Fring has updated its Android app with the video chat support in preparation for the Sprint HTC EVO 4G launch on June 4th and bongizmo.com was excited to test Fring’s video calling. HTC EVO 4G’s features a front facing camera and an incredibly convenient kick stand making free video calling extremely easy. The test was set up as follows:
- HTC EVO 4G front facing camera is pointed toward the PC monitor. The phone is connected to Sprint’s 3G network (Sprint has no 4G in California yet).
- Nexus One phone established a video call with the HTC EVO via Fring Android app. Nexus One is running on the T-mobile’s 3G network. Both phones are running Fring app.
- The videos that you can watch below are shot as seen on the Nexus One phone, while the audio is coming from the PC speakers playing the source video. The idea was to check out the delay between the audio from the computer speakers and the video on the Nexus One.
- The computer is playing two clips: first, Fring’s official Android video calling announcement running at 480pp on youtube.com and then Nike’s “Write the Future” World Cup commercial running at 720pp. While the Nike’s commercial is a stress test with extremely fast moving images and few close ups, the Fring video call clip is more realistic case with the close ups of the announcer and it gives a nice idea of how the video call will look in the real life.
Watch the videos as seen on the Nexus One phone during video call with the Spring HTC EVO 4G:
Fring Android video calling announcement
Compare with the original video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sm8kICCxp1I
Nike’s “Write the Future” World Cup commercial
Compare with the original video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=idLG6jh23yE
- Video chat was holding up really well. It was tested continuously for up to 30 minutes without observing any freezes or significant delays.
- The video from the EVO seems to be compressed quite heavily when it is displayed by the Nexus One, as compared to how it looks on the EVO’s screen (admittedly, in a smaller window).
- I like Fring’s video quality much better than Fring’s audio quality. Compared to Skype’s excellent audio quality (PC-to-PC), Fring’s audio quality (as tested during audio call between Fring on the Nexus One and Skype on PC) has definitely a room for improvement. Fring’s audio quality needs to catch up, because delays and breaks in the audio stream are much more irritating for the users than those in the video stream.
- Nevertheless, I consider Fring free video calling an impressive feature which will be immensely popular once more phones add front facing cameras (and kick stands too, please).