HTC Evo 4g - wimax a dealbreaker? new user shopping

I'm new to smartphones and am really excited about getting started with Ting and purchasing a used phone through this site. 

Im almost sold on the HTC Evo 4g but am concerned about one detail.  I understand that this phone uses wimax but not LTE.  What does this mean for my service?  Looking at Ting coverage, it looks like most of it is 4g LTE with only spots of 4g wimax.  Does LTE serve down to Wimax phones?  Is it a huge mistake to buy a Wimax phone?  I won't want to be in the situation where 2-3 years from now my phone's system is phased out to the point that it is useless.

Anyone else want to weigh in on any other detail of the HTC Evo 4g?  I've watched some reviews and it looks like it basically does what I want and I like the large display.  I'll want to use GVoice/Groove to save some minutes/text usage.  I won't need it much for games but I would enjoy using it to read/surf when I'm not on a computer.

 

Thanks!

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Comments

14 comments
  • I think Sprint has plans to kill off wimax in near future.  Not sure of time frame will look later see if I can find official type announcement. 

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  • So, if Wimax networks are killed, is a 4g wimax phone useless?  Will the LTE networks still serve "down" to Wimax phones?

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  • I think they are backward compatible with 3g.  I am smack dab in the middle of wimax territory here.   But not wanting to upgrade my phones until lte becomes standard.  I just have a couple of old 3g feature phones.

    Here is an older link but I didn't see anything official from Sprint.  http://gizmodo.com/5847643/its-official-sprint-is-going-lte I don't think they sell wimax phones anymore.  If I  know wimax would stay active for 2 or 3 more years I might consider a wimax phone at a seriously discounted price.  I think Sprint is to start killing off  the iden (nextel) network next month.

     

     

     

     

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  • While I can't say how long it will be until Sprint shuts down their WiMAX network (though I personally doubt it will shut down before 2015, and quite possible later than that), WiMAX capable phones will still be able to use 3G when that does eventually happen.

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  • I would say it depends on where you live.  In my city, Sprint is in the early stages of building out LTE. Some of the user-generated maps (e.g. Sensorly) indicate they have turned on some LTE, but there's still much wider coverage with WiMax.  Hence, I chose a WiMax phone (Galaxy S2.)  By the time there's more LTE coverage, I figure there will be some great deals on LTE phones! 

    FWIW, PC Mag reported last year that "Sprint has said there won't be any new WiMAX build-out, although the network will stay turned on through 2015."  Article here: http://tinyurl.com/brkzk2k  

    Obviously things can change, but I'm betting Sprint won't turn off WiMax until their LTE network is pretty widespread.  To do so would mean losing "4G" capacity, since they still advertise WiMax as "4G" (which is a meaningless term anyway!)

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  • I've had a Evo 4G since they came out in 2010. I live in a city with decent WiMax coverage and it still drops in and out. The biggest issue with WiMax is it doesn't penetrate through walls so it's useless indoors even in areas with good coverage. Of course 3G will work but 3G performance on Sprint has dropped dramatically in my city over the last year. I would only go with an Evo 4G if it was a crazy low price. 

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  • Thanks everyone for the tips!  I was drawn to buying from Ting because I don't have to worry about it being locked.  Can anyone suggest a reputable source for buying used Sprint smart phones?  I don't want to risk using Craigslist and getting one that is stolen.  Also I need to purchase with a card for the rewards credit.

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  • Not sure how exactly what phones from Glyde Ting places in the used for sell page section but you can search Glyde Sprint phones directly.  http://glyde.com/buy#!browse/by/sprint_phones

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  • David,

    I went with two HTC Evo 4Gs (wimax, not LTE flavor) for my BYOD choice when my wife and I made the switch to Ting.  To echo what most other responses said, wimax is generally serviceable in my area where available, but don't expect anything approaching LTE speeds. For two devices that are usually connected to pretty robust wifi networks except when on the road this hasn't been a dealbreaker for us, but your usage/mileage may vary.

    As far as the device itself goes I've been pleased with the reliability/performance of the Evo 4G, even though it's a step down from my previous android phone. It will never have the bleeding edge functionality of the latest and greatest models but it does what my household needs it to (basic web browsing, navigation duties, podcast downloading, takes decent snapshots with an 8 mp camera). I bought two devices on ebay a few months back for between 110-130 (two diff auctions) and had no dirty esn issues. I'm currently running SOS X on both devices (not a huge fan of the stock HTC Sense interface) and have had no notable problems other than my wife murdering her battery in short order by leaving 4G on in areas without service.

     

     

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  • David, you mentioned buying from Ting because of a concern about phones being "locked".  That term generally refers to GSM phones being locked to only accept one provider's SIM card.  For CDMA phones, like Sprint and Verizon's networks use, it's just based on the ESN (electronic serial number) and who will allow them on their network.  Sprint and Verizon generally won't let you bring a phone from the other, but something like Cricket will let you bring either.  Ting is allowed to bring phones that were already Sprint phones before, as long as the ESN is "good".  Here's what that means:  if a phone is reported as lost or stolen or someone didn't finish paying off their bill and still owes money on it, the phone's serial number will be marked in Sprint's database as "bad", and it will not be allowed to be activated.  (If it's because of money owed, you might be able to pay that off to make it good, but I don't know if that's worth it.)

    I've found that Ebay is a great place to get used phones, because the sellers are very concerned with their ratings and feedback.  They will clearly say if the ESN is good or bad for the phone that is being sold, and you can usually count on that being honest.  I have bought three phones from Ebay that I've activated on Ting.  One was an EVO 4G and one was an Galaxy S2.  They were both Wimax, because I live in Boise, and we're nowhere near having LTE anyway, so it didn't matter.  I like the price points of these phones, too.  You can get the EVO 4G phones for around $60 to $80, and the Galaxy S2 ones for around $160 to $180.

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  • If looking for used phones, remember the following will not work for BYOD. Boost Mobile & Virgin Mobile phones (companies owned by Sprint), Blackberry, Iphone, & Palm devices.

    Ting recently tried a couple of Palm WebOS devices and were unable to BYOD.

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  • Hmm, you've got an interesting perspective on Ebay bidding.  The whole point of proxy bidding is that no one else gets to see what your max bid is, so there's no "showing your cards".  You only get into "frenzy" bidding wars if you don't have the self control to let something go.  You mentioned checking recently sold ones to see what price range they're going for (good idea), so my approach is to pick a low-ish price that I'm willing to bid that would be a good bargain.  I'll bid that on one ending soon.  If/when I get outbid, no big deal.  I'll bid it again on the next one ending soon.  I will probably lose a few before I win one.  That's how patience can get you a good deal.  I've bought a lot of used video games that way.  Ebay's proxy bidding is actually a pretty good thing if you use it right.

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  • If you are looking for a Evo 4G LTE, my personal phone, only 3 months old is for sale. In my area (Metro Detroit), LTE is being rolled out everywhere currently and WiMax is very limited. If it was me, I'd look toward an LTE phone..

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  • "Everywhere" is a pretty optimistic word for those who don't live in very big cities.  If it's going to be a while before LTE comes to your area, why would you need to get an LTE phone now?  By not choosing LTE, I can get a better, nicer phone for less money.

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