Five Reasons Why the EVO Shift 4G is Not Just a “Smaller EVO With a Keyboard”

Sprint began airing a revised “Accolades” commercial this week, featuring a brief mention of the new EVO Shift 4G at the end.  Touting it as a “smaller EVO with a slideout keyboard.”  On the surface that might sound right, but there’s more to it than that.  I felt compelled to share at least five differences between the two, not counting the keyboard or screen size.  This way, potential buyers can be armed with a little more as they head to their local Sprint store.  Some might be dealbreakers for you while others are moot points.

  1. Processor
  2. Read only memory (ROM)
  3. Camera
  4. Front-Facing Camera
  5. WiFi Capability

The original EVO 4G features a 1GHz Snapdragon processor whereas the new EVO Shift 4G clocks in at 800MHz.  Slower on paper to be sure, and many tech heavy Android enthusiasts will point out differences in potential performance.  However, that’s where the read only memory also plays a role.  The EVO Shift 4G benefits from having twice the memory at 2GB as opposed to the 1GB found in its predecessor.  As for the RAM, it’s 512MB each.  For the average user, these are a wash as both will be fast, powerful phones.

The EVO 4G was among the first phones on the market to sport an 8-megapixel camera.  Still among the best available, it has a decent leg up on the 5-megapixel camera that comes with the newer model.  Again, it could be something an existing user would notice.  However, if you are coming from a feature phone, then you’re likely used to something in the 1.3 to 3.2 area.  Along those lines, one of the biggest differences here is the removal of the front-facing camera.  For a phone that is marketed so heavily with Qik and video chat capabilities, Sprint would be wise to point this out sooner, rather than later.  As it appears, Sprint will begin with a new ad later this month for its ““EVO Has An Alter EVO” campaign.  Hopefully they spell things out a little clearer.

One other minor difference between the two phones is that the EVO Shift 4G benefits from having modified WiFi capability.  Picking up the ability to connect over 802.11n might only appeal to a few of you, but it’s there.  If you have recently switched over your home network to the latest in WiFi, you’ll be happy to know that HTC has stepped up the connectivity a touch.

Overall, these two are similar enough to brand them under the EVO umbrella.  With the smaller model bowing at $149, it’s an great pickup when paired with Sprint’s plans.  Still, the EVO 4G does well with its $199 price tag, so don’t look for it to drop anytime soon.

Which will you buy?

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In addition to smartphones and mobile gadgets, Scott has a deep appreciation for film, music, and sunflower seeds. A husband and father, he likes spending down time riding his mountain bike or binge-watching TV. Scott has overseen the day-to-day activities of AndroidGuys since 2007.
  • drdrewdown

    the memory(RAM) is the same size on both devices. the ROM size however is doubled on the shift.

  • bryan

    The shift is basically a desire z / g2. The processor is a second generation snapdragon; clocked at 800Mhz, but has proven to be more powerful than the first generation snapdragon in the original evo. Linpack and quadrant benchmarks put the g2 / desire z versions well ahead of the evolution, especially on graphics.

    • humungus


      The second gen snapdragon @ 800MHz > first gen @ 1 GHz. The second gen is 45nm (as opposed to 65nm for the first gen) which means lower temps and better overclocking. The second gen has the Adreno 205 GPU (as opposed to the Adreno 200) which means _much_ better graphics performance.

  • The ROM memory is irrelevant when it comes to speed. RAM could help, but it’s the same size in both phones (512mb).

    Also, the opening mechanism sucks on this phone.

  • The Evo 4G (not the Shift) has had wireless N capability ever since a software update last year. This is not a feature exclusive to the Shift.

  • Andy

    Why dont phones offer more RAM memory? Are a few hundred MHz better upgrading 512MB to 1GB?
    Is there a tool to collect /proc info from devices to see where bottlenecks exist?

  • Andy

    Are a few hundred MHz better than upgrading 512MB to 1GB?

  • MatthewJulian

    Ummm…guys…first them storage memory referenced has NO effect on either handsets speed, second the original Evo has wireless N it wasn’t enabled on release but it is now(i just checked my routers admin page and my Evo shows up as a wireless N device running N speeds & range). please get facts straight before writing, the only thing the shift has on the Evo is the new snapdragon which can be clicked to 1.5-1.8ghz.

  • justin

    Yes the Shift does have a lower clock speed @ 800Mhz… However, this is the same chip that is in the T-Mobile G2 (obviously the only difference is that it is the CDMA variant). Have you heard anyone complaining about slow performance on the G2? No is the correct answer. Thus comparing the two on simply the published clock speed is totally erroneous.

  • TheAnalyst

    I’m not certain that I’d necessarily judge the cameras based upon MP alone. My Sprint Hero has a 5 MP camera that is absolutely awesome, and it’s consistently stood up to some of my dedicated cameras under most conditions. I don’t know if the EVO’s camera is considered better in terms of photo quality, but if the Shift is comparable to my Hero in this area, then I can assure folks that they will not be disappointed (You’ll even attain HD video recording capabilities as well!).

    • Vinniebehr

      but your Hero doesn’t have flash, the deal breaker for me, plus it gets hot, battery life is poor, and track ball is a little to pronounced. But the phone is android abuse victim, Android needs to stop pumping out new OS’s and abandoning the rest, and HTC needs to love it’s products more, and evolve them, stop pumping out product too.

  • Supsandroid

    I’d consider it if it had a 4.3″ screen.

  • Erik

    Always a bit annoying when people who should know what they’re talking about don’t. Yes, the EVO Shift 4G has a processor with a 800 MHz clock frequency, but it’s a second generation Snapdragon with several improvements over the previous generation, among which is a much more powerful GPU. So it’s not slower on paper – it’s *faster* on paper than a 1GHz first-gen Snapdragon.

  • Kenji O

    Great write up. I had heard many times that it was primarily the same device so thanks for clarifying!

  • Gjfahey71

    Spec comparison aside, I just received my 4th replacement Evo Shift and am taking it back today because no one can hear me on it. I’ve never had so many problems with a phone. I would understand if I were a teenager downloading lots of crap and tossing my phone around, but I’m 40 and use it for internet and FB.

  • Poop

    WEEEEEE. (: i love this phone. <3

    • Ticklemykitty

      cute name ? wanna cookie?

      • Poop

        YOLO MOFO! 😀