The HTC EVO V 4G is the first phone on Virgin Mobile to utilize Sprint’s 4G WiMax network. Although it’s just a rebranded version of the HTC EVO 3D that first launched on Sprint, this version of the phone is available without a contract and on plans starting at just $35 a month with unlimited data. I this the phone to get if you’re going to be heading to Virgin Mobile? Read our review of the HTC EVO V 4G to find out.
- Dual Core Processor – The 1.2GHz Snapdragon processor makes things fast and smooth
- Android 4.0 ICS – While it’s not 4.1 Jelly Bean, at least it’s not Gingerbread
- 3D – The glasses-free 3D screen is fun to play around with
- No contracts – With Virgin Mobile’s monthly plans, you get unlimited data with signing a 2-year contract
- 4G WiMax – While it might not be LTE, Sprint’s WiMax network offers speeds that are faster than 3G
- Build quality – The phone is make out of high-quality material and feels great to hold
- 3D – The glasses-free 3D will eventually make your eyes hurt. Enjoy it a little bit at a time
- 3D button on side – Biggest eye sore on the phone. It simply looks like it doesn’t belong
- Battery life – Battery life on 3G is decent, but activate the 4G WiMax radio and the battery life diminishes quickly
- Price – At $299.99, it is a bit pricey, especially since it’s just a rebranded phone
HTC EVO V 4G Hardware / Design
The HTC EVO V 4G is the same phone as the EVO 3D that was released on Sprint’s network last year. If you’ve seen and played with the EVO 3D, then you know what the EVO V 4G is all about. For those of you who aren’t familiar, the EVO V 4G sports the a 4.3-inch 3D Super LCD display with 960 x 540 pixel resolution; a fast 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon S3 processor; 1GB of RAM with 4GB of internal storage; front and rear-facing cameras at 1.3 and 5-megapixels, respectively and more.
Software wise, the EVO V 4G runs on Google’s Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system. Laying on top of ICS is HTC’s Sense 3.6 UI.
Full specs of the EVO V 4G are listed below:
- Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
- 1.2Ghz dual-core Snapdragon S3 processor
- 4.3-inch 3D Display
- 1GB of RAM
- 4GB of internal storage
- microSD slot (supports up to 32GB of storage)
- 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera
- 5-megapixel rear-facing camera
- 1730mAh battery
- WiMax 4G connectivity
- Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth connectivity
The first thing that you will notice when you get your hands on the EVO V 4G is that it feels like it’s made out of quality material. Like other HTC phones, the EVO V 4G feels a little heavy and looks like it’s made out of high-quality durable material. If you’re a fan of super light phones, then you probably won’t like this one. But if you like sturdy phones, then you’re going to be happy.
The combination of size, weight, build quality, and back cover make this phone feel good in your hand.
On the front of the phone you have your 4.3-inch Super LCD display that’s capable of displaying images in 3D, without glasses. If you’re a fan of 3D technology, then you’ll like this phone. While I enjoyed the 3D, it wasn’t something that I found myself using often.
The top front of the phone graced by speakers and the tiny 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera. Right below the speaker and camera, you have you obligatory Sprint and HTC Logo (Why not a Virgin Mobile logo?).
Towards the bottom of the display, you have you standard 4 capacitive buttons. Even though this phone runs on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, it continues to use the standard 4 capacitive touch buttons, after all it’s just a re-branded EVO 3D.
Along the right edge of the phone, you have you volume rockers towards the top right edge. Towards the bottom right edge, you have your dedicated camera button and 2D/3D toggle switch. While I am a fan of dedicated camera buttons, the one on the EVO V 4G looks like it really doesn’t belong there; it’s big, it’s round, and it’s silver. I think that things would have been a little nicer looking if they opted for a smaller button, and also one that is more in line with the other colors on the phone, specifically black.
On the left edge of the phone, you have nothing but your standard microUSB port which is used for charging the device and connecting it to a computer. Along the top edge of the phone, you have you power button on the top-right corner and 3.5mm headphone jack on the top-left corner.
The bottom of the phone was left without any important ports or features, except for the little groove that allows you to remove the back cover.
If you flip the phone over, you are presented with the removable back cover. The back cover is textured and is made out of nice rubber material. Along the back you will find another HTC logo as well as the dual 5-megapixel cameras and LED flash that makes taking 3D pictures a possibility.
If you pop off the back cover, you have access to the 1730mAh battery, along with microSD card slot (as well as the 8GB microSD card that comes preloaded on the phone).
Overall, the build on this phone is of great quality. The phone might be on a bulky side in terms of thickness, but it’s not to the point where it becomes an eyesore. Unlike some phones that are super light, you will feel like you’re holding something made out of good quality when you put the EVO V 4G in your hands.
The 4.3-inch 3D display on the HTC EVO V 4G is similar to that found on the Nintendo 3DS and give you access to both 3D and 2D content when you want it. The qHD display offers bright images with decent viewing angles. When viewing videos, the 4.3-inch display offers vivid colors.
