Sprint officially launched the much anticipated HTC EVO 4G smartphone today. Besides being the first '4G' capable phone to hit U.S. retail stores, the device has garnered a lot of attention with its high-end feature set, which includes a large 4.3" 480 x 800 TFT display, 1Ghz Snapdragon processor, 512MB of RAM, and two cameras (an 8-megapixel flash-equipped camera capable of 720p video and a 1.3-megapixel front facing camera for video conferencing).
Early reviews of the EVO 4G have been solid for the most part, but with its commercial debut the Android-equipped device has also faced a flurry of reports about a bug in its storage system and concerns about battery life. Apparently, some users who tried to save files to the phone's internal, 8 GB microSD memory card received an error message citing "insufficient file permissions." Other customers could not access the card at all. The issue was acknowledged by HTC representative Keith Knowak, who said that an over-the-air fix would be delivered to solve the problem soon.
The HTC EVO 4G will be available at Sprint stores for $199 after a $100 mail-in-rebate, new contract, and premium data plan. Walmart and Best Buy will waive the need to mail in the rebate, offering the phone for a register price of $199. Customers can pay $69.99 for Sprint's Everything Data 450 plan, plus a $10 per month premium data add-on required for WiMAX usage where available, totaling $79.99 per month for unlimited web, texting and calling. The device boasted download speeds between 2.5 and up to 3.6 Mbps when hooked up to Sprint's 4G network, according to some reviews.