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.

HTC_EVO_3D HTC_EVO_3D (1) HTC_EVO_3D (2) HTC_EVO_3D (3) HTC_EVO_3D (4) HTC_EVO_3D (5) HTC_EVO_3D (6) HTC_EVO_3D (7) HTC_EVO_3D (8) HTC_EVO_3D (9) HTC_EVO_3D (10) HTC_EVO_3D (11) HTC_EVO_3D (12)

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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  • http://Website triangle

    How is your signal strength and reception? How is the voice quality for phone calls?

    • http://htcsource.com Nick Gray

      Signal strength at my desk at work is horrible (but then again it’s also just as bad on my G2 with T-Mobile service). I get 2 bars of 3G and 0 bars of 4G. That being said, speed tests with 0 bars (while still being connected to 4G) produces download speeds that max out at 2 megs per second. In other locations I can get download speeds around 8 megs and uploads averaging around 2.

      Call quality is pretty clear, but I’ve spent a lot more time on gChat than I have on the phone.

      • http://Website triangle

        Thanks, Nick! I’m getting one tomorrow and am worried that the signal strength and radio will be worse than my evo 4G based on earlier reviews.

      • http://Website jbrandonf

        I heard you can only turn the 3D off when it comes to the camera..is that true or can you turn the whole 3D aspect off?

        • http://Website Nick

          The EVO 3D has a switch to toggle 3D for the camera on video and still shots. The only aspect of the EVO 3D that is in 3D is the camera, gallery, and video player. There is no 3D functionality anywhere else on the phone. HTC Sense 3.0 does have 3D animations, but these are simply graphical.

      • http://Website watbetch

        The G2 has shitty reception too

        The Evo 4G overestimates bars, not sure about the 3D but it’s probably true there too. All higher end Sprint phones hide 1X coverage with a 3G icon.

  • http://Website curtis

    mine should be arriving today i will leave my thoughts on the device taking advantage of that whole sprint premier customer thing :]

    • http://Website BREAKING NEWS

      USA files for bankruptcy, has to pull troops from A-Stan becuse they ran out of money. What a poor country.

      • http://Website 436378543



  • http://Website Splendor

    “Oh, whoops. I guess I accidentally set the phone on my business card before I snapped this candid shot of the phone. Silly me.”

  • http://Website JTW

    So I’m guessing you do not get a headache looking at the screen? In other reviews, some say they get a headache when they view the screen for long periods.

    • http://Website Jonehi

      They said the same thing with the 3ds and I could leave 3d on for hours without a problem

    • http://Website gsmanny

      The first time you look at the 3D pics and videos it’s a bit disorienting, but you quickly get used to it. The key is getting the right angle. I have watched the full Green Hornet movie on my new EVO 3D and have had no issues. I wouldn’t recommend it for those who can’t stand watching 3D movies in the theatre.

  • http://Website Nowaythisisgood

    No way can this be better than the SGS2… the SGS2 will out do and outperform this phone in every way and still uses less battery, Those are the facts and they cannot be disputed.

    • http://Website droidsam

      Yes, the SGSII (don’t forget it’s in roman numerals) mops the floor with the EVO 3D, but that doesn’t change the fact that you still can’t get it here in the U.S. and that I still wouldn’t touch the phone with a ten foot pole.

      Samsung has done some great things over the past year, but I’m giving them at least another 12 months to prove they can keepl up the good work they are doing. HTC has proven time and time again that they are the clear leaders in the high-end smartphone sector and I would gladly trust them with my money.

      • http://Website Richard Yarrell

        HATE TO BURST YOUR SAMSUNG BUBBLE…People get on samsung bandwagon I can’t fiqure out why??? Guess you must like not RECIEVING TIMELY UPDATES, OR YOU MUST LIKE BEING LEFT IN THE COLD…Let me ask you this question on June 24th 2011 how many samsung devices that came out in the summer of 2010 are STILL ON 2.2 FROYO ???And how many of those samsung devices have GINGERBREAD???…..CASE CLOSED ON THIS SAMSUNG CRAP…Best thing for you to continue to do IS PURCHASE HTC ONLY….OTHERWISE YOU WILL BE SORRY JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE I KNOW THAT SWITCHED TO HTC FROM THAT SORRY EPIC 4G..

