HTC EVO 3D Review

Posted: July 18, 2011 in Reviews
Tags: , , ,

Anybody who knows me know that I’m a big fan of HTC’s Android phones. Everything from their sleek designs to the powerful hardware is very appealing to me, and the EVO 3D is no different. This phone is an absolute BEAST! Dual-core processor, 3D cameras, qHD screen, better battery – this phone is more than worthy to be a successor to the wildly popular EVO 4G. I’ll try to refrain from stating the obvious (specs, Sense 3.0, etc), so this review will be my opinion on key features about the EVO 3D.

Aesthetics

After holding my EVO 4G for an entire year, the first thing I noticed when holding the 3D is that this baby went on a diet. The 3D is noticeably thinner and easier to hold (not that the EVO 4G was hard to hold by any means). It also has a textured back which decreases the chances of it slipping out of your hand.

The iconic red ring around the cameras is now a status symbol. If you had an EVO 4G, people immediately recognized it because of the red ring and knew you had a high-end Android phone in your possession. The EVO 3D is no exception. I can have it in my hand at the bank or in line at a restaurant and people will start asking me a million questions about it. After I speak so highly about it, they sadly explain why the Sprint sales associate sold them a different Android phone (usually the Nexus S 4G). It is a great conversation starter and I ‘m happy that people recognize quality when they see it.

Hardware

I have been using the EVO 3D heavily since day one and the hardware is so much of an improvement from the 4G that it’s not funny. First thing, battery life is outstanding! I have to retrain myself to leave my charger at home now because of my experiences with the EVO 4G. On light use (days when I’m at work for most of the day) I can get about 13 hours before the battery gets down to about 30%. On heavy use, I can get at least 10 hours – more than enough to go throughout the day with confidence. Unfortunately, GPS still is a battery hog so I recommend you being hooked up to your car charger when using Google Navigation. 4G still runs the battery down too, but not nearly as fast as it did on the EVO 4G.

  • Tip: By now, everyone is aware that keeping your internet on all day will drain your battery because apps running in the background will continue working even while your phone is not in use. To increase battery life (with any Android phone), tell your phone to automatically turn off your mobile internet when you’re screen is off for a certain period of time. When you unlock your screen it will automatically turn mobile internet back on. To do this, go to Settings > Wireless and Networks > Mobile Networks and uncheck “Enable always-on mobile data”.

The 1.2 GHz dual-core processor is fast! Couple that with the 4GBs of built-in memory, I haven’t experienced any lagging whatsoever, which is a very welcomed improvement from the EVO 4G. I have the exact same apps that I had on my 4G (with the exception of a few root-only apps), plus Sprint and HTC’s bloatware, and multitask like crazy and my 3D still hasn’t showed any signs of slowing down. It’s like having a car with two motors: instead of putting all of the stress on one and quickly reaching your limit, activity is being juggled between the two which gives you twice as much limit and half as much stress. Admittedly, my phone did get a little warm while playing Spiderman 3D, but hey, its constant 3D, action-packed, and graphic intensive so I already expected that (the game is great by the way! I love it and I rarely play games on my phone).

5MP cameras or 8MP cameras mean nothing to me, and it shouldn’t to you. Although the 3D has 5MP cameras, they look equally as good, and many times better than the 4G’s 8MP camera. In addition to taking pictures, HTC gives you many options and filters to add different effects to your pictures. You can add real-time filters (such as black and white, sepia, posterize) to your pictures and videos by tapping the little magic wand button in the camera app, which is pretty cool and HTC-like. You also have the basics, such as cropping, rotating, auto-enhance, color filters, and even 3D adjustments.

3D

Click to download and view on your 3D capable device

Anybody who tells you glasses-free 3D is a gimmick, slap them three times. 3D on this phone is amazing! You might not be able to tell if you’re just testing the phone out in a Sprint store or looking at the sample images, but once you get out and actually begin using it in real-life situations, it’s nothing short of phenomenal. Instead of your pictures being flat, your pictures (and videos) will have depth to them, almost like another layer of reality. Pictures are so realistic that sometimes you forget it’s just an illusion and you think you can look behind things that’s in the picture. It really feels like you’re there in the picture.

There are two ways 3D enhances your pictures. The first way is it makes you subject pop off of the screen, which is how we traditionally remember 3D. However the second way, which caught me by surprise, is it makes your background really look like it’s in the background. It almost feels like you can measure the distance between the subject and something in the background – something that’s practically impossible with 2D pictures.

I haven’t been recording any video yet, but I have been taking 3D pictures like crazy. You have to experiment with it to understand what is good and what isn’t good in 3D which is very fun. Signs in the Sprint store = not fun, goofy pictures with friends and family = very fun! When looking at 3D content, it’s best to keep the phone about a good 12-inches from the middle of your face to get the best effect. If the phone is too far or too close to your face, the 3D effect isn’t going to be as good. After an hour of messing around, you will quickly understand where that “sweet spot” is for optimal 3D viewing.

3D is fun – especially when you get out there and start using it because half of the fun is in learning and experimenting. As your creativity begins to run wild, your pictures will become better and better. I even learned that after you’ve snapped the picture, you can go back and adjust how strong or how soft the 3D effect will be on your pictures. It may be hard on your eyes the first time or two you try it, but once you get familiar with the process you will be able to make your pictures really pop off of the screen, or fall back and emphasize the background, or find a sweet spot in between. I will be posting a tutorial on how to do so soon.

Wrap Up

Pros

  • Excellent battery life
  • 4.3″ qHD screen
  • Sense 3.0 + Android 2.3 (Gingerbread)
  • Lockscreen shortcuts
  • Glasses-free 3D
  • 4G speeds
  • More internal memory
  • Dual-core processor
  • 1080p video playback
  • Slim design
  • Dedicated camera button
  • Great built-in picture editing features
  • Truly unlimited 3G and 4G internet, unlimited mobile-to-mobile calling regardless of carrier, and unlimited texts thanks to Sprint’s excellent and affordable plans
  • It’s only $70-$100 if you trade in your old EVO 4G (with Sprint, RadioShack, Target, or Best Buy) and renew your contract

Cons

  • Bloatware can’t be uninstalled yet like other blogs made it seem – To clarify, Sprint’s bloatware can be removed, HTC’s can not be removed
  • HTC’s kickstand case hasn’t been released yet

Both of the cons are temporary problems because once we are able to fully root then bloatware will be gone, and HTC’s kickstand case is coming soon. Which means, there will be nothing bad at all that I can say about this phone. This is by far the best phone I’ve ever used and the price is right. Everything about it is a fantastic update from its predecessor and again puts the EVO line above anything else. Whether you like 3D or not, which I guarantee you will once you begin using it, the phone itself is still one of the most powerful and feature-rich phones on the market. Many like to compare it to the HTC Sensation, but the Sensation has nothing to differentiate itself from anything else that’s either already out or coming soon. It doesn’t have 3D, it runs Froyo, and you don’t get unlimited data. The HTC EVO 3D is the phone of the year, and that’s final.

I’ve hosted a couple of pictures at 3Dporch.com, feel free to use an EVO 3D at a Sprint store (or any other 3D capable device) to check them out. Download the .mpo version of the picture and open it in your Gallery app.

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