By Carl Howe
In front of a standing-room-only crowd that clapped and cheered with every light-hearted dig at AT&T (T), Verizon (VZ), the iPhone and the Droid (MOT), Sprint CEO Dan Hesse unveiled the new HTC Evo. The hardware specs are impressive: 1 GHz Snapdragon processor, robust 4.3 inch touchscreen, 8-megapixel camera (plus a second 1.3-megapixel camera on the front of the phone), 1GB of built-in memory and 512MB of RAM, and full Flash support support. Sprint also demoed a number of new applications designed to leverage the phone’s Android 2.1 platform, including a cool visual search app called Google Goggles (say that five times fast) – just take a picture of a book cover or a famous building, and Google Goggles will return search results, really fast.
But that’s because real story here is the device’s 4G capability. A town like Las Vegas screams out for gambling analogies, and clear where Sprint is putting all it’s chips: on the speed and “wow” factor of 4G. After talking about WiMax for years, Sprint can now actually demostrate its capabilities to consumers. The demos from Kevin Packingham and Fared Adib of Sprint did a good job showing how 4G is a game-changer for certain functions, especially web-browsing, video streaming (the Evo even has an HDMI-out jack, so you can stream content to your HD TV), and as a mobile hotspot, capable of providing network access to up to eight WiFi devices simultaneously.
Words, frankly, don’t do it justice, so Gene Signorini helped me capture a few quick thoughts and images immediately after the announcement. (Hat tip to Cisco for the Flip Video camera.)
See video here.