My New HTC Evo Smartphone Rocks -- Except For The Bloatware
I just got an HTC Evo for my birthday, and it is awesome. The phone has been reviewed widely, so I'll sum it up via Engadget : "[I]ts magnificent list of specs reads as though it was scribbled on a napkin after a merry band of gadget nerds got tipsy at the watering hole and started riffing about their idea of the ultimate mobile device." Or, as Gizmodo says, it's a "war machine" and it's got "guts."
The pluses: It has a huge 4.3? screen; the body is only slightly larger than an iPhone 4, yet I've received multiple comments that its generous size resembles an iPad. It has a SUPER-fast processor, making apps run very fast. It runs on the Sprint mobile network, which means 4G WiMax connection speed (where available), and that smokes. The Evo doubles as a WiFi hotspot, making the good connection speed available to any, multiple WiFi-enabled devices (like the MacBook I used to write this column while on vacation). It has a high-def video camera, 8 megapixel camera, and a front-, screen-facing camera for video chat, which is sweet. (I really hope that Skype enables a mobile video chat app SOON; in the meantime, Qik and Fring are the available video chat apps.) The Evo runs HTC's custom Sense interface on top of Android operating system, which makes the experience a little more elegant.
Moreover, Sprint customer service is getting good. I'm an anomaly with a dedicated rep, but a few random in-store interactions (at the NYC Flatiron store) have been very good. Moreover, the carrier is taking a page from the Apple Store by offeringfree, scheduled, one-on-one training sessions to maximize your smartphone enjoyment. As we all know, the mobile carrier can make or break the entire experience -- independent of any device.
The minuses? There are only a few: Many have complained about Evo's battery life, which is not stellar. However, it's important to remember that the drain is correlated with the intensity at which you use high-drain apps and functionality. For example, if you avoid simultaneously running the Wifi hotspot feature while streaming YouTube videos while running Pandora while syncing your various Gmail and Twitter accounts, it will last longer.
There is one other downfall: Why does my Evo come with lame pre-installed, built-in bloatware like Sprint's Nascar app, Sprint Football, Sprint TV and Sprint Navigation? The Android Market app makes it easy to delete apps you downloaded yourself, but I'm having great difficulty getting rid of the pre-installed apps that are taking up valuable memory. This garbage is visually obtrusive and the permanence is offensive. Sprint's own forums and others describe a hack (software rooting solution), which risks screwing up the operating system and voiding the warranty. Priya Ganapati at Wired called out the annoying bloatware and quotes Keith Nowak, spokesman for HTC: "It's different from phone to phone and operator to operator. But in general, the apps are put there to meet the operator's business and revenue needs." This bloatware is not cool, and many others feel the same.
Time to call my Sprint rep and see if we can resolve this bloatware issue. If HTC can introduce a better battery, even better.
Otherwise, it's an Evo love fest!
I highly recommend the HTC Evo and Sprint's 4G network.