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HTC EVO 3D review (updated)

In Australia the EVO 3D Android phone will be available from Telstra and Vodafone

HTC EVO 3D

HTC EVO 3D

The HTC EVO 3D is a gorgeous-looking Android-powered smartphone. Like the LG Optimus 3D, the HTC EVO 3D has a 3D display that doesn't require glasses to view. In Australia, the HTC EVO 3D will be available from Telstra and Vodafone.

In a similar manner to the Nintendo 3DS, the screen has a series of slits on the front of that block light so that the user's left and right eyes see different images, creating a 3D effect.

Like the Optimus 3D, the HTC EVO 3D has a 4.3-inch display. The screen, which is made out of tough Gorilla Glass, has a resolution of 540x960-pixels, which is substantially higher than the Optimus 3D's 480x800 pixels.

The 3D effect isn't the same as a 3D movie: Images aren't exactly flying in your face; rather, it looks like you can peer into the phone much like a diorama. You need to maintain an absolute dead-on viewing angle to properly appreciate the third dimension, though.

The EVO 3D is powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. The Snapdragon processor supports advanced 3D technology, including full 1080p 30-frames-per-second HD video and stereoscopic-3D video capture and playback.

Interestingly, the HTC EVO 3D has more RAM and a slightly bigger battery than HTC's flagship Sensation Android phone.

So how much of a difference does dual-core make? We matched the EVO 3D up against its predecessor, the HTC EVO 4G (a single-core device), and there's quite a big difference — one you'll notice it as soon as you turn on the phone. The EVO 4G had a start-up time of 74 seconds (!), while the EVO 3D had a much faster start-up time of 13.7 seconds. File transfer speed was about the same for both phones with the EVO 4G clocking in at 7.8 megabits per second versus the EVO 3D with 7.2 megabits per second.

We also conducted two gaming performance tests using GLBenchmark, a software suite that tests the quality and performance of OpenGL graphics. We conducted two tests: one with anti-aliasing on, one with it off. (Anti-aliasing is a graphics setting present in many games, which is intended to make gameplay graphics look smoother--for a full explanation of the pros and cons of anti-aliasing, check out Geek 101: Making Sense of Anti-Aliasing). We measured the graphics in frames per second (fps)-the more frames per second, the smoother the animations and graphics. The difference between the single-core EVO 4G and the dual-core EVO 3D is huge: With anti-aliasing off, the EVO 4G averaged 5.7 fps while the EVO 3D averaged 36.5 fps.

There's something quite satisfying about capturing 3D images or videos and then being able to watch them on the same device. The phone comes with a 5-megapixel dual-lens camera for 3D video recording. This means you can film 3D videos using camera, and watch them on a 3D-capable, high-definition television.

You can view images and footage on any 3D TV with the help of the phone's HDMI-out jack. This uses a technology called MHL, which allows for both charging and HDMI-out via the same port. In Australia, the HTC EVO 3D is available through Telstra on the telco's Freedom Connect Plans as well as a range of business plans. Vodafone is offering the phone for $5 per month on the $65 Infinite Plan over 24 months.

Verdict

The HTC EVO 3D is a powerful phone — 3D or not. Although 3D can be fun, it is definitely still a novelty feature. That said, the EVO 3D's design is gorgeous, and the combination of dual-core Snapdragon processors with 4G can't be beat.

Rating: 4.5/5

Note: The review unit was a US model running on the Sprint 4G network.

Reporting by Ginny Mies, PC World US; and Ross Catanzariti, GoodGearGuide.

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