[Update] EVO 4G Could Be Suffering From the Same Grounding Issues As The Incredible, Other Hardware Defects


While we’d like to believe every device ever made could leave the factory in top-notch condition, there’s always going to be a bad bunch waiting to eventually be returned for exchange and repair. The HTC EVO 4G isn’t an exception to this rule, and most of its issues lies in that 4.3-inch screen it’s packing.

Users are reporting the same grounding issues that we’ve seen in the HTC Droid Incredible. Placing the device flat on its back may make the upper portion of the touchscreen inoperable until you’ve repositioned it. Having gotten my EVO when it was released last week Friday, I can confirm that this issue is definitely out there (to what extent remains to be seen). It hasn’t plagued me to the point where I’d want to return or exchange the device, but it’s there.


If this is anything like the Incredible’s issue, it may not be possible to overcome the defect outside of a quick prayer and a device swap.  Unfortunately, things don’t die down there. Other users are getting extensive light bleeding at the bottom corners of their devices due to the screen rising above its bezel.

We’ve heard that taking a screwdriver to the screws holding the glass in place could help (you can find those right beneath the battery cover), but that depends on your willingness to mess with the phone’s build. Again, I am an EVO owner but this is one issue I have not encountered. There are a few glaring reports out there, though, so we just want to do our part in spreading the word.

[Update]: Now with video!

[GoodAndEvo, Engadget]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. yeah I noticed the grounding issue from day 1. For example, when I am eating at a table and have the device flat on the table, the top half of the device is pretty much dead. I noticed the loose screen as well. I compared my Evo with my Father’s, and his device was way worse than mine. I would exchange but I figure it is probably useless at this point since the problem seems to be widespread. Hoping that HTC and Sprint will fix this in future batches.

  2. wow, look at Quentyn all happy that he ditched his G1 for an EVO, way to go partner

  3. no grounding issue here but i do have severe light leakage and HAD horrible battery life, after doing ALL the tricks it is acceptable

  4. This is extremely concerning. If HTC can’t correct their hardware quality issues FAST I think Google needs to pursue other manufactures in the future. It seems like HTC gets the most business right now and if your go to hardware company produces phones with glaring defects it won’t be long before consumers get a bad taste in their mouth and look elsewhere. It is imperative to Androids future success that Google demands these issues to be resolved: if not HTC needs to get the boot.

  5. This type of grounding situation is normal on capacitive touch screen devices. At least we aren’t having any of the issues the Droid milestone has with it randomly dialing and detecting finger presses on the screen near EMI sources like chargers, TV’s, or computers! Just touch it with your other hand, plug it into the charger, or freak out at the fact that your refrigerator hums louder than it should sometimes – I personally think that is far more annoying! :-)

  6. Nexus One FTW!

  7. my Evo is fine, no probs, My tolerance will be higher, I went through 4 Palm Pres in a year, got exchanges each time, but it was getting annoying, if the Evo didn’t come along, it was going in for another exchange.

  8. Here we go again, another article with a broad brush. I bought a new car a few years ago, there was rattling from the right side. Turned out the right strut was defective, was it a wide spread issue?… NO! I have 3 EVO’s on my account, not one has that “issue.”

  9. I have had two main issues so far. 1. Battery Life and 2. Phone mysteriously shuts down/restarts on its own. I have contacted Sprint about both issues and I am taking the phone into a Sprint store. Customer Support was helpful and informed of an app that I can use to “kill” any running background apps. I have noticed that using this app has helped sustain the battery life but I am still having issues with the phone mysteriously shutting down/restarting. At first, my fiance (who also has the same phone but no issues), thought it was a built in updater but I assume that wasn’t the issue when I was in mid conversation with my brother and the phone decided to shut down/restart on its own. Again, I noticed this in the middle of the night when the phone is plugged in to the charger. It woke me up three times shutting down and restarting! Furthermore, I also noticed that this happened when it was not connected to the charger. Mind you, I have only had the phone for 5 days and I am new to it. At the moment I am “playing around” with certain variables to see if it is something I am doing. So far, I have not seen a distinct pattern. I am taking the phone into Sprint tomorrow and I will post an update.

  10. F**K Android…I’m buying an Iphone 4

  11. FWIW: I’m yet to see the grounding issue on my Incredible…

  12. I haven’t had any issues either with the two we have. I can see how the screen could rise above the bezel easily though. We all know they rush these things to market, if you’re smart you probably wait a few months until the work this stuff out. Or you pay $7 for insurance and hope for the best!

  13. First my usb charger cable was bad and had to be swapped out and now, this a.m. my phone is dead. No power. Its as if when I shut it off and charged it, it discharged instead and now wont turn on. The trouble with switching it out is loading all the apps again and syncing the contacts. I wish there was a quicker way to do that, but not yet.

