My wife recently switched from her Blackberry to the new Sprint HTC EVO, and I had a chance to play around with it for a little bit this morning. Here are my thoughts:
The phone IS big. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. It’s also very heavy. Holding it reminded me of holding my extinct Dell x60V Pocket PC PDA device. Anyone who says the phone isn’t big or heavy is just crazy. And after my wife put on a rubber backing case the EVO got even bigger!
Differences between the EVO and Palm Pre/Pixi:
First, I couldn’t find a way to do multitasking (such as minimizing cards in WebOS) so I could only work on one app at a time. From what I understand you can do multitasking with the Android OS, but I couldn’t figure out how to do it. Next, the available apps are all displayed as icons on a single screen, so you need to do a lot of vertical scrolling to find the desired app. You might be able to have multiple screens with icons… I just didn’t know how to set that up.
When you dive into the phone’s settings screen, there’s lots and lots of options. A little too confusing when setting up and activating 4G, WiFi, etc. In the end I couldn’t tell if I was using 4G, 3G, or WiFi when I was accessing the internet.
Unlike in WebOS, you can’t simply tap the top header bar to change some basic system settings. If you try to, you get the pull down “shade” which shows your notifications. The settings are configured by tapping on the home button (at the bottom of the screen) and then tapping on the “Settings” button.
What I really missed when playing around with the EVO is the gesture area in WebOS. I was so use to back swiping and flicking cards off the screen and not being able to do so on the EVO was a bit frustrating. Also, overall the graphic touches in the WebOS environment are much nicer than the Android OS (in my opinion). Android just seemed a little to sterile compared to WebOS or the Apple iPhone OS.
What I found nice, was how fast the EVO ran in general. Also, the connect speeds using WiFi and 4G was really fast when web browsing. Web pages were popping up very quickly, almost like on my Desktop PC. Luckily, we live in the Seattle area where the 4G network is somewhat widespread (thanks to Clearwire).
So in the end, playing around with the EVO for a small bit of time just made me appreciate my Palm Pixi phone with the WebOS. There’s a big trade off between having a smartphone with a big screen and portability, and for me I choose portability.