  • http://Website YeahRight

    I don’t think so only an idiot would get so excited over a PHONE especially a phone that is already beaten in every way POSSIBLE be SGS2

    • http://Website snowbdr89

      My tbolt running das bamf remix beats that over hyped evo

      • http://Website Richard Yarrell

        Your tbolt is standard GARBAGE THAT APPEARS ON VERIZON VERY OFTEN….

    • http://Website Richard Yarrell

      Only an Idiot WOULD PURCHASE THE GALAXYS2…Guess you have no knowledge what samsung is or does every year…You poor soul

  • http://Website Ichigo

    I wish the sensation had 1GB of RAM like the EVO 3D. The EVO 3D looks nice though but i love my sensation 4g. On another note why are people so obsessed with the galaxy s2? Sure it does great in quadrant but Samsung is pure garbage when it comes to supporting their hardware.

    • Galen20K

      EXACTLY! I think the SGII is the most overhyped phone EVER, including the iPhone so thats pretty bad.

    • http://Website Guest02

      Not everyone is obsessed with the SGSII as you say. I couldn’t care less about these quadrant scores. I look at that phone and I look at this EVO3D and I prefer the styling of the Samsung. My prerogative that’s all.

  • http://Website L

    I’m picking mine up tomorrow. I was messing around with one earlier today and it was pretty impressive, but the whole 3D isn’t as good as I thought it would be. That doesn’t kill the beast though. That phone is definitely something that’ll rock the smartphone world until something even more mind blowing comes out. I’m just glad that I’ll still have my evo 4G along with the new 3D.

  • http://Website losers kiss my ass

    no thanks – i want an iphone 5, chumps

    • http://Website AnalQueef

      because anything more than 20% of the internet is to much internet?

    • http://Website Richard Yarrell

      PISS ON YOU AND YOUR IPHONE….That is a USELESS DEVICE regardless of iphone 5 or that COPYCAT IOS 5…..APPLE SUCKS…………

      • http://Website Darwin

        Seek therapy.


    While I have no need for 3d on a phone I am jealous of one feature that my sensation does not have. The ability to remove bloatware. Can you guys please find out from HTC why evo owners can remove the bloatware and sensation owners cannot…

  • cj100570

    I got to play with one a my local Radio Shack today and I almost jizzed in my pants. The EVO 3D is by far the best feeling phone I’ve ever handled and I have handled every single high end Android phone launched in the last 2 years. I will be at the store bright and early tomorrow to pick up the 1 I reserved.

    • http://Website Richard Yarrell

      GOODLUCK MY BROTHER…..Enjoy your Evo 3d cause at 8am friday morning I will be doing the same thing at bestbuy. I brought my evo 4g at radioshack last june 4th 2010…

  • http://Website jbn

    I get a kick out of these chumps who really have no clue, they see it has dual core and think its the best and fastest thing out there!! Ill say it again ill take a rooted single core overclocked runnin cm7 over most of these dual core phones.

    • http://Website Richard Yarrell

      Yeah SURE THAT’S A GREAT DREAM YOU HAVE…..Taking something old and trying to make it live PAST IT’S PRIME…..Let me flip it on you we can take our dualcore device and overclock it runing cm7 what do you think would happen????your current device would be useless buddy…If you took the time to purchase new for a change you wouldn’t be worried about what anyone else was doing….

  • http://Website mike

    Nick, can you try the battery from the evo in the sensation and see if it fits?