  14. I’ve been putting my EVO thru the paces since the 4th. Many issues I assign to the fact this is my first smart phone. Should of switched over a long time ago, didn’t know what I was missing.

    Battery life does leave something to be desired, so I got extra USE cables & a car charger adapter. Getting about 5 hours of steady usage between charges. Will be ordering Seidio’s upcoming 3500 battery when released, despite the bulkier size issue.

    I’d be a happier camper if the darn 4g speed lived up to their hype, but my CLEAR 4G modems run circles around my EVO while taunting it. The antenna seems directional at times for all services, not just 4G.

  15. HTC building quality.

  16. @Don Your contacts will be synced to your new phone as soon ad you activate it. To keep your apps use an app like appbrain that keeps track of your apps on their site and sync them to your device. In the future this will be a part of Android.

  17. I’ve gotta wonder about thwarting issues. Are there some actual numbers on occurrences? It may look wide spread because everyone with the issue runs to the internet to say me too whole the folk with no problems say nothing. What’s the actual ratio of troy les phones to good ones.

  18. My Evo was unresonsive at first when it was laying flat, but since yesterday I noticed I have no issue at all with it anymore.

  19. I just tried mine out of curiosity… the top of the screen is completely responsive while laying flat. I have a feeling that this problem is not as widespread as some think.

    I also don’t see any light leak at the bottom of the screen. Haven’t looked closely in total dark though.

    Mine was pre-ordered and picked up on the morning of launch.

  20. When are some of you people going to take the blinders off and relize that HTC phones suck. I’m on my 2nd Incredible and Verizon wanted to send me a 3rd but wouldn’t ship until sometim in July. After the store arranging to have a new one shipped to my house when it came it said certified like new. This pissed me off because I paid full retail for this phone when it came out. Would have been ok if it work like a new phon but didn’t. Phone keeps turning on and off. Verizon extended my so called worry free return policy till June 29th. When the rep ordered my new phone on 6/8/10 she told me it would ship no later than the 9th. Well after finding out it wouldn’t ship till sometime in July I canceled the order and wanted to go to the store and get my money back. Was told by CS they called the store and they were told that because I didn’t have the phone I bought from them and had the cerified like new one there system could not process that I couldn’t get my money back. CS told me they would send me out a shipping label I would recieve in 5-10 days and then once the recieve it they would credit my Verizon account and no my debit card like it was paid for. I told them this was unacceptable but they said thats all they can do. So now I have a piece of shit phone and no money. So buyer beware when the say there extending yor worry free. If they sent you a different phone you’d better worry. As soon as the new Iphone comes out I’m porting to AT&T. Verizon’s CS makes Sprints look great!

  21. It also depends on the surface, interestingly enough. Laying my Evo flat on my computer desk, the screen is perfectly responsive. If I lay it flat on my bed though, which is where I first noticed the issue, I can’t pull down the notification bar.

    I’m not to the point of returning my Evo – I plan on sticking with Sprint for the cheaper service and the Evo is the best Android phone they offer – but the number of hardware issues is disconcerting. Terrible WiFi/FM/BlueTooth radio, screen slowly separating at the bottom, grounding issues, and these are all things I’ve noticed and confirmed in the first week!

    I don’t normally pay for extra insurance because I take good care of my phones, but I’m starting to think I should for this one. Disappointing that I may have to pay an extra $168 over 2 years in order to make up for HTC’s manufacturing mistakes.

  22. Oh yes, and I forgot I also just read about the 30fps graphic limit, but at least that’s not a hardware issue so it should be fixed by a future update (one would hope!).

  23. I got one like like that, with the light leak and makes kind of a clicking sound in the home corner.

  24. Hah, now my N1 seems well-built comparatively. Screen is perfect(except multi-touch which I don’t really use since I don’t play games), and battery life is acceptable, meaning I have never run out during the day.

  25. You guys should have got the mytouch slide.Lol

  26. @Don, get the Astro File Manager app. It can make a backup of all your downloaded apps and settings to your SD card. When you get a new phone, insert your SD card and download the Astro File manager and restore your backed up apps.

  27. @Kimberly

    I have had the Hero since its launch and experience the same random reboot problem. It just did it now. It has done it in the past but it seemed to have stopped. I think this is the fist time I have noticed it reboot in a month or two. But there was a point when it was doing it every couple days or multiple times in a day. I have not contacted Sprint about it though.

  28. I must be pretty lucky, no light leakage for me, no grouding issues (its on the kickstand now), and the battery life has been fine (I’ve always been a constant charger, so nothing had to change for me).

