HTC EVO 3D Review - HTC's Venture Into 3D Smartphones

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HTC EVO 3D Review

It seems as though 3D seems to be one of the next evolutionary steps for electronics and smartphones are no exception. The LG Optimus 3D was the first ever smartphone with a 3D screen and it seems HTC is matching it with the HTC EVO 3D. Unveiled at CTIA 2011, the HTC EVO 3D is taking on the mantle of the EVO line, following up the likes of the HTC EVO 4G and the HTC EVO Shift. Sharing the shape of its brethren, the HTC EVO 3D takes an interesting turn towards the 3D world. As mentioned in the LG Optimus 3D review, it is innovative, but it can easily become lost in the shuffle and die quickly as a one time gimmick.

HTC EVO 3D Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 5.00 x 2.60 x 0.47 inches (127 x 66 x 12 mm)
  • Weight: 6.00 oz (170 g)
  • Display: 4.3 inch S-LCD 3D capacitive touchscreen display, 540 x 960 pixels
  • Memory: 4 GB with expandable up to 32 GB MicroSD
  • OS: Android OS 2.3
  • Processor: Dual Core Snapdragon @ 1.2 GHz
  • Camera: 5 megapixel camera (stereoscopic lens for 3D) and 1.3 megapixel front facing camera
  • Connectivity: CDMA Dual Band (800/1900 Mhz)
  • Data: 1xEV-DO rev.A/WiMAX (Sprint’s 4g)
  • Bluetooth: Bluetooth 3.0
  • GPS: GPS with A-GPS
  • Battery: Li-Ion 1730 mAh

Design and Display (4 out of 5)

HTC EVO 3D Review

The HTC EVO 3D looks very similar to the original HTC EVO 4G, with the 4.3 inch screen and the square design with slightly rounded corners. However, looking closely, it does have some key differences, first off being the S-LCD display that supports 540 x 960 pixel resolution. The screen is beautiful, colorful and bright, though it does falter a bit when compared to a Super AMOLED Plus, as found on the Samsung Galaxy S 2. However, it is still better than decent and in addition, displays 3D, thus the name, HTC EVO 3D.

Below the display are the standard 4 Android shortcuts for home, menu, back and search. To the sides reside the volume rocker and a very nice dedicated camera button. Next to the dedicated camera button is a switch to change from 2D to 3D for taking pictures. Up top is the 3.5mm headphone jack and power / lock button. The standard layout, in all honesty. Rounding out the back is the 5 megapixel camera with stereoscopic lenses and dual LED for flash. Overall, an impressive package pulled into an attractive, though familiar, look.

Hardware and Software (5 out of 5)

The HTC EVO 3D comes loaded with some impressive hardware, starting with the 1.2 GHz dual core Snapdragon processor, which runs the latest version of Android, Android 2.3, smoothly. Extremely smoothly in fact, as there was no lag surprisingly. It also comes with HTC Sense 3.0, a newer, updated version of Sense that adds small touches to the user interface.

It’s definitely good to see the HTC EVO 3D come with Android 2.3, as I dinged the HTC Thunderbolt for coming with Android 2.2. The 4 GB of internal storage is a bit of a disappointment, but with the expandable microSD, it is forgivable. The rumored 1730 mAh battery is definitely enough raw power to run the HTC EVO 3D, though it will take some real world testing with the official smartphone to see how much the dual core processor sucks up power. Overall, really good specs on the smartphone.

User Interface (4 out of 5)

HTC didn’t just stop with the 3D, they added a few more user friendly features to the HTC EVO 3D. They’re very simple additions, but it’s the small things that make the HTC EVO 3D stand out, just a little bit more. For instance, the home screen makes a full circle, instead of stopping at the last screen. Simply slide to the left and eventually you end up on the right and vice versa. Slide your finger fast enough and a little carousel of sorts starts, spinning the home screens like a cube. A small addition, but actually extremely helpful.

The dedicated camera button is not a small little inset button like on most other smartphones, instead, the HTC 3D has a big, circular, silver button sticking out. While some may dislike the odd little button sticking out, it did make camera use feel more natural. A simple change, but once again, gives the HTC EVO 3D a slightly different feel. It seems the HTC EVO 3D has taken a different route from the HTC Thunderbolt, opting to mix things up a bit with change.

Like all Android smartphones, the HTC EVO 3D is no different when it comes to learning the phone. The touchscreen interface is easy to digest and learn for people of all ages. The con is in the viewing angle for 3D, like the Optimus 3D, there’s a very limited viewing angle to get the 3D working out correctly.

Features (4 out of 5)

The HTC EVO 3D, as the name suggests, is a 3D smartphone. Like the LG Optimus 3D, the

HTC EVO 3D Review - Stereoscopic Camera

HTC EVO 3D does not require any kind of eyewear to support the 3D effects. As mentioned in the user interface section, the 3D effect does have a con, there is a limited viewing angle, meaning you have to hold the phone at the right angle to get the full 3D effect. In addition to viewing in 3D the camera can take pictures and record video in 3D with the 5 megapixel stereoscopic camera with dual LED flash.

The camera is also capable of 1080p HD video recording in 2D mode and 720p HD video recording in 3D mode, which puts it up a notch against its brother and competitor on Verizon, the HTC Thunderbolt. In addition to the back facing camera, the HTC EVO 3D has a 1.3 megapixel front facing camera, which is yet another welcome addition. It’s great to see HTC shifting away from just VGA front facing cameras and beating out its competitors such as the Motorola Droid Bionic in the front facing camera department.

The Final Verdict (4 out of 5)

The HTC EVO 3D is an interesting delve into the 3D smartphone market and comes out looking like quite the competitor. Even without the 3D effect, the HTC EVO 3D looks like a powerhouse in the smartphone department, though, like other HTC smartphones, it does lack a bit in the design department. The blazingly fast dual core processor, Android 2.3, 1080p 2D/720p 3D video recording, and 1.3 megapixel camera makes the HTC EVO 3D really stand out as a 4G smartphone. It has quite the competitive landscape with the likes of the LG Optimus 3D, Motorola Atrix 4G, HTC Thunderbolt 4G and the Samsung Galaxy S 2, but it seems the HTC EVO 3D may have what it takes to put a firm foothold on the market and not end up as a footnote in time under the “3D gimmick” section.