Sprint’s HTC EVO 4G launch

Sprint-HTC-EVO-4G-1So today’s the big day we’ve all been waiting for! I’m hearing stories of packed stores, some not so crazy lines, and activation problems due to system overload. What about you? What are you experiencing in your quest for the nation’s first WiMax device and the ultimate (for the time being) Android? Send in your line photos, pics of you with your shiny new device, or make your own unboxing vid! I’m sure we would all love to see them.

And for those of you who will not be dropping the bills today, like myself, here are a few bits of information to tide you over until you can buy an EVO or simply to quell the envy as you slide the creaking screen of your G1 back and forth, grinding your teeth:

Sprint launched a product page yesterday, which includes the EVO manual.

Qik detailed their premium features, some of which are targeted at EVO owners.

Besides already being rooted and having at least one cooked ROM available, the EVO has been singled out by hackers as having specific vulnerabilities that effectively require (in their opinion) that users hack their phones for security purposes. How you view this item likely depends largely on your enthusiasm for hacking and experiences with it.

Here is Sprint’s press release for the launch of EVO:

The Wait is Over – America’s First 3G/4G Phone, HTC EVOTM 4G, Available Nationwide Today, Exclusively from Sprint
HTC EVO 4G leads the wireless revolution, giving parents the ability to tuck their little ones in while away on business through Mobile Video Chat, become an independent filmmaker with HD video capture, stay connected with up to eight devices with Mobile Hotspot capability and so much more with innovative features

OVERLAND PARK, Kan., Jun 04, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) –History will be made across the nation as anxious customers get their hands on America’s first 3G/4G wireless phone, HTC EVOTM 4G, packed with industry-leading features. Starting today, customers can purchase HTC EVO 4G at Sprint (NYSE: S) retail stores, online (www.sprint.com), through Telesales (1-800-SPRINT1), business direct and at RadioShack, Best Buy and Walmart. The device will cost $199.99 with a two-year service agreement and after a $100 mail-in rebate (taxes excluded) with a new line activation or eligible upgrade.

“With HTC EVO 4G’s advanced features, like video chat and 3G/4G capability, customers may find themselves using a lot more data, so a plan with unlimited use is key,” said Carrie MacGillivray, program manager at industry market research firm IDC. “Customers are looking for simplicity in their voice and data plans. Unlimited plans offer new EVO users the flexibility to use the device as they desire without any worry about exceeding a predetermined limit.”

HTC EVO 4G brings capabilities U.S. wireless customers have never experienced before, including a new video chat service providing two-way voice and video capability included at no additional cost with the preloaded Qik app.1 Qik Video Chat allows you to experience events as they happen, even if you can’t be there. Attend a meeting across the country and feel like you are truly there, watch your child’s performance live on your mobile phone, or pick up a Qik Video Message from a friend who wants to share an exciting adventure. The Qik Video Chat app enables interactive, real-time sharing with almost anyone, whether the other party has Qik installed or not.

HTC EVO 4G is this summer’s must-have wireless experience as it continues to win third-party accolades and endorsements. CNET, LAPTOP Magazine and eWeek gave HTC EVO 4G awards for Best of Show when it was announced at CTIA this spring. HTC EVO 4G was recently listed on MobileTechReview’s Best Smartphones and Best Touch Screen Phones lists.

According to LAPTOP Magazine, “EVO 4G packs practically everything a geek could dream of in a mobile device . . . The EVO 4G richly deserves our Editors’ Choice award. It’s a no-brainer for Sprint customers, and a tempting choice for those on other carriers.” Visit here for early HTC EVO 4G reviews and related information.

Innovative Features Beyond Compare

HTC EVO 4G features the increasingly popular Android platform, Android 2.1, offering more than 50,000 apps, as well as a mind-blowing list of features, including:

* Simultaneous voice and data capability in 4G or Wi-Fi coverage areas, enabling Web surfing and more during conversation
* Offering a new way to search with pictures instead of words, Google Goggles(TM) works with everything from books, DVDs and barcodes to landmarks, logos, artwork and wine labels
* Superfast 1GHz Qualcomm(R) Snapdragon(TM) processor, ensuring a smooth and quick movement within phone menus
* Two cameras – an 8.0 megapixel auto-focus camera with HD-capable video camcorder and a forward-facing 1.3 megapixel camera
* Built-in mobile hotspot functionality allowing up to eight Wi-Fi enabled devices to share the 3G or 4G experience on the go with a laptop, camera, music player, game unit, video player, or any other Wi-Fi enabled device
* Integrated HD video capture with the ability to capture and share live video via the Qik Web site, Facebook(R), YouTube or Twitter(TM)
* Ability to easily watch video with the device on an HDTV via an HDMI cable (sold separately)
* Custom Web browser optimized for the 4.3-inch display and Sprint 4G speeds to deliver a full, no-compromise Internet experience
* A handy kickstand built into the back, making it easy to watch videos on-the-go
* Adobe Flash technology ensures that rich Internet content, such as embedded video and animation, are displayed the way they are meant to be seen
* Pinch-to-zoom and automatic text reflowing provide easy Web page views

HTC EVO 4G users will have an assortment of accessories to select from beginning today, including a variety of stylish carry and protection solutions to protect the 4.3 inch screen, a range of hands-free headsets, access to a spare battery and an extensive selection of charging solutions so that they never run out of power whether at home, office or in the car. Customer can also use the Sprint Travel Charger Plus (sold separately) for an afternoon power source to give them all the power they need to get through the day.

Sporting an Eco-Friendly Box

The innovation applied to HTC EVO 4G goes beyond the device and also applies to the eco-friendly packaging. Sprint designed the box and tray to align with its commitment to sustainability, working with HTC to produce a superior environmental solution that also protects the phone.

HTC EVO 4G’s package is 100 percent recyclable and partially made from sugar cane, a highly renewable material that serves as a great alternative to plastic or foam. Sugar cane pulp is becoming a popular choice for sustainable packaging because of its reduced environmental impact, as it is a renewable resource, decomposes relatively quickly in the waste stream, can be recycled in the conventional paper stream and its flexibility for use in an array of package shapes and sizes. Sprint has also significantly reduced in-box materials, encouraging users to find details online, and uses certified soy inks and water-based coating on the sleeve.

Although HTC EVO 4G was developed prior to the development of Sprint’s green specifications for devices, it already meets several of Sprint’s eco-criteria including RoHS compliance (the strict European Union standard for the restriction of hazardous substances) an Energy Star Level V qualified charger, use of a micro-USB connector for charging and the inclusion of a recycling envelope for customers to easily recycle their previous phone model.

Getting More for Less

In order to provide the best experience, HTC EVO 4G requires one of Sprint’s industry-leading Everything Data or Business Advantage Messaging and Data plans with Any Mobile, AnytimeSM. A $10 per month Premium Data add-on is required for all HTC EVO 4G users, enabling a richer data experience than ever before at both 3G and 4G speeds.

HTC EVO 4G customers can pay just $69.99 for Sprint’s Everything Data 450 plan, plus the $10 Premium Data add-on, totaling just $79.99 per month for unlimited Web, texting and calling on the Sprint Network with any mobile in America, as well as the most robust multimedia experience and fastest data speeds in wireless today. That’s a savings of $40 per month versus Verizon’s 3G-only plan with unlimited talk, text and Web.

An optional charge of just $29.99 per month turns on HTC EVO 4G’s mobile hotspot, connecting up to eight Wi-Fi enabled devices, such as laptops, gaming devices and digital cameras, simultaneously at 4G speeds, where available, and at 3G speeds anywhere on the Sprint 3G network.