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HTC Rezound Review

HTC Rezound ReviewThe HTC Rezound is not the nicest HTC device to have been released thus far to the market here in the USA, but it certainly does have all the features that make it one of the best smartphones on Verizon, and certainly one of the top two LTE devices today.

The box contains:

  • HTC Rezound
  • microUSB cable
  • Wall Charger
  • iBeats Headphones
  • Traveling Pouch
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Product Safety & Warranty Information

Design:

HTC’s unibody design language is getting, dare we say it, and a little old now, and though the Rezound is arguably the best implementation of it we’ve seen in some time. The combination of textures and almost cartographic layers, along with the splash of red around the main camera lens, the earpiece and backlighting the touch-sensitive fascia buttons pick up on themes from the Sensation XE, Incredible 2 and other recent HTC handsets, and while this isn’t a small phone (measuring 129 x 65.5 x 13.7 mm), it’s one that feels sturdy in the hand.

HTC Rezound ReviewHTC Rezound Review

Up front there’s a 4.3-inch S-LCD display running at 1280 x 720 resolution, like the Galaxy Nexus but even more pixel-dense. It’s a brilliant screen, bright and colorful, and best of all there’s no squint-worthy text or graphics in Android 2.3.5 and Sense 3.5 to spoil things. Viewing angles are broad and the panel as a whole is a joy for browsing, video viewing and snapping shots with the 8-megapixel camera (that’s 1080p HD capable, and paired with a dual-LED flash). Up-front a 2-megapixel camera serves for video calls.

Features:

Inside there’s Qualcomm‘s 1.5GHz MSM8660 dual-core, paired with Adreno 220 GPU, 1GB of memory and 16GB of storage; a microSD card slot – helpfully pre-loaded by Verizon with a 16GB card – extends that. Connectivity includes LTE, obviously, along with EVDO Rev.A to fall back on when you’re outside of 4G coverage. However there’s no UMTS/WCDMA support, since the Rezound isn’t a World Phone: go abroad and you’re stuck with WiFi a/b/g/n to get online and use VoIP. Bluetooth 3.0, GPS, an accelerometer, digital compass, gyroscope and light/proximity sensors round out the main features, though you also get an FM radio with RDS. Pair the Rezound’s microUSB port with an MHL HDMI adapter – sadly not bundled in the box – and you can hook it up to your HDTV.

Interface:

The HTC Rezound runs HTC’s latest Sense 3.5 user interface, layered on top of Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread. While HTC announced that the Rezound would be getting an upgrade to Android 4.0, it’s a pretty tough sell thrown up against the Samsung Galaxy Nexus that should launch within a week or so.

HTC Rezound ReviewHTC Rezound Review

HTC Sense 3.5 is almost identical to HTC Sense 3.0, adding minor enhancements to the interface like the addition of an “All apps” label now included on the home screen at the bottom of the display as part of the arc. I go back and forth on HTC Sense and for the most part, and I appreciate a lot of the innovation from HTC in the early days of Android, especially starting with the HTC Hero. Sense now introduces more problems that it solves for me, though. While it is cohesive and very well designed, it almost offers too much customization now — so much so that the user may not even discover much of its capabilities because it takes so long to dig through everything.

I have also noticed many, many icons, and images that haven’t been updated to support the new HD resolution of the display. That’s an attention to detail that shouldn’t have been skipped over. If you’re going to customize the Android interface and modify stock elements of the operating system, it’s only right that you do this throughout the entire phone, and HTC didn’t do that. The status bar, for instance, is a mashup of high resolution and low resolution graphics. The battery icon is crisp but the signal bars aren’t. The silent ringer icon looks great but the GPS icon does not. Also, due to the fact that almost no app developers planned on a display of this resolution being released at this time, most app icons from apps you download look pixelated and blurry.

Camera:

The 8-megapixel camera on the Rezound is decent enough for everyday photos, but performs poorly in dimly lit

HTC Rezound Review

HTC Rezound Camera Sample

environments. In areas with good lighting, colors can look washed out, and objects can sometimes have a reddish tint. The front-facing camera offers good image quality, but you most likely won’t use it for anything besides a few self-portraits.

The Rezound is capable of recording in 1080p, and it did well at picking up audio. It produced a mild jelly-like effect when recording in 1080p, but the result wasn’t the worst that I’ve seen. Something that I must commend HTC on is the amount of options available in the camera software: You can fine-tune various aspects for better photos, including sharpness, saturation, and exposure, and the Rezound even features a panorama mode that makes it extremely easy to capture panoramic images.

