Editor’s note: We’re all pretty big fans of Android around here, but lately even the Android and Me staff has been impressed with the persistence of a certain superfan. If you follow our comments, you know who I’m talking about: a Mr. Richard Yarrell. Richard has been a non-stop force in our comments for months now. And as a community-powered blog, from time to time we like to welcome passionate Android voices to step up and share their experiences.
I want to first congratulate all who purchased the EVO 3D. This is honestly a great device to have. I won’t discuss the specs of the device in this review; by now, everyone already knows what they are. What I will say is that Sprint’s overall commitment to providing the best for their customers should be applauded most.
What I feel is the best feature of the EVO 3D
I want to take this time to highlight what I feel is the best feature of the EVO 3D: the battery life. I know this subject has always been a major Android issue. Previous EVO 4G owners were all aware of all the battery related issues we had with that device. Based on that experience, one year later, we all should know exactly what we need to do to maximize the usage of our device’s battery on a daily basis.
The EVO 3D comes with a native battery management application that can be controlled by the user, using the pull-down notifications shade. There you will see the “Quick Setting” menu. In that area , you can control your mobile internet (toggle between 3G and 4G), as well as GPS and Bluetooth 3.0. You can access all this with just one tap. A check mark will appear, and you will see a notification that says “On.” You will also find an “All Settings” tab and “Task Manager” in this area. You can close running processes, which will save you memory battery life as the day progresses. This task killer is a native application from HTC, which prevents you from downloading any task killers from the Android market. (I have always hated these and have never used them on any of my Android devices). Since that task killer is native, it is optimized for the EVO 3D and helps the device immensely from a battery standpoint.
Under “Settings,” you will also see the green battery symbol. When you tap on that area, you will find a “Power Saver Efficiency” mode that, if turned on, will give you an opportunity to select a certain percentage to totally control your device. Customizing other certain areas, as selected by the user, will further allow better use of the battery. I leave mine placed on 30%. This way, I can receive another 4 to 8 hours of use when this mode kicks in. In my mind, HTC has gone the extra mile to fully ensure battery life is far better than what EVO 4G owners are used to.
Another very desirable aspect of this device is located under “Settings.” When you go to “SD and Phone Storage,” you will find a selection that will say “Make More Room.” When you tap that area, you will find two selections. One choice gives you the chance to clean the cache on rarely used applications, and the other section allows you to clean the cache on all applications. Whichever selection you tap, you will find the opportunity to “Move All Applications” to your installed SD card. And I do mean all applications can be moved to the SD card–even carrier related applications. With this choice the user can send every application to their SD card, which will free up all of the internal memory for whatever you choose to store on the device. This feature has never been discussed or shown on video. This feature is very valuable in itself.
When you select “Move to SD Card,” all the applications that are available to be moved will appear. When you check an application and hit “Next,” the application goes straight to the SD card. Special Note: There is a chance the user might get a message stating that the application can’t be moved to SD. Back out of that message and reselect the application. It will move to the SD card on the second attempt. Why does it work that way? I’m not sure. But it works in that manner.
Let’s discuss how I feel about the design of the EVO 3D
Since purchase, I have had enough time to take a real good look at the design of the EVO 3D in comparison to my past EVO 4G. I feel the build quality of the EVO 3D is much stronger. Obviously, one of the first visible improvements with the HTC EVO 3D is the higher resolution 4.3” qHd (540 x 960) Super LCD display that it’s packing. Compared to the one gracing the EVO 4G, this one is indeed far better with sharper details, iridescent color production and high contrast. Though it does seem to wash out at extreme viewing angles, all in all this display is beautiful. In my mind you can clearly tell it’s from the EVO family because of the circular rings surrounding each capacitive touch Android button. Seeing that they’re placed close to the bottom edge, we tend to accidentally hit the “Search” and “Home” buttons more frequently than others. I wouldn’t want it any other way for the EVO brand.
Talking about the camera in the rear of the device
I spent this past holiday weekend taking plenty of pictures in 2D and 3D, but did not complete any videos. I love the clarity of the 2D photos, as well as the depth of all the 3D pictures that were taken. My device was a show stopper. People gathered around my phone. Dozens of people with iPhone 4 were simply amazed at the 3D device and really liked the photos. I feel another opportunity to fully enjoy this device is the featured dual 5-megapixel auto-focus 3D camera with dual LED flash. In tandem, it snaps stereoscopic 3D stills and videos, making it unique versus the competition. Its parallax barrier overlay offers a 3D viewing experience without the aid of any glasses. All in all, I am very satisfied with the camera options and the clarity of all photos taken. It’s better than the EVO 4G in my mind. But that’s probably open to debate, which is fine with me.
