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HTC EVO 4G LTE Release Date, Price Announced By Sprint (PHOTOS)

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The HTC EVO 4G LTE -- or, as you know it, the new smartphone on Sprint with a kickstand built into the back -- has received its release date and price: The newest EVO will be available on Sprint for $199 with a two-year contract starting Friday, May 18.

The EVO 4G LTE is similar in size and design to the HTC One X, the fabulous flagship Android smartphone recently launched on AT&T. Sprint's version has a 4.7-inch Super LCD display, Android 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich" with HTC's Sense interface, an 8 megapixel rear-facing camera, and Beats Audio integrated across the entire phone. It also comes with next-generation HD Voice capabilities, which will enable much clearer telephone calls with reduced background noise when Sprint's HD Voice network is ready, and when you are calling another handset that is HD Voice enabled.

Sprint has previously said that its Voice network should be ready by the end of 2012 and that more HD Voice handsets are on their way.

Perhaps the most out-standing (GET IT???) feature of the EVO 4G LTE, however, is its kickstand: The kickstand is retractable and folds into and out of the back cover, as it did on previous iterations of the Evo. An HTC rep says that the kickstand will come in handy for propping the phone up to watch video and to use as an alarm clock on your nightstand).

Sprint and HTC are interesting partners, as the two are both at a crossroads of a sort: Sprint is the third-largest carrier in the United States and has bet billions of dollars on the iPhone and unlimited data plans in an attempt to stay afloat against titans AT&T and Verizon; HTC, meanwhile, has seen its fortune and its profits tumble in the past six months: After a brief stint in mid-2011 as America's largest smartphone manufacturer, the Taiwanese firm has been overtaken by Apple and Samsung and is currently working to revitalize its brand.

Now that HTC has its redesigned, simplified, terrific smartphones on all four of the major carriers in America (the One X on AT&T, the Incredible on Verizon, the One S on T-Mobile, and this EVO 4G LTE on Sprint), all that is left is to convince consumers to buy them. The overwhelmingly positive reviews should help; will buyers vote for the kickstanding phone with their wallets?

Below, we've got some photos of the HTC EVO 4G LTE, which, again, could be yours (kickstand included) for $199 on Sprint on May 18.

UPDATE: Good deal alert: Best Buy has a deal where if you purchase an EVO 4G LTE, you can get a $50 gift card along with your purchase. Not bad!

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