The HTC Evo 4G is now officially available on the Sprint network. Being called the country's first 4G smartphone, the Evo 4G can connect to 4G networks where they're available - Sprint now offers 4G in approximately 30 metropolitan areas, through Clearwire - and defaults to 3G where 4G isn't offered.
Tethering is also enabled, which means the Evo 4G can extend its 4G or 3G connectivity to up to eight other WiFi-enabled devices.
Measuring 4.8 by 2.6 by 0.6 inches, the Evo 4G boasts a 4.3-inch touch screen - the Apple iPhone's display, by comparison, is 3.5 inches on the diagonal.
The Evo runs Google's Android 2.1 operating system, as well as HTC's Sense user interface, which Sprint describes as taking "social networking, navigation and customization to new levels."
WiFi and stereo Bluetooth are included, along with a 1GHz Snapdragon processor and dual cameras - a front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera, idea for video chatting, and a primary 8-megapixel camera. Speaking of video chatting, Sprint insists this is now easier than ever, which the Qik Video Chat app that comes preinstalled in the Evo 4G.
"Attend a meeting across the country and feel like you are truly there, watch your child's performance live on your mobile phone, or pick up a Qik Video Message from a friend who wants to share an exciting adventure," Sprint wrote in a June 4 statement. "The Qik Video Chat app enables interactive, real-time sharing with almost anyone, whether the other party has Qik installed or not."
To make good use of that enormous screen, the Evo 4G comes with a kickstand, for propping up the phone when watching mobile TV or movies, for example. HD-quality pictures, slides and videos can be downloaded, edited and sent out from the phone, and of course enterprise and personal e-mail, and IM and text messaging are all supported.
Additional features include a digital compass, a 3.5mm headset jack and microUSB port, proximity and motion sensors, visual voicemail and a 1,500mAh battery - which may this big guy's soft spot.
Sprint is now selling the Evo 4G for $199, with a two-year service contract and $100 mail-in rebate.
Retailers Best Buy, Wal-Mart and Radio Shack, however, are offering the same pricing but appear to have done away with the hassle of the rebate.