Jun 23 AT 2:59 PM Nick Gray 61 Comments

HTC EVO 3D initial hands-on impressions

The HTC EVO 3D is almost here.  I know there are lots of Sprint and EVO fans planning to pick up the handset as soon as Sprint stores open their doors tomorrow morning. So, we thought we’d share our initial impressions of the handset.  The demo unit showed up on my door step yesterday afternoon.  That’s certainly not enough time to give you an honest opinion on daily performance or battery life, but here’s what I think of the phone after using it for nearly a day.

First thing I noticed about the HTC EO 3D was the packaging.  It’s a far cry from the original EVO’s microwave dinner box, but it does have a unique flare of its own.  The packaging in made of 37.57% recycled materials and does not use any glues to keep things together.  Rather than pulling off a lid to get to the phone, you slide the interior box out of its shell by pulling on a small tab.  I found the graphics on the box quite amusing, since they look pretty similar to AT&T’s new branding.  Content in the box included the usual USB cable and charging adapter along with the user manual, quick start guide and a pre-paid envelope to recycle your old handset.

While the main specs of the HTC EVO 3D are close to those found in the HTC Sensation 4G, the phone looks completely different.  The HTC EVO 3D sports a more industrial design and is wrapped in a soft-touch rubber case.  Due to the two cameras on the back, larger battery and WiMax radio, the HTC EVO 3D is nearly a full millimeter thicker than the Sensation.  It may not sound like much, but you can definitely feel the difference when you’ve held both phones.

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Flipping the phone over reveals the distinctive 3D cameras and dual-led flash, accented by a dark red aluminum bevel that also houses the speakerphone. The aluminum camera shutter button and 3D/2D toggle switch protrude from the right side of the phone and help give the EVO 3D a unique look.  In all honesty, the back of the phone looks a lot more exciting than the front does.

Once you turn it on, the HTC EVO 3D is unsurprisingly similar to the HTC Sensation.  The phone is powered by a 1.2 GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and features a 4.3-inch qHD display with Android 2.3.3 and the latest version of HTC Sense 3.0.  Benchmark scores are in line with what we saw from the Sensation as well (Quadrant scored average around 2200).  Having just reviewed the HTC Sensation, my main focus has been on the EVO 3D’s trademark feature.  Taking 3D pictures and videos is as easy as you can imagine.  Simply toggle the camera setting to 3D mode and snap away.  Due to the position of the cameras, you’re only able to capture 3D images and video in landscape mode.  Viewing your 3D masterpieces is simple, too.  Simply navigate to the gallery and all your 3D content is automatically stored in a folder titled “3D Photos and Videos.” (You’ll also find some pretty stunning sample pictures HTC has loaded to the phone).

Viewing the 3D images and videos is a bit tricky at first.  We’ve found there are five viewing angles that work pretty well. It would be nice to look at your 3D content with your friends at the same time, but good luck getting everyone aligned to just the right spot.  We haven’t tried the 3D version of Green Hornet that’s included with the EVO 3D, since there seems to be a licensing issue. (We are not the first to use this demo unit).  Once we get that sorted out, we’ll let you know what watching a full length movie in 3D is like on a mobile device.

Overall, my initial impression with the HTC EVO 3D is extremely positive.  The dual-core Snapdragon processor keeps the OS nice and snappy, and web browsing is faster than ever with Sprint’s 4G WiMax network. Some may say 3D is a fad and don’t want it, but no one is forcing you to use the 3D camera.  If anything, it’s a great conversational piece.  I spent a good 45 minutes last night showing off 3D images and videos to a handful of friends (mostly iPhone users), and they were all amazed that 3D was even possible on a phone.  Anyone looking to replace the original HTC EVO 4G will certainly not be disappointed.  If you have any questions about something I didn’t cover, feel free to ask in the comments.

Are any of you planning on picking up the HTC EVO 3D tomorrow? We know some of you have gotten your hands on the EVO 3D a bit early.  Feel free to share your thoughts on the phone and let us know if you’d recommend it to a friend.

Nick is a tech enthusiast who has a soft spot for HTC and its devices. He started HTCsource.com (the first HTC blog) back in 2007 and later joined the Android and Me family in the summer of 2010.

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