Knew I'd hate it, but I was wrong
OK, I had fully decided to sit this one out. All week, I've been reading and watching reviews. Though I had a preorder at Radio Shack, I read the reports on launch day and decided to stay home and call in to cancel. I was one of the nay-sayers.
But yesterday, I was shopping next to the Sprint Store, and decided to go in to see it... and I was hooked. Went to Radio Shack, and the girl there saved me the last Evo 3D anyway, knowing I'd come in after all. How funny.
My reaction after having it for awhile? I truly love my OG Evo, but this device is much better in very noticeable ways:
1. The first thing I noticed is a small thing, but the haptic feedback is DRAMATICALLY better. Tighter and more subtle, just as it should be. Haven't heard this in any of the reviews, but I really like it. Makes the whole phone feel better for me, because I'm a fan of the feedback, especially with the keyboard.
2. This think is insanely fast and smooth. No lag, and it feels almost like it can read my mind going somewhere before I think about it.
3. Not a Sense fan, but I like the effects and speed of this. I could see myself staying with Sense if devs are able to improve on it. See gripes below on what I don't like.
4. Camera isn't as bad as I expected. It may even be significantly improved. The app definitely is. Low light stills are better. Video is improved but still awful, and the sound is not improved at all.
5. The 3D? I actually love it. It's fun... really a nice feature. But I can see that you have to have good eyesight and some patience for it. My wife took one look and wanted nothing more of it. Reminds me of the old Viewmaster images, and I was a big fan. Brings back a bit of my childhood. Good app idea is for Viewmaster to revive all its old collections and make them available for download. How cool would that be? Sign me up!
6. As a phone, I love that the speaker is loud enough, and call quality doesn't sound any worse. Not sure it's improved, though.
OK, now for some gripes:
1. Though I generally like the size and weight, the new screen actually feels much smaller. It's narrower, of course, which in combination with the higher resolution makes everything smaller in portrait view. I'm not sure the screen is brighter and better than the Evo as some have said... seems somewhat duller by comparison.
2. My biggest gripe is that the capacitive buttons are TOO FREAKING BRIGHT, and there doesn't seem to be a way to fix that. And they never shut off. Devs need to fix this or give us ways to adjust to taste.
3. The 3D in movies is much harder to see and notice. The movies have tended to make 3D effect more subtle, and therefore it's difficult to see dramatic effect on this smaller screen. That's both good and bad, I guess. Don't imagine I'll be investing in 3D movies on this, but who knows?
4. Small things... a little harder to hold (or maybe I'm not used to it yet), the speaker isn't as good or as loud and there seems to be a bit of vibration.
5. Sense 3.0, though fun and slick, feels confining and incomplete to me. I miss some of the customization I had in CM7, but would love to keep the lockscreen and weather effects. Somebody explain to me the function of that stupid carousel. First time, "whee!" but after just dumb. This phone desperately needs root and the devs to add things that are missing (customizable buttons on the notification bar, GB wink-out effects, custom rosie, etc.).
In conclusion, I expected to hate it, or not like it enough to try it. That was dead wrong. Is it enough for me to keep it? Well, some key improvements are missing for me, like a significantly improved camera (I'm a photographer, and very picky about this). Sure, I have better cameras, but this one is with me all the time. I'd like to remove the SD card without removing the battery.
I'm loving the 3D, but can see how some non-nerds would lose patience with it quickly. I'm guessing that we'll see a service for ordering 3D prints in the future and other sample 3D photos (c'mon, Viewmaster!), and that will be fun.
Bottom line is that it HAS to get root in the next 30 days, or it goes back for sure. I've seen too many improvements on the Evo with custom ROMs, and I've made my phone new again so many times over. Gotta have that. And just think what the devs could do with this phone.