Sprint HTC EVO View 4G Hands-on at CTIA 2011

Sprint’s Dan Hesse just finished up his announcement of two new EVO devices on Sprint: the EVO 3D and EVO View 4G. Both are top of the line 4G devices and I got some time to play with both. The HTC EVO View 4G is Sprint’s version of the HTC Flyer, a 7″ tablet with HTC Sense UI overlaying Android 2.3 Gingerbread, though it will be upgradeable to Honeycomb “when it’s ready” (no timeframe was given).

Specs include: 7 inch, 1024 x 600 pixels display, a 1.5 GHz CPU, Wi-Fi, GPS, 5MP rear camera, 1.3MP front-facing camera, 1GB RAM, 32GB internal memory, MicroSD card support, and a 4,000 mAh battery. Sprint’s tablet also has 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot capability. It also has a user-replaceable battery in there, which is a first among Android tablets made by major OEMs. Finally, the rear camera is 5 MP and the front uses a 1.3 MP resolution for video calls.

The EVO View 4G was a great fit in my hand that reminded me a lot of the original Galaxy Tab, another 7 inch tablet we’ve become very familiar with. The device was easy enough to transition from landscape to portrait mode, and seemed to work well either way. The interesting thing about the View 4G was that even though it’s not using Honeycomb yet, the Sense UI was specially formatted to work as a tablet interface for this particular device. The UI was fluid and smooth and features a rather clever carousel-type animation; instead of simply switching from one home panel to another one at a time, the carousel allows you to spin the home panels around and around until you find the one you’re looking for.

I also rather enjoyed the HTC Scribe feature on the EVO View. Before I played with the device, I was very disappointed in the choice of including a stylus with the tablet; I thought HTC was taking a step backwards rather than forwards in the technological scheme of things. However, after playing with the EVO View’s pen and Scribe feature, I now have a different opinion. The thing about this particular pen is that it enhances your experience with the tablet without acting as a crutch. My whole issue with pens in the past has been that touchscreen devices would rely too heavily on them, turning them into a required accessory instead of an option.

Not so on the EVO View. Check out the video below which shows off the Scribe feature in more detail and it will become more clear why the pen comes in so handy. The View is still made to work as a capacitive touchscreen, just like any other tablet, but there are a few apps that are enhanced by the pen: the photo gallery, where you can add drawings to your pictures; the web browser, where you can highlight or circle something you were looking at and thought was interesting (and then send it or share it with others); and the notepad, where you can record audio at the same exact time as taking notes, so you can take notes of the impressions you receive as you listen to a presentation, instead of just trying to jot everything down all at once — or you can just doodle on your notepad, if you prefer.

Here’s the video and picture gallery!

 

Author: Brad Molen

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