I'm continuing to answer your questions about the HTC EVO 4G LTE, so keep them coming! If you missed Part 1 of this series, check it out here.
Waldo: What's the standard call audio quality like (i.e. no HD voice)? Speakerphone quality? Cell reception?
John: Call quality is impressive, even though I haven't been able to test out the HD voice feature myself. The EVO 4G LTE has two microphones: one that picks up your voice, and the other that picks up all the background noise. It then filters out the background noise, so even if you aren't in an HD calling area yet, or the person you're talking to doesn't have an HD compatible phone, you'll still sound much better. When talking to my mom, she commented that I sounded so clear it was like I was talking on a really high-quality landline – even though I was taking a walk at the time, and kids were being loud in a nearby playground.
The speaker phone is surprisingly loud, much louder than the EVO 3D, and didn't really have the characteristic tinny sound that plague many speakerphones. Calls remained clear while using the speakerphone.
Cell reception also seems on par with the EVO 3D, or maybe slightly better. I either get the same amount of bars, or a few more on the EVO 4G LTE, when the phones are side-by-side. One thing I have noticed, however, is that the EVO 4G LTE performs better with fewer bars than the EVO 3D (i.e. no dropped calls where my EVO 3D drops them, and consistently clear call quality).
hhawk: Will it roam to Verizon for LTE service? What class of SD card does it support? Any tests to see how fast it is in 3G mode vs. other EVOs?
John: No, it won't use Verizon's LTE network, even though it's available where I am. For now, it's stuck on 3G, but I've been pretty impressed with various 3G speed tests:
For the sake of comparison, my EVO 3D, sitting right next to the EVO 4G LTE, was anywhere from 200-500kbps slower than the EVO 4G LTE, every single time. Concerning the SD card, I believe it officially supports up to 32GB SD2.0/SDHC, up to class 10. Unofficially, I don't think anyone is sure yet.
Cburna: How does the keyboard compare to the 3D? Both Swype and the original?
John: The stock HTC keyboard and Swype are both awesome, and it's much easier to switch between them due to the notification that appears at the top when typing. HTC has brought back the bottom-row navigation arrows, which are fantastic, and the accuracy of HTC's Trace feature has improved a hundredfold over Trace on the EVO 3D. Swype is also at version 3.26 in the EVO 4G LTE, instead of 3.21 on the EVO 3D.
I'm conflicted, though: I like HTC's keyboard better than Swype, especially with the improved accuracy, but I also like the fact that Swype takes up less space on the screen (see below). If you want more details about HTC's updated keyboard in Sense 4.0, be sure to check out my article over at Pocketables.
@WhodeyB: How is the battery life compared to the original Evo?
@matt_kirschner: How's the battery life? Not setting good reviews elsewhere, and that's without LTE!
Mateusz O.: I'm just concerned about battery life as I use GPS a lot.
TA: What's the LTE battery life like?
Dan: Will this device survive without an extended battery?
John: OK, OK, I get it! Everyone wants to know about battery life, which is understandable since a major concern with this phone is the non-removable battery. Keep in mind, however, that the EVO 4G LTE has 200mAh more than the HTC One X, and the dual-core S4 processor is more battery-efficient than the older, quad-core Tegra 3.
I will say that after using the phone for one day, I was able to get about 10 hours of use after fully charging the battery before the phone warned me that the battery was getting low. This was with almost constant use, including about 45 minutes of voice calls, half an hour of GPS turn-by-turn navigation, an hour or so of streaming music, internet browsing, app downloading and updating, etc. I also left LTE on, even though I have no 4G LTE here. It was on WiFi about half the time, and 3G the other half. Given that I could barely put the phone down during this time, I'd say 10 hours is decent.
That being said, I've only had the phone for one day, and I don't think that's enough time to truly get a good feel for the battery. Today, I've turned LTE off to see if leaving it on has a great effect on the battery life. I'll let you know what I find out, so stay tuned.
@sturmen: The way the fact sheet is worded, it makes it seem like the front cam can shoot 1080p. Is that true? The One X can do 720p.
John: The front-facing camera can shoot 720p video; the back camera can shoot 1080p.
Janson: I'd love to hear about the screen in lots of lighting conditions like direct sun and fluorescent glare, and how well the automatic screen brightness works in those conditions. Does Sense 4.0 do the same cool things, like auto speaker when phone goes face down during a call? Were any of those features lost? Are there new ones? Do the non-root tethering apps like PDAnet or EasyTether still work? Using LTE? How smooth are the high end FPS, like NOVA or Combat?
John: The screen is an IPS display, which means it looks great outside, even in the sunlight. It is still very reflective (like all screens), and fingerprints will affect clarity, but for the most part I've been extremely satisfied with indoor and outdoor use. It makes the screen on my EVO 3D look extremely washed out. I've kept it on automatic brightness the whole time. I should also note that the hardware keys at the bottom are very good about only lighting up when it's too dark to see them otherwise; I haven't been able to find any settings that will force them on or off. They do not suffer from the same problem that they do on the EVO 3D; namely, the ones on the 3D are too bright.
Sense 4.0 retains all those cool features you mentioned, and has a few extras, like a 3-finger gesture that opens the HD Media Link feature. Check out my article at Pocketables for some more detailed coverage of Sense 4.0.
Non-root tethering apps still work just fine, but I haven't been able to test anything with LTE yet since Sprint LTE is non-existent here.
Concerning graphics and FPS, it looks great to me, but here are the results of a Neocore benchmark test:
Synikil: Does it grant you three wishes?
John: Depends on what your wishes are…
Keep those questions coming!