HTC EVO View 4G Review
The HTC EVO View 4G falls behind in areas like battery life and screen performance.
Meet the HTC EVO View 4G, an entry-level 7-inch tablet that comes in two flavors: Wi-Fi only and 4G on Sprint's network. While it didn't impress us with a mediocre performance, it is light and portable enough. It does suffer a few setbacks from a software standpoint, though. If you're looking for a good deal on a 4G tablet that won't break the bank, and can live with having an imperfect machine, the EVO View warrants a look.
Design & Usability
Your standard small tablet, but with Android 3.2.
One of the best things about smaller tablets is the fact that their lighter weight and smaller profile makes them much easier to hold for longer periods of time, and to carry around with you wherever you go. There isn't that tug on your wrists that some of the heavier tablets cause with the huge size of their screens and batteries, so there won't be a fatigue problem.
Updating to Android 3.2 will disable the capacitive buttons on the bezel that are usable with the older operating system the HTC EVO View 4G ships with (Android 2.3), but you won't really miss them. Controls for the EVO View are virtually identical to what you'd find on any typical Android 3.2 device.
As far as ports go on the HTC EVO View 4G, you'll have to settle for the proprietary micro-USB port and the 3.5mm headset jack. You cannot export video to a TV, nor can you use a typical micro-USB connection to charge your tablet or transfer files to and from your computer. Wireless connectivity is another story, as the EVO View has some attractive features here. The list is short, but it covers the big ones: 802.11n wireless, Bluetooth 3.0, and GPS. On top of that, if you are willing to pay for Sprint's data plan, you can take advantage of their EVDO and WIMAX networks for data in most populated areas.
Poor screen performance and a laggy interface.
The HTC EVO View 4G is built around a 6.0625 x 3.5625-inch backlit LCD screen with a resolution of 1024 x 600 pixels. It is sufficiently bright to take outside in a few lower lighting conditions, but on the whole, the screen gives about an average performance across the board.
Because tablets with an LCD screen are very reflective and rely on a light shone through the screen to display an image, they typically do not do so well when in direct sunlight. Where the EVO View is different, however, is that it manages to reflect less light than many other tablets, and it has a very bright backlight that allows it to be seen in a greater range of lighting environments. It still won't do so well on a bright day in direct sunlight, but it's a start.
Being an Android device, the EVO View has access to Google's app market, the Play Store. Because the Play Store has been around for a long time, it has a rather large range of apps covering many popular games, productivity software, streaming services, and more. Unlike the Apple App Store, the Play Store will often have some of the more "grey area" applications, like a bittorrent application, or a script that allows you to use a Wiimote as a game controller for emulators.
With the backlight cranked, all wireless turned off, and all extraneous applications terminated, the EVO View does not last long. It's not terribly surprising that a tablet with such a high peak brightness would have its battery life suffer because of it, but this is just plain bad for a tablet, as it's not going to last you very long. The upside is that the battery charges very quickly.
It's definitely meant to be a bargain tablet, and it shows.
All things considered, the HTC EVO View 4G gives you a fair return on your dollar, but can't compete when it comes to battery life and screen performance. While it will work fairly well outdoors, don't expect it to be a great option for a long commute or flight.
It isn't all bad, as it does offer some interesting options in terms of functionality that should not be ignored for those looking to save a bit on their tablets and grab a smaller model. For example, the camera isn't terrible, and the ability to act as a rudimentary media server is pretty cool.
Basically, you get low-average performance, at a price point that is lower than most other tablets. Anybody thinking the EVO View will compete with the iPad or Xyboard is expecting too much from an affordable tablet, but it isn't for everybody. If you just want a Google-blessed device that won't break the bank and can handle basic media needs, the HTC EVO View 4G is an acceptable option.
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