HTC Evo 3D review

Is 3D on a phone a killer feature or pointless gimmick?

The definitive HTC Evo 3D review
The definitive HTC Evo 3D review

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Messaging on the HTC Evo 3D also doesn't make use of any 3D features, which isn't that surprising. There are no 3D chat sessions where icons loom out of the screen.

The Messages app handles text messaging only. There is a dedicated Gmail app and one generic app called Mail that you can use for Microsoft Exchange and other accounts. Your Facebook messages aren't integrated into these apps, which is a shame as unified inboxes should be everywhere, in our opinion.

HTC evo 3d review: messaging

Adding email accounts works the same as with other HTC phones: press Menu and select Account List, then Add an account. With the Evo 3D and its dual-core 1.2GHz processor, many of these tasks works quickly.

HTC evo 3d review: messaging

There's a cool "conversations" button that shows you recent email threads. Select a thread, and you will see all of the messages in that conversation.

Typing on the Evo 3D is acceptable, but not great, and you must rely solely on the touchscreen keyboard since there is no slide-out or hard keys. With Android 2.3 there's a bit more roundedness to the soft on-screen keys, and the touchscreen is responsive enough.

The haptics – which provide a slight buzzing sensation when you type – are quite minimal compared to the more obvious buzz on the Samsung Galaxy S2.

HTC evo 3d review

The predictive text works famously - in several test emails, every time we started typing any word, a few suggestions appeared and we could select the one we wanted. This changes how you type, because you can just type the first few characters.

In landscape orientation, the phone works extremely well for typing. In portrait, not so well - the keys are a bit too narrow. The Google Talk app worked smoothly for instant messaging in several tests. There were never any slowdowns when you type a message because the phone "listens" on the other end, like you might find on slower phones.

There is also something to be said for the crisp, bright screen on the Galaxy S2, which makes soft keys stand out and easier to read.

As is often the case, you have the choice of a Gmail app or a more generic Email app. The Gmail one is just as easy to set up as ever; if you have your Google account details, it's automatically set up.

The Email app also proved easy, offering an Exchange option and a generic POP/IMAP option initially. To set your POP/IMAP, you generally just have to put in your email address and password and the phone will do all the configuring for you.

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Both email apps are very good, though HTC's Mail app fits in with the aesthetics and UI of the Desire S's other app better. It offers several ways to view your messages, including options to view your email as a straight up inbox, or as conversations.

You can also view email just from your favourite contacts, and this tab also enables you to address an email to all of your favourites with one tap.

There's an unread-only view, and also a screen that enables you to view only emails with attachments.

Another small issue is that there are no new innovations here. On a phone that has a 3D screen, we wanted a bit more flash beyond the basic Android messaging functions.

There is an opportunity here for a third-party developer to create 3D apps (if HTC gives them access to the technology required) for messaging that shows 3D icons or text.

John Brandon

John Brandon has covered gadgets and cars for the past 12 years having published over 12,000 articles and tested nearly 8,000 products. He's nothing if not prolific. Before starting his writing career, he led an Information Design practice at a large consumer electronics retailer in the US. His hobbies include deep sea exploration, complaining about the weather, and engineering a vast multiverse conspiracy.