HTC have this morning announced the 'HTC Evo 3D' for Europe (with HSPA+), following the handset's recent release in CDMA guise on the Sprint network in the USA.
I have included the full press release below, however I was fortunate enough to spend some time with HTC on Friday getting a hands on with the device, so I can share my initial thoughts!
So, what is the HTC Evo 3D? It's a flagship phone to sit alongside the HTC Sensation, with which it shares much of it's specifications. Like the Sensation it packs a dual core 1.2GHz Qualcomm processor, a 4.3" qHD screen and Sense 3.0. Unlike the Sensation, it of course features a glasses-free 3D screen, dual cameras for 3D image / video capture (5 megapixel resolution with a f/2.2 maximum aperture versus 8 megapixel resolution with a f/2.8 aperture on the Sensation) and a non-unibody design.
In use, the Evo 3D does indeed feel exactly like it's non 3D sibling. It feels smooth and snappy around the UI, the Sense 3.0 additions complement the base Gingerbread experience and will make the new device feel instantly familiar for users of previous HTC phones. Of course, things start to get interesting when you launch one of the 3D applications... so what's it like? Well, if you've ever used a Nintendo 3DS (or indeed a LG Optimus 3D), you'll know what I mean when I say the 3D is 'subjective'. The device's 3D experience is virtually identical to that on the LG device (which I used alongside both the Evo 3D and the Sensation). There's a good chance you'll either love it or hate it and while there is a fair amount of novelty in snapping pictures and videos in 3D, for me personally it's not something i'd want to use for an extended period of time (despite having HTC Watch preinstalled with the potential to play 3D movie content). The device can output 3D via it's MHL port with the appropriate adaptor, which is a nice feature if you have a 3D equipped TV.
Hardware wise, the device feels solidly built in the hand (no less so than the Sensation despite it's non unibody construction) and maintains a quality feel in no small part due to it's soft-touch textured back (behind which sits a 1730mAh battery). The plastics used certainly feel vastly superior to it's main competitor, the LG Optimus 3D. Like the LG device, the Evo 3D has a physical 2D / 3D switch but also addds a physical camera button, which has a delightful 'metal feeling' round button, giving something of a retro feel every time you snap a picture!
The Evo 3D includes 4GB of internal storage, 1GB RAM and runs Android Gingerbread 2.3.4. Of course, I asked HTC whether the phone was expected to ship with an unlocked bootloader and in truth, the answer was a little troubling - "The Evo 3D was in development before the open bootloader decision was made and as such we aren't sure as yet whether the device will ship initially with an unlocked bootloader or this will follow later". Not good enough HTC!
The Evo 3D will be available to buy across Europe in Q3 (expected early July) both SIM free and via operator partners that are expected to be announced later today. Pricing is yet to be announced, however I would expect it to be priced very similar to the HTC Sensation.
For me the device is an intruiging proposition and it will be fascinating to see the market reaction. While I personally wouldn't seek out 3D for my next phone, given the choice I might be tempted to pick one up purely from the perspective of 'futureproofing'. It seems likely that in the not so distant future most of us will have 3D TVs, and if photo / video content i'm snapping today will be viewable in 3D on my TV of tomorrow, that's pretty cool. To an extent i've found this already with my LG Optimus 3D - if i'm taking a picture and the LG is handy i'm almost tempted to fetch it and take the shot in 3D 'just to have it there'. Dear readers... what are your thoughts?
If you have any questions, feel free to ask them below!
Record your life in vibrant 3D stills and HD video
LONDON – June 27, 2011 – HTC Corporation, a global leader in mobile innovation and design, today announces the arrival of the HTC EVO 3D in Europe. Delivering the ultimate glasses-free 3D experience, the stylishly rugged HTC EVO 3D, with the latest HTC Sense™ experience, makes it easy to capture and share stunning 3D home movies and stills with friends and family. HTC Watch is also available to owners of this multimedia powerhouse, allowing users to enjoy Hollywood blockbusters alongside their own 3D movies.
“Smartphones have revolutionised how people communicate and entertain themselves on the move. You can now carry your favourite films, music, photos and games in your pocket wherever you go,” said Florian Seiche, President of HTC EMEA. “The HTC EVO 3D allows people to explore this new technology trend beyond the living room, enabling them to capture and share their lives with family and friends in amazing 3D.”
3D without the glasses
The stunning stereoscopic display means that 3D effects can be enjoyed naturally as images and video burst from the screen, free of the burden of 3D glasses. Relive precious moments as if you were there and watch videos captured by HTC Evo 3D’s dual 5-megapixel cameras shimmer and dance with depth.
Entertainment on the go
Entertainment takes on a whole new dimension, with 3D films, videos, pictures and games leaping from the 4.3 inch qHD screen. This immersive 3D effect, coupled with stereo surround sound, creates a new world to explore and share. HTC EVO 3D is driven by a powerful, 1.2-gigahertz dual-core Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ processor, which not only supports brilliant 3D but also delivers a fast and responsive browsing experience, instant capture of images – perfect for recording fast-paced action – and playing back smooth, HD (720p) video.
Complementing the HTC EVO 3D’s design is the latest HTC Sense experience. Plunge into 3D menus and customise the active lockscreen, which becomes a real-time window to your most important content - from photos to your latest social network feeds. Whether it’s email, social networking or surfing the internet, the active lockscreen becomes a customizable gateway that lets you instantly jump to your favourite applications with just one gesture. HTC’s iconic Weather app also returns, letting you soar through the clouds and bask in the sun, with beautiful, new full-screen 3D animations.
Capture the moment
HTC EVO 3D’s two 5-megapixel cameras are enhanced with new features to help you capture the perfect moment as you see it. Switch effortlessly between 2D and 3D depending on your mood, and add a new creative perspective to your images with Tiltshift Effect – selectively blurring parts of the scene to give subjects the impression of scale models. The camera also performs well in low light thanks to a wide, f/2.2 maximum aperture and videos are recorded in crystal clear 720p resolution, at up to 30 frames per second, making the HTC EVO 3D perfect for recording evenings out with friends.
Premium design, striking performance
Tapping into HTC’s trademark design language, the HTC EVO 3D’s premium look and feel is enhanced by its slender dimensions and striking dual camera housing. The rear of HTC EVO 3D is sculpted with smooth lines that make the handset look rugged, yet feel natural in the palm of your hand.
The HTC EVO 3D will be broadly available in Europe from July.