Lauren Goode

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Sprint’s New 4G LTE Evo Has HD Voice, Brings Back the Kickstand

As expected, Sprint and HTC used a New York event to announce a new phone. In this case, it’s the new Evo 4G LTE phone.

The smartphone’s specs are pretty much based on the recently-unveiled HTC One phones, though the word “One” wasn’t uttered, well, once.

Sprint CEO Dan Hesse unveiled the new 4G LTE Evo, calling it “the gold standard” of Sprint phones, running the latest version of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, and the latest version of HTC Sense, called Sense 4. It will be the first HD voice-capable phone, which is supposed to make voice quality extra clear.

The smartphone also brings back the kickstand, for propping up the phone when you’re taking advantage of viewing the massive 4.7-inch LCD HD display. It’s got an 8 megapixel camera and Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 1.5GHz dual-core processor; no word yet on expected battery life. Oh, and it’s got Beats audio, that audio technology that pops up in select HP products.

The phone is expected to retail for $200 sometime in the second quarter of the year, with pre-orders starting on May 7.

The phone will be among the initial stable of phones that work with the LTE network that Sprint will roll out in the coming months. Sprint has already said it will have a version of the Galaxy Nexus as well as an eco-friendly phone from LG.

The carrier is in the midst of a major shift. After having spent the past several years focused on a different 4G technology–WiMax–Sprint is now adopting LTE. The company has said it has introduced its last WiMax phone.

For the moment, though, that makes things a bit awkward as the company will be introducing new 4G phones but it will have service in just a handful of cities.

Sprint has announced the first half dozen cities that will get LTE, a list that includes Baltimore, Kansas City, Houston, Dallas and Atlanta.

For HTC, its new One line is an attempt to regain lost ground at the high-end of the Android market. HTC plans to put nearly all its marketing weight behind the One line.

The company announced the One line and the first three devices at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. AT&T will sell the flagship HTC One X while T-Mobile will sell the narrower HTC One S. The first HTC One devices are expected to go on sale globally this month.

AllThingsD’s Ina Fried contributed to this report.

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