The evolution of the phone and subsequently the smartphone has been wild and uncertain, remember features like push-to-talk, me neither. Such functionality never really sat right in the grand scheme of mobile telephony and with the Swiss army knife approach that app-capable phones now employ, calling is only a single piece of the overall experience.
That being said, despite all the improvements to data speeds for mobile web browsing, better camera functionality and improved email support, call enhancements haven’t really seen the same levels of care and attention, something that is now slowly changing, finally.
Manufacturers like RIM have built part of their reputation on their products’ excellent cell reception and their tendencies to latch onto signal like there’s no tomorrow, but signal strength alone isn’t enough, call quality is something that OEMs and carriers need to work on together in order to provide the best they can.
Mobile users have generally grown used to mediocre call quality due to the expanded functionality their phones offer elsewhere, but it seems that some carriers are finally saying, “no more,” Sprint being the latest party to join the fray.
Despite being a long overdue upgrade, Sprint have confirmed that with the launch of the HTC Evo 4G LTE (check out our hands-on here), they will also be able to offer up the latest call clarity technology which they have dubbed HD Voice.
The service is said to provide “fuller, more natural-sounding and less fatiguing voice quality and should reduce troublesome background noises often found in a cafe or on the street. Users should expect to identify voices and hear every word, better than ever.”
Sprint plan to utilize the a new EVRC-NW (narrowband/wideband) codec over their LTE network in order to achieve this superior call quality and that’s all well and good. Taking the roll of devil’s advocate for a second though, do we really need this? As was mentioned earlier, calls are now just another feature on the increasingly long list of things smartphones are capable of, they’re still prominent, but less so than ever before and so for many, improved call quality won’t register as a major selling point, especially with apps like Viber and Skype offering alternative ways to hold a conversation whilst you’re on the move (connectivity permitting of course).
Such functionality and the appeal of said functionality boils down to the type of mobile user you are. Business users and socialites might be more inclined to appreciate such a feature, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t benefit everyone. Does this register for you and if you plan on picking up the new HTC Evo 4G LTE, does HD Voice play a part in your decision?
For those on the other side of the pond, Orange UK are one of the few carriers to make any worthy note of improved call quality and although not benefiting from an LTE network like Sprint is just yet, they still boast HD Voice on a growing number of handsets, a list of which you can find here.
Source | Via