I have three daughters and my oldest two are very much into their mobile phones. I had them both take a look at the Microsoft Kin last year. Neither one was overly impressed with the Kin and it turns out their feelings were right on when Microsoft cancelled the Kin project. Danika took a look at the Sidekick LX 2009 a couple years ago and I thought some readers might like to continue to get a teen perspective on some phones. In this episode of Teen Talk, Maloree (now 15) took a look at the HTC EVO Shift 4G from Sprint.
I took a look at the EVO Shift 4G in January and my review came across a bit harsh, as many readers pointed out. I think my feelings were a bit more apparent because I was comparing it to the HTC EVO 4G that I still think was one of the best Android devices ever made. Maloree has been using the EVO Shift 4G for a couple of weeks and to get here perspective I asked her to respond to a few questions.
- What were your first, out-of-the box impressions? The screen is very soft, shows vibrant colors and has a very clear picture. The shade of blue on the phone is very smooth (soft touch material) and pretty. The power button was difficult to press though, I believe it is at an awkward spot to press. Also the keyboard has a sticky, slow feeling and is difficult to slide up and down. Since the keyboard is difficult to slide you kind of have to use two hands and often end up pressing the volume buttons which can get very frustrating. But the menu is easy to get around on and find stuff.
- What did you spend the most time doing with the EVO Shift 4G over the past couple of weeks? I spent most of my time on Facebook, text messaging, checking my e-mail, and playing downloaded games. I found out that it is very easy to take pictures and immediately upload them to Facebook. Also the conversation setup for text messaging is awesome. But even better you don't have to worry about your inbox getting too full because for each conversation you can put a limit on how many you keep. For example I used 10, so then you would only have 10 of the newest text messages for each conversation. Also the notification bar that slides down is amazing and easy to clear it by hitting the clear button. And you can easily download games from your phone and it only takes a minute or less.
- What other functions/services did you use and what were your thoughts on those experiences? Some other functions I used were weather, friend stream, calendar, favorites, bookmarks, phone, camcorder, and Sprint TV. All of these features were great and the best I have used on any other phone. Although the camcorder was a little blurry but did pick up good sound. The phone was perfectly clear during calls and always had service! Also I loved the ringtones and alarm settings. The backgrounds and theme settings were very personalizistic!
- Would you like an EVO Shift 4G? What do you like compared to your existing HTC Fuze device? I would love to have this phone! It is way better than my phone in many ways, primarily for social functions like Facebook and text messaging! The on screen keyboard was very good and I liked that a lot!
- What didn't you like about the HTC EVO Shift 4G? Anything you think could be improved upon? The keyboard and the track button on the keyboard were very hard to use and not well built. Also the data roaming waists the battery life a lot and wish it would last longer when in an area with a weak signal.
- Would you recommend the HTC EVO Shift 4G to others? Why? I would recommend it for anyone looking for a good social phone and internet access. It also has good camera and weather features.
Maloree has a lot of friends and we typically see 8,000+ text messages from and to her phone each month. Thankfully we have unlimited family text messaging. Her current phone is my old HTC Fuze so she is used to the QWERTY slider form factor and gets along fine with the older Windows Mobile operating system.
The HTC EVO Shift 4G is a solid device, but Maloree agrees with me that HTC should have done a better job with the keyboard slide mechanism and awkward directional pad. If you are a hardware keyboard fan on Sprint, then the EVO Shift 4G is a good alternative to consider.