  29. I have not had either of these problems with my EVO,and where the example pic at the top looks slightly curved mine is perfectly flat. I had the Instinct for the last 2 years, so that may be the reason i am so appreciative of this phone right now, but my one complaint is that in the direct sun light I cant see anything on the screen, even if i cover it with my hand. The glare is worse than it was on the instinct. Also I have very large hands and unless I clip the corners of my thumbnails everyday typing can be a a pain in the butt, yet thats still better than pocket dialing my friends whose names start with the letter A 3-4 times a week like when I had my my instinct. otherwise I am loving my EVO. They need a tinted glass or something for these phones and they would be perfect for my purposes.

    What widget or app do you guys use to watch movies you upload to your phones from your pc’s?

  30. I’ve had an EVO since June 4th, and have not had either of these problems. The screen is mounted perfectly, and The touchscreen is always responsive. I have not seen any light leakage. I’ll see if I can duplicate the grounding problem.

    The battery life is also fine were I not to use the thing all the time (the biggest negative of the evo is you can’t set it down). When I do, I generally get about 7-10 hours (depending). If I don’t mess with it constantly, I can pretty much go a full day.

  31. Had the EVO for about a week and I’m starting to notice the screen creep up. I’ll see how it holds up. Definitely have the grounding issue. I’m not sure how much of an issue it really is though. But this stuff should be covered under warranty.

  32. Motorola has best hardware quality

  33. UPDATE: Well, I went into the store today and a technician looked at my phone. Ironically, while I was describing the issue to the woman at the counter, my phone reset three times. The touch screen decided not to work as well as the buttons at the bottom. She just looked at me and said “we will have our technician look it over and it will be ready in an hour.” So, I went back into the store and it was VERY crowded. I gave them my ticket and within just a few minutes the technician came out to talk with me. I was pretty impressed with the service considering the line was pretty much out the door. I was told that my phone was not fixable and I was guaranteed a new phone by tomorrow. Apparently, some phones are just not up to par. Kudos to Sprint, though, for jumping on the issue as quickly as possible. My advice to anyone who purchases the EVO (or for any phone of that caliber and price)…get insurance and make sure that if you encounter issues within the 30 day return period…take it into the store. They fixed me right up and I am sure they will do the same for you, as well. I am frustrated that my phone turned out to be a lemon but at least Sprint is doing its best to fix the issue.

  34. Neither problem so far.

  35. @Jonathon: I got the Mytouch 3G Slide….and returned it a week later. TMO sure nuff laid an egg with that phone.


  36. You cant treat smart phones like the older phones. If you droped your laptop from five feet in the air to pavement would you expect it to work perfectly after wards? These things are basically mini computers now, and as such there will be bugs that they will need to work out with every new phone because the technology is moving forward so fast, and the factories that produce the product is the one that made the lowest bid, so when you buy the newest smart phone it always takes about 3-6 updates fro them to get it perfect. When I went with the Instinct 2 YEARS AGO OVER THE OG IPHONE I felt like a moron, but the HTC Evo is going to be superior to the IPhone 4. Why are they making a 4 G phone when they wont have a 4G network for another year minimum. The only thing about the 4 is the gyro scope gaming.

  37. I’ve had my Incredible for two weeks and haven’t had any of these grounding issues. I’ve used it in my car in a holder and other places without holding it and it is just as snappy as it is in my hands. As for battery life I can’t speak for the evo but if I practice solid power saving strategies (learned through the forums) then my phone has life to spare at the end of the day.

  38. Thats the plan….push junk to the consumer while advertising that its the greatest device ever… Make it so it lasts two months or so and then the consumer has to buy another one for 599.99….

  39. Glad I bought the insurance..

    They literally brick after actvation

  41. Returned one EVO for the following reason…Camera gliches after initial download on day one. So called memory card issue not a problem. Phone number two: noticed sd card is a samsung unlike the previous sandisk card from other phone. This phone works great but notice that wifi is horrible. I think they were in too much of a hurry to release phone before the iPhone comes out. Think I will return this one and just wait for droid 2 from verizon. Bye Bye sprint…

  42. My Evo will shut off and turn back on several times throughout the day. I took it to the Sprint store where I bought it and they took it to the back for about 10 minutes then came back up and said it should be fixed. He installed an update and turned of the GPS. I left and withing 1 hour after leaving it shut off and turned on about 3 times. My problem is that it is happening during phone calls…It will drop calls because of it. I called the store back and the clerk said I need to take it back to the store I got it from and exchange it. I told her I got it from that store. She put me on hold for about 5 minutes then came back and told me I need to bring it in and they will remove all of the applications and restore it to the factory state. I said what good is the phone if I can’t have the applications that I want? (I have only added 6 applications and they have all been from Android). She got short with me and said….well we don’t have any replacement phones here and it’s probably and application causing the problem.

    I am glad I have read this. I will be armed when I go in tomorrow. I love the phone, but if it’s going to drop me while on important calls (which it did)then it’s not for me.

  43. I didn’t realize all the typos in the previous post. Oh well, it’s late and it’s been a long day :)

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