EVO-4gSprint’s new “EVO 4G” cell phone has arrived. We’d like to  say, “so what?” since our cheapie prepaid-cellphone suits us fine. But there’s a ton of interest in this thing, so here’s the scoop.

The $200 phone is made by HTC, a Taiwanese company, and uses the new Google Android operating system. It’s the only phone in the country that uses the super fast “4G” cellular network. It’s great for watching movies and other big-demand tasks. The phone comes with a kickstand so you can watch it as if it were a little TV. Or connect it to a big-screen TV by way of  an “HDMI” cable. The phone has both a front-facing and rear-facing camera, so the recipient of a video call can see you while you chat.

EVO 4G can also turn into a Wi-Fi hot spot, allowing up to eight nearby laptops nearby to connect wirelessly to the Internet along with you. That’s an extra $30 a month, however.

The major downsides? You may need to switch back to 3G some of the time or your battery quickly runs out. It won’t last a whole day. The 4G connection is only available in 32 U.S. cities, and not the big cities you’d expect but places like Boise, Idaho and Wichita Falls, Texas. Using the phone as a Wi-Fi hot spot eats up the whole battery life in one hour.

A sampling of apps for the EVO 4G phone:

  • Intuit app processes credit cards on the phone without additional hardware.
  • Qik makes live video calls. (The recipient must have Qik too.)
  • Fring also makes live video calls, but the recipient doesn’t need to have Fring, only Skype.
  • Epocrates accesses drug information. (This is aimed at health care professionals, not  druggies.)
  • Real Estate by Smarter Agent provides access to homes for sale, plus recent sales and rental news.

Here’s a link to “4G firsts–” first wedding vows streamed at 4g speed, first tweet at 4G speed, etc.

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