HTC’s new EVO Shift smartphone, arriving January 9 via Sprint, offers the same brisk 4G wireless speeds as its predecessor, the HTC EVO, albeit in a tighter package, complete with slide-out QWERTY keyboard. Features include a 3.6-inch pinch to zoom-ready touchscreen display, 5MP rear-facing camera with 720p high-definition camcorder, and Adobe Flash support for robust Web surfing with online video and animation. Despite boasting inferior specs to EVO, with a smaller screen, downgraded 800 Mhz processor, and lower resolution camera that’s not positioned to enable video chat, it’s nonetheless more affordable, portable and, potentially, convenient. Capable of doubling as a mobile hotspot for up to eight WiFi devices, including digital music players and laptops, the cellular handset also offers streamlined social networking updates and simultaneous Internet surfing and calling. When not using it to text friends, call in lunch orders or share adorable LOLcats with coworkers, you might consider enjoying streaming online radio broadcasts or accessing Google Maps to find local dive bars. Trading power for practicality, but still packing FM radio functions, a 3.5mm stereo headset jack for multimedia playback and access to the Amazon MP3 store, it slashes prices at the expense of high-tech frills.
$149.99 with $100 mail-in rebate and two-year contract, www.sprint.com