  • http://Website Richard Yarrell

    As I type this from my Evo 4g the granddaddy of all 4g devices I can’t help but laugh at all these USELESS PEOPLE TRYING TO TAKE THE THUNDER FROM THE EVO 3D WHAT A JOKE THAT IS. If your not buying this device then KEEP ALL YOUR COMMENTS AND USELESS THOUGHTS TO YOURSELF. This day is for only evo 3d users we will be walking around with the best android device to date which is something others on those other three carriers should think about. We have some real DUALCORE GOODNESS ON SPRINT WHICH TOTALLY MAKES ALL THOSE SINGLE CORE 2010 DEVICE LAME….It is 10:33pm 9hrs and 27mins to Evo 3d world this what real class is like fresh and new technology…..

    • http://Website bumpU

      Greasy bear troll back at it again. I imagine if that damn phone felt apart in your hands you would still be trolling the internet making excuses. Have fun with the Johnny-5 phone you mentally challenged idiot.

      • http://Website Richard Yarrell

        Not even worth a real response…If you need an evo 4g let me know

        • http://Website bumpU

          No thanks greasy swollen face one. I already have one, I will be upgrading soon just not for this particular phone.

    • http://Website snowbdr89

      Dick do you even have a clue? All you can talk about is sprint an future proof devices but you really have no clue so please do explain why a person needs a dual core phone id love to hear your break down on that and dont copy n paste some idiots opinion or another video fucking idiot.

      • http://Website Richard Yarrell

        My response was good enough go back to your verizon page YOU CLOWN

  • http://Website Richard Yarrell
  • http://Website jbn

    Is it me or does that box looks like it represents gay pride.

  • http://Website Blake

    Got my EVO 3D a few hours ago and, of course, went berserk; transferred all my apps seamlessly from my EVO 4G via Bluetooth which was cool. Blockbuster app not cooperating, but I’m sure that will be an easy fix later. Green Hornet was cool to watch in 3d, but you have to hold the phone just right to see it clearly. The speaker seems a little weak, but headphones were blasting me (Bose).
    The UI was very clean and super smooth; love the transitions. the new tweaks from HTC are a welcome sight and way easier to access. KUDOS. Phone calls were very clear when calling my wife on her HTC Hero (soon to be decommissioned). All in all, it seems as though HTC and Sprint have a winner on their hands. Lets see how well they can keep this pace up.

  • http://punmobile.net punzz

    seem a bit bulky from behind. or just my thought

  • Prince77

    How do you take the back off, what does it look like? I was told that it felt like the parts were cheap. But that was from someone who only watched a video on Engadget.

    • http://htcsource.com Nick Gray

      The back comes off pretty easily. At the bottom of the phone there’s a slot you can grab with your fingernail to pull the back off. The plastic back cover is very thin, but it’s very flexible so that it will not break. I’ve bent it nearly in half just to see what would happen.

  • http://littlegreenrobot.net Alex

    Here’s a little analysis of various reviews of the EVO 3D I’ve put together in case you guys want more insight: http://wp.me/p1BlyQ-32

  • http://Website Raj

    Hi guys, does htc sense 3.0 come with the panorama sweep app that was all over the internet a month or so back

    • http://htcsource.com Nick Gray

      No panorama mode in the camera app. It’s a bit disappointing since I got excited about that rumor when it first surfaced.

  • http://Website Aseem

    Soon enough someone at this site will figure out how to ban trolls like our friend Mr. Yarrell. I hope.

    The 3D seems gimmicky, and I can’t imagine how that will affect battery life, but it can’t be good for it. I’ll stick with the Sensation.

  • http://Website brblly

    Not a huge fan of 3d but ill be picking this phone up later today. I desperately need something to replace my hero.

  • http://Website Tal

    3D >> SGSII
    Also most people would agree that someone needs to pay for the update disaster we had with the original device. In Canada e.g. it is said that hundreds of not thousands bricked their cells with the initial 2.2 official Kies update. But in any rate new and unique functionality (3D) is superior than better specs imho.

