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Are you waiting for the Sprint HTC EVO too?
      #37018 - 05/10/10 04:45 PM

In the past few weeks I've run into at least 20 people who've told me they're waiting for the Sprint HTC EVO. They plan on getting it as their next phone and some will even switch away from another carrier to get it. So if that?s you too, you?re not alone.

Some of these folks know what I do for a living and so readily volunteer their smartphone buying plans, but plenty have no idea. All it takes is a little cue to get the conversation going. For example, today I was wearing my "Moto Rock Your Droid" tee shirt with a big Android sporting an electric guitar on the front (hey, I'm a geek but you knew that). I was out running errands at FedEx and the supermarket. One little geeky tee inspired 3 true confessions in an hour about each person's intent to buy an Evo. Lucky HTC and lucky Sprint!

Now that each carrier has some pretty impressive and reasonably priced smartphones, carrier switching for a phone isn't as common as it used to be. Verizon has the Motorola Droid and HTC Incredible, T-Mobile has the HTC HD2 (a distant cousin to the EVO) and AT&T has the iPhone 3GS. But still, the right phone gets folks marching, and each of those three has caused folks to change carriers. If you?re jumping ship for the EVO, we can tell you that Sprint has fast data and a strong national footprint. Still you must do your homework: consider the reasons you?re with your current carrier, ask acquaintances how Sprint service works in the areas you frequent and compare plan pricing (though Sprint does really well with their all you can eat plan prices).

The EVO has the big three features that make gadget lovers go berserk: a huge 4.3? capacitive display (take that iPhone), the Android 2.1 OS with HTC Sense and WiMAX 4G. The design is high end, sexy and compelling, though the EVO is a bit thicker than the HTC HD2 (that other HTC phone with a 4.3? capacitive display and 1GHz Snapdragon CPU). It looks sexy and it?s extremely fast- I spent quality time with the EVO last month at CTIA and even in its pre-release form it was very responsive. The 8 megapixel camera promises good shots and there?s a front camera too; a rarity on US phones. It can play 720p video, it can output over optional HDMI and the EVO is a mobile HotSpot with WiFi sharing of its 3G/4G wireless connection.

That?s awesome but there are a few caveats. This is a very large phone that requires a roomy, loose pocket. No stylish tight front jeans pocket for you. WiMAX coverage areas are small, though growing. We?ve had WiMAX in the Dallas area for almost 6 months and it went from weak and slow to decent in that time. Remember, 4G isn?t available everywhere that Sprint 3G EV-DO Rev. A coverage is found. And the speeds? Well, it doesn?t give WiFi a run for the money. WiMAX tops out at 6 Mbps, while good old fashioned WiFi 802.11b tops out at 10 Mbps and WiFi 802.11g at 54 Mbps (not that you?ll always get those speeds). In read life with 60% signal strength, I?ve been getting up to 2Mbps with my Sprint Overdrive on 4G. That?s a bit slower than the connections I get with AT&T and T-Mobile 3G HSPA 7.2 Mbps that typically average 2.5 Mbps in our area. So WiMax 4G keeps up (almost) with HSPA and can?t hold a candle to LTE and HSPA+. T-Mobile in the US will soon roll out their HSPA+ network with a maximum theoretic speed of 21 MPbs and real world speeds around 5 Mpbs. Verizon and AT&T are going with LTE and will deploy that sometime in 2011. Clear, the folks who bring you WiMAX 4G may go with LTE in the future.

When it comes to technology, there?s always something better in the future. That means you shouldn?t freeze in place and forego the HTC EVO with 4G WiMAX. From streaming video to 30,000 Android apps, the EVO has lots to give during your 2 year contract. It just won?t be the king of data speeds, though in a WiMAX coverage area, it will be reasonably competitive with HSPA on our US GSM carriers. And Sprint?s 3G coverage footprint is excellent and the speeds are good, so you won?t be left in a data void with the HTC EVO.

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Lisa Gade
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