Supersonic! Dave’s next phone?

Dave Zatz —  March 23, 2010 — 8 Comments

After months of rumor, leaks, and speculation, the phone I’ve been lusting over has finally been revealed as the HTC EVO 4G on Sprint. And, other than retiring “Supersonic” in favor of this carrier-specific name, there weren’t too many surprises from the CTIA announcement. In fact, key launch date and pricing mysteries remain.

Physically, the phone resembles the Windows Mobile HD2, with a 4.3″ screen, and houses arguably the best processor of the moment. Of course, there’s a camera. And this baby packs an 8 megapixel shooter which, in additional to snapping stills, is also capable of 720p video recording. Plus there’s that front-facing camera. For applications unknown. But, speaking of software, the EVO runs Android 2.1, expertly skinned by HTC’s Sense UI.

The most unique feature of the EVO 4G is the 4G WiMax radio. High speed, low latency. The first such phone in the US. Although, possibly of dubious value while using the phone itself. However, as I’d hoped, Sprint will be offering tethering plan. Cost unknown, but supposedly supporting a staggering 8 concurrent connections. Excellent! Especially as I’ve just retired the MiFi. And the DC 4G network is mostly lit up, whether or not it’s official.


Of the phones and OSes we currently know of, the EVO 4G surely must land near the top. There’s no question in my mind that the iPhone offers the most polished user experience and largest selection of quality apps. But my experiences on AT&T have been something less than stellar. Including 8 hours a day of radio silence. So, given Verizon’s disproportional $350 ETF and Sprint’s solid coverage in the office, it’s pretty clear where I’m jumping next. And it looks like my top two handset contenders will be the Nexus One and EVO 4G. It’s a tough call…

The Supersonic, er EVO, looks to be just about everything I was hoping for, yet it’ll surely run more than Sprint’s rendition of the Nexus One. I could see the N1 coming in at about $200 and the EVO landing at $300. Additionally, while the huge 4.3″ screen would be great on the couch (who needs an iPad?), it’s a bit large as a phone. And that humungo display will be a drain on the only slightly more capable battery. Then there’s the 4G tethering – possibly a killer feature, but we don’t yet know pricing and coverage areas are limited. Lastly, as the Nexus One is being delivered to more carriers, I wonder if there’ll be a larger ecosystem of accessories to choose from. Decisions, decisions.

Photos via Engadget.

8 responses to Supersonic! Dave’s next phone?

  1. I never get a 4G connection when in the DC metro area! Clearly I’m haunting the wrong places. :)

    P. S. Saw my first in-the-wild Nexus One today outside of Tofel’s in Vegas.

  2. Is your card provisioned through Clear or Sprint? I’ve seen some Sprint U301 3G/4G combo cards working in Virginia…

  3. Unless one wears hipster jeans that suffocate them, the size of EVO shouldn’t be an issue. It’s basically HD2 that everyone loves but with Android instead of WM 6.5 (plus somewhat better specs).

    I’ve successfully stayed away from upgrading my phone & sticking with one of Sprint’s old, heavily discounted plans instead of getting a Pre on Everything Plus plan, but come summertime it’s going to be either EVO or Palm’s new offering*.

    Since WiMAX isn’t in Houston yet (and somehow there’s not even an official go-live date), this makes the wait easier to bear. Hardware-wise, EVO is a beast, but WebOS is better than Android, so I’d be willing to consider a new Palm phone* even if it doesn’t do 4G (can just add Overdrive since it’d probably be the same as paying Sprint’s fee for tethering to EVO).

    * — this all assumes that Palm will release a new phone in June-July as rumored.

  4. Mmm she is a sexy beast.

  5. Dunno. I haven’t been following the Sprint Android phones to date. I know Verizon has been leaving them largely alone, and AT&T has burdened the flip with horrid AT&T software, a signed bootloader so its harder to open, and a locked down app installation process. So I wouldn’t go near AT&T. Of course Motorola/Verizon seem to be having horrendous trouble getting the 2.1 update for the Droid out the door for whatever reason. The nice thing about the Nexus One presumably is that you can assume (can you?) that it will be updated with new Android releases over time, something that doesn’t seem to be a given with other handsets which are getting stuck on 1.5/1.6 or whatever even as Google is rolling out 2.1 +.

    I’d want to see a review. Is the early silicon for WiMAX a battery hog? Is that why the battery has been beefed up? What’s the display like in sunlight? Ignoring the pricing for the phone, whats the price for tethering and are there any caps? Etc.

    Looks nice enough though. From the Engadget review it sounds like they could easily have upped the resolution a bit, but hey, that’s life…

  6. Ivan, when I was in Germany on vacation last year I met up with my mobile blogging buddy Arne Hess (The Unwired) who had a HD2. It’s beautiful – solid build, quality amazingly large screen. But it felt pretty wide in the hand as a phone. And the Supersonic is supposedly a bit thicker, for whatever that’s worth. But maybe this is just an endorsement of a quality Bluetooth headset.

    Glenn, yeah good question on battery life. It is the first 4G phone but not the first hybrid device. As I said, I’ve seen a pair of U301 cards and then there’s the Overdrive. But negotiating the dual networks could be tricky and battery intensive. Possibly why this phone might have been delayed as they tweak the stuff they can control on the firmware/software side.

    This morning I woke up thinking Nexus One, despite no Sense UI. So I’m still on the fence. :)

  7. Yeah, my question is about battery life. Seems to have just a TAD more than the N1, but that screen, processor and the 4G radio, who knows.

  8. Ananth Sarathy March 24, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    I am in the same boat… I am leaning nexus one verizon, but on a one year contract (verizon still lets you do this) However, i was also thinking about nexus on AT&T, waiting for the iphone 4, buying it and renewing my contract, and selling that on ebay…. I like having a 3g sim card so I could pop it into my eventual Notion Ink…..

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