HTC EVO Shift 4G Review

January 12, 2011
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The HTC EVO Shift 4G finally is available to the masses and you’re probably wondering if it’s worth the upgrade. The phone seems to be marketed as a high-end entry-level device, and from our time with the device over the last week or so we’re ready to give it the full Android Community review.

Let’s start off with a confession, the entire Android Community team was not impressed with the leaks of this device. The specs were sub-par, the design was a bit out there, and we all thought that it would be a major flop for both HTC and Sprint. However, after some time with the device, I can say that I am happy to stand corrected. The device is no ATRIX or Optimus 2X, but it’s definitely an impressive phone. Being advertised as bringing 4G to the masses, the HTC EVO Shift 4G is a very solid device, especially at only $119.99 at Amazon.

Design:


The phone is incredibly solid. It has a nice weight to it without being too heavy that some HTC devices have proven to be. It's incredibly thin for sporting a full QWERTY keyboard and overall the device just feels good in the hand. The only problem we had with the device was that the volume buttons seemed to be right where your thumb would be during normal use which resulted in some accidental volume toggles. However, once we got accustomed to the design, this became less and less of an issue. The device is very impressive looking, too. Featuring a blue brushed aluminum-like bezel and blue accented keyboard, it combines style and usability without being too flashy or bizarre.

Performance:

The device was surprisingly powerful. Even though it only sports an 800MHz processor, it easily outperforms some devices we have tested with 1GHz. Scrolling through menus is smooth and only a little bit of lag is noticeable. Couple the greatly optimized Android 2.2 with Sprint’s 4G network and we definitely have a winner in the speed category. It may be hard to believe but we were thoroughly impressed with the device’s performance.

The Keyboard

The obvious selling point of the HTC EVO Shift 4G is its onboard slide-out physical keyboard. Featuring a full QWERTY keyboard, we found the keys to be perfectly spaced. We see the Shift featuring the optimal cellphone slide-out keyboard, it was both responsive and provided a satisfaction of a key press that seems to be becoming more and more outdated. The keys are even spaced adequately from the slide-lip allowing easy typing from the top row, which can be a real annoyance when not implemented in phones of this type.

Conclusion:


We can definitely see this as the "go-to" phone for young adults whose main focus is texting on the Sprint network, but unlike other phones targeted for the group, this will also function outside of this niche being a decent option for the business user, especially with 4G connectivity. Being an optimal device, if you're not looking for an ultra-powerful device, the HTC EVO Shift 4G is definitely one of the best options currently on the market.


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  • Jason

    this isnt a very good review… honestly let this chris burns guy do all the reviews k?

  • andy p

    I think this device is similar to the desire z and the merge. It has a super powered 800mhz processor that hits 1600 easily on quadrant without overclocking. Couple that with 4G and a super fab physical keyboard and what do you get? A super usable phone with fantastic battery life and the best thing of all, the new HTC sense. Some reviews of its cousin the g2 stated that it had the best battery life they have tested on a smartphone.

    This phone kills off plenty of 1ghz competition, don’t just look at the clock speed and think this is a weak phone coz it isn’t.
    The processor does an 1800mhz overclock and easily has the highest linpack scores for those who love to root.

  • Wade

    I just got the phone two days ago and i have to say so far its been hands down the best i have ever had.

  • Nina

    Just got the phone two days ago. Love the phone but the phones dies after 3 hours.

  • http://androidcomminuty tom

    yeh i got it for 2 days now love the phone but battery drained down in bout 2 to 3 hours..

  • Taylor

    same here with the crap battery..

  • Cathy

    I got my phone last weekend and I am LOVING it! This replaced my Palm Pre – no comparison. The Shift has so much more to offer. Battery is always going to be an issue on a phone like this. I keep mine charging during the day at my computer, and use it all evening without issue.

