Part of Sprint's lineup of 4G capable phones, the HTC Evo Shift 4G may not pack quite the same punch as the Samsung Epic 4G (*Est. $100 with contract) or the HTC Evo 4G (*Est. $100 with contract), but it is a "powerful, less costly alternative," says Jamie Lendino of PCMag.com. Reviewers refer to the lack of a front-facing camera, a less powerful processor and the absence of HDMI output as the most noticeable differences between the Evo and the Evo Shift. With Android 2.2 (Froyo) paired with the HTC Sense interface and a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, the Shift 4G is an "amalgamation" of the Evo 4G and the Epic 4G, says Scott Lowe of IGN.com.
Toting an 800 MHz processor as opposed to the 1 GHz found in Sprint's other 4G giants, the Evo Shift's processor "runs fairly well" in Lowe's test, with the "occasional slowdown" while browsing through menus. The phone's 4G compatibility more than makes up for this slight lag; Laptop Magazine's Mark Spoonauer's tests reveal faster speeds than that of T-Mobile's 4G network (HSPA+) and CNET's Bonnie Cha reports notable improvement between 3G and 4G. Lendino notes that voice quality is "very good overall" and the Evo Shift's battery life is solid, with 6 hours and 28 minutes of talk time. Reviews are critical that Sprint charges extra monthly fees for the 4G phone, even if 4G is not available in your area.
The HTC Evo Shift's 5-megapixel camera is a step down from the Evo 4G's 8-megapixel champion, and Spoonauer says shots are "colorful" and "just a bit fuzzy." Video matches the Evo 4G's 720p quality. All these features do take a toll on the battery life, but Spoonauer reports the Shift still lasts over six hours with moderate use. The 3.6-inch screen displays images "clear and bright when viewed straight-on," writes Spoonauer, but when viewed from the sides, the screen becomes "washed out." PC World's J.R. Raphael compares the Evo 4G and the Evo Shift, concluding that "the new model feels more like a productivity-focused device, while the first edition has multimedia powerhouse written all over it."
Our sources put the HTC Evo Shift 4G through numerous tests to monitor call quality, battery life and web browsing speed on both 3G and 4G connections. IGN.com compares the Shift 4G closely with its other 4G competitors, while Laptop Magazine measures the Shift against 4G phones from Sprint and T-Mobile. PC World scrutinizes the similarities and differences between the original Evo and the Evo Shift. CNET records data speeds, call quality and battery life, while PCMag.com provides a well-rounded look at the phone's features and processing power.
1. Laptop Magazine
Mark Spoonauer presents a methodical analysis of the pros and cons of the Evo Shift. He notes its "attractive blue design" and "spacious" keyboard as positive factors, while its small size and lack of a front-facing camera weigh negatively against the Shift.
Review: HTC Evo Shift 4G (Sprint) Review, Mark Spoonauer, Jan. 14, 2011
2. PC World
Editor J.R. Raphael offers a detailed rundown of the differences between the original Evo and the Evo Shift. He notes that while they share the same name, many features -- such as the processor, camera and HDMI output -- differ between the two phones.
Review: HTC EVO Shift vs. Sprint's Original EVO 4G, J.R. Raphael, Jan. 5, 2011
Rating the Sprint HTC Evo Shift 4G as a decent "limited frills slider," Scott Lowe compares this model with Sprint's other 4G contenders, including the original Evo 4G and the Samsung Epic 4G.
Review: Sprint HTC Evo Shift 4G Review, Scott Lowe, Jan. 12, 2011
Rating the HTC Evo Shift 4G with 4 out of 5 stars, the same score awarded it by CNET readers, Bonnie Cha praises the phone's "comfortable physical keyboard" and hotspot capabilities, although she dislikes the lack of a front-facing camera or HDMI port.
Review: HTC Evo Shift 4G (Sprint), Bonnie Cha, Jan. 18, 2011
Jamie Lendino of PCMag.com finds the Evo Shift 4G comes with a "responsive" Android build and "attractive" user interface, but dislikes that customers have to pay extra for 4G, even if it's not available in their area.
Review: HTC Evo Shift 4G (Sprint), Jamie Lendino, Jan. 6, 2011