cities, and I've connected to LTE throughout the Chicagoland area. Check coverage for your area if this is a concern of yours.

I've had the EVO LTE since it came out in May 2012 (it is now January 2013) and I would buy it again if I were buying a new phone today. The screen is still the best I've seen on a phone, and I still love looking at it 8 months later.

If you're looking at this, odds are you're debating between this phone and the Samsung Galaxy S III (GSIII). Here are just a few reasons I prefer the EVO LTE:

1) Quality construction. HTC is known for their solid construction, and the EVO LTE is no different. While the GSIII is made primarily of plastic, the EVO LTE is almost entirely metal, except for the plastic battery plate on the top 2/5 of the backside and a small plastic section at the bottom of the backside.

2) Better custom UI. Both Sense UI (HTC's custom interface) and Touchwiz (Samsung's custom interface) have their problems, and so does the stock Android experience. Personally, I prefer Sense UI over Touchwiz because it feels more consistent and professional to me, while Touchwiz feels more whimsical and like an attempt to mimic iOS (though less so now than in earlier iterations). This really comes down to personal preference, so be sure to play with both phones (and any others) in the store before making a decision.

3) Less manufacturer bloat. Both HTC and Samsung install some of their own apps on their phones, but I think Samsung takes this to a whole new level. While I appreciate that Samsung is trying to add some innovative software to their phones, I don't like the number of apps they include that mimic already existing Google services. Google already provides the Google Music service with Android; I don't need Samsung's S Music on top of it. They are trying to create their own ecosystem, and that means users are missing out on some of Android's greatest advantages by not utilizing Google's highly integrated services.