Sprint has announced a new 4G smartphone in connection with HTC that it hopes will bring super-fast surfing speeds to those lucky enough to find 4G coverage, and Pocket-lint has managed to go hands on with the new Android 2.2 device at CES 2011 in Las Vegas.

The HTC Evo Shift 4G will come with a slide-out QWERTY and be exclusive to Sprint from 9 January for $149.99. In the hand the phone is solidly built with a rubberised back similar to the HTC Hero released in the UK in 2009.

Playing on the fact that the phone is the 16th 4G-capable device from Sprint, the HTC Evo Shift will come with HTC Sense, run Android 2.2, offer a 5MP camera, 720p HD camcorder and a 3.6-inch capacitive touchscreen display.

That slide-out keyboard does give some bulk to the handset - it’s chunky in the hand, and slides rather than being the hinge system used on the HTC Desire Z. The keys themselves are flat, but responsive, well spaced out with a navigational d-pad for those afraid to use the touchscreen display.

Other specs include a microSD slot (supporting up to 32GB memory card) and GPS.

CES 2011 is now in full-swing, be sure to check out our dedicated CES homepage for all of the news as it breaks, as well as detailed analysis.