HTC EVO 3D review: An extra dimension

An extra dimension

GSMArena team, 19 August 2011.

Dual 5MP cameras and a massive shutter key

The HTC EVO 3D has not one, but two 5MP snappers on its back that are capable of capturing 2D photos in full 2560х1920 resolution and stereoscopic 3D images at up to 2MP.

The camera interface is very space efficient and looks unchanged since the Sensation. Most of the controls are on the right side of the viewfinder. The EVO 3D does offer a hardware shutter key which is probably the best we've seen - it's a huge button with very solid and distinct half-press. There’s a slider to toggle 2D and 3D mode. By default the viewfinder image is cropped so that it fills the entire screen, but you can switch that off (note that cropping reduces the resolution).

HTC EVO 3D camera interface

The HTC EVO 3D has face detection and geotagging. Touch focus is enabled too, but you’ll hardly need it with the wonderful shutter key.

The effects button brings out a panel on the left with the usual set of color effects (sepia, solarize and so on). There are other image effects too. For example, Warp places a control point on the screen, which you can drag with your finger for various face-warp effects.

Depth of field is another such effect – it adds a radius slider besides the control point and will blur everything in the photo that falls outside the circle.

HTC is not the go-to manufacturer to get a great cameraphone these days and the HTC EVO 3D makes no exception to the rule. Even though its pivotal feature is the 3D image and video capture (and glasses-free playback, of course), in 2D mode, it's not something to write home about. The EVO 3D photos exhibit some traditional flaws of HTC products such as corner softness, heavy noise reduction and oversharpening.

Colors in daylight photos tend to be slightly off but a lot of it is attributed to the pink spot in the center (which is most visible on the white resolution test charts).

Unfortunately, the EVO 3D shoots 3D images in only 2 megapixels (the Optimus 3D manages to take 3 MP ones) and the image quality is not that good. The photos look okay only on the 4.3-incher of the EVO 3D - viewing them on a PC takes the excitement of the 3D label right out of you. We saw a similar case with the US version as well.

We've got a bunch of samples below. Here is the set of 2D photos.

HTC EVO 3D camera samples

And here are the 3D samples. You should use the Wiggle view mode (available as a switch at the bottom of our pop-up viewer) to get a basic idea of the 3D effect without the need for glasses or a 3D screen. If you happen to have any of the supported anaglyph glasses at hand, you might want to go for the Anaglyph view mode too. Interlaced 3D screens are also supported.

HTC EVO 3D stereoscopic camera samples

Macro shots turn out fine but only in 2D mode, in stereoscopic mode close-ups are a no-go as the two cameras are too far apart to lock proper focus. The resulting pictures are just painful to look at. We'll spare you the result and we'll only show you 2D macro samples.

HTC EVP 3D macro samples

Photo quality comparison

The HTC EVO 3D enters our Photo Compare Tool to join the other 5MP shooters. The tool’s page will give you enough info on how to use it and what to look for.

The EVO 3D clearly suffers form a center pink spot that spans across a large part of the photo but generally the levels of resolved detail and the digital noise are on par with the Optimus 3D.

Photo Compare Tool Photo Compare Tool Photo Compare Tool
HTC EVO 3D in our Photo Compare Tool

Bad HD-only video recording

The HTC EVO 3D captures videos up to 720p resolution in 2D and 3D. The lack of 1080p video capture is odd considering the dual-core processor ticking inside. 720p resolution is more than adequate but it just seems like FullHD is something of a must for high-end droids these days.

The interface of the camcorder is similar to the still camera’s and there are lots of customizable options with this one. You can set the video resolution, recording limit and add effects.

The new camcorder interface

Autofocus works here too, but only before you start shooting – then the focus is locked and won’t change even if you get closer or move back. Still, the EVO 3D had no problems focusing at even very close distances.

Videos are shot in .MP4, which is a step up from the .3GP format of the Sensation. Like the Sensation, the EVO 3D's camera boasts stereo audio recording at 44kHz, which is a huge improvement over the sub-22kHz mono sound that, say, the LG Optimus 3D or Samsung Galaxy S II record.

The EVO 3D produces generally smooth videos and though the video quality is not the best around, their quality is ok.

Here go two untouched video samples from the EVO 3D’s camcorder. We’ve prepared a 2D 720p video and a 3D one.

And here’s a video uploaded to YouTube for convenience. To view them properly we suggest hitting the full-screen button.

Next up is the 3D video sample. You will need glasses to view it properly.

Video quality comparison

We entered the HTC EVO 3D in our Video Compare Tool database too and put it head to head with other 720p mobile camcorders.

The EVO 3D tends to be pretty harsh on the noise but the oversharpened subjects with pumped up colors look nice.

Video Compare Tool Video Compare Tool Video Compare Tool
HTC EVO 3D in the Video Compare Tool

Reader comments

  • Anonymous

3d phone is the future, we see lots of 3d phone in 2014 from major manufacturer

  • Anonymous

is this an international release?

  • Nick

The ICS upgrade is a half ass job. I say that because many of the functions have become second rate quality such as swype which I have to now add majority of the words to its personal dictionary. Predictive text for second language is completely gone...