I’ve been testing the Sprint HTC EVO Google Android smartphone over the last six months and I wanted to share my thoughts from an enterprise perspective. While most IBM employees are issued a laptop, increasingly, employees are purchasing smartphones and tablets and requesting the ability to access email, calendar, contacts and applications. Arguably, 2010 was the year of Google Android and new phone activations grew from 30,000 a day in January to over 300,000 a day in December. In response, vendors released a wealth of software solutions for including IBM with the December release of Lotus Traveler for Android (push mail, contacts and calendar). Lotus iNotes Ultra-light (web mail) delivered support for Android earlier this year.
The HTC EVO is Sprint’s first 4G smartphone and offers super fast Internet access. I had the opportunity to access 4G service in NY, NY and Overland Park, KS. Using SpeedTest.net, I was getting 4mb download speeds with .5 up. That’s fast!
- Gorgeous, 4.3-inch capacitive touch screen
- Great call quality
- HTC Sense user interface
- Wi-fi hotspot capability. This allows me to connect wi-fi-only devices to the hotspot (e.g. Apple iPad, laptop) and access the Internet. Integrating the capability into the smartphone reduces the number of devices I need to carry (e.g. I don’t need a separate mi-fi device) and saves me money by reducing the number of data plans.
- Upgradeable, over the air, to Google Android 2.2. This is important to large, enterprise customers like IBM since the 2.2 release contains a number of enterprise security features
- The ability to install applications outside of the Android Marketplace (e.g. Lotus Traveler). At least one other carrier that I am aware of (AT&T) restricts this
- Supports Adobe Flash. Note: Apple iOS does not
- Battery life
- Google Android currently has limited options for VPN connectivity without jailbreaking. Note: this is an Android limitation and not a limitation of the HTC Evo
- Phone size and weight is at the upper limit for me in terms of comfort
In a related note, I will be presenting at IBM Lotusphere later this month on how IBM is leveraging smartphones and tablets to run its business. Details can be found in my previous blog post.