For those of you who have been waiting to get a new Android phone, you need to read this blog post because I now own three Android phones from three U.S. carriers, the Sprint HTC Evo 4G, Verizon HTC Droid Incredible, and the T-Mobile Google Nexus One.
Currently, the best smartphone you can get on Sprint is the HTC Evo 4G (which is sold out), on Verizon is the HTC Droid Incredible (which is also sold out), and T-Mobile is the Google Nexus One.
T-Mobile Google Nexus One
Let me start with the T-Mobile Google Nexus One, which I bought back in January when it was launched. First off, Nexus One is a very sturdy phone, I’ve dropped it about a hundred times (sometimes from 5 feet) and have never broken anything, just minor scratches.
As far as the feel in your hands, Google Nexus One feels really good and has a nice stylish curves.
The Nexus One features a 3.7-inch AMOLED screen, 5 megapixel camera, Android 2.2 Froyo, FREE wifi tethering (Froyo), noise-cancelling mics, 4 touchpad buttons and a trackball.
I have used this phone for about 6 months now and it does a lot of cool things like play high-quality YouTube videos (Froyo), Flash 10.1, and a bunch of more stuff (with Froyo). (You can check out my Nexus One Hacks blog here for more.)
The only drawback with T-Mobile is that 3G is “very spotty”. If you are inside buildings or malls, it tends to drop back down to 1X connection, which gets painfully slow and makes the phone unusable. Of course, when 3G is on, T-Mobile is very fast but the spottiness occurs all too often. I used to carry my Sprint Palm Pre along with the T-Mobile Nexus One. My Pre always gets full 3G signals while my Nexus One doesn’t.
Still, if you are already on T-Mobile and you don’t want to move to another carrier, Nexus One is the best smartphone you can get right now.
Sprint HTC Evo 4G
I got this phone the day it was launched and this now is my favorite smartphone to carry all the time. Even though I don’t get 4G here in San Francisco yet, Sprint’s 3G is “reliable” and fast wherever I go, even inside buildings.
The best feature about the Sprint HTC Evo 4G is its rather large 4.3″ screen size. It allows me to type rather fast with a large margin of error than any other smartphone I have tried.
If you have normal to big hands (I would say I have normal hands), you will feel wonderful the minute you start typing on this device.
As far as size of the HTC Evo 4G? In reality it may be half an inch wider and longer, a tad heavier than Nexus One and the Droid Incredible but I don’t mind the extra size in my pocket, I can hardly feel the difference!
The Sprint HTC Evo 4G features a whopping 8 megapixel camera (almost double iPhone 4) AND a 1.3 megapixel front-camera for video chatting or taking photos of yourself (I know girls love this feature), great speakers, kickstand, and a 720P HD HDMI output which allows you to stream videos to your HDTV in crisp, clear 720P HD.
I know there’s been a lot of rumors about the battery life of the Evo 4G but it’s actually quite usable and comparable to my Nexus One’s battery life. The phone itself doesn’t come with battery-optimized settings but a bit of fiddling will let your Evo 4G last couple days no problem.
Of course, don’t forget that unlike iPhones, the HTC Evo 4G allows you to swap out batteries if you intend on web-surfing non-stop. You can read up on HTC Evo 4G batteries here.
Did I mention FM radio? Yup, I love streaming FM radio on my phone now, drains the battery less than internet radio plus I can listen to local stations.
Sprint TV is pretty awesome as it allows you to stream live TV such as the NBA Finals or World Cup while you are on the go.
So far, I am lovin’ my new HTC Evo 4G and highly recommend it to those who are already on Sprint or your Sprint coverage is good in your area.
Oh yeah, I’ve checked with the local Sprint store, RadioShack, AND BestBuy, they are all sold out of the Evo 4G but I heard Amazon has them in stock. (better hurry!)
Of course, you can also pre-order at Sprint, RadioShack, or BestBuy but it’s probably take a month before you get hands on it.
Verizon HTC Droid Incredible
Verizon HTC Droid Incredible is indeed “incredible” with an 8 megapixel camera, VGA TV out, 3.7″ screen (like Nexus One), touchpad buttons, and also a touchpad trackball.
Verizon is probably as “reliable” as Sprint in my personal experiences. If you are on Verizon already, I do highly recommend getting the HTC Droid Incredible.
As far as features, the HTC Droid Incredible is nearly identical to the Nexus One with the exception of higher-resolution camera and a VGA TV out.
And yes, HTC Droid Incredible would be slightly better phone than the Nexus One.
If I had to rank the phones purely on network and performance, I would say HTC Evo 4G is first, then Verizon HTC Droid Incredible, and T-Mobile Google Nexus One.
But don’t get me wrong, all three of these Android smartphones are exceptionally great at everything, they are all just slightly different “flavors” for the different cellular providers.
Definitely though, the HTC Evo 4G’s large 4.3″ screen beats any other smaller-sized smartphones out there (including iPhone 4) hands down. You simply can’t compete with more relaxed eyes on a large screen versus sore eyes on a small screen. (Think about it, do you prefer a 42-inch HDTV or a 32-inch HDTV?) Plus, with multi-touch keyboard, typing is like 10 times easier on a larger screen. No matter how much resolution you have, it won’t matter if your screen is tiny. – knockout punch at iPhone 4