HTC Evo 3D review

HTC's 3D smartphone goes head to head with the LG Optimus 3D
Photo of HTC Evo 3D
£534.00 , SIM-free

The HTC Evo 3D is the second Android smartphone we’ve seen to offer some 3D capability. It is a direct rival to LG’s Optimus 3D (reviewed here) – and while it betters that handset in one or two respects, if it’s 3D you are specifically after, LG wins the race by a short neck.

Big screen
The HTC Evo 3D has some top-end specifications that put it on a par with the likes of our Best Buy smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy S II (review), but it can’t match Samsung’s top-end smartphone for style. The HTC Evo 3D is a weighty 170g, compared to the Galaxy S II’s mere 116g – and it’s a bit hefty in the hand, too. This is because it has to sport some nifty screen technology and two cameras for 3D shooting.

We accept the necessities – but still, the HTC Evo 3D feels clunky to hold. It matches the Samsung and LG offerings we’ve already mentioned in having a 4.3in screen, but sneaks ahead of them both by making it a 540×960 pixel offering, as opposed to their mere 480×800.

The third dimension
The 3D capabilities of the HTC Evo 3D are rather limited. It can show the 3D videos that you can find on YouTube – but that fact isn’t at all advertised on the handset. You can use it to play 3D games, but again there’s no information about that and nothing was pre-installed on our review sample.

What you’re left with, then, as far as on-handset 3D-ness out of the box is concerned, is using the dual 5-megapixel cameras to shoot 3D stills at 2 megapixels, and shooting 720p 3D video. You need to work in landscape mode, as the side-by-side nature of the two cameras means the stereoscopic system doesn’t work well in portrait mode.

Top-notch specs
We’re slightly miffed at the lack of 3D features – but overall the HTC Evo 3D is a well specified smartphone. It has a dual-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and 1GB of RAM, plus an 8GB microSD card. It supports HDMI via its microUSB cable – though you’ll need to buy a lead to take advantage. DLNA home networking support comes out of the box.

The HTC Evo 3D runs Android 2.3, code-named ‘Gingerbread’, and the HTC Sense user interface is a slick as ever. There are seven home screens. A physical button on the right edge of the chassis switches you in and out of 3D mode – and you’ll need to use it. The battery drains fast in 2D, but really fast in 3D, even when you are not actually looking at 3D content. You’ll definitely need to allow for daily charging.

Company: HTC

Website: http://www.htc.com/uk

Contact: Clove.co.uk on 01202 552936

Positives
  • Huge screen; decent processor; Android 2.3.
Negative
  • 3D photos only offer 2-megapixel resolution; very poor battery life.

Verdict

We remain unconvinced that 3D is really a suitable technology for smartphones. If you want to try it, we’d suggest you opt for LG’s Optimus 3D which offers a fuller set of features and is, at present, less expensive too.