Monday, July 12, 2010

EVO tops iPhone 4 in many features

In a pure feature-by-feature comparison, the EVO is the clear winner. It has a 4.3-inch screen, compared with 3.5 inches for the iPhone; and the iPhone has just a 5-megapixel camera.
The user can replace the EVO's lithium-ion battery in seconds just by popping off the rear cover, while the iPhone has to be shipped to an Apple service center for battery replacement. For the EVO, just carry a spare battery in your pocket.

Camera vs. camera

The new iPhone also has the front-facing camera with a feature for making video calls — but only over a Wi-Fi connection, and it only works with another iPhone 4. But the iPhone does have high-definition video recording and multi-tasking, just like the EVO.

The EVO has an SD memory-card slot inside the battery compartment that allows for adding storage of up to 32 gigabytes for music, photos and videos. As with digital cameras, you can carry extra cards if you need more storage space — say on a vacation.

With the iPhone, there is no way to add storage capacity; there is a fixed amount of internal storage. Two models are offered: one with 16 gigabytes of memory for $199, or 32 gigabytes for $299, with a two-year AT&T contract.

The EVO is $199 with a two-year Sprint contract after a $100 rebate when buying from Sprint. But some retailers, such as Best Buy, give the rebate instantly.

Mobile hot spot is another feature the EVO offers than isn't available on the iPhone. For an additional $30 a month, the EVO can operate as a wi-fi hot spot, and up to 10 devices can connect through it at the same time.

There is a big difference between Sprint and AT&T in the availability of network service, too, and Sprint has the clear advantage. Sprint's data network almost everywhere, but AT&T data service often is unavailable outside metropolitan areas. One suggestion: try connecting an iPhone to the Sprint network using the EVO's mobile hot spot.

Speed, reliability

Sprint's 3G is quite speedy and reliable, but 4G will be even better — with download speeds up to 10 times faster. It's available in some markets, but Nashville's rollout will come later this year (although a few towers already have it, such as in Madison and Cool Springs). AT&T offers only 3G service.

Video resolution

Overall, the EVO easily outscores the iPhone 4, but screen resolution is better on the new iPhone. Watching an HD movie trailer on YouTube at the same time on both devices, the iPhone's picture was clearer and crisper than that of the EVO — although perhaps not enough to matter to the average consumer.

Bottom line

So which one to buy? It's your choice. But if you're locked into a Sprint contract and can't switch to AT&T to get an iPhone anyway, you no longer have to settle for a second-rate smart phone. The EVO is a perfectly good substitute.

Contact G. Chambers Williams III
at 615-259-8076 or cwilliams1@

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