Regarding the Sprint HTC EVO

What a beautiful device Sprint announced today: the HTC EVO running Android 2.1. It comes with a 4.3″ screen, front facing camera, 720p video recording, HDMI-out, among other stuff. A very modern device for sure.

However, there are TWO things that bother me, things that are inter-related, in this otherwise perfect device.

1. Only 1 GB of internal memory.

2. What about a 2-year support of major new Android version upgrades (instead of just bug fixes on the existing version)?

See, if Sprint/HTC don’t want to give me a guarantee of 2 years of major Android version upgrades, this is a deal breaker for me. I will not touch a smartphone that stays behind in software. These are not the days of the “feature phones” where “what you bought, is what you get”. I need to be able to stay current with OS versions, so I can run the latest third party apps.

And let’s say that HTC/Sprint will offer me that 2 year major software support.

How in the God’s name are they going to successfully upgrade the ever-growing Android package with only 1 GB of internal memory? After 2 years of usage, that memory will be almost full (even if there’s an 8 GB microSD coming with the device, the internal memory is still going to be full of crap in there in most common scenarios). Can Sprint/HTC assure me that there’s at least *another* *hidden* partition of 512 MB or 1 GB where it can download its latest special Android version, unzip, and install?

Because honestly, I don’t see this happening! I find it HIGHLY unlikely that on a phone that only shows to the user 1 GB of internal memory, to have another hidden 1 GB partition “for major upgrades”. Super, fucking, unlikely. Android grows fast!

And besides, 1 GB of internal memory for user usage? What is this? 2005? My music is already 55 GB, and I can’t fit it in any microSD card. And having two microSD cards is out of the question. And let’s not forget that this phone shoots 720p video, which requires more bitrate, and therefore higher file-sizes. Sprint should have gone with 64 GB of internal memory, even at the expense of making the device a bit thicker.

God fucking damn it. A near-perfect device, ruined by fucking stupidity of short-sightness.

11 Comments »

Tim wrote on March 23rd, 2010 at 7:05 PM PST:

You brought up some good points. I’m thinking they may be trying to steer us toward cloud computing with the memory issue. I’m more concerned about the battery. At least, unlike Apple, it looks like you can change the battery out, along with the memory. This thing looks like an iPhone AND iPad killer. I wonder if the adobe flash ability will kill the app industry.


J.D Mathieu wrote on March 23rd, 2010 at 8:17 PM PST:

Although I can see your point, I don’t think any of the existing Android phones came with a 2 year support period where they upgraded the OS. In fact, the G1 apparently has not been upgraded to éclair.

Even with the Nexus One, which has less internal memory than this phone, do you think Google will offer major Android upgrades for the next two years? Even if they do, the hardware may be outdated by then.

To me, the phone is great in every aspect except one. That’s the fact that it can only run on the sprint network. They will have WiMax when mostly everyone else is upgrading to LTE. I wonder how roaming will work for this phone…

I am a current sprint customer but I don’t expect to stay one any longer. I will definitely not be renewing my contract with them when the time comes. I would prefer to buy an unlocked Nexus One for sprint from Google rather than renew my contract and be locked in with them. At least there is a chance that it will be a world phone (CDMA and 2G GSM).


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Eugenia wrote on March 23rd, 2010 at 8:49 PM PST:

>I don’t think any of the existing Android phones came with a 2 year support period

Personally, I refuse to buy anything that doesn’t have at least 2 years of updated software life. And I don’t mean just bug fixes. Apple gave me 2.5 years of major software OS updates for my 1st Gen iPhone, so I expect nothing else from other manufacturers.


Marc MERLIN wrote on March 24th, 2010 at 10:42 PM PST:

Mmmh, no offense Eugenia, but I think you’re missing a few things:
1) 1GB of internal flash is plenty to put the OS and a default user partition (as long as they formatted it to put enough space for /system).
2) you don’t want to put your music or boatloads of app on the internal flash. You cant to use a microSD card which has much faster transfer rates and can now be 32GB. If you think it has to be internal flash or nothing, you drank too much apple kool aid 🙂
3) You can put android apps on the sd card today with cyanogenmod, or likely eventually with the base OS.

