HTC Evo Design 4G review

For under $100, HTC and Sprint try to throw in everything but the kitchen sink – instead delivering a handset that tries too hard and delivers too little.

HTC Evo Design 4G
Is this sub $100 phone worth your cash?

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HTC Evo Design 4G

The bottom line on the HTC EVO Design 4G is this: Decently made hardware with an abundance of middle of the road software that ultimately promises too much and delivers too little.

Despite just being released in the fourth quarter of 2011, the handset is now essentially a 4G orphan as Sprint diverts its attention from WiMAX and toward a bright, sunny future with LTE as they struggle to maintain ground against rivals Verizon and AT&T.

While Sprint's WiMAX network may not be going anywhere for awhile, we can't wholeheartedly recommend the EVO Design 4G, even at less than a hundred bucks with a two-year agreement, except for international travelers who don't want the hassle of procuring a local SIM at each destination.

If Sprint is your network of choice, worldwide roaming on GSM networks might just be a big enough plus to make you turn a blind eye to the handset's other minuses.

We Disliked

Bloatware: It's the one thing in this world there's just too much of.

Camera Lens: While not as bulging as other HTC models we've seen, we want to know why such a big lens can't produce better images.

Data Speed: WiMAX 4G isn't all it's cracked up to be – assuming you can find it in the first place.

HTC Sense 3.0: If we must have it, why not version 3.5 at least?

Sprint Mobile Hotspot: At $29.99 per month, it's more expensive than rival carriers and less useful on Sprint's slower 3G network.

We Liked

Car Panel: HTC's clever app for distraction-free driving cuts through the noise and delivers only the features you need while on the road.

Display: It may only be qHD, but overall the display is bright and colorful – just don't rely on it for checking the accuracy of photos and videos.

Dropbox: HTC has teamed with Dropbox, who is giving an additional 3GB of free storage just for installing the app and signing in. Who doesn't like free storage?

GPS Navigation: HTC includes not one but two solid options here, including some free use of the normally subscription-only TeleNav app.

Sprint Worldwide Service: CDMA handsets are virtually worthless outside of the U.S., but this one allows for roaming on GSM networks – assuming you can afford it.