HTC EVO 3D hands-on

HTC has gone 3D, following LG into the market with the Sprint HTC EVO 3D. But is it a gimmick or the next best thing? We’ve just grabbed a hands-on with the new phone at CTIA to check out what the fuss is all about.

First and foremost this is a superfast, super speedy phone that offers plenty. It might have 3D in the title, but aside from the screen and the camera capabilities, 3D takes a step back in the whole experience.

HTC hasn’t introduced a series of new 3D interfaces, there are no 3D menus, there is no 3D funky stuff -aside from the ability to watch and make dedicated 3D content.

All that 3D love is delivered via the high-res qHD 4.3-inch screen that commands virtually the entire front of the phone. It's crisp and very sharp. There are the usual Android buttons that light up as with previous HTC handsets, and there is a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera for video chat, but it’s the screen that takes centre stage.

Around the back you’ll find the two 5-megapixel cameras that let you record 720p 3D surrounded by a cool red ring - luckily not of death.

Other features include 4G and 3G connectivity, 4GB Internal memory/1GB RAM, microSD slot (supports up to 32GB memory card), Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, stereo Bluetooth, integrated GPS, and a 1730mAh Lithium-ion battery. It all running Android 2.3.3 which is the latest Android version of Gingerbread at the moment. You'll also be able to turn the phone into a Wi-FI hotspot for up to eight other devices.

3D is all controlled via a “heavy-duty” looking switch on the side of the device that lets you jump between the two.

So what’s that content like? Well it’s fair to say from our brief play in a darkened room on the Sprint stand that it's very impressive as long as you’re in the right place.

The viewing angle is by no means as good as the LG Optimus 3D, although when you do get that sweet spot it works a treat.

We watched a Green Hornet trailer, recorded some videos and watched another video of a 3D game in action - currently the software build doesn't support 3D gaming but it will when the device launches in the US in the Summer.

The trick, we’ve already found, is to find that sweet spot and not move - that’s going to be easy at home, but might not be so easy on the bus or train for example.

The trick here is going to be the ability to share the content via either HDMI or DLNA.

HTC EVO 3D will be the first 3D handset pre-loaded with the Blockbuster On Demand mobile application that offers access to one of the largest catalogs of movies, including 3D titles.

Blockbuster On Demand offers the hottest new releases on the same day they become available on Blu-ray and DVD. Rentals range from $1.99 to $3.99 each, and purchases are $5.99 and up. Rentals will be available for viewing on one screen within 30 days of rental, with a 24-hour viewing period once the title is first played.

Also new is that HTC has updated its Sense UI again tweaking the experience slightly. Now users can select which bit of the phone to go to straight away from the lock screen - phone, messages, etc, as well as getting a 3D graphic but not three-dimensional animation between slides - very slick.

No word on if the phone will be coming to the UK, however we would suspect a variation of it to make it across the pond.