On Wednesday at a joint press conference in New York, HTC and Sprint announced the HTC Evo 4G LTE – Sprint’s variant of the HTC’s new One X smartphone. I’ve been waiting for this. In my view, the success of the One X smartphone from HTC is key — not just for HTC but for the whole Android ecosystem.
The One series matters for HTC because it gives it the opportunity to breathe new life into its recent slate of stale smartphones — think the HTC Rezound or Rhyme. This lack of innovation has led to its disappointing sales forecasts, placing HTC in a bind.
That’s why the success of the HTC One X and its variants matter so much for HTC. But its success matters for Android, too.
The Samsung Galaxy Nexus is now over four months old. It and Motorola are dominating the market. But there’s still time for HTC to challenge it with new technology. The HTC Evo 4G LTE, with its 4.7-inch 720p Super LCD 2 screen (non-pentile) has the best display on the market. And its polycarbonate unibody construction and matte finish give it one of the most attractive designs HTC has ever produced.
Even though it doesn’t have the Tegra 3 quad-core processor of the global version, its 1.5 GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 offers it plenty of processing power. Even Sense 4.0 has been stripped down, thankfully, but not enough. HTC, just go stock Android already, please.
These traits make the phone compelling now, but HTC has a shrinking window of opportunity to publicize and sell the One X variants before Samsung announces and releases the Galaxy S3. Once that happens, all bets are off.
Android is a better, more competitive ecosystem with HTC in the game. We’re all better off if it stays in. And to stay in, it had better meet expectations for bang for the buck. Those are high expectations, but I’m betting HTC will do it.
AT&T’s US version of this phone is also due soon and likely will sport similar specs as the Evo 4G LTE.