Sprint HTC EVO Design 4G hands-on

We just got our hands on an HTC EVO Design 4G review unit from Sprint — the latest member of Sprint’s EVO family of Android smartphones — and we were instantly reminded of the HTC Incredible on Verizon Wireless upon opening the box. Though the EVO Design 4G lacks an AMOLED display and is noticeably longer, the resemblance is unmistakable. The phone is a bit fat for a device that doesn’t offer a full QWERTY keyboard though, and we can’t figure out why it’s so chunky. In any case, it certainly feels very solid, no doubt thanks to the metal that hugs the back of the phone and runs around its entire body. The soft rubber areas on the back of the EVO Design 4G also provide good grip. Check out our hands-on photo gallery below for images and hit the break for more.

The phone’s 1.2GHz processor swiftly moves around Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) without any lag issues, and its 4-inch qHD display was noticeably sharp. Small text on websites was easy to read, even when we were fully zoomed-out. The 5-megapixel camera took some decent shots during our initial tests, and we like the additional camera features HTC adds as part of its Sense user experience.

An initial 4G WiMAX speed test in New York City clocked in at 3.04Mbps down and 1.32Mbps up — not bad given the device was reporting a relatively weak 4G signal at the time. The EVO Design 4G currently costs $99.99 with a new two-year Sprint contract and after a $50-mail in rebate. If you’re in the market for a budget-friendly 4G phone with relatively high-end specs, you might want to keep this on your list of devices to consider.

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