    • http://Website Hans

      I’m sorry, but I’ll take specs over gimmicks any day. 3D doesn’t add anything functionality at all. It’s mainly for eye candy(if your eyes can handle it).

      I’m still waiting for the SGSII. Why? Personally, I prefer Samsung products. Really good quality. Sure, the US variants of the SGS had very late updates, but it wasn’t only Samsung’s fault. Remember, the US has carriers that lock down phones, unlike the rest of the world. These carriers have a lot of say of when a phone gets updated. Why else did the international SGS get Gingerbread before the US android phones(Droid line and Evo line)? Carriers. They add their bloatware and delay otherwise timely updates.

  • http://Website Mike

    How good is reception and 3G/4G speeds? I have the Nexus S 4G and had nothing but problems with reception. I’m seriously thinking about picking up the Evo 3D. One other question and that’s if Sense can be disabled like the Evo 4G? Thanks

  • http://Website Mik Smit

    Picked one up this morning. I was hesitant to get this phone but thought I could always sell it for close to what I would pay for it if I wanted to move to another phone in the near future. I definitely didn’t expect much from the 3D feature ( I don’t like the version of 3D available at theaters right now or shutter glasses), just wanted to get a dual core phone that wasn’t as laggy as the 4G. Completely and totally impressed. Instantaneous response. This is what I was expecting from the 4G. Battery life is much improved. Direct access to phone and 3 other apps from lock screen is great. Contrary to what I’ve read in some reviews the 3D pics and videos are impressive, much better than any version that requires glasses. Dedicated Shutter button is great Totally surprised and satisfied so far.

  • http://Website Jon Turin

    I’ve been enjoying this phone since I got it Friday the 24th. I waited since Dec. to get into a Htc Evo 4g phone. As soon as I heard about the 3d I decided to wait the extra time. I’m glad I did. So far I’m enjoyiung this phone. It’s an amazing step forward from my Palm Pre. Also a big learning curve to go with it. I’m sure I’ll enjoy this phone for a long time to come. Lots of work trying to load up with preferred apps. The 3d feature is quite cool.

  • http://Website Jon Turin

    I’ve been enjoying this phone since I got it Friday the 24th. I waited since Dec. to get into a Htc Evo 4g phone. As soon as I heard about the 3d I decided to wait the extra time. I’m glad I did. So far I’m enjoyiung this phone. It’s an amazing step forward from my Palm Pre. Also a big learning curve to go with it. I’m sure I’ll enjoy this phone for a long time to come. Lots of work trying to load up with preferred apps. The 3d feature is quite cool.

  • http://Website Immaculate J

    I won’t get the Evo 3D. I love my Evo 4G, and think that the case is sexier and seems of better quality than the 3D. I held the 3D and thought it felt more matte and less glossy & refined. I don’t like the all-black led / speaker / camera on the top design as well… Wish they would’ve kept the Evo 4G top design instead, with the silver metal speaker foil – looks better. Don’t like the grill-lines and the clunky camera wit the red all over on the back either; just not as sexy, and 5.0 MP camera? I’m good on keeping my 8.0 MP on the 4G, as I take amazing photos on the 4G with different apps, and not something I’m willing to compromise on. The 3D just makes me believe that compromises were made with this device, and I’m not feeling it over hte 4G. I’ll continue to proudly and satisfactorily rock my 4G until something more worthy comes along.

    And yes, I understand all of the hardware perks of the 3D like 1080p HD display, dual-core processor, etc., etc. I’m good — I’ll wait for an even better device without the gimicky 3D crap, when they’re not making other compromises to accommodate stuff I don’t want.

    I’d totally pick-up the new HTC Evo 4G+ if it were here in the states, because they kept the 8 MP camera, althought in the new bulkier back-cam form-factor, and some silver accent trim around the speaker / led / front-facing-cam, etc. BUT the 4G+ still has that more matte, less sexier than the 4G glossy, top case design, and that unattractive grill-line accent on the back cover — not a fan. Just a step backwards from a sexy standpoint, IMO.

