Sprint makes CTIA splash with 3D smartphone, Evo tablet

Sprint may have groaned after rival carrier AT&T announced plans earlier this week to gobble up T-Mobile, but that didn't stop the carrier from debuting two splashy wireless devices at CTIA Tuesday.

One year after Sprint scored a hit with the Evo 4G, its first-ever WiMAX-based phone, the carrier has come back with two new Evo-branded devices: a tablet and a "glasses-free" 3D phone that runs on 4G wireless networks.

Here's a breakdown of the new devices:

HTC Evo View 4G

What it is: A tablet with connectivity to Wi-Fi, EV-DO Rev. A and WiMAX networks.

Why you should care: While the initial iPad faced some criticism that it was essentially just a large version of the iPhone, this was actually one of the secrets to its success since it took the ease of use that was so popular with the iPhone and applied it to a tablet form factor. Sprint and HTC are basically doing the same thing with the Evo View 4G by promising to "bring the best of the HTC Evo experience into a tablet design." In other words, customers who have been pleased with their Evo 4G phones should find the Evo View to be equally accessible.

TABLET TUMBLE: iPad 2 vs. Motorola Xoom

Spec check: Unfortunately, the Evo View currently runs on Android 2.3 ("Gingerbread"), which is optimized for smartphones rather than tablets. Sprint told CNET that it will push out the tablet-centric Android 3.0 ("Honeycomb") to the Evo View as soon as it can. That issue aside, the Evo View boasts some impressive specs, including a 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, 32GB of internal memory and HTC Scribe Technology that lets users take advantage of "enhanced voice-synchronized note taking with the HTC Scribe digital pen to capture the audio of a meeting at the same time as written notes." The tablet's 7-inch screen is smaller than those on the iPad and Motorola Xoom, but it still has a strong resolution (1024x600 pixels).

HTC Evo 3D

What it is: A smartphone that purports to offer users "a glasses-free 3D experience."

Why you should care: Although 3D televisions have yet to set the market on fire, it will be interesting to see how users react to a smartphone that can apparently offer 3D viewing without having to wear annoying 3D glasses. According to Sprint, the phone features "dual 5 megapixel cameras" that "can be used to capture both high-quality conventional and stunning 3D video images." While such a promise might make you skeptical, the gadget review gurus over at the Boy Genius Report have played around with it and have dubbed it "amazing" and said that it reminded them of "looking at a holographic trading card." If the Evo 3D can really deliver on that level, it could be a massive hit.

Spec check: As with the Evo View, there's a lot to like here: A 1.2GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, Android 2.3 ("Gingerbread") and a 4.3-inch display screen with a resolution of 960x540 pixels. You can also get dual 5MP rear-facing cameras, a 1.3MP front-facing camera and 4GB of internal memory. As with the Nexus S 4G smartphone released earlier this week, the Evo 3D will come equipped with the integrated version of Google Voice. During a Sprint media event at CTIA, Sprint CEO Dan Hesse said that the Evo 3D "is not just about the 3D experience, it sets the benchmark for performance in 2011." With these sorts of specifications, Hesse has an argument to make.

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Tags smartphoneswirelessNetworkingPhoneshardware systemsconsumer electronicstablet PCslaptopsat&tEvo View 4G

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