FeaturesGood and EVO

An EVO or not an EVO: That is the question

Evo_2B_mainBefore the HTC EVO 4G was released in June 2010, I knew that it was the stuff of dreams. Never before had I anticipated the release of a new phone like the EVO.

I was always the type to demo units first and then decide if I would buy or pass. That concept flew out the window with the first EVO. I inquired at various Sprint stores until I was able to get it because I knew I would love it even before I ever held one.

When news of the HTC EVO 3D leaked out in 2011, I felt the same way all over again. Although I still cherished my original EVO, I sensed the need to purchase the next one and again without a trial. Sprint Telesales saved me the hassle encountered during my first EVO purchase and overnighted my new phone two whole days prior to it being sold at local Sprint stores. Once again I fell in love with the EVO line.

But what about the other EVOs? The EVO brand name extends beyond just these two phones and yet we hardly ever hear or read about the HTC EVO Shift 4G or the HTC EVO Design 4G. So what makes an EVO a true EVO?

HTC has built four EVO-branded phones to date. Variety is good, right? Different strokes for different folks, as they say. But what is it about the original EVO 4G and EVO 3D that seems to separate it from the other two? What gives them that extra flare and keeps them in the spotlight?

Is it technical specs that separate them? The EVO Design has a faster processor and more RAM/ROM than the original EVO, while the EVO Shift has a 5 MP camera that matches the 2D camera of the EVO 3D, plus adds a physical keyboard to the mix. Both of these phones have other great features too, yet the EVO 4G and EVO 3D seem to dominate forums, have developers constantly tinkering with them, and are spotted on television or in the real world far more often.

While I didn’t expect to see as many EVO Shifts and EVO Designs as the two larger brothers, I would have thought I’d see a few more in the wild. So far I have not come across a single person that owns a EVO Design and I’ve only seen two people with a EVO Shift. On the other hand, everyone on my bowling team owns either a EVO 4G or EVO 3D.

Maybe it is me not taking notice of the other two phones, or maybe it is just that they are not as popular, but what could possibly set these two phones so far apart from the other two? What really makes an EVO and EVO and everything else just a filler in between?

For me, I think a real EVO requires a large screen: 4.3 inches as a minimum. The Shift and Design fall short in these areas. Large phones are nothing new these days, but when the EVO first debuted it looked like the mother of all phones! Everything else looked puny next to it, and it made my iPhone friends wallow in shame. Yes, a large screen is a requirement to me.

I think a real EVO should also bear the trademark red ring surrounding the rear camera(s). The signature red ring is the very first thing noticeable on an EVO and is what sets it apart from many other phones. EVOs aren’t the only HTC-manufactured phones with this red ring, but I think it’s more associated with them. It could also be why the other two EVOs are so easily dismissed from the pack.

Here’s an image of all four EVOs side by side, face down. It’s not done to scale, but the red rings and highlights make both the EVO 4G and EVO 3D models stand out from the pack. 


The blueish battery cover on the EVO Shift lacks design and just looks awful, while the back of the EVO Design appears to be a rip off from the Sensation. When HTC designed the EVO Shift and the EVO Design, did they simply run out of ideas or did they feel that these two phones were not worthy of wearing the red ring badge?

In a world where phone manufacturers are putting new models out every other week, something needs to be done to a phone to make it unique. The red on black style provides a certain exclusivity needed for the EVO 4G and EVO 3D (even though the Droid Incredible and other devices use the colors too).

When I first saw photos of the HTC EVO 4G and noticed the red ring on the battery cover, I shamefully quoted Paris Hilton and said, “That’s hot!” That red element was carried over to the HTC EVO 3D and in my opinion, crowned it the next “Official EVO.” Too bad HTC didn’t indulge us further with red goodness under the battery cover and the much desired kickstand. But maybe we will see that in the next real EVO? 

Discussing a cosmetic feature as something required to classify an EVO as an EVO might seem a little silly, but might it be necessary to distinguish between an extraordinary device that will appeal to many and just another phone that might be quickly dismissed?

Don’t get me wrong. The next EVO needs to be groundbreaking and come packing some serious hardware. Slapping a red ring on the back of an ordinary phone does not an EVO make . . . but should it not be a trademark symbol of the next EVO to inherit the crown?

What do you think?

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Greg Malinao

Greg is a former contributing editor at Good and EVO, which was merged into Pocketables in 2012.

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