Sprint's $199 WiMax EVO Phone Out June 4
Sprint CEO Dan Hesse was on hand at the Escape Club on the West Side of Manhattan to show off the new phone. He once again highlighted the video capabilities of the phone, declaring that people could "ditch" their camcorder and point-and-shoot camera in favor of the HD video and 8-megapixel camera built into the EVO. (See CTIA 2010: Sprint Goes Supersonic and Sprint Pins Hopes on WiMax Phone.)
Click on the image below for photos of the phone and the launch event:
Sprint's WiMax partner Clearwire LLC (Nasdaq: CLWR) hasn't yet switched on mobile WiMax in NYC, so Sprint rolled in a radio truck to get faster radio coverage, though no one could tell LR Mobile exactly where the portable cellsite was located.
The faster WiMax service, which hits average downloads of 6 Mbit/s, is available in 32 cities in the US, and Sprint intends to have around 15 more cities online by the end of 2010. Where so-called "4G" connectivity isn't available, the smartphone will switch to the CDMA 3G network.
The phone runs Android 2.1 and can support Flash video. "It looks like its running Flash, so it supports the real Internet," said Sprint's Kevin Packingham, SVP of development, during a video demo, a reference to the spat between Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) and Adobe Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: ADBE) over mobile Flash support. (See Adobe Fires Back: We Don’t Need Apple.)
The operator also showed how the EVO can act as a WiFi hotspot by connecting an iPad to the WiMax network via the handset. There will apparently be an additional charge of $29.99 a month for using the functionality for connecting up to eight additional WiFi devices.
Users can buy the phone for $199 with a two-year contract and a mail-in $100 rebate. Plans will start at $79.99 for unlimited monthly data access.
— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile