HTC's Evo 3D 4G is a mouthful to say and can prove tough on the eyes if you don't use the Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android 2.3 "Gingerbread" smartphone's 3D capabilities in moderation.
The handset, which goes on sale from Sprint (NYSE:S) June 24 for $199.99 and a two-year deal, is the first smartphone in the United States that can shoot and display 3D still pictures and videos. More on this standout feature later.
The Evo 3D has average physical specs: 5 inches long, 2.6 inches wide and nearly half-an-inch thick. The phone is no lightweight: It weighs 6 ounces, thanks in part to the chunky 1730 mAh battery required to fuel 4G data for a decent chunk of time. Don't hold that against HTC. A weight of six or more ounces has been the low end for 4G phones in 2011. You can read the other feature specs here.
When I held the phone for the first time, I was put off by the rubberized, dark-gray enclosure. It felt a bit like holding one of those school-sized chalkboard erasers in my hand. The camera bevels on the back, outlined in lipstick red, might bother some folks as well. To be honest, I didn't care for this device ... until I turned it on.
The Evo 3D boasts a clear, crisp 4.3-inch Super LCD 540-by-960 qHD (quarter-high-definition) resolution 3D display, and it's powered by a snappy 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. No biggie: QHD displays have become de rigueur for high-end Android phones.
But the HTC Sense 3.0 user interface on this device blew me away. I had never seen something so graphically pleasing and intuitive on a handset.
Once I synced my Google account with the Evo 3D, and the handset ported my wallpaper, apps, contacts and calendar appointments, I didn't pick up my native Android phone for about a week. I didn't need to. HTC does better than any other phone maker at appropriating Google's vision for cloud-based data on a smartphone.