Hands On Review Roundup: HTC EVO View 4G Android Tablet, with Videos

March 23, 2011 - Written By Maddi Hausmann Sojourner

HTC EVO View 4G on Sprint Gets Handled at CTIA 2011

Sprint announced the HTC EVO View 4G tablet yesterday at CTIA in Orlando, yet another entry into the tablet computing competition.  You can read the details of that announcement and our initial take on Sprint’s version of the HTC Flyer right here.

Specs a Plenty for HTC EVO View 4G

The HTC EVO View 4G seven inch tablet features a 1.5 GHz Snapdragon processor (and we still haven’t gotten a definitive word on which one), and has an optional digital stylus available using their Scribe Technology.  The tablet is heavily integrated with the Evernote app, especially with written entries using the pen tied to audio, so you can keep track of written notes in time with recorded voice notes, such as at a meeting.

Weighing in under 15 ounces, the EVO View 4G features 1024 x 600 resolution on its capacitive display, has 32 GB of ROM, 1 GB of RAM, and the microSD slot would allow up to another 32 GB of storage depending on what size card you install.  It has a 5 MP camera that can record 720p, and a front-facing 1.3 MP camera for video chat.

It’s Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n capable, can share media via DLNA or HDMI, and, of course the 4G in the name says it can use Sprint’s 4g WiMAX network.  While it should launch with Android OS 3.0 (Honeycomb), the tablet-optimized version of the OS, the hands-on unit was running Android OS 2.3 (Gingerbread), which is the latest smartphone version.

Release date not given, just “Summer.”  We’ll let you know when there’s some more solid suggestions of when you can find this for sale.

Here are some reviews from sites who got their hands on the HTC EVO View 4G at CTIA 2011, and can tell us a little more about what it’s like to use.  We also pass on their videos, and there are plenty of photos in the Gallery at the end.

Engadget on the HTC EVO View 4G

Here’s what Engadget had to say about using the HTC EVO 4G (comparing it to the already announced Flyer).

These two HTC devices are essentially the same, with just a couple of minor cosmetic differences and some UI changes shown in the video that follows. We’re still not completely sure about the Scribe pen, though it certainly is an entertaining thing to play with. The Evernote app makes great use of the stylus allowing images to be scribbled on and saved, notes recorded — with voice and your text input — and of course everything can be shared. We’re not massive humans here at Engadget, and we’re happy to report that the device can still stay planted fairly comfortably in hand. A standout amenity is the ability to drop apps from the lockscreen onto a small target, and have that app open immediately rather than having to go find it once you’ve unlocked the device.

Engadget Video on HTC EVO View 4G

SlashGear on the HTC EVO View 4G

Here’s SlashGear’s impressions once they got to try the tablet.

This device will definitely enter the market as a little cutie to be reckoned with, it’s Scribe Pen, otherwise known as the Scribe Digital Pen, allows you to both take notes and record audio a the same time, the application of lines syncing up perfectly with the audio if you want to go back and search visually. That means if you drew a dog when the speaker you were listening to was speaking about a particular dog, you can just click that dog you drew and the audio will play from the moment you drew the dog. Magical!

The reviewer notes that the View 4G is not running Honeycomb yet, but is scheduled to launch with it (but didn’t say what version of Android the hands-on unit was running.

SlashGear Video on HTC EVO View 4G

Android Community is SlashGear’s sister site, hence the watermark.

Android Central on the HTC EVO View 4G

Here’s their take on the EVO View 4G tablet.

The HTC View 4G includes the latest version of Sense – the main differences from what we’ve seen before is primarily eyecandy: when you rotate homescreens they fly out and look closely at the gallery after the break – they show you a little gear on the flip-time clock. Cute. More utilitarian is the new lockscreen mechanism: you can drag the circle over one of 4 icons to launch directly into that app. We’re also fond of their app-dock on the bottom, which you can configure with your favorite apps with some simple drag-and-drop.

They have a more in-depth look at the Scribe digital pen as well, which really is the most intriguing thing about HTC and Sprint’s new entry in the Tablet Wars.  This was the best write-up on how the Scribe Pen changes how you would use the tablet.

If you’re not familiar, here’s how it works: HTC is selling a capacitive stylus that talks to the View 4G over Bluetooth and lets you take notes directly on the screen. On the View itself, they’ve replaced the standard search button with a context-aware Stylus button. When you’re in a context where you can’t write on the screen, the button is red and serves as a shortcut to stylus-aware apps. When you can use the stylus, it turns green and it’s writing time, baby. …

Right now, HTC has a small set of apps that work with Scribe: A sketch/notes app, a note-taking app that syncs with Evernote, and an app for letting you take notes on screenshots.

When you tap on the stylus button, you get an array of pen size and color options. You can then just write or draw directly on the screen with your selected options. There’s no handwriting recognition, but it is nice to finally be able to take stylus to screen for some proper note-taking. You can also hit record to record audio in two of the apps. You can then play back the audio – in one app it simply jumps to the note as you play back and in another it actually re-draws your work in time with the audio. Unfortunately, you can’t tap on your note and jump to the relevant piece of audio, a feature we dearly love about the LiveScribe system.

The Stylus itself is well-weighted and comfortable to hold. It’s pressure sensitive and sports two context-variable buttons that alternately erase, highlight, and select text.  It’s all powered by one AAAA (that’s quadruple A) battery.

You can tap the screen with the stylus in the browser to instantly take a screenshot and open the sketch app, where you can toss notes up and send it along.

Android Central Video of HTC EVO View 4G and Scribe Pen

IntoMobile on the HTC EVO View 4G

Here’s their take on the EVO View 4G tablet.

In my time checking it out, the View 4G ran smoothly, and was a nice size (with an especially slim profile and solid construction, as we would expect from HTC). The thing that leaped out most to me was the notes application, and how useful it would be for students in lectures. Notes are shared up to the cloud through Evernote, so you and your friends friends can access them easily anywhere, plus you can tack on audio up to two hours in length – perfect for future reference in those lengthy classes. I hope that HTC is opening up the pen accessory with an SDK so third-party app developers can explore new use cases, however nichey they may be.

IntoMobile Video on the HTC EVO View 4G

Photo Gallery of the HTC EVO View 4G

These photos come from the four sites above.  Click on any of them to see a larger version.

So, quite a lot to see!  Who wants one of these?  Does the digital pen seem like a gimmick or would it be useful?  Let us know your opinion of the HTC Evo View 4G in comments.