HTC EVO View 4G Review
The HTC EVO View 4G priced at $399.99, has the same impression as HTC Flyer; it has the same 7-inch display, aluminium build, single-core 1.5GHz processor, Gingerbread and Sense, 32GB storage, and stylus pen for input. It is Sprints first WiMAX tablet to go on sale in US, with a 4G radio promising download / upload speeds up to 10Mbps/1Mbps on Sprint network.
The View 4G is little bit bigger than HTC Flyer, the back is fashioned with black, not grey and aluminium, and there is thin red ring around rear facing camera, got small slots housing the stereo speakers. The aluminium body has rubberized bumpers on the back side. It got an aluminium casing, inspires confidence that this is a durable, carefully crafted device, its back remains blemish-and scratch-free, as does the screen. We couldnt take ergonomics without a nod to the size of the screen. The 10-inch slate is able to type in portrait mode without feeling a stretch in your fingers. It got minimal array of ports and buttons, includes a metal volume rocker on the top edge, near the front-facing camera, a micro USB socket on the right side, and a 3.5mm headphone jack and lock/power key on left. There is also an LED light built inside the headphone jack and a blinking green notification signal. We found ourselves squinting at the display under direct sunlight. We enjoyed easy viewing in the indoors too, even watching it from side angles.
N-Trigs DuoSense technology, allows pen input we will expound on shortly. You can see the dot pattern when the tablet is locked or powered down. The Stereo speakers, the sound quality is tinny, even if the View has one more speaker that almost slates out there. The battery life of View 4G is just fantastic, because we has after fully charging the device, we used it for more than 12 hours with checking emails, weather updates, twitter, and Facebook notifications, watching clips and spent some time with Angry Birds too. After all these 12 hours we got 15 more percent of battery life remaining. So we said the word fantastic.
The View 4Gs 5MP camera struggles in harsh backlighting, we tested the camera with different lights and timings. Many of our test photos have softness about them and surprisingly decent depth of field in close up pictures. The 1.3MP front facing camera is not bad, but you can get a decent video call quality and the image quality is relatively good. It includes a handful of distortion and color filters, and a dedicated snap booth app or as an option in the Camera apps menu. The Camera is able to shoot a 720p video, but it got some tiny noise distortion.
The View 4G runs Android 2.3 with the latest version of HTCs Sense UI layered on top. Sprint has said it will upgrade the tablet to the tablet-optimized Android 3.0. Gingerbread is finely tuned in a way Android 3.0 is not just yet. You will miss out on apps designed to make the most out of that extra screen space, such as Gmail with a reading pane. Sprint hopes the Sense UI phones and slates alike have the power to reel in new subscribers. View 4G its as much for the user experience as the 4G radio. The latest version of Sense got some 3D flourishes with new ways to personalize the look and feel of the device. It includes some eight home screens that you can pinch to make all of them appear on one page as shrunken windows. You can find five of them populated with widgets, includes HTCs own music player, along with its news, calendar, Gallery, and FriendStream apps. The home page with grid of 16 apps, the ones with widgets dont leave any room to squeeze in lone shortcut or two. These widgets take the advantage of big screen with 1024*600 display. If you are going to a FriendStream app means, you can scroll through Twitter feed and post an update yourself, but no toggle between Twitter and Facebook or direct messages, you will have to open the apps. You can see a activation ring, a circle into which you can drag one of your four app shortcuts. You can unlock your phone and find yourself in that app, thereby saving yourself extra taps.
The HTC Watch is its own watch service, a storefront from which you can stream and download movies, either rent or buy. Rentals in US cost $2.99 to $3.99 a pop, with purchase prices ranging from $8.99 to $14.99. The app has a clean two-paned interface, and the instant playback is fluid, but uneven selection of roughly 400 titles harkens to early days of Netflix Streaming.
The Magic Pen is another important thing over here; it stands out in the crowded field of Android tablets with this magic pen. All this is possible because of N-Trig DuoSense Digitizer, allows for both pen and finger input. If the tablet is on, you can see a green pen icon on the right of the main search, home, and back buttons icons. It also appears with primary haptic buttons, on one of the two edge bezel, and you will see a palette of options pop up in the lower right hand corner of the screen, a hub where you can choose the text color and kind of writing implement. We had a handful vexing moments at the very beginning when navigating the cramped menu felt tedious and unintuitive, but after some minutes we feel good. It didnt offer much pen-friendly apps, it made sure to integrate the pen experience throughout the OS. You can take a screen shot of anything and doodle on it. It also got a note-taking app; you can sync it with Evernote. This is one of the smooth experiences we got on the writing on a tablet. Erasing and highlighting using dedicated buttons on pen also works well. The Magic pen is a distinguish piece of hardware can be sold separately costs $80, when you can find pens for other DuoSense tablets at $20.
WiMAX is the another thing we have to say here, Sprint promises the download speeds of 10Mbps and maximum upload rates of 1Mbps. The carrier is expanding the upload by 1.5Mbps. The user could expect download speeds between 3Mbps and 6Mbps. Our speeds were pretty darn close to the upper limits of what we were told to expect. We got an average of 10.30Mbps down and 0.90Mbps up, and even hits 11Mbps in our download tests. WiMAX is live in 71 markets in 28 states, leaves large swaths of rural and suburban areas without coverage.
The tablet is priced at $399.99 with a two year agreement. Sprint offers several plans, includes unlimited 4G: $44.99 a month for 3GB, $59.99 for 5GB, and $89.99 for 10GB. Sprint is also holding a promotion that could allow you to shave $10 off you data plan for every month of the two year contract. There is no such thing as free lunch.
Design, WiMAX connectivity, long battery life, unique pen input, good performance,
Some apps optimized for screen size, mediocre camera, outdated version of Android still waiting for update, heavy
It got a bright display and a good battery life, the design of the EVO View 4G tablet is good. Sprint 4G is consistently fast, but not enough compelling feature to seal the buying decision, the addition of WiMAX is not enough to soften the criticism, even if you prefer the comfort of Gingerbread, some features like Google video chat is not available in Gingerbread. The update must be the only way to go for Sprint. It is one of the good Android tablets with 7-inch screen size, the handwriting, drawing, and doodling making appeal, it can be preferred over Flyer, but had to compete with Eee Pad Transformer, Galaxy Tab like tablets. If no ETA for Honeycomb, the View 4G is not the sexiest or most cutting edge slate of the bunch.