I simply love the Interface and Functionality of the EVO 3D
What more can be said about HTC SENSE 3.0? It is simply a pleasure to see this on the EVO 3D. In my mind, HTC saved the best for the Sensation and the EVO 3D. The overall daily experience of HTC sense is something to behold. There is plenty to add to your device and plenty to experience, which adds plenty of flare and a lot of fun to the overall user experience. Much like some of its contemporaries, the HTC EVO 3D features a well equipped 1.2GHz dual-core asynchronous Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8660 processor with 1GB of RAM and an Adreno 220 GPU. In my mind, the higher amount of RAM is what assures the fluidity and overall snappiness of the device. Trust me, there is so much going on here with just one core. I really don’t believe I have used my EVO 3D, as of this written review, to it’s fullest potential yet. I also think that, with the various 3D capabilities of the handset, extra RAM keeps things very consistent in the speed department without sacrificing performance. Truthfully, the handset executes everything effortlessly with no issues regarding responsiveness and speed. Even with a heavy, graphically-intense live wallpaper activated in the background, the HTC EVO 3D is still able to casually navigate all 7 home screens in a snap. It should be a crime. I love looking at all the transition effects on the device. And it comes with Gingerbread 2.3.3 straight out the box. I’m happy with that, but I privately feel 2.3.4 should’ve been released instead. But since not many devices will launch new with Gingerbread, I’ll make the best of this.
Browser/Music/Multimedia on the EVO 3D:
The strength of the EVO 3D is the internet browsing and multimedia. This device is extremely fast from a browser standpoint. I have noticed it seems quicker than the EVO 4G, and it appears that some work may have been done on the browser. The overall 4G connectivity on the EVO 3D is exceptionally fast here in my area of New York City. While 3G seems slow, what I have realized is the connection to 3G has been made much faster on the EVO 3D than the EVO 4G, which always took a while to connect for some reason. Compared to the Nexus S 4G and the EVO 4G (connected over 4G not Wifi), the EVO 3D stomps (and bitch slaps) them both. The stock HTC music application has been jazzed up with cover flow and SRS equalizer. It’s just a better user experience and interface. The music player is crisper than the EVO 4G. I had downloaded Google Music initially, but have since decided to uninstall Google Music in favor of HTC’s native music application. Content was king on my past EVO 4G and that tradition has been passed down to my EVO 3D. I have Netflix on my EVO 3D, as well as the Flashlight app and all the content related applications: twit.tv, mediafly, mlb.com, Cnet TV, androidcentral,tv.com, Skype Video Chat, Yahoo! Messenger, Revision 3, Geek Beat RV, Qik Video Chat, XDA developer, Stictcher, Tune-in radio, Pulse News, Google News. It just never ends on my device. The EVO 3D is running and running strong.
Preloaded Applications on the EVO 3D
I personally have enjoyed the Spiderman game immensely. The Green Hornet movie was fine, but I have since downloaded other movies for my enjoyment. The EVO 3D comes with the new and redesigned Sprint TV/Movies application, Sprint Zone, the newSprint Mobile and the new Sprint Radio–all applications absent from the EVO 4G that offer decent content the EVO 3D can take advantage of. All the lovely Google applications are present, as well as the new Google Plus/Huddle applications, which I am proud to now be a part of. You will also see Sprint Nascar, Amazon Mp3, Blockbuster, Qik Video and the new Polaris Office Suite (a great addition), as well as Media Share. All in all, a very nice compliment of applications plus whatever else you download from the Android market and other third party places.
The one bug I have about the EVO 3D
One of the most undesirable things about the EVO 3D is speaker phone volume. This is something that is puzzling to say the least. With headphones the sound quality is very good. You can even select the SRS to kick in, and a great pair of headphones will sound great at all times. Without the headphones the speaker volume is very low, something disappointing for me. But it’s not a deal breaker. In the world of Android there are equalizers that can be used or sound enhancers that can be downloaded from the market to better enhance the quality of the speaker.
All in all, this is an exceptional device. It’s something special for the EVO brand on Sprint, and we should all rejoice in happiness. As my daily driver, what I appreciate most is the speed and overall crispness of this device. Media content is amazing, web browsing is a total joy. And gaming (which I was never big on with the EVO 4G) is something totally different on the EVO 3D. The games I have installed are Homerun Battle HD, 3D Bowling, 3D Finger Bowl, 3D Basketball, Asphalt 6, Let’s Golf 2 3D, Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja. I will be looking for other games as the opportunities arise. You will be very surprised by this device on a daily basis, and you can rest assured that this device will receive all the support necessary, just as the EVO 4G has. Updates from HTC will be a premium–something that other manufacturers and carriers have not lived up to. I am proud to be an EVO 3D owner and will be looking forward to the next iteration of EVO in 2012. You can bank on that.