HTC And Sprint Officially Unveil The New EVO 4G LTE

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It’s hardly a surprise anymore (as is usually the case) but here it is anyway – Sprint CEO Dan Hesse and HTC President Jason Mackenzie have just taken the stage at their collaboration event in New York, and just officially unveiled the new EVO 4G LTE.

First things first — there’s still no official release date yet, though the device will launch sometime in Q2 and pre-orders are set to begin on May 7. The Evo does have a price tag though, and Sprint customers can expect to shell out $199 for it whenever it sees the lit of day.

For all my moaning about design (more on that later), my mother always taught me that it’s what’s on the inside that counts, and that’s where the EVO shines. Nestled behind its gigantic 4.7-inch 720p Super LCD 2 display is the same dual-core, 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 chipset that powers its One X cousin, along with 1GB of RAM to help keep things snappy.

As expected, the EVO 4G LTE also runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, with HTC’s thoughtfully-redesigned Sense 4.0 UI on top of it. Some people (myself included) tend to bristle when custom overlays are thrown into the mix, but as I noted when I got to play with the One X, it’s much less clunky than the Sense of days past.

All in all, it’s the same general formula as the lovely HTC One X, just with most of the visual appeal sucked out of the hardware.

Much to my chagrin, the redesign first spotted in that leaked press shot a few days ago was indeed legit, and it extends far beyond the device’s ho-hum front. The back appears to be clad in both glossy and matte black finishes, with a strip of red metal dividing the two (it’s also where the wee little kickstand is). Right smack in the middle of the glossy black zone is the The EVO 4G LTE’s 8-megapixel camera pod is mounted, which (as on the One X) will be paired with HTC’s new camera software for some solid shots.

Thankfully, the EVO 4G LTE does stand out in one place where its more handsome brethren don’t — it includes a discreet camera button along the lower right side, while the others relegate the shutter button to the touchscreen. It may seem like a minor quibble, but it strikes as a rather thoughtful addition considering HTC’s renewed focus on mobile photography.

Now, seeing a device’s specs laid out in front of you is nice and all, but if you want to see the thing in action, stay tuned — I’ll soon be jumping into the fray to score some hands-on photos and video.