Sprint Tries to Steal Verizons Thunder with HTC EVO Shift 4G

Just two days before Verizon Wireless is likely to announce the first 4G smartphones for its new LTE network, Sprint is out of the gate with a follow-up to its first 4G smartphone.HTC EVO Shift 4G for Sprint

The EVO Shift 4G adds a slide-out QWERTY keyboard to the original EVO design. It runs on Android 2.2, has a 5MP camera with 720p HD recording capabilities and a 3.6-inch touchscreen. The Shifts custom Web browser has pinch-to-zoom functionality and automatically reflowing text. With built-in mobile hotspot functionality, HTC EVO Shift 4G also allows up to eight Wi-Fi-enabled devices, including a laptop, camera, music player, video player and any other Wi-Fi-enabled device, to enjoy the benefits of 3G/4G speeds on the go.

Other specs include FM radio, media player with 3.5mm stereo headset jack, digital compass and expandable memory to 32GB.

You can pick up an EVO Shift on Jan. 9 online, at Sprint stores and retail partners like Wal-Mart and Best Buy. Pre-orders are available via some outlets. The Shift will set you back $149.99 after a $100 mail-in rebate and, of course, a two-year service agreement.

Sprint had initially planned to announce the Shift at the Consumer Electronics Show this week, but likely jumped the gun to get ahead of Verizon and its expected smartphone/tablet announcements coming on Thursday.

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