Nov 02 AT 11:33 AM Nick Gray 16 Comments

HTC EVO Design 4G initial hands-on impressions

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The HTC EVO Design 4G is the latest WiMax enabled phone on Sprint’s 4G network. While the HTC EVO 3D and the new Galaxy S II, Epic 4G Touch flex their muscles with dual-core processors and large displays, the EVO Design 4G takes a more subtle approach, offering a 4-inch qHD display, 1.2 GHz single-core processor, 5 megapixel camera on the back, 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera (capable of HD video chat with Qik) and support for GSM global roaming.

The design of the phone is elegantly understated. Like most other HTC phones, the EVO Design 4G features a unibody aluminum casing that wraps around the screen, sides and the back of the phone.  The black finish of the aluminum shell gives the phone a sleek and distinct look; there are no color accents to highlight any of the phone’s exterior details. The HTC EVO Design 4G weighs 5.2 ounces, or about 15% less than the HTC EVO 3D. Holding the phone in your hand is very comfortable, and the 4-inch screen makes it easy to reach the far corners with your thumb without having to reposition your hand or compromise your grip.

If you’ve used the HTC Sensation, Amaze or the EVO 3D, you’ll feel right at home with the EVO Design 4G. The phone runs on Android 2.3.4 and features HTC Sense 3.0. The only real customization that Sprint has added is a new selection of wallpapers and their usual Sprint apps (Nascar, Sprint Hotspot, Sprint Mobile, Sprint Music Plus, Sprint Radio Sprint TV & Movies, Sprint Worldwide, Sprint Zone, TeleNav GPS and Sprint Visual Voicemail). While that may seem like a lot, it’s actually about half of what T-Mobile recently crammed into the HTC Amaze 4G.

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Thanks to the EVO Design’s 1.2 GHz processor and 768 MB of RAM, the phone runs extremely smooth. We even gave Wind-up Knight a try and were pleasantly surprised that it ran just as well as it did on the HTC Amaze 4G, which has a dual-core 1.5 GHz processor. As you may know, benchmark numbers don’t always paint a complete picture of what a handset is capable of. But we know you guys like to see numbers. We ran Quadrant a few times and consistently saw scores between 1700 and 1900.

So far, we’re really enjoying the HTC EVO Design 4G. It may not feature the latest and greatest hardware, but it’s nice to know that Sprint is offering an upper-mid-range phone for only $100. We’ll have a full review of the HTC EVO Design 4G up in about a week, after we spend more quality time with it. Would any of you consider getting a phone like the EVO Design at a decent price? Or do you simply need to have the best phone money can buy?

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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