If you examine the feature set of the HTC EVO 4G, it has all the markings of a must-have smartphone. A huge 4.3-inch touch screen, an 8 megapixel camera that can record HD video, Flash support, and even a front facing video camera for video chatting – take that, FaceTime! Not only that, but you can also turn your HTC EVO into a portable wi-fi hotspot, and oh yeah, did we mention that it’s the nation’s first 4G phone?
Sounds pretty good, right?
Sure, if you don’t actually want to use the thing.
From David Pogue’s review of the device:
If you charge this phone all night long, then leave the house at 8 a.m., you’ll find its battery charge at 50 percent by early afternoon, even if you don’t make a single call or send a single e-mail message. By quitting time, or dinner time if you’re lucky, it’s completely dead. On this phone, the battery gauge practically shrivels as you’re looking at it.
So on standby, this puppy burns out half way by early afternoon on a full charge. On standby!
The good news is that most of the disappointing, flaky and mediocre aspects of the Evo all pertain to its cutting-edge features.
Hey, that is good news! Wait, what?
We’re sure the EVO is a fine phone if you turn off 4G (as Sprint suggests to save battery life), but when a product’s selling points line up in parallel with the reasons why people are frustrated with the device, you have to wonder why it was brought to market in the first place.
And that’s the difference between a company like Apple and many of its competitors. Apple doesn’t trot out inordinate lists of futuristic features and cutting edge technologies just to prove that they can fit it in. They systematically add features that add value to the usefulness of the device. It’s a controlled evolution. The HTC EVO, meanwhile, is an example of chaotically throwing everything under the sun into a device and hoping that fancy sounding features will overcompensate for what can only be described as a low grade user experience.
And one more thing, did we mention that serious user complaints about the HTC EVO are already starting to roll in.
When the phone isn’t held in the hand, the touchscreen seems to have serious issues registering inputs. While not everyone is experiencing the issue, enough users are that it seems like more than a mere anomaly with a few units. If true, it’s something that couldn’t be fixed with a software update. Coupled with many accounts of screen separation, HTC and Sprint may have to initiate a hardware recall to fix the issues.
Say what you will about the iPhone, but it’s pretty telling that the biggest black mark on the device is AT&T, a different company altogether.