Now, I can’t tell you whether you’ll get 2Y of support for any cell phone. That kind of more depends on whether that cell phone company will be around in 2Y, but at least with android you have a much better chance of doing upgrades yourself should shit happen.
Hell, you can actually put eclair on a G1 yourself (some stripped version and/or with portions on the sd card), even with such an underpowered phone as the G1.

Marc


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Eugenia wrote on March 24th, 2010 at 10:50 PM PST:

>(as long as they formatted it to put enough space for /system).

That’s the information I don’t have. And with 1 GB of storage, there might not be enough space left aside by HTC for Android upgrades. It just feels like they kept it cheap.

>2) you don’t want to put your music or boatloads of app on the internal flash.

Yes, I do actually. I only want to have microSD cards for files that are not supposed to always be on the phone. But for files that do, like apps and music, I do want them on the internal flash. This way, I can always change microSD cards without the system going haywire, or not having access to my music. And besides, as I said, I have lots of music. 32 GB of microSD are almost impossible to find, or they’re too expensive. To call this a modern contender, I needed 64 GB of internal flash in there. Today, the iPhone fills this need, and no Android phone does, by any manufacturer.


Jeremy wrote on March 26th, 2010 at 10:16 PM PST:

Im sorry Eugenia, but your music on internal memory argument makes no sense. I am the exact opposite of what your arguing. Id much rather have photos/vids and movies on removable storage. Hell you can buy two 32G cards and store your entire music collection there. I agree with Marc that you are a little too accustomed to the Apple/Iphone structure & arent used to the freedom that removable cards gives you. BTW what happens when your music collection grows to 96 gigs and you are “stuck” with an iphone that CANT grow anymore? Apps are another story and I can see wanting to store and run apps from the phones internal mem. That being said this is the most advanced and capable phone ever. Hands down. Ill be the first in line to grab the EVO. Keep up the great work on your blog..


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Eugenia wrote on March 26th, 2010 at 11:47 PM PST:

The root of our disagreement is this: we don’t listen to music the same way. I need to have ALL my music installed on the SAME drive, and then I use playlists, based on ratings or genre, or other “rules”. So I can’t have half of my music on one card and half on the other. It doesn’t work.

I don’t mind movies, or pictures on cards, because these are usually independent of each other. There are no ratings or playlists, and usually all fit in a single card (e.g. all pictures of Christmas, rather than ALL pictures). But with music is different. I want to have “smart” playlists and listen to music based on very specific “rules”. And for that, I need a single, large, drive. Internally.

The point is, the iPhone/iPod can do that. Android can’t. It doesn’t matter if YOU don’t find the feature interesting. I do, and for me it’s a deal breaker.

Not to mention all the other bugs that I find on Android. Or the general lack of UI polish. Sorry, but as of 2010, the iPhone still sells a better experience, even with the two major features it lacks compared to Android (multi-tasking, and a mountable partition for application file exchange).


Nate wrote on March 30th, 2010 at 5:08 PM PST:

“Not to mention all the other bugs that I find on Android. Or the general lack of UI polish. Sorry, but as of 2010, the iPhone still sells a better experience, even with the two major features it lacks compared to Android”

Sadly, I would have to disagree with you on that completely. Were discussing preferences at this point, but I the Android UI idea no different than the Apple UI. Center homescreen with your fav. apps on desktop (clutter the way I see it) and an app launcher that opens up to more apps. What I do give props to Android is the ability to customize your home screens to no end which opens up “endless”(I’m being dramatic aren’t I) possibilities.

Ok ok, what I really wanted to talk about was your comment. “So I can’t have half of my music on one card and half on the other. It doesn’t work.”

Keep your music on one card… period.

“I only want to have microSD cards for files that are not supposed to always be on the phone.”

The iPhone doesn’t come with a microSD slot, so curious how you deal with files then? But having the ability to remove your microSD card is somehow a bad thing because you reserve that right only to files and not music.

I have to agree with others that your whole argument for storage isn’t very convincing. I could understand it if the iPhone gave 32gb of internal storage w/ expandable microSD slot. But seeing as they don’t… well I guess we’ll just have to see what the iPhone 4.0 gives us. 😛


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Eugenia wrote on March 30th, 2010 at 7:59 PM PST:

>the Android UI idea no different than the Apple UI

Yes, it is. The iPhone UI is much more pleasing to the eye, and more polished.