  • Shifty

    Just switched from BB Curve to my first Android phn in the Shift. Gotta say, this is such a fun phone. To those with battery issues, make sure you don’t run 4G all the time and have GPS and Bluetooth running when not needed either. On the default “Sprint” Scene, I think 1 or 2 swipes to the right from the home screen shows you the options to turn them on/off. Also, be aware of not closing down apps. Just because you hit the Home key, doesn’t mean your browser or Market app, etc… is shut down. Take the time to install an app that runs like a task manager (and allows you to kill running apps you thought were gone, but aren’t). I use mine all day to surf the web, text, make calls, download apps, play games… and it lasts until bedtime when I just hook it up to recharge. I am VERY satisfied with this purchase!

  • Tom

    I switched to sprint about a month ago and purchased a Samsung Transform, my first smartphone. I didn’t know quite what to expect but i knew after a couple of weeks that the phone was not what I had hoped for.

    I went back to my local Sprint store and the salesman (a really nice kid) told me about the HTC Shift. There was a night and day difference. I am very pleased I made the change, the phone is everything that I expected it to be.

  • connie

    Love it! The only problem is the battery but I will follow shifty’s advices, but I have to say is a great phone =)

  • dave

    I’ve had this phone for a week not.. Power using all day. Surfing the web, using maps constantly, email, texting, gaming as well as a phone. Additionally, I’m also running launcherpro and a bunch of other 3rd party apps. Battery life lasts all day long. No problems. I have anywhere from 20-50% battery life at the end of the night. The only thing task killers are good for is killing games as apps that are scheduled to start on boot will restart shortly after killing them. As far as processor speed goes.. this thing runs benchmarks at 1500, better than any other phone listed on quadrant. Better than the EVO and galaxy S phones. I

  • BlindAcid

    Download Juice defender app in the android market for batter battery performance.

  • shanu

    it is sooo good

  • http://www.androidwall.info/ AndroidWall

    its a great phone hopefully indie developers can improve the battery life this.

  • Tasha

    I got the phone a couple of days ago..and i love it…It took me a minute to get accustomed to it coming from having a blackberry…but i freaking love this phone

  • Gary

    HELP…..Want to replace my BB Curve. But 3 things…
    1. Need physical keyboard. HTC Shift has it.
    2. Does Shift sync with Outlook?
    3. Can I tether to laptop and use Shift as modem?

  • Gary
  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Finley-Manser/100002005039197 Finley Manser

    With all the new phones coming out this year…sprint brings out a phone that should be discontinued already.where is the state of the art phones form the first with 4G? All the new phone seem to got to AT&T and Verizon. Sprints phone plans are still the best deals around,but the phones not!
    http://healthproductadvice.com/hcg-activator-review

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1342353285 Amber Thomas Ogert

      Why do you say they should be discontinued already, this Evo Shift is 4G compatible already??

    • CJ

      I agree with Amber why? At&t doesn’t have anything better than sprints 4g phones and I live in the Portland Oregon area were At&t’s service is unreliable and sprints is always great. My boyfriend has at&t with a HTC Aria and the phone does not even compare to sprints and he is a truck driver and drops calls countless times in a day.

  • Edd Knowles

    Sprint already has 2 high-end 4G phones (the incomparable EVO 4G and the EPIC 4G). The EVO Shift is an incredible phone for the price (you can get it for $100.00). It compares favorably against the iPhone 4 at less than half the price!! In fact, the real question is why anyone would buy an iPhone 4 on Verizon at twice the price running on a 3G network??? If you have $250.00 to blow, then get a EVO 4G with a 2600ma battery, and you’ll have the best smartphone in the world. If you’re on a tight budget or upgrading from a feature phone, the EVO Shift is an incredible bargain — imagine an iPhone 4 with a WiFi Hotspot, a full QWERTY keyboard, running on a 4G network and you have an idea of the kind of device you’re getting with the EVO Shift — for $100.00!!

