Mini-Review — The Sprint HTC Evo Shift 4G: Less is More

February 15, 2011

Remember those old Miller Lite beer commercials? Now you have to be really older to know the ones I am talking about — where the tagline was “Everything you wanted in a beer — and less.” A permutation of that phrase seems to sum up my feelings toward the HTC Evo Shift 4G, the latest 4G smartphone from Sprint, since to me this device has everything you want in a high-end smartphone — in a smaller size that’s easier to put in your purse or pocket.

The HTC Evo Shift 4G next to its bigger cousin, the Samsung Epic 4G.
Credit: Sidecut Reports.

The good folks at Sprint were kind enough to lend me a demo unit at CES, and since then I have been doing the Jeff Hawkins thing, carrying the Evo Shift around whenever I could remember it to see how it performs under everyday conditions. Having purchased the Samsung Epic on our own dime earlier this fall we’re familiar with the standard Android applications (including the mobile hotspot feature) that everyone knows so we won’t go into great detail about performance other than to say the Evo works as advertised, especially when you have a 4G signal. What makes the Shift stand out is its slightly smaller size and its slide-out keyboard, two things that go a long way toward making this a possible top choice for the smartphone in your device stack.

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Sprint’s 2nd WiMAX Phone: Samsung Epic 4G

June 27, 2010

There’s no pricing or ship date yet, but the folks at Sprint have officially announced the “second WiMAX phone” for the company’s 4G network. Engadget has a full rundown on all the specs which by now seem to be the opening ante for the advanced-smartphone market: Front-facing extra camera for handheld videoconferencing, big fine-grain viewing screen, etc. And we assume you can hold this one any way you want without downgrading the antenna, if you know what we mean. :-)

Not having seen or held the Samsung WiMAX entry the feature that may appeal more to us is the slide-out QWERTY keyboard, something we here at Sidecut central have become somewhat addicted to on our current phone of choice for faster texting. Like the HTC EVO 4G this phone will also sport a built-in Pocketspot or portable Wi-Fi router capability, though it will only support five additional devices as opposed to the EVO’s eight. We’ll have to try a pocketspot shootout between the devices sometime this fall.

Though there isn’t any mention of it in the press release we are guessing the Epic launch is the stick-a-fork-in-it moment for the late great Samsung Mondi, the original WiMAX mobile Internet device that we rightly wronged for being overpriced and underfeatured. It will be interesting to see whether the new WiMAX phone parade coupled with the additional WiMAX markets being launched by Clearwire and Sprint will result in more business use of WiMAX as 2010 winds into late summer and fall. And though there is no “official” launch date for the Epic, we will hazard a guess that this phone will be available when school starts again… in stores near more of you, if you know what we mean.