>Keep your music on one card… period.

Didn’t you read on the article that my music is 55 GB and DOES NOT fit on a single microSD card? And that a 32GB microSD card is WAY too expensive compared to internal flash that manufacturers use? And that I’d need 64 GB of it anyway, where such microSD cards DON’T EVEN EXIST?

The iPhone comes with 64 GB of internal storage, which fits my music. Currently, there’s not a single Android phone on the market with such an internal storage size. And as I said, microSDs are either way too expensive, OR, they don’t exist in such sizes!

32GB of microSD, which are the BIGGEST cards today, and they were JUST LAUNCHED, cost over $250. Which is way more expensive compared to the type of flash phone manufacturers usually use for their internal storage on their phones. And even if you were kind enough to send me one for free as a gift, it would STILL NOT BE ENOUGH for my music, which is 55 GB.

So please pay attention when you reply to me. Take all the facts into account:
1. What are the biggest microSD cards today in the market?
2. How much do they cost?
3. Given that price, is it cheaper to use microSD at that capacity, or the type of flash that manufacturers use on their phones usually?
3. Do they even fit Eugenia’s music so she’ll stop bitching?

>The iPhone doesn’t come with a microSD slot, so curious how you deal with files then?

I don’t. I don’t put such files in there. But then again, I don’t put such files on the Android phone either. But one day I might need to. But for now, it has not been a problem for me. Between large internal flash and external microSD-only, I prefer internal flash because it fits my music. My music HAS PRIORITY over other kinds of files, therefore, the argument of large internal flash is more important to me than exchangeable microSD cards that are only of smaller size each time.

If the microSD manufacturers were able to give me 64 GB of storage for $50, then yes, I’d go the microSD route. But this won’t be true for another 2-3 years. And I need a new phone this year, not in three.

>I have to agree with others that your whole argument for storage isn’t very convincing.

You came back here to tell me “Keep your music on one card… period.” It’s like I spent all this time explaining to you what’s going on, and what the real possibilities is for my usage case, and you completely ignored them. So if you’re ignoring the facts and my arguments, then of course and you won’t find me convincing.

The point is this: I need 55 GB of music on my phone. Apple fills my need better. Android can’t compete with that BOTH in terms of unified storage, and in terms of smart playlists/ratings. That’s the bottom line.

My husband is an Android engineer. But don’t expect me to kiss Android’s butt because of that. And I’m not a stupid consumer who will stray left and right just because someone on a forum said that Android (or iPhone) is better for my usage case. I have brains to think for myself. I know what I want, and I know what I need, and I make my decisions based on that, after taking all points (that I find important for my usage case) into account.


Nate wrote on March 31st, 2010 at 3:37 PM PST:

How in the world do you have 64GB of space on your iPhone?! The iPod Touch… yeah, but I can’t find a single iPhone anywhere with 64GB. Anyway, if you have a 64GB iPhone, then yeah, I totally agree with you that the Sprint EVO should have had at least 64GB from the get go as I’m pretty sure the iPhone 4.0 is going to easily have 64 or 120gb this year. Hopefully if Palm releases a second device, they won’t make the mistake of giving it only 16 GB.

“The iPhone UI is much more pleasing to the eye, and more polished.” I’m sorry but I wish I could say the same. Personally though, I found the WebOS UI to be my favorite, so really all in the eye of the beholder.

Anyway, this might be off topic, but I’d love to hear your opinion on the new Panasonic TM700 and its 1080p60 capability. Sure its bit rate is only 28Mbps and it would be better if it was higher, but camcorderinfo.com latest review shows its resolution tests to be really really great. I think the biggest question most are having now are regarding a work flow for 1080p60. Curious if your work flow tutorial that you provided not too long ago (thanks by the way) using Cineform or Avid’s DNXHD will work.


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Eugenia wrote on March 31st, 2010 at 4:28 PM PST:

Cineform might or might not work (they might add the ability though if it doesn’t work already), Avid won’t, because Avid only uses pre-baked frame rate options. However, AVCHD is not as slow as the dSLR format, so a very fast machine should be able to decode 60p as is.


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