    • Charniece2011

      where can u get it for $100

      • iwantevoshift4G

        thats with a 2 year contract ($159) if ur wanting a 2 yr contract then bestbuy has it for $50

    • keren

      i got mine for free but its a piece off sh**

      • Lost_it_all_04

        See thats where u got fucked sprint didnt tell u but u didnt get a new phone u got a refurbished phone that someone broke or was defective and sent to be fixed thats y it was free if u payed for ur shift u got a brand new phone i no this cause i worked for sprint for 3 years and thats what how u get a phone for free they save enough ones thag where broke amd defective and start a promotion look it up it happens about 10 to 12 months after any phone comes out till they work the bugs out i would call and bitch man its worth to just pay for a newer one ive never had a problem with mine best phone ive ever owned

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1342353285 Amber Thomas Ogert

    This is a very impressive phone and its much smaller too! I have a Blackberry and I don’t even have to buy another case for the new phone! The down side is that it cost $10 more per month for special data service!

  • CEARRIAM

    this phone is alsome i even masturbated with it !!!!!!! ROCK ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Martincheyenne89

    I Have The EVO 4G Shift, My Only Problem Would Be That It Freezes Alot.You Haft To Have A Kill All App. And You Haft To Turn It Off Once A Week Just To Keep It Running Without Freeze Ups. Overall, I Love My Phone Because Of The Keyboard, & Its Huge Sceen. It’s A Huge Upgrade From My Old Phone The Huawie M750 From metroPCS. <3 My EVO 4G Shift!

    • Cassanadrahowie

      I got my EVO 4G Shift in febuary. Since I’ve had it i ve only had one bar everywhere I go. My LG Lotus had full bars everywhere. If the EVO Shift is supposed to be a ‘game changer’ then why is it such crap? I don’t know about anyone else but mine constantly freezes anytime I try to do anything. It also never let’s me load a web page, unless its face book, then half the time it has an error on the page. Honestly, you never get to use the 4G. I have a wifi modem at my house and the phone don’t even get that. I DON’T reccomend this phone to anyone.

    • Cassanadrahowie

      I got my EVO 4G Shift in febuary. Since I’ve had it i ve only had one bar everywhere I go. My LG Lotus had full bars everywhere. If the EVO Shift is supposed to be a ‘game changer’ then why is it such crap? I don’t know about anyone else but mine constantly freezes anytime I try to do anything. It also never let’s me load a web page, unless its face book, then half the time it has an error on the page. Honestly, you never get to use the 4G. I have a wifi modem at my house and the phone don’t even get that. I DON’T reccomend this phone to anyone.

  • Imuscle

    I have the Sprint Evo shift 4g and love it. I go through smart phones at least twice a year. I just wish I had the guts to attempt to root it to get free wifi like I could on my previous phone. Anxious for some smart hacker to figure out a easier way to do the rooting. The current way is a little tricky for me.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jesus-Lopez/100002210504205 Jesus Lopez

    I have had the Evo Shift for a couple months now, and it is the best phone I have owned. I love the key pad and 4G speed. It is perfect for watching live or recorded TV on my phone using the Sling adapter from DISH Network. I actually work at DISH and the Sling adapter allows me to stream my programming to my phone wherever I have 3G coverage or WiFi. So with the 4G network, the experience is so much better.

    • Brendanarmstreet

      So would you recommend this phone to someone?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jesus-Lopez/100002210504205 Jesus Lopez

    I have had the Evo Shift for a couple months now, and it is the best phone I have owned. I love the key pad and 4G speed. It is perfect for watching live or recorded TV on my phone using the Sling adapter from DISH Network. I actually work at DISH and the Sling adapter allows me to stream my programming to my phone wherever I have 3G coverage or WiFi. So with the 4G network, the experience is so much better.

  • melynda

    i have a question if any of you can answer this but can you take pictures of the screen like you can on the iphone??

