Sprint's Android superphone in need of super battery

May 20, 2010: 10:35 AM ET

The Android superphone with incredible specs also requires a super battery, which wasn't part of the package.

The Sprint EVO reviews came rolling in last night and were pretty much on par with what everyone anticipated.  The phone has the best screen you can currently buy on a smartphone -- 4.3 inches of glass cover a 480x800-pixel LCD.

The data over 4G is the fastest you can get (where available) and the mobile hotspot functionality worked as advertised (for 3.5 hours on one charge, no less).

The front-side camera proved effective for video conferencing, and the 8-megapixel backside camera took more than acceptable stills and "Flip-like" 720P video.  Connect the EVO to your HDTV with a mini HDMI cable to watch those 720P videos.

In my brief time with the EVO, I thought the biggest day-to-day difference was the ability to type quickly and accurately in portrait mode. Other Android phones, and even the iPhone, have keys that are much closer together. The extra screen real estate added to both speed and accuracy.

But all of those high end features, especially the 4G network access, come at a huge cost; specifically a battery cost.  Walt Mossberg said:

...when using 4G, the EVO's battery runs down alarmingly fast. In my tests, it didn't last through a full day with 4G turned on. The carrier, in fact, is thinking of advising users to turn off the 4G network access when they don't think they need it, to save battery life. This undercuts the whole idea of faster cellular speeds.

Ouch.

Battery life is one of the biggest issues for smartphones, especially Android phones, as users are given free reign to run all sorts of background apps on these devices. The standard by which most are measured is a day's worth of battery.

Perhaps lucky for some, the EVO has a removable battery, so people who want to use the 4G have a possible solution in buying an extra battery.  But that's hardly an elegant solution for what many consider the best smartphone out there...for now.

Reviews:
WSJ
Engadget
Gizmodo
PCMag

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Seth Weintraub
Seth Weintraub

Google went from searching the Web to worming its way into nearly every facet of business and government. Seth Weintraub unveils where the company is going, who it's competing with, who it's about to compete with and how market forces push the company to veer or adhere to its Don't Be Evil motto. For 15 years, Weintraub was a global IT director for a number of companies before becoming a blogger.

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