HTC Evo 3D Review: Average Phone, Cheap Trick

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If you’re thinking about buying the HTC Evo 3D on Sprint, the first thing you should do is ignore the 3D.

The phone’s namesake features — a glasses-free 3D display and dual cameras to shoot your own 3D content — amount to little more than a cheap party trick. And with a dearth of 3D movies and games to enjoy on the smartphone, the Evo 3D’s design and performance in two dimensions is far more important.

Strip away the gimmicks, and the Evo 3D is just average among high-end Android handsets. It’s a phone that provides lots of power through a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor, but falters on design.

Compared to the graceful curves and smooth materials of HTC’s newly-launched Sensation 4G, the Evo 3D’s figure is no triumph. It’s not uncomfortably large despite a 4.3-inch, 960-by-540 resolution display, but its boxy shape and considerable weight lack elegance.

(MORE: HTC Sensation 4G Review: Prettier than Pictures)

In the hands, you’ll always feel the phone’s camera shutter button, which sticks out from the bottom right side and rests right underneath your palm or fingers. A ridged back panel adds a touch of class, but ultimately this isn’t a phone that feels great to hold.

And don’t let the Evo 3D’s size fool you into thinking this is a multimedia powerhouse. The phone’s single speaker is poorly placed on the back side, projecting in exactly the wrong direction, and it kicks out some of the weakest audio I’ve ever heard on a high-end handset.

Unlike Sprint’s first-generation Evo, there’s no kickstand on this model, so forget about propping up the phone to watch some 3D flicks. With 4 GB of internal storage and an 8 GB microSD card, there’s not a lot of room to store your own music and videos, anyway.

The Evo 3D includes a 1730mAh battery, which leans toward the high end for Android phones, but I wasn’t floored by the battery life. After a day of moderate Internet use, no 4G service and no phone calls, the Evo 3D was in the red zone. When I kicked on Sprint’s 4G WiMax service for part of a day, the phone was dead by dinner time.

The Evo 3D redeems itself with a dual-core processor and Android 2.3, the latest version of Google’s smartphone software.

(review continues on next page…)

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