In our HTC One X review, we called its announcement "conservatively... the most important event in the company's history since the release of the groundbreaking Evo 4G." That aforementioned smartphone of yesteryear was indeed big for HTC, but it was arguably even more important for Sprint — the WiMAX-enabled Android flagship "with a freaking kickstand" outlived nearly all its predecessors and was selling in-store until as recently as a few months ago. It even bested the most recent Evo 3D with a glasses-free screen. We really can't overstate its importance to the carrier. Which is why, somewhat unsurprisingly, Sprint is invoking the progenitor Evo's name a bit more than usual for this, the Evo 4G LTE.
The internals are not entirely dissimilar to the One X: a dual-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 processor with 1GB RAM and 16GB ROM — not Tegra 3 since it lacks LTE support (not yet, at least). An 8-megapixel rear camera with f/2.0 lens and 1.3-megapixel shooter on front. A 4.7-inch Super LCD 2 display with 1280 x 720 resolution and great viewing angles. Android 4.0 with Sense 4. Beats audio. Where it does deviate from the formula, however, is an entirely new chassis with aluminum body with anodized black finish — matte on the lower back, glossy on the upper third, a shiny border separating it from the screen — and a thin, bright red kickstand. Yes, the kickstand is back, and as Sprint enjoyed showing me, it's strong enough to prop the phone in either landscape orientation as well as portrait. It's at least the third instance after the original Evo 4G and the HTC HD7.
Third (at least) with a freaking kickstand
Other additions include a microSD slot for support of up to 32GB additional storage (the 2,000mAh Li-ion battery is still nonremovable — a tradeoff for the 8.9mm thin frame) and a very welcome dedicated camera button. The Evo 4G LTE is one of Sprint's numerous upcoming NFC devices that support Google Wallet. It's also Sprint's first HD voice-capable device; the carrier is planning a nationwide HD voice network for late 2012.
The official release window is Q2 but pre-orders go on sale May 7th — and given Sprint's modus operandi, that likely means its street date is just weeks after that. The Evo 4G LTE will be $199.99 on contract, and yes, data is still unlimited on 4G. If you're lucky to live in one of Sprint's 4G coverage areas. You and all your friends who buy the LG Viper and (maybe) Galaxy Nexus.