Messaging is similarly identical to that found on the HTC One X - which is great, because it's awesome on both. SMS and MMS, as well as Google Talk and email, are available on the device from the get-go - no Google Play store needed.
Of course, inside the Play store are the familiar IM+, Skype, Facebook messages, and everything else, but it's what's already on the phone that's been so impressive.
Set up happens upon boot up and you'll be prompted to sign into Google, which will sync your Google mail - from there, you'll have to set up your other email addresses - including those pesky Exchange accounts and anything else mandatory for your phone.
The keyboard is one of our favorites, and we clocked some of our fastest non-Swype typing on the 4.7" HTC Evo 4G LTE. As with the HTC One X, accuracy seems to have improved from prior HTC phones - but if you must have a replacement keyboard there are a billion compatible options in the Google Play Store.
Landscape typing is a bit finicky still, and we're not fond of the way colons are used as alternative keys behind the period, but typing is overall an enjoyable experience on the Evo 4G LTE.
We had mediocre luck with the voice dictation, with some texts loading flawlessly and others loading with more problems then it was worth.
It's no replacement for just typing out the emoticons and LOLs that are all the rage with the kids these days.
As mentioned earlier, the ability to open messages from the lock screen is a nice feature, and the ability to read them from the notifications pane without unlocking your phone means you don't have to go through the unlock just to read your messages, unless of course you have a passcode - which will keep your messages locked down.
Tangent: We did find the transition from Ring pull to passcode lock to be a bit ugly - it goes straight to a jarring black for no discernible reason (why not keep the wallpaper?).
The Evo also has a feature called Smart Sync, which figures out how often you check your messages and starts to sync at those cycles. A novel feature, but we didn't really notice any significant changes in the way our messages loaded (or our battery drained).