HTC Rezound Review| By Cam Lincoln
The HTC Rezound introduces Beats Audio to stateside phones, and it's the Taiwanese company's best device yet. It comes with an enviable display and great audio, but a few flaws keep it from being a clear-cut winner.
The Rezound is an impressive, slightly imposing device, just over 5-inches tall and a half-inch thick. It sports a fuller build than slimmer rivals like the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, and nearly double the thickness of the Motorola Droid Razr. But thick doesn't mean ugly: the back's matte, rubbery finish is elegant and comfortable, and the soft ridges make it easy to grip. Red accents give a little pizazz without going over the top for an overall minimalist feel that gives it a dignified appearance. While the girth takes away from a svelte profile, it's a hardy phone with a sturdy build and attractive design.
The 4.3-inch screen extends across the front, for a big view that doesn't disappoint. The 1,280-by-720 pixel resolution gives you detailed, crisp images, and the 342 ppi pixel density is unparalleled, even better than the iPhone. If you stick the screen right up to your nose, you literally can't make out each pixel. That means when you stream a movie, you can see every little detail, and when you browse websites, fonts are crystal clear and easy on the eyes.
If you get annoyed at the fuzziness of PenTile pixel displays, you'll absolutely love its clarity and rich details. There's just one negative I can say: it doesn't have the widest viewing angle. It's best to look straight on, but if you have to crane your neck because you're on a crowded subway, it's still good, just not stunning.
The 8-megapixel camera, meanwhile, should remind you of the one on the HTC Titan, because it's exactly the same. If you don't know what that's like, I'll remind you: it takes vibrant, detailed shots. The dual LED flash coupled with backlit HDR options -- that boosts the range of colors -- makes it easy to snap great pictures outdoors or in dim lighting. You'll have a lot of control over the settings too, so if you like to fiddle with the ISO, saturation, sharpness and other controls, you'll have fun tweaking until you get the perfect picture. There's a number of fun photo filters too. I really like Panorama, which lets you stitch a number of shots together into a wider shot -- perfect for sunsets and scenescapes.
The Rezound also records focused 1080p video -- with great sound that's loud and clear. If you secretly dreamed about being a director, you can try it out on the cheap. The 2-megapixel front-facing camera, meanwhile, is less striking, but it's functional for video chat. And that's about it.
The Rezound is HTC's first device to add Beats Audio. By running music through some audio processing wizardry, you get thumping bass and chirping treble for a very full-bodied sound. You get a pair of expensive iBeats headphones too, sweetening the deal on the value. When you listen to music, Beats gives you a wider, fuller experience. You'll swear you hear sounds you never did. It's that good. If you're a purist though, the filters do give it an artificial hue. But you can turn it off if you don't like it. If you like to use music apps like Pandora or Spotify, you'll be disappointed to find out that Beats only works with the built-in music player.
Unfortunately, the software pales in comparison to its hardy hardware. It runs on Gingerbread, but it's heavily augmented with HTC's Sense interface. Version 3.5 is substantially different from the UI on the Rhyme, and looks more like older skins -- with seven home screens and widgets laid out in an arc. Oh, how do I loathe thee? Let me count the ways: first, Sense doesn't let you hide massive amounts of bloatware that Verizon crams in. Second, you have to look at icons for useless apps like "Let's Golf 2" every day. And lastly, and the most egregious problem, a lot of little things that will annoy you -- animations that are kitschy rather than charming and the icons are weirdly spaced out.
The software isn't a complete disaster, though. The Friendstream can be helpful -- it pulls messages from a variety of social networks into one place. Google Maps is very useful too. And the virtual keyboard is spacious and responsive -- turn on the "trace" feature for a key input similar to Swype.
The Rezound is as powerful, but it comes at a cost. The 1,620 mAh battery is drains fairly quickly. Even if you don't use it much, you'll run dangerously close to empty at the end of the day. That's especially annoying when you look at how thick the phone is -- you'd assume it has a powerful battery inside. But no -- performance is worse with LTE left on. The effects on a full battery are felt after browsing just a few pages. If you buy it, remember to pick up a charger or two -- you'll need it.
The 1.5-gigahertz dual-core chip, meanwhile, is speedy and responsive -- no lag time here. But with just 16-gigabytes for storage, you'll want to also pick up a microSD card. That should give you enough for a library of songs to enjoy with Beats.
The display is reason enough to buy Rezound, but I'm not sold on the Sense UI and poor battery life. Plus, you won't find a bargain -- it's a premium phone at a premium price, If you like to take photos and enjoy listening to music, you'll love it. But if you can live with a smaller screen, there are better Android phones, like the Galaxy S2 with less annoying interfaces. ♦
QHD (Accelerometer / Proximity Sensor / Ambient Light Sensor)
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June 20, 2012
Stay away from HTC
This phone has a very nice high resolution screen. It feels good in your hand and sits still when you set it down. The camera is acceptable and has some nice HTC widgets.
You cannot really leave it in 4G because it uses too much of the battery.
The HTC Resound has a problem getting the correct time zone when daylight savings time is involved. This causes calendars to be off by one hour (or even the wrong day for all day events) when viewing or setting an event that is in a part of the year that has a different daylight savings time setting. Makes the calendar unreliable. No luck getting this fixed through either HTC or Verizon.Was this review helpful to you?
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