Sprint's EVO Shift 4G: Cheaper, smaller and with a real keyboard

While most sequels try to be bigger and better, the follow-on to Sprint's EVO 4G is settling for smaller and cheaper.

Also read: What EVO 4G users can expect from Froyo

The new EVO Shift 4G is a small device that has less processing power than its predecessor, as its 3.6-inch touchscreen and 800MHz Qualcomm processor aren't as large or powerful as the original EVO's 4.3-inch touchscreen and 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor.

But the EVO Shift isn't a direct sequel to the EVO 4G as much as it's an "EVO-lite" that provides users with high-speed WiMAX data connectivity at a less-expensive price than the original EVO. Checking in at $150, the EVO Sprint is less expensive than the original EVO's $200 price tag and also sports a full slide-out QWERTY keyboard as well.

Other features on the EVO Shift include the Android 2.2 (a.k.a., "Froyo") operating system notable for its multiple enterprise features; dual 3G and 4G radios that can connect to both Sprint's EV-DO Rev. A network and its WiMAX network; and a 5 megapixel camera and a 720p HD camcorder.

Manufactured by HTC, the EVO 4G was one of the most successful smartphones to hit the market last year and it was the first commercial smartphone in the United States to have WiMAX connectivity. Sprint and Verizon are currently the only major carriers to have 4G networks up and running in the United States as Verizon officially launched its 4G LTE network in 38 major markets last month.

4G technologies such as LTE and WiMAX represent the next stage in the evolution of wireless data technologies and generally deliver average download rates of 3Mbps or higher. In contrast, today's 3G networks typically deliver average download speeds about one-tenth of that rate.

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Tags wirelessNetworkingqualcomm3G & 4Gsprint evo

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