Since early July, we have been extensively testing the HTC EVO 4G for Sprint to check its performance as a media phone for film fans and filmmakers. We have been amazed by the power and capabilities of the HTC EVO and we decided to speak to Trevor Van Norman, a Sprint Senior Product Marketing Manager to get more information about this phone for you. (CWB review of HTC EVO will be posted soon)
Trevor Van Norman has been at Sprint for 12 years and has held various roles in Product and Marketing. For the last 5 years, he has been responsible for commercializing and bringing CDMA handsets to the market. He’s brought some of the most successful Sprint handsets to consumers, including the Samsung Upstage, LG Fusic, Sanyo Katana, LG Rumor, Samsung Instinct, Palm Pre, HTC EVO 4G, and the Samsung Epic 4G—with much more in the works.
Bijan Tehrani: What new features and advances can 4G bring to the market?
Trevor Van Norman: 4G is up to ten times faster than 3G; so where you see the biggest difference would be in terms of downloading and streaming data and content. Some of the applications that we have demoed and shown have really impressed people and we feel that 4G really opens up horizons and allows the user to download mass amounts of media. So this is a really media intensive product and opens up new doors in terms of music, movies, gaming, and business applications. The phone also has high quality YouTube capability and allows you to instantly upload your videos to YouTube.
Bijan: What features and advantages has Android 2.2 brought to HTC EVO 4G?
Trevor: Flash Player 10.1 support is one aspect of it and there are many other nuances that are accessible with Android 2.2. Voice dialing over Bluetooth and the ability to store applications on the external storage are other important features.
Bijan: For sites such a HULU and others that are using the latest versions of Flash, how well do they work with Android 2.2?
Trevor: Sites that use Flash 10.1 or earlier render well with Android 2.2. Hulu is a little different. Hulu does not allow streaming to mobile devices, but does have a premium program that you can download to gain access to content.
Bijan: What is the maximum memory capacity that the product can hold?
Trevor: Well, it is compatible with the micro-SD card, so it will support up to 32 GB.
Bijan: What are the best ways to extend the products battery life?
Trevor: Some of the more important things to do would be managing your applications; you should limit the number of applications that are running in the background. It also helps to manage your data connections like WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, and 3G/4G. Also, if you know that 4G coverage is weak in the area, it helps to switch to 3G to minimize battery drain.
Bijan: There are batteries offered by 3rd parties that claim to offer more power; can consumers trust these products?
Trevor: We are not a strong believer in 3rd party batteries, so we would advise against third party batteries because we cannot guarantee that the batteries will work.
Bijan: How have the record breaking sales of the HTC EVO changed the cell phone market, and what have the consumer reactions been?
Trevor: From our perspectives, we have seen a significant increase in the device from our audience. There was significantly higher interest and to this day we continue to have constraints in terms of availability of the product because the demand is so high. We feel that we are one of the first real competitors with the iPhone and we feel that our product is just as good as—and in some cases, better—than the iPhone. We really have the only 4G capable devices and other phones will come along, but they will not have the 4G coverage. This is the first 4G phone ever in the United States and we have millions of people in 48 4G covered markets that are eager to use this product and we are eager to show them what this phone is capable of.
Bijan: What are some of the security issues with this phone?
Trevor: Early in the release of the product, some people questioned some security flaws in the phone. So, we immediately put out a maintenance release to update the phone’s software and address their concerns. I don’t think that the device has any more security issues than any other Android device; we feel that the device does meet our standards from a security perspective.