HTC EVO 3D review: An extra dimension
Starting with the front-panel controls, the typical capacitive foursome includes Home, Menu, Back and Search keys – without being too big, they’re well spaced to avoid mispresses.
The home and search keys have the usual extra functionality upon a longer press: task switcher and voice search, respectively.
Above the EVO 3D’s display we find the earpiece, the ambient light sensor, the status LED and the video-call camera. The automatic screen brightness is optional and can be turned off. A proximity sensor takes care of disabling the display during calls.
On the left side of the smartphone is the microUSB port. Obviously, HTC felt placing a protective cap over it would’ve compromised its usability.
The bottom of the EVO 3D is quite plain: there’s a mouthpiece and a slit to use when you need to release the back cover.
On top we find the power/screen lock key and the 3.5mm audio jack, which too is exposed. However the metal rim that surrounds it is a nifty accent. There's also another microphone here, which enables stereo sound recording for those 720p videos that you are going to be making.
The HTC EVO 3D’s right-hand side is where one of our favorite controls is placed. And that’s neither the long and thin volume rocker, nor the slider that toggles 2D and 3D mode (those are both decently ergonomic, too). No, it’s the massive super comfortable shutter key with excellent response and solid press.
That button alone takes the usability of the EVO 3D camera to a new level – it easily beats most of the smartphones we’ve seen.
Finally, we find the pair of 5 megapixel camera lenses at the back, with the dual-LED flash in between. The loudspeaker grill is here too, placed on the frame around all that photo equipment.
Removing the back cover is quite tricky actually, as it always gets stuck around the camera key so you need to move your fingernail up the side of the device until it opens enough for you not to worry that it will break.
Below the back cover you find the hot-swappable microSD card slot, the SIM compartment and the 1730 mAh Li-Ion battery that HTC claim should last for up to 420 hours of stand-by or up to 9 hours and 20 minutes of talk time. We managed to squeeze almost two days of moderate to heavy usage by disabling the auto-sync option. It is a pretty solid achievement we think. With auto-sync on and/or heavier use you get a day’s worth of battery – par for the course for modern-day smartphones.
Before we move on to the software part of the review, we’d like to praise HTC for the excellent build quality of the EVO 3D. Last-gen HTC smartphones tended to exhibit minor issues with the finish and the way they were put together. None of those is to be seen here – the EVO 3D is solid as a rock and looks fit to last in the long run. It’s quite the looker too.