Just in time for the holidays, Sprint has rolled out the Android 3.2 Honeycomb upgrade that we first confirmed was on its way for the HTC EVO View 4G.
The upgrade is is well over a hundred megabytes, those on a capped 3G/4G data plan are urged to download this update over Wi-Fi. The update took around a half hour to install completely on our in-lab EVO View 4G.
Of note, the update will disable the menu, home, and back keys that were prominent along both sides of the EVO View. This is in stark contrast to devices like the Dell Streak 7, which maintain the keys after being upgraded. HTC confirmed to us that this was due to Google-certified devices requiring that they keys be disabled in Honeycomb. While the Streak 7 has Google’s suite of Android apps, it is not a “with Google” device, hence Dell was able to keep the soft keys enabled.
Nevertheless, the loss of soft keys is not something that we would suggest holding up from updating. The EVO View is a vastly better device post-upgrade, and we think it has changed the outlook for the device entirely. What was an overpowered Android 2.3 tablet is now a potent Honeycomb tablet, bearing a no-contract price point below $250.
In addition, Sprint’s release notes also note that the upgrade adds enhanced security protocols: Sprint Data Link and 3LM are now supported. In addition, bug fixes to Google Video Chat are included, and the upgrade also fixes a bug that prevented Bluetooth from functioning with Airplane Mode enabled.
If you were on the fence about a Sprint-powered tablet, the EVO View is now worthy of the title of flagship Sprint tablet. While it is unclear if the device will get Android 4, at this price point we consider it a worthy device, even if this is the last generational firmware upgrade the device receives.
Still, we wouldn’t count out an Android 4 upgrade. While HTC and Google are planning flagship tablets for 2012, the Flyer generation of tablets appears to have all the underpinnings needed to run Ice Cream Sandwich, and we certainly can see HTC green lighting an update to show its commitment to its first major tablet offering.