    I love the Samsung Galaxy S II’s case design … I think it’s slim, attractive, quality looking, and sexy. I think HTC could take some pointers from that phone’s design. I can’t wait until we as consumers won’t have to be given devices where compromises were made. GIVE ME THE WHOLE HOG, DAMMIT!

    And, I’m just going on record as saying (in case an HTC or phone rep is viewing this commentary) … I DON’T CARE ABOUT 3D, HAVE MONEY TO SPEND, AND AM ACTUALLY TURNED-OFF BY 3D INSTEAD OF TURNED OFF, SO MAKING COMPROMISES FOR 3D FUNCTIONALITY IS A DEAL-BREAKER FOR ME. Just speaking my mind.

  • http://Website Immaculate J

    Oh, and one more thing …… NO KICK-STAND!?!? BOOOOO!!! Evo 4G it will continue to be, for me!

  • wayne

    Got the EVO 3d a couple weeks ago and after the initial workin period trying to get used to the UI and screen positioning and default settings I have some interesting experience tid bits to share.

    The screen and camera positioning is not standard between same units models and series. Meaning if you have any issue viewing images or taking photos in 3d try another unit. Hands down three of us agree on the spot there was more immediate depth and response from my replacement model vs the unit I first used. The lenses and screen set up have some difference and it could mean the difference between loving or hating this phone.
    Only way to know is side by side. Original phone would cause right eye strain while the second caused left but worked better. Same view same app same model.

    CPU RAM and SD card are all improved from my past android phones Sony x10, arc, and galaxy s captivate. Videos play and stream better, web pages have almost no lag and I don’t ever have to worry about running apps that could affect performance anymore.

    Compass & Gps is so good I would buy this phone alone for this one reason. Locks quick indoors while all 3 of my other phones struggled to get a fix while in a car right near the window. Comes with 4gb preloaded maps for pre installed navigation app.

    Speaker phone noise cancellation exceeds performance of my bt headset and bt speakerphone. No need for them anymore. Video and capture with touch focus is awesome, and it adjusts the exposure if you tap a dark or light spot in the scene.

    Dislike the position of the 2nd camera its right where you hold the phone for secure balance and always smudge one lense. Front cam works fine. Speaker sound is stock quiet but works well. Screen is interesting in many ways. Pixel density is very high, very bright image, large and capacitive works well although the multitouch is very different by that I mean there are two zones split half way from top to bottom where pinch to zoom or rotate have response issues if both fingers are in same zone. Dark images are brightened by viewing from slight angle and the screen can be seen fully no matter the angle using polarized sun glasses. Try that on your amoled screen and you’ll see what happens at 45 degrees. Black out! Great for using as gps or nav system during day in vehicle.

    4 Touch buttons are a bad idea so close to the bottom edge. Should be another speaker there rather than buttons where you always will accidentally press and hold them manipulating the orientation of phone.

    SD card and sim card and back cover. Yes all of these are something you will feel affects the quality of the device. They are all terrible and feel like they r going to break. But they work and I’m sure its all set up this way for reasons that offer more good than bad with the device. This area could be where they saved the most so its ok I guess.

    Home screen carrousell is silly and distracting. Should be a cube that snaps to each side. Apps screen makes no sense and causes many wrongfully selected apps to start up while simply trying to slide into view the list if apps.

    Love the tiles on home screens and the phone button as well as quick settings in task bar pulldown. Battery usage graph is the best feature for anyone who anticipates battery drainage and needs a visual of what consumes the most.

    Multitasking works well on here with never a missing app. Only complaint is browser closed all my windows once while closing only 1.

    Voice recording is perfect and you will need to head to the market for any office productivity or file folder activities you wish to do.

    3d YouTube is great and calendar and contacts and email work very well.

    Over all its my favourite phone and camera and portable media device. It does everything.

    I like the Sony arc interface better and Samsung galaxy is more simplistic for getting things done with minimal distraction.