Sprint WiMAX phone is here and it looks fabulous

The potential game-changer for WiMAX networks has arrived, in a smartphone package that maximizes the potential of high-speed connectivity. Called the HTC Evo 4G, the expected offering from Sprint was formally announced here at CTIA Wireless in Las Vegas on Tuesday, in a splashy press conference with demonstrations that focused on the device’s numerous video capabilities, including a new high-quality interface to YouTube.

While the stats and specs of the device are impressive enough — key is the Android-bsaed OS and the 4.3? touchscreen interface — it’s the video components that really make the Evo 4G a standalone device, with both an 8-megapixel on the back and another lower-res camera on the front, the latter perfect for on-the-go videoconferencing or live streaming capabilities. A kickstand in the back allows for hands-off viewing of video, an application that now becomes practical in markets where Clearwire’s WiMAX network can support Sprint’s 4G coverage speeds. In all, this is an impressive attempt by Sprint, HTC and Google to create a true breakthrough device, one that can demonstrate the speed and mobility of WiMAX networks in simple, compelling and very graphic detail.

Of special note to Sidecut readers is that the device can also double as the ultimate Pocketspot, using either its 3G or 4G connection as “backhaul” to produce an instant Wi-Fi cloud that can support up to eight additional devices. Though pricing and shipping information was not yet released, the clock is now ticking on the summertime delivery of the HTC Evo 4G, and how it might help Clearwire get to its 2010 goal of 2 million subscribers a lot faster.

(photos courtesy of Sprint)

About Paul Kapustka

Paul Kapustka is a longtime journalist who has spent more than two decades covering the information technology business, Paul most recently has been focusing on mobility and how it has changed the computing and collaborative landscape. His newest project outside Mobile Enterprise 360 is a research and analysis operation called WiFi Journal. He is also editor in chief of Mobile Sports Report, which covers the intersection of mobile technology and sports business. Paul is also the founder of Sidecut Reports, a research firm that covered the emergence of 4G technology in the cellular marketplace.

Comments

  1. Paul:

    I’ve also often thought a WIMAX phone would be the possible game changer — especially if it offers radically different types of contracts.

  2. What I am wondering is if Sprint or Clearwire will offer a tiny WiMAX device like the Yota Egg which you can carry in a small purse and which uses WiMAX as backhaul, spits it out as WiFi so you can connect your iPhone or laptop. Now THAT would be a total game changer.

  3. They already have the Clear Spot, which is similar to the Egg but needs a USB dongle. Clearwire said today another version with embedded WiMAX is due out later this year. And Sprint has the Overdrive, the hybrid 3G/4G router that is a little fatter version of the MiFi.

    And the HTC EVO 4G *is* a router as well — supports up to 8 additional devices via Wi-Fi, using either 3G or 4G on the back end. Impressive.