HTC EVO 4G Available June 4 for $199; 2-Way Video Chat Revealed
At CTIA 2010 in March I was given the opportunity to preview the HTC EVO 4G, Sprint’s forthcoming flagship device. We were given enough juicy details to make us salivate and were shown the phone. We were only allowed to have limited access to the phone, restricted to taking only pictures of certain features or apps, and it certainly left us wanting to know more. Tonight Sprint and HTC held an event to reveal answers to all of our burning questions: when will it come out? How much will the phone and data plans cost? What else can it do?
The most important detail is that the EVO 4G will arrive in Sprint stores on June 4, conveniently just ahead of Apple’s WWDC, the most likely time when the newest iPhone will be announced. With two year contract and after mail-in rebates, the EVO 4G will run you $199.99 (exactly as rumored).
On top of the phone’s price there will be an additional required $10 monthly “premium data add-on plan”, which will encompass unlimited 4G/3G usage as well as Qik’s new two-way video chat service. The video chat is not a huge surprise given the forward-facing camera on the EVO 4G, but it’s such a new concept in the US that it can be hard to believe it’s actually happening. It’s also nice to hear that video chat will be available over both 4G and 3G networks.
Also, let’s not neglect the ability of the EVO 4G to broadcast WiFi to as many as 8 devices at once. However it doesn’t come included with that $10 monthly charge; instead, the WiFi privilege can be yours for $29.99 per month. While this naturally sounds like a lot more than the average consumer will want to pay for, the WiFi charge is actually much less than MiFi or tethering on any other US carrier. So much so, in fact, that it’s incredibly tempting for me to drop my current internet provider and use Sprint’s 4G on the EVO for a much lower price.
For more information, check out the Press Release below or go to Sprint’s EVO 4G website.
America’s First 4G Phone, HTC EVOTM 4G, Debuts on June 4 Packed with Industry-Leading Features Including Access to Mobile Video Chat, Simultaneous Voice and Data and HD Video Capture
Sprint leads the 4G revolution with the highly anticipated, award-winning HTC EVO 4G priced at just $199.99; add mobile hotspot capability for up to eight devices for just $29.99
NEW YORK, May 12, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) –If you were creating your dream wireless device what would it look like? Two cameras and video chat so you can say goodnight to your children when you are away on a business trip? Simultaneous voice and data, so you can call in your take-out order while you look at their menu on the Internet? The ability to plug your phone into your HDTV, so you can let your children finish the movie they started watching in the car’s backseat when you get home? And a huge screen for watching the videos you download in seconds – not minutes – with the fastest wireless data speeds available in America today? Stop daydreaming and get ready for Sprint (NYSE: S) to make your dreams come true on June 4 when the highly anticipated HTC EVO 4G debuts.
The critics agree that HTC EVO 4G is this summer’s must-have wireless experience as it continues to win their accolades and endorsements. CNET, LAPTOP and eWeek gave HTC EVO 4G awards for Best of Show when it was announced at CTIA this spring. Engadget said, “It’s easily the best specced phone we’ve ever witnessed.” The Financial Times cooed, “The first 4G phone in the U.S., the HTC EVO … ticks just about all the boxes for my ideal phone.”
“HTC EVO 4G is a fantastic 3G device, but when you use it in our growing 4G coverage area, it becomes a multimedia powerhouse,” said Dan Hesse, Sprint CEO. “The EVO 4G experience is much like going from TV to HDTV. But EVO has more than just an impressive list of features – it is also fun to use with remarkable gaming, video and web-browsing capabilities.”
With the launch of HTC EVO 4G, Sprint customers will be able to enjoy capabilities they have never experienced before with a new video chat service from Qik. The two-way voice and video capability will be available as an upgrade to the preloaded Qik app on HTC EVO 4G to enable conversational, interactive, real-time sharing between mobile devices or from mobile-to-desktop.
Amazing Features, Beautiful Design
HTC EVO 4G features the latest version of the increasingly popular Android platform, Android 2.1, offering more than 35,000 apps, as well as a mind-blowing list of features, including:
* Simultaneous voice and data capability in 4G and Wi-Fi coverage areas, enabling Web surfing and more while the conversation continues.
* Offering a new way to search with pictures instead of words, Google Goggles(TM) works with everything from books, DVDs and barcodes to landmarks, logos, artwork and wine labels.
* Superfast 1GHz Qualcomm(R) Snapdragon(TM) processor, ensuring a smooth and quick movement within phone menus.
* Two cameras – an 8.0 megapixel auto-focus camera with HD-capable video camcorder and a forward-facing 1.3 megapixel camera.
* Built-in mobile hotspot functionality allowing up to eight Wi-Fi enabled devices to share the 3G or 4G experience on the go with a laptop, camera, music player, game unit, video player, or any other Wi-Fi enabled device.
* Integrated HD video capture with the ability to capture and share live video via the Qik Web site, Facebook, YouTube or Twitter(TM).
* Ability to easily watch video with the device on an HDTV via an HDMI cable (sold separately).
* Custom Web browser optimized for the 4.3 inch display and Sprint 4G speeds to deliver a full, no-compromise Internet experience.
* A handy kickstand built into the back, making it easy to watch videos on-the-go.
* Adobe Flash technology ensures that rich Internet content, such as embedded video and animation, are displayed the way they are meant to be seen.
* Pinch-to-zoom and automatic text reflowing provide easy Web page views.
HTC EVO 4G boasts the newest version of the highly acclaimed HTC Sense user experience. With HTC Sense, HTC EVO 4G users can use Friend Stream to aggregate multiple social communication channels, including Facebook and Twitter into one organized flow of updates; a “Leap” thumbnail view to easily switch between home screen “panels;” the ability to download new, interactive widgets; and a “polite” ringer, which quiets the ringing phone once lifted up.
While the performance of currently available Android applications will be enhanced by access to 4G data speeds, a Sprint 4G developer guide is available today from the Sprint ADP Web site at http://developer.sprint.com. The Sprint 4G developer guide provides details on developing for an Android 2.1 handset and how to take advantage of HTC EVO 4G’s unique hardware and software capabilities and the Sprint 4G network. The Sprint Application Developer Program has been providing tools for third-party developers since Sprint first launched the Wireless Web on its phones in 2001.
HTC EVO 4G will be available in all Sprint retail channels, including Sprint.com and national retail partners, RadioShack, Best Buy and Wal-Mart. Sprint will price the award-winning device at $199.99 with a two-year service agreement and after a $100 mail-in rebate (taxes excluded) with a new line activation or eligible upgrade. Pre-registration is available now at www.sprint.com/evo.
In order to provide the best experience, HTC EVO 4G will use Sprint’s industry-leading Everything Data or Business Advantage Messaging and Data plans that include unlimited Web, texting and calling on the Sprint Network to every mobile in America with Any Mobile, AnytimeSM. Everything Data plans start at $69.99 per month. A $10 per month Premium Data add-on will apply allowing customers to take advantage of a richer data experience than ever before.
Additionally, an optional pricing add-on will turn HTC EVO 4G into a mobile hotspot connecting up to eight Wi-Fi enabled devices, such as laptops, gaming devices and digital cameras, simultaneously at 4G speeds where available and at 3G speeds anywhere on the Sprint 3G network for just $29.99 per month – half the monthly cost of the current Mobile Broadband plan (pricing excludes surcharges and taxes).
With the Sprint Free Guarantee, customers can take advantage of HTC EVO 4G for 30 days and if not completely satisfied, may return the device within 30 days to get reimbursed for the device purchase and activation fee, get both the early termination and restocking fees waived, and receive a full refund for the monthly service plan charges.