People love big screens, so HTC’s giving the people another big screen: the Rezound is smaller than the titanic Titan (packing a 4.3-inch screen) and nice guts. Another piece of speedy LTE hardware is a good thing.
The phone isn’t going to revolutionise anything for either Android software or hardware, but the Rezound looks like a very capable, very fast handset, Beats hoopla notwithstanding.
The Rezound’s looks aren’t anything special — Grey textured casing with red accents — but it houses a beastly 1.5 GHz dual-core processor nice gig of RAM, plus 32 GB of internal storage and an SD slot, should you need it. Outside? HTC’s first 720p resolution display.
The phone is a little lighter and more plasticky than your typical tank HTC phone, which is a bummer. I don’t mind weight when it comes to a stronger build. At the front of the phone is the new 720p screen, which does indeed look gorgeous. It doesn’t have quite that same vivid look of Samsung’s Super AMOLED Plus, but it’s not worse, just a different look. HTC’s screen is a little bit warmer and reds are a little rosier. Colours aside, you’d have to put your eyeball on the screen before you see a pixel. It’s really, really nice.
HTC’s seriously hawking the camera in the Rezound (trying to break with their rep for shitty phone photography) with an f2.2 lens and beefed up low-light sensor for an 8 MP still capture, or 1080p video. Plus lots of zany filters, since everyone likes fake vintage. The camera looked pretty good from my testing, though capture speeds were very sluggish. Blech. Another disappointment, though, is the lack of a hardware camera button. HTC nailed it with the Amaze 4G from a design perspective, with a button for photo and a button for video. It will be missed.
Each Rezound will ship with a pair of Beats earbuds, which is still a hell of a lot better than the earbuds any other smartphone comes with. LOOKING AT YOU, DOCTOR iPHONE.
I had a chance to give some music a quick listen through the included Beats by Dre ear buds. Bass was definitely bassier (typical), but it don’t know that I heard much of an improvement in terms of audio quality over all. If my initial impressions are correct, this will be a nice upgrade for hiphop heads, but if you’re into rock or classical you may not get much benefit. Note: Beats enhancements (thud thud thud) are only available via headphones.
In terms of speed, the 1.5GHz dual-core should really snap. It doesn’t, though. There was noticeable lag throughout the OS, and while it’s not nice to point fingers, you’ve got to look at Sense 3.5 here. It’s a pretty overlay, and some people absolutely love it. I never have. I’ve found it (and Samsung’s TouchWiz and Motorola’s MotoