Sprint's HTC EVO 4G To See Android 2.2 This Week

America's "first 4G phone" is about to become America's second official Froyo phone. According to a release published by Sprint, the HTC EVO 4G will be granted official access to Android 2.2 as early as tomorrow, which makes it the first carrier-locked phone in America to get the update that Google has had ready for a month now.

We noted back in our Android 2.2 review that this version of Android was the best yet, adding support for Flash in the browser, a Mobile Hotspot option and faster all-around performance. But as now, the only phone that has been given an official download is the Nexus One, which only a handful of consumers have compared to those "other" Android smartphones such as the DROID, DROID Incredible, EVO 4G, etc.

But the floodgates are about to open. Starting as early as tomorrow, some EVO 4G owners should see a pop-up notifying them that their Android 2.2 update is ready for download, which will definitely give this particular phone a big leg-up over the rival DROID X for the time being. Sprint also says that this update will bring voice dialing over Bluetooth, application storage on external memory, and improved browser performance. The rollout will be phased, so if you don't see a notification right away, expect one sometime in August. Good luck being patient!

Sprint is the first wireless carrier to bring Android 2.2 to customers using the award-winning HTC EVO™ 4G beginning Tuesday, Aug. 3

Android 2.2 offers HTC EVO 4G feature enhancements including Bluetooth® voice dialing, built-in Flash, the ability to store apps to the memory card and much, much more

The award-winning HTC EVO 4G just got that much better. We are excited to announce that beginning the week of Aug. 1; Sprint will begin rolling out the Android 2.2 upgrade to its HTC EVO 4G customers.

Sprint will be the first wireless carrier to bring1 the latest version of Android to its customers. The Android 2.2 software release provides a significant number of feature enhancements, including:
• Voice Dialing Over Bluetooth.
• Application Storage on External Memory, giving users more storage room for all their apps.
• Camera 4-way rotation allows the camera icons to rotate with the camera.
• Improved Browser Performance including a faster JavaScript engine and Flash 10x Support improving the user's ability to view videos and available content associated with web pages.

"Sprint is thrilled with our customers' response to HTC EVO 4G and the innovative and exciting experience it offers," said Fared Adib, vice president – Product Development for Sprint. "It is exciting for us to lead the industry in bringing the Android 2.2 update to these customers and improve on the amazing experience they receive with America's first 4G capable phone."

Easy Downloading
Sprint will begin sending update notifications to users in waves beginning Tuesday, Aug. 3 and the upgrade should be available for all HTC EVO 4G users by the middle of August.

The notification will let the users know that the update is available and it will provide the simple two-step over-the-air download process.

1. Users will receive a notification that Android 2.2 is available for download.
2. Once the user has downloaded the update, they will be prompted to install the update. The user will be notified that their device will be disabled during the installation process. The phone will be ready to use once the process completes.

For those who just can't wait to get Android 2.2, there will be an easy user initiated option to download the upgrade. Customers can access the software update through their HTC EVO 4G under the Settings Menu System Updates HTC Software Update. This will initiate the three-step process also.

Rave Reviews and Accolades for EVO
Check out what the top tech reviewers are saying about the device.
Walt Mossberg with the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.) says:

"The HTC EVO 4G, when used on Sprint's 4G network, offers the highest consistent downstream data speeds I have ever seen on a cellular network. It also has a number of other strong features: a front-facing camera for video chatting, and the ability to serve as a Wi-Fi hotspot (for an extra fee of $30 a month) that can simultaneously connect up to eight laptops or other devices to the Internet."