Overall, the EVO V 4G is a great phone on its own. But for most people getting this phone, they will probably be doing so for its 3D capabilities. With the glasses-free 3D system on the phone, you will be able to enjoy both 3D movies and videos. Capturing moments in 3D is as simple as moving the 3D switch on the side of the phone. With one little move, you’re able to capture both pictures and videos in 3D for playback directly on your device or on a 3D-capable TV (with an adapter).
The 3D feature on the phone is really fun, but does get old pretty quickly. It’s really amazing to be able to take a picture and see it jump in your face, all without any type of weird 3D glasses. While the 3D feature on the phone is fun, it does get old pretty quickly and does cause some strain on your eyes; it did for me.
Unlike the HTC EVO 3D that came pre-loaded with Android 2.3 Gingerbread, the EVO V 4G comes with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, something that many people will appreciate. Android 4.0 ICS features many news features, such as Face Unlock, which allows you to unlock your phone by recognizing your face.
On top of ICS is HTC’s custom UI called Sense. Instead of running the latest and greatest of Sense, version 4.0, HTC decided to keep the EVO V 4G running on Sense 3.6, the version that combines some of the features found in 4.0 and 3.0.
Despite the phone running on ICS which comes with digital buttons, the EVO V 4G still contains physical capacitive touch buttons.
Like every other non-Nexus device, the HTC EVO V 4G comes with some carrier-specific apps as well as some apps that you will find useful. There isn’t really any bloatware on the phone unless you consider apps like Facebook, Twitter, and Polaris Office bloatware.
Unfortunately, you aren’t able to uninstall any of the extra apps. Lucky for you, since the phone is running on Android 4.0 ICS, you will have the opportunity to disable them and get them out of your app drawer, if you really wanted to.
I personally didn’t like the keyboard on the phone simply because of the way it tries so hard to complete what I’m writing without letting me finish. If you’re a fan of Swype, the custom keyboard that lets you type by swiping between the letters, you’re going to like the similar feature that is available on the stock keyboard of the EVO V 4G.
Overall, the camera quality on the HTC EVO V 4G is decent. The quality might’ve been considered great when the EVO 3D was released last year, but now that the competition has moved up a little, the camera on this phone is just average. As you can see from the pictures below, the brightness isn’t properly captured. In addition, the pictures aren’t as sharp and clear as you’d expect them to be.
Besides that, the shutter is speed too slow either. You won’t find yourself waiting 1-3 seconds after snapping the shutter for the picture to be taken.
Video-wise, the EVO V 4G captures stutter-free video at 720P. I was quite happy with the video quality captured by the device. If you live capturing video on your phone, then you won’t be disappointed with this one.
Mobile viewing link
Performance and Battery Life
Overall, the phone performs well, thanks to its speedy 1.2GHz dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM. If it wasn’t for those two things, the overall user experience on the phone would have greatly diminished. Switching between apps is fast and smooth and the phone didn’t really slow down or experience much lag during my testing.
When it comes to battery life, it all depends on what and how you use your phone. When the phone is connected to just the 3G network with the 4G radio turned off, you can expect about 8-10 hours of usage time. If you’re a heavy user, that number quickly decreases. If you’re in an area with 4G coverage or leave your 4G radio turned on, battery life also suffers.
Overall, the battery life is decent. Like every other smartphone out there, you’re going to be using it for more than just calls, meaning that battery life will suffer.
Data / Call Quality
When it comes to data and quality, It’s all about your location. As you know, Virgin Mobile is a mobile virtual network operator, or MVNO, which uses Sprint’s network for voice and data. The quality of your calls and data speeds depends on the Sprint service in your area. In the Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania where I reside, voice calls were great and 3G data download speeds hovered around .70 Mbps. In my home, I wasn’t lucky enough to get those type of speeds because service isn’t the best. On average at home, I got download speeds of around .20.
When I went to New York City, things were better with data speeds. Since Sprint’s WiMax network is available in New York City, I was able to get download speeds that reached 2.5Mbps.
Virgin Mobile Plans
When it comes to Virgin Mobile, people switch to the carrier because of its monthly plans that don’t require any type of commitment. Simply choose your plan, pay month to month, and never worry about signing your life away for two whole years. Depending on how much talking you do, you can get a plan for as little as $35 per month.
Each plan comes with unlimited messaging, and limited-unlimited data. I say limited-unlimited because although it’s unlimited data, you will be throttled to a maximum download rate of 256kbps for the remainder of the month if you exceed 2.5GB of data during the month.
Overall, when it comes to Android devices on Virgin Mobile, the HTC EVO V 4G is your best bet. At $300, it might a little expensive, but for the amount of hardware and features you get, the benefits of the phone are far more than the price of the phone. In addition, you’ll be saving a lot of money by not being tied up to a $100/month plan for 2 years, which means that the phone will pay for itself in no time.
The 1GB of RAM, dual-core processor, and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich makes owning an EVO V 4G a pleasant experience; things are smooth and the phone is very responsive. Its build quality is top-notch and holding the device feels great in one’s hand.
So, if you’re looking for the best Android phone on Virgin Mobile, look no further than the HTC EVO V 4G. It’s the best that’s currently available on Virgin Mobile and it’s worth the price.
To buy the HTC EVO V 4G, head over to VirginMobileUSA.com today.