Sprint seeks hit with advanced-camera EVO phone

Reuters News
Posted: Apr 04, 2012 6:00 PM

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Sprint Nextel is hoping to turn heads next month with the EVO 4G LTE, an HTC Corp phone with an advanced camera, a big screen and a high-speed wireless connection to highlight its multi-billion-dollar network upgrade.

While the device will have much of the same technology that HTC is putting in phones that rivals AT&T Inc and T-Mobile USA plan to sell, Sprint is hoping that its popular EVO brand and some design changes will help make its phone a hit.

In roughly two years Sprint has sold 7 million devices with the EVO brand, according to Fared Adib, Sprint's vice president for product development.

The device, which customers will be able to pre-order for $199.99 starting on May 7, comes which a 4.7 inch display. It also comes with an 8 megapixel camera with features that are more often found in high-end, stand-alone cameras than smartphones.

For example, the phone's camera can take multiple shots when the user just presses a button once - a feature known as continuous shooting. It can also capture still shots even when the camera is in video mode.

"It's something professional photographers will appreciate but everyday photographers will also want it," Adib said.

Adib would not give the phone's exact launch date but said that the company typically launches its devices a few weeks after pre-order's begin.

The phone will support a new high-speed service Sprint is building into its network with a technology known as Long Term Evolution. Sprint is investing $7 billion to provide LTE, which is expecting to increase data speeds by about ten times its older network.

Sprint has said it would launch LTE services in some markets by the middle of 2012. Adib did not give any further LTE launch details.

(Reporting By Sinead Carew; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)