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HTC EVO Shift 4G for Sprint review - powerfully functional

Review by Michael Oryl on Tuesday January 18, 2011.

htc evo shift 4g · sprint · android reviews · smartphone reviews · htc news · android news · smartphone news · michael oryl

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Messaging messaging: 4 of 5 score

Like most every Android powered phone on the market, the HTC EVO Shift 4G for Sprint features a wide array of capable messaging tools. The threaded text and picture messaging app is a fine example - it keeps messages organized, and message threads are easy to follow, thanks to the use of contact photos and date markers. A nice Gmail application makes mobile access to Google's mail service a snap, and HTC's own Mail application can be used to access Microsoft Exchange accounts as well as more traditional POP and IMAP4 email accounts.

Both Gmail and Exchange accounts can be used for push synchronization of contacts and calendar appointments in addition to email, and the calendaring system even provides access to other shared or public Google Calendar calendars through the main Gmail account. HTC also supplies a PC based sync client for syncing contacts and calendar appointments with a desktop Windows PC. That's something you don't see often.

Facebook and Twitter support, in the form of HTC's Peep app and the official Facebook app, is built into the phone, and HTC even supplies its own FriendFeed app that can provide users with a combined view of both. More interesting is the integration of the social networks and messaging histories into the phone's contacts system. Instant messaging support on the phone is lacking, though, with Google's Talk client standing by its lonesome on the IM front.

Apps / App Store apps: 5 of 5 score

Sprint's HTC EVO Shift 4G has access to the over 100,000 applications that are in the Android Market. The Market recently received a makeover that has greatly improved the application's visual appeal, but still leaves it behind Apple's App Store when it comes to ease of shopping. The new version of the Market does provide a nice automatic app update service, though.

The EVO Shift's built-in apps include the full suite of Google apps, like Google's free Maps and Navigation. Adobe Reader for PDF files and a full view/edit version of Quickoffice are included for office document management, and you'll find a capable calendar application as well as tools like a calculator and desk clock. Sprint has also loaded the device up with a number of its own apps, including NASCAR, Sprint TV, and Sprint Football Live. These apps can't be removed by the user.

HTC included its own App Sharing application for tipping friends and family off to what your favorite applications are.

Browser browser: 5 of 5 score

The web browser on HTC's EVO Shift 4G is really good. In fact, it stands toe to toe with any other smartphone out there on all but one point - screen size. While 3.6 inches is far from small for a touchscreen, it still pales in comparison to the 4 and 4.3-inch displays that are common on higher end displays now. But with that smaller screen size you get a good d-pad and a full keyboard, meaning that you don't lose browsing space to an on-screen keyboard when you need to enter text.

In terms of capabilities, the browser supports Adobe Flash 10.1 just fine, and can handle multiple windows at the same time (though it lacks a tabbed interface). Pinch and stretch multi-touch zoom controls are available, as is a solid smart zoom feature that is accessed by double tapping on the screen. I'd like to see bookmark synchronization with Google Bookmarks, but really appreciate HTC's good selection of bookmark widgets for the home screen.

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About the author

Michael Oryl
Michael is the Philadelphia based owner and former editor-in-chief of MobileBurn.com. You can follow him on Twitter as @MichaelOryl

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