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HTC Unveils Next-Gen LTE Phone For Sprint


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, Samsung Galaxy Nexus and a Sierra Wireless
mobile hot spot.

The Evo 4G LTE
and HTC One series
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 anodizedblack
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 frontfacing
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 3G/4G mobile hot spot capability.

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