Sprint Unveils HTC Evo 4G LTE Smartphone [PICS]

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HTC Evo 4G LTE

The HTC Evo 4G LTE will be Sprint's second LTE phone. It'll be available in the spring for $199.99.

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Sprint and HTC just unveiled an LTE version of the popular Evo smartphone that helped put HTC on the map in the U.S. Officially called the HTC Evo 4G LTE, it'll will be available exclusively on Sprint this spring for $199.99.

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You may be a little confused. Yes, we said Sprint, and yes, we said LTE. Sprint so far hasn't deployed a high-speed LTE network, and it didn't announce an official launch at this evening's event. But the frequencies are settled, the chips are ready and the network will begin rollout later this year (first in Texas, Atlanta, and Baltimore). The Evo 4G LTE will be ready for that network when it arrives.

In the meantime, it's got plenty of features to keep customers interested. Chief among them is the camera, an 8-megapixel shooter that performs well in low light and has an easy-to-use burst mode that snaps 4 pics per second for as long as you hold it (it'll stop itself eventually). It can also capture still pics while shooting 1080p video.

Those pics will look nice and big on the Evo's hefty 4.7-inch "super" LCD screen. The biggie-size screen looked fairly bright in our brief hands-on, and it follows the current trend of large-size screens spreading to more phones, with one extremely notable exception. Don't worry, though, the new HTC Evo is no brick. It's a relatively svelte 8.98 mm, and felt quite comfortable to hold.

The phone also has a first-ever feature for the U.S.: HD Voice. In an impressive demonstration, Sprint played a call from actor Kiefer Sutherland, starting out speaking on a typical, fairly muffled call which got slowly more unintelligible as background noise took over. Then the call switched over to HD Voice, and Sutherland's voice came through crystal clear.

HD Voice works via a combination of tech on the phone and tech on the network. Although Sprint says HD Voice doesn't depend on 4G (or even 3G) connectivity, it's limited only to Sprint-to-Sprint calls. The tech isn't proprietary to either Sprint or HTC, but the carriers have yet to work out how each one's implementation will interact with other networks.

Other notable specs include Qualcomm Snapdragon 1.6GHz dual-core processor, NFC, 16GB of on-board memory, with a micro-SD slot under the hood for up-to an additional 32GB of storage, Beats Audio, Android 4.0, and a kickstand -- a feature which disappeared since the first Evo and has now returned.

How do you like the all-new LTE Evo? Sound off in the comments.

This story originally published on Mashable here.

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