Fresh for CTIA, Sprint has announced what it claims is the first 4G/3G mobile smartphone in the world. The EVO 4G from HTC will run on the high-speed WiMAX networks that Sprint is rolling out along with its 51% owned wireless partner, Clearwire. Not co-incidentally, Clearwire also had an announcement today – it will be launching WiMAX networks in seven new cities during 2010.
What’s the EVO like?
It’s a pretty kick-ass smartphone. It’s running the latest version of Android on a 1GHz Snapdragon processor, has a massive 4.3 inch screen (which may actually be too big for a “mobile” phone), packs an 8MP camera… and thanks to its 4G capabilities will be capable of streaming high-quality video straight to it’s big, big screen.
One of the cooler features of the EVO is that it has an in-built Wi-Fi hotspot generator. So this thing will convert its incoming 4G signal into a short-range Wi-Fi hotspot – you’ll be able to connect up to 8 Wi-Fi devices to the net through the phone. Which is just cool.
There are no details on pricing yet, but you can bet your ass that this thing won’t be cheap.
Dan Hesse, Sprint CEO said “Sprint continues to lead the 4G revolution as we introduce HTC EVO 4G to give our customers an experience that is unlike anything available in wireless to date. Not only is this feature-rich device incredible on our Sprint 3G network, but Sprint 4G speeds will take mobile multimedia, including live video streaming, gaming and picture downloads, to a whole new level.”
Peter Chou, CEO of HTC says “HTC and Sprint have a strong history of working together to bring consumers technologies and advancements that make their lives easier. We believe that the HTC EVO 4G represents the best of Sprint and the best of HTC working together to bring an unmatched device to the U.S. This combination of HTC and Sprint innovation will allow people to do even more while on the go, faster than ever on the Sprint 4G network.”
What we think?
WiMAX 4G networks are rolling out slooowly. So if you are an early adopter springing the big cash for a sexy 4G device, you can’t really carry those speeds around with you. As soon as you leave a Sprint/Clearwire WiMAX network, you’re back to 3G. So the products being launched now need to have some decent perks to attract sales, and I think the hotspot aspect of this device is one of those. It’s a really great little idea that will probably pull in a few sales on its own – your friends will be able to use Wi-Fi on their devices just by hanging around you.