Music:

BEATS AUDIO / HEADPHONES

The Monster Beats brand has found its way into this phone in two ways. First, there’s the included pair of Monster Beats in-HTC Rezound Reviewear headphones. These headphones come with all the expected Beats branding, red cable, and multiple ear fittings, as well as on-cable track control buttons and a microphone for taking calls.

The second part of HTC’s Beats infusion is a software button that toggles a sound enhancement effect on and off. The enhancement boosts the audio’s volume, the bass is deepened, and the audio simply sounds rounder and fuller. This button is accessible from the notifications pull-down while you’re playing music in the stock Music app, but, oddly, the button isn’t available in other multimedia apps, including Google’s own Music app.

Battery:

As far as the battery, standby mode has been excellent. With normal usage on and off throughout the day, the phone and its 1,620 mAh battery seemed to make it just fine as long as I remembered to recharge when I got home. Even when putting the phone under pressure with constant 4G LTE web browsing, email, video playback and continuous music in the background, the Rezound held up very well.

Call Quality:

The Rezound performed well as a phone throughout my time with it. Callers were loud and clear on my end, and in test calls to a land line the Rezound sounds just as good on the receiving end. If pressed I would still give a slight edge to Motorola in this department, but that’s only due to Motorola’s radio performance in areas with marginal reception. If you rarely leave an area with solid reception, you won’t have any complaints with the Rezound.

HTC Rezound Specification

GENERAL 2G Network CDMA 800 / 1900
3G Network CDMA2000 1xEV-DO
4G Network LTE 700
Announced 2011, November
Status Available. Released 2011, November
BODY Dimensions 129 x 65.5 x 13.7 mm
Weight 170.1 g
DISPLAY Type S-LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Size 720 x 1280 pixels, 4.3 inches (~342 ppi pixel density)
Multitouch Yes
- HTC Sense v3.5 UI
SOUND Alert types Vibration, MP3, WAV ringtones
Loudspeaker Yes
3.5mm jack Yes
- SRS WOW HD sound enhancement
MEMORY Card slot microSD, up to 32GB, 16GB included
Internal 16 GB storage, 1 GB RAM
DATA GPRS No
EDGE No
Speed Rev. A, up to 3.1 Mbps; LTE Class 13
WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, DLNA, Wi-Fi hotspot
Bluetooth Yes, v3.0 with A2DP
USB Yes, microUSB (MHL) v2.0
CAMERA Primary 8 MP, 3264×2448 pixels, autofocus, dual-LED flash
Features Geo-tagging, touch-focus, image stabilization, face detection, instant capture
Video Yes, 1080p@30fps, 720p@60fps, stereo sound recording
Secondary Yes, 2 MP
FEATURES OS Android OS, v2.3.4 (Gingerbread)
Chipset Qualcomm MSM8660 Snapdragon
CPU Dual-core 1.5 GHz Scorpion
GPU Adreno 220
Sensors Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass
Messaging SMS(threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Email, IM
Browser HTML, Adobe Flash
Radio Stereo FM radio with RDS
GPS Yes, with A-GPS support
Java Yes, via Java MIDP emulator
Colors Black
- SNS integration
- TV-out (via MHL A/V link)
- Google Search, Maps, Gmail
- YouTube, Google Talk, Picasa integration
- MP3/AAC+/WAV/WMA player
- XviD/MP4/H.263/H.264/WMV player
- Organizer
- Document viewer
- Voice memo/dial/commands
- Predictive text input
BATTERY Standard battery, Li-Ion 1620 mAh
Stand-by Up to 261 h
Talk time Up to 6 h 24 min

Performance:

The Rezound is powered by a Qualcomm 1.5GHz dual-core processor, an Adreno 220 GPU and a full 1GB of memory. It’s a HTC Rezound Reviewgood thing, too, as I’m sure it needs it to push all those pixels on that beautiful screen. Occasionally these super phones seem to have every spec under the sun and yet still bog down at times. I’m happy to say that isn’t the case with the Rezound.

Conclusion:

The fact that this device is not in reality sleek or unique enough to warrant calling it a hero device for HTC or Verizon shows a greater understanding by all parties involved in the power of branding. The DROID RAZR has two majorly recognizable names right there in its title, while the HTC Rezound, without even looking at the device, appears to be the next in a never-ending line of HTC devices.

PRO:

  • Detailed 4.3” 720p display with 341 ppi
  • Great bundled headphones
  • Great calling quality
  • 4G LTE connectivity

CON:

  • It is thick and heavy
  • Not running Android 4.0 ICS out of the box
  • Camera and camcorder are not top-notch

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