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HTC Unveils Next-Gen LTE Phone For Sprint

4/05/2012 10:05:10 AM Eastern

New York - HTC unveiled its first
next-generation 4G LTE smartphone, a Sprint-network model that is thinner and
offers more battery life than its HTC predecessors.


The HTV Evo 4G LTE will also be the first
phone to take advantage of the carrier's upgraded voice technology, called HD
Voice. The technology uses a new voice encoder and decoder in the Sprint
network and in the handset, plus dual microphones, to provide fuller, more
natural-sounding voices and reduce background noises, Sprint CEO Dan Hesse
claimed here at the phone's launch event. HD Voice will be enabled in the
network in late 2012.

 HTC's Evo 4G LTE will be available nationwide
in the second quarter at $199. Presales start May 7.

 Although the phone will be available
nationwide, Sprint's LTE network will be available only in six markets in
mid-2012. Sprint, however, has promised to complete its LTE rollout by the end
of 2013. The carrier has not specified its year-end 2012 rollout goals. The
phone does not incorporate mobile WiMAX 4G, which Sprint offers in 71 markets
covering more than 130 million people and will be phased out.

 Sprint promised more than 15 LTE devices in
2012 and has already announced plans for the LG Viper (see p. 18), Samsung
Galaxy Nexus and a Sierra Wireless mobile hotspot.

The Evo 4G LTE and HTC One series
4G HSPA+ phones unveiled earlier this year are part of HTC's efforts to turn
around the sales declines of the past few months by launching "fewer phones and
focusing on her phones," HTC president Jason MacKenzie told TWICE. To differentiate
the phones, the Evo and HTC One phones focus on design, advanced camera
features and Beats music quality, he said.

One version of
one of the planned One-series phones, the One X, will combine 4G LTE and HSPA+
technology and be available from AT&T in the coming months.

 To make its LTE phones more competitive, the
company designed the Evo 4G LTE to be its thinnest LTE phone yet, and the
company extended the phone's battery life by 50 to 70 percent over its previous
LTE models, in part by incorporating a 2,000 mAh battery, MacKenzie said.

 As for design, he said, "We're doubling down
even further on design."  The phone
features an anodized-black aluminum space frame, a silver ring around the phone
sides achieved by shaving the metal chassis,  red accents, a metal kickstand and a
soft-touch back.

The 8.9mm-thick Evo
4G LTE features Android 4.0, 4.7-inch super LCD HD display, 1.5GHz Qualcomm
dual-core processor, 2,000 mAh embedded battery, 8-megapixel rear-facing
camera, 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera, and nearfield communications (NFC)
technology. NFC is used in the phone's Android Beam feature, which lets users
share Web pages, apps and YouTube videos by tapping phones together.

The phone also
features Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n, which enables 3G/4G mobile hotspot capability
supporting up to eight Wi-Fi-enabled devices simultaneously.

Like the One
series phones, the Evo 4G LTE sports multiple camera and audio enhancements.

The phones apply
Beats audio technology across music sources, including YouTube, streaming music
services, and games, not just stored music. A new Music Hub feature lets users
store music, music applications and streaming-music apps in one on-screen

 All also feature HTC ImageSense, a new
suite of camera and imaging features that include multiple features not
previously offered by HTC. The new features include Superfast Capture, which
reduces the time to take a picture to 0.7 seconds. Fast 0.2-second autofocus
lets users take continuous shots by holding the shutter button.

In the Evo and
select One series phones, the camera suite also includes f/2.0 lens to capture
40 percent more light than f/2.4 lenses available on other smartphones.

The suite also delivers
Concurrent Video/Still Capture to shoot video and capture a photo at the same
time. When shooting 1080p HD video, users tap the shutter button to snap a
high-resolution still photo while continuing to take video. Users can also
create a picture from a previously recorded video.

The suite's high
dynamic range (HDR) technology improves contrast in captured photos. HDR also
takes multiple photos of a subject in rapid succession, each with a different
exposure level, then layers the images to create a single photo that combines
the best parts of each image to deliver a more accurate range of light.

The suite also
introduces Autoburst, a feature that automatically take a burst of shots of a
subject if the subject moves while the user is pressing the shutter button.

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