Expected January 9th Launch Date for the HTC EVO Shift 4G from Sprint

Leaked image of the HTC A7373 or EVO Shift 4G from Sprint

HTC's EVO Shift 4G is expected to arrive on Sprint's network between January 6th and 9th.

Sprint’s coming EVO Shift 4G from HTC might start selling as soon as January 9th. BGR reported in October that this device would probably start selling around the 6th of January since an accessory case was spotted in a leaked Sprint document and its release date was this. Now that a leaked picture of the smart phone is all over the Internet and more accessory information has been leaked, it looks like HTC’s coming EVO Shift 4G will get announced at the 2011 CES convention is Las Vegas.

The EVO Shift 4G is presumed to be codenamed the HTC A7373 and be Sprint's version of the HTC Desire Z.

 

What exactly is an EVO Shift 4G? (The leaked picture has the smart phone in a case btw.) Think a smaller HTC EVO 4G with a slide-out, horizontal QWERTY keyboard. Multiple release and codenames have been thrown out or attached to this phone, including ‘Knight’ and ‘Speedy’. It is expected to be some type of CDMA compatible version of HTC’s Desire Z model.

As for the actual specs of the phone, not that much is known. It is rumored to have a 3.7” touchscreen at 800×480, microSD support, b/g/n Wi-Fi bands, and ship with Android 2.2 ‘Froyo’. As you can see in the picture, no front-facing camera for video calling is present. Neither is near field communication support (NFC) for mobile payment like in the new Samsung Nexus S but since no retailers are yet offering NFC payment options, this isn’t a big deal. NFC also requires Android 2.3 ‘Gingerbread’ which will roll out to phones in the coming months.

Sprint likes to launch new devices on Sundays, which is January 9th is. With accessories for the EVO Shift 4G arriving in stores during this period, the evidence is really pointing towards this as the release date. Sprint’s fledgling 4G network, which relies on WiMax technology, will presumably work with the new EVO. Thus the 4G suffix. Get it? Not if you’re outside of Sprint’s small but growing 4G network unfortunately.

With all of the fuss that Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile are throwing over what really defines a 4G network, plenty of contradicting claims are being thrown at customers. Who has the fastest 4G network? The largest? The best for that matter? It’s not an easy question to answer since multiple, competing technologies are all being labeled 4G. Unfortunately, this means that smart phone manufacturers have to make different versions of each of their devices to work on each network. That just means higher costs and slower adoption rates.

Are you interested in snagging an HTC EVO Shift 4G from Sprint this January? Hope that Sprint’s 4G network covers you by the time you’re ready for a 4G phone? Let me know in the comments.

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