HTC's EVO 4G May Be The Most Expensive Smartphone Ever

4G smartphones have been around; HTC made one for Russia's Yota carrier around two full years ago. But 4G as a whole is new to America, and while just a few cities have the service now, even those within a 4G area could only use mobile data devices to take advantage. Sprint and HTC announced the EVO 4G back at the CTIA trade show in March, promising America's 4G smartphone on an Android-based device that is seen by many as the iPhone 3GS killer.

Tonight in an event in New York City, both Sprint and HTC finally announced the final details surrounding the phone. Namely, a price and release date, but they also threw a twist in that no one saw coming. For starters, the smartphone will ship on June 4th for $199.99 after rebate and a 2-year contract agreement. That's not so far off, and it's almost certainly prior to Apple announcing the next generation iPhone.

And while this price is par for the course when it comes to revealing a new "superphone," there's a little more red tape to get to. Unlike existing smartphones, all of which surf at a 3G maximum, this phone will utilize the newer WiMAX standard where available. In order to pay for that, users will be forced to pay another $10 per month for WiMAX access. This extra fee enables users to watch high quality YouTube clips right on the phone (or on an HDTV via HDMI), as well as engage in video chats using the front-facing camera. There's also the promise of simultaneous voice and data capability in 4G areas, and if you want to use the mobile hotspot feature--which provides 4G/3G access to up to eight Wi-Fi devices--that's another $29.99 per month.

So the EVO 4G may be your ultimate smartphone, but it'll definitely drain your wallet quickly.

HTC EVO 4G features the latest version of the increasingly popular Android platform, Android 2.1, offering more than 35,000 apps, as well as a mind-blowing list of features, including:

    * Simultaneous voice and data capability in 4G and Wi-Fi coverage areas, enabling Web surfing and more while the conversation continues.
    * Offering a new way to search with pictures instead of words, Google Goggles(TM) works with everything from books, DVDs and barcodes to landmarks, logos, artwork and wine labels.
    * Superfast 1GHz Qualcomm(R) Snapdragon(TM) processor, ensuring a smooth and quick movement within phone menus.
    * Two cameras - an 8.0 megapixel auto-focus camera with HD-capable video camcorder and a forward-facing 1.3 megapixel camera.
    * Built-in mobile hotspot functionality allowing up to eight Wi-Fi enabled devices to share the 3G or 4G experience on the go with a laptop, camera, music player, game unit, video player, or any other Wi-Fi enabled device.
    * Integrated HD video capture with the ability to capture and share live video via the Qik Web site, Facebook, YouTube or Twitter(TM).
    * Ability to easily watch video with the device on an HDTV via an HDMI cable (sold separately).
    * Custom Web browser optimized for the 4.3 inch display and Sprint 4G speeds to deliver a full, no-compromise Internet experience.
    * A handy kickstand built into the back, making it easy to watch videos on-the-go.
    * Adobe Flash technology ensures that rich Internet content, such as embedded video and animation, are displayed the way they are meant to be seen.
    * Pinch-to-zoom and automatic text reflowing provide easy Web page views.