Review: HTC EVO 3D

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Okay, it’s now our turn to review HTC’s 3D phone. It records, takes pictures and plays 3D content without the need of those awkward and annoying glasses; and it also touts some top-of-the-range hardware specs. However, does it stand out from the crowd with its 3D, or is it just a gimmick? Terence Huynh reviews.

  • Score:

    9.0 / 10

  • The Good:

    Plays 3D content really well and without glasses; fast performance thanks to processor; HTC Sense

  • The Bad:

    3D will give you a headache and limited viewing angles; no HDMI output; capacity too low for such a device

  • Bottom Line:

    It does not fail to impress with its big hardware specs.

Design and Features

The HTC EVO 3D is unapologetic in being ‘bulky’ in comparison to the iPhone 4S, and moves away from the trend of slimmer smartphones with beautiful designs. A rubber back and an assortment of buttons everywhere, the phone feels very manly. And it’s heavier, weighing at 170g. It is wrapped in a dark-grey body with just a bit of red where the camera.

However, packed inside is a 1.2GHz dual core processor, 1GB of RAM, 1GB of internal storage that is also expandable via microSD, and support for 3D with two 5-megapixel lenses. I’m guessing the second camera is adding to the thickness to the phone. As well, it features a 4.3-inch qHD display – one of the biggest screens from HTC – where the colours are vibrant.

The phone is one of the few 3D phones out in the market, and will let you play 3D content, take 3D pictures and even record 3D video in 720p video quality. And don’t worry, you will not be wearing any glasses to get it working. The company uses something the Nintendo 3DS uses, and it’s called parallax barrier technology. Downside is that it does cause some eye-strain if you are using it for too long, and that you’ll have to get it in the right angle or else the effect disappears. However, the effect is really good for video and games.

In terms of multimedia, you’ll not going to be impressed. Despite having some big specs, for some reason, it only can play out 720p files not 1080p files – which you would want if you were going to play these on your phone. Granted, it’s a minor issue. There is no HDMI output on this phone, but you can always buy an adapter for its microUSB port to HDMI (again, that feels like another hurdle).

The Camera

The quality of both picture and video is great, though not excellent. You can switch between 3D and 2D modes with a mechanical switch, and there is a dedicated physical camera button – which is something that I would love to see on phones. It does have auto-focus, so it’ll constantly adjust the lens – the sound does get a tad bit annoying. However, it doesn’t adjust to compensate for the dual LED flash when taking photos in a short range. So, you should be accustom to your flash options.

The camera also comes with some effects – including some effects that you can find in Instagram or Camera+ for iOS. The effects vary in effectiveness – such as the soft-focus feature. You can see one instance of the effect below.

Making your own 3D content, however, is another story. The pictures look alright, but you can’t really tell the difference between taking the same photo in 2D. And as well, staring at the screen for a long time, especially for video, does hurt your eyes – so you’ll not going to get a good video to share to your friends.

Performance + HTC Sense

The phone performs really well with no lag issues, and this is because of its 1GB of RAM and 1.2GHz dual core processor. The phone runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread with its HTC Sense UI – and of course features its own applications. I should point out that its own applications – including its own Twitter application Peep is not a good replacement for the Official Twitter application. So I suggest you go and download that app first. Other novelties you may find on this phone include a Flashlight, which is using the dual LED flash from the camera.

I personally felt the keyboard to be awkward to use and that could be because of its size, but also the sensitivity of the keys. Pressing the right key I want shows me another key next to it sometimes.

Battery life on the phone is okay, but better than some other HTC phones. Heavy users can expect this phone to last them around a day. Lighter users can expect to see this phone’s battery life expand to two or three days.

Conclusions

The phone may be fat – in comparison to other smartphones in the market – and 3D is a bit of a gimmick (one that can hurt your eyes), the phone still proves to the phone with the required features we want – a camera that works, a phone that does not lag and it is usable. The iPhone 4 and 4S encompasses all of these qualities that what every consumer wants in their phone, so the HTC EVO 3D does not fail to impress.

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