The HTC Amaze 4G can be quickly described as a shutterbug’s phone, since it packs in an 8 megapixel camera (with advanced features) and 1080p video capture, plus a dual LED flash. It also has all of the features you’d expect to find in a modern Android smarphone, including a 1.5 GHz processor, Wi-Fi and 4G wireless, Bluetooth, and even NFC compatibility for wireless payment and social media check-in functionality when available.
The handset may not be much thicker than its competitors, at 0.46 inches (11.7mm) thick, its 6.1-ounce (0.17kg) heft certainly gives off the opposite impression. With a similar 4.3-inch qHD super LCD display, the phone picks up right where the Sensation left off, although in this iteration that Gorilla Glass-coated screen spills out of its aluminum confines a tad too much for our tastes. It’s an odd design flaw that HTC could have easily remedied by tapering the edges down into the phone’s frame, rather than subjecting users to indented palms. Still, as the majority of your usage will most likely have everything to do with data consumption and less to do with carrying on an actual phone call, you’ll hardly be bothered by this discomfiting quirk.
Down at the phone’s base, you’ll find both a microphone and battery door latch — the latter of which makes accessing the phone’s guts an absolute breeze. Up top, a power button and 3.5mm jack preside, with the volume rocker and dedicated camera buttons over to the right. On the left-hand side, a lone micro-USB port breaks up the device’s otherwise unblemished chrome trim.
The HTC Amaze 4G is a quad-band world phone and offers a speakerphone, conference calling, voice dialing, video calling via Qik, and text and multimedia messaging. Like the Samsung Galaxy S II, the Amaze is also compatible with T-Mobile’s faster HSPA+ 42 network, meaning it can reach a theoretical download speed of 42Mbps–double that of its HSPA+ 21 network. Currently, this network is available in more than 150 markets, including New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and the San Francisco Bay area, and covers 170 million Americans.
The smartphone can also be used as a mobile hot spot for up to five device and features Bluetooth 3.0, Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n), and GPS, as well as NFC support. With the embedded NFC chip and the preinstalled Tags app, you can use the smartphone to scan, read, and share RFID (radio frequency identification) tags. In the future, once Google Wallet support is expanded beyond the Nexus 4G, you should be able to use the Amaze 4G to make mobile payments.
The HTC Amaze ships with the Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread operating system and the HTC Sense 3.0 user interface. First appearing on the HTC Sensation 4G, the latest version of Sense offers a number of enhancements, many of which can be found on the lock screen. Aside from a display of the date, time, and other vital statistics, you now get shortcuts to four of your favorite applications. By default, the shortcuts are set to phone, mail, camera, and messages, but you can change them in the phone’s Personalize menu. To open a specific app, you can simply drag the icon to the ring at the bottom of the screen, instead of having to unlock the phone first.
The camera takes really nice photos, and there are plenty of advanced settings to explore, including ten different scene
selections, macro mode, smile capture, blink detection, and the like. Among its more cutting-edge features is SmartShot, which will take 5 photos and compile the best parts to create a single image. Users will also be able to create panoramas, and this phone will even be able to judge the best images in a group and highlight them.
HTC’s stock music player is a fine app. The Amaze 4G does not benefit from the recent Beats Audio acquisition, but it still sounded good to our ears with SRS enhancement and to be honest the no effects option may be better.
The HTC Amaze 4G has 16GB of internal memory and an expansion slot that can accept SD cards up to 32GB, but sadly, an SD card is not included in the price of the phone.
The HTC Amaze 4G Specification
|Date Released (YYYY/MM/DD):||2011/10/10|
|Dimensions:||5.12 x 2.58 x .46 inches|
|Type:||WVGA TFT LCD Capacitive|
|Megapixels:||8 megapixel rear, 2 megapixel front|
|Wi-Fi:||IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n|
|Type:||1730 mAh Li-ion|
|Operating System:||Android 2.3.4|
|External Memory:||MicroSD (up to 32GB)|
It’s a capable device, but the only real feature that sets it apart is the superior camera. It’s the perfect phone for shutterbugs, but perhaps not for those looking for the absolute latest bleeding-edge smartphone. Its marginal performance making voice calls is a bit of a disappointment.
- Slightly unusual design and two color choices, white or black
- Good screen
- Responsive and easy to use
- Great camera
- Voice quality is good, but not great
- Battery life is slightly disappointing