    • Ajai0808

      No

    • dreamer420

      like what do you mean by taking pictures of the screen like the one you download it or the ones that came with the phone it self 

    • Mesoney32

      Yes you can I can on my EVO 3d by clicking the power button and home button simultaneously press power button first, but if that doesn’t work you should be able to find out how through a Google search

  • JamieLizz6658

    I have a quesiton, so I’ve been reading alot of reviews on this phone for the passed 2 or 3 months, and I’ve heard good and bad things, I’m kinda skeptycal on buying this phone because of the bad things that i hear. People say it’s good in the beginning and then after a few months it sucks.. So I was just wondering on everyone’s experiences with the phone. HELP!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_TJZ4PAB2JRUWZBG4E5OQGTE3QY Keri

    I’ve had my Evo since February and I have been having major issues w/ it for about 2 months now. When I’m texting the phone will scroll all the way back to the beginning text message I received from that person or go to the delete screen. I also cannot hear my phone calls and have to put my phone on speaker. Now I’m also experiencing issues w/ my screen. Not being able to swipe to unlock it and have to press pretty hard. I also don’t receive email alerts. i have to actually go to my inbox and then all of a sudden i’ll have 99+ emails to veiw. I have never dropped this phone but it seems these issues started after i did an update on the phone. it seems these issue’s all occured after i did an update on the phone. Anyone else experiencing the same issues?!

    • Shermanstl

      I have noticed the same exact problems….. It was working fine till the update…. I didnt know, like you, that the update was going to be problematic.  I really feel the software people let us down on this one. 

    • Randy

      I have had the same problems – I mainly text my partner and I have to see all of the texts to and from each time. It does freeze a lot too. The email performance is uneven.. sometimes I get notified…sometimes not. Sometimes they will appear on my phone and not my laptop – sometimes both – sometimes vice versa…

    • alicia

      yes i agree i have never droped my phone and when i turn it to the left even before unlocking the phone it goes side ways me to i also started haveing issues with it so i told them that i need a new phone it was because they said i had droped the phone before when i never did so i got a refund and a new phone it was the htc evo it was better then the shift

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_TJZ4PAB2JRUWZBG4E5OQGTE3QY Keri

    I’ve had my Evo since February and I have been having major issues w/ it for about 2 months now. When I’m texting the phone will scroll all the way back to the beginning text message I received from that person or go to the delete screen. I also cannot hear my phone calls and have to put my phone on speaker. Now I’m also experiencing issues w/ my screen. Not being able to swipe to unlock it and have to press pretty hard. I also don’t receive email alerts. i have to actually go to my inbox and then all of a sudden i’ll have 99+ emails to veiw. I have never dropped this phone but it seems these issues started after i did an update on the phone. it seems these issue’s all occured after i did an update on the phone. Anyone else experiencing the same issues?!

  • Tracie Irvine

    Yikes, my Epic is rotten, they have replaced it 5 times within the year.  Sprint just ordered me the HTC Shift to replace it.  Since it is out of stock I will be getting a new one.  Do you think they will have fixed all the problems?

  • EmilyB

    HTC Evo Shift is a piece of shit –

  • Hunter

    I have had my phone around 8 months. I cannot stand it at all. I would never recommend this phone to anyone. I may be young and not know what I’m talking about , but when I say the evo shift is shit, I mean it. I have never once dropped it or often water damage on it but it just started shutting off on me tonight. It will turn on for 2-3 minutes and power off. I then have to take the battery out to power it back on. It has broken everysingle one of my chargers, and it freezes a lot. The phone has not enough phone storage an takes forever to delete messages. I cannot wait to get a new phone, I would rather have an old school phone other than this stupid phone ANYDAY. I have heard all bad news about it. And the signal sucks!!!!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/taylorhall596830 Taylor Hall

    this is my 2nd phone since dec and its the same type i cant stand this phone there is something going on with it all the time..im going to be sooo mad if they make me pay for a new one!!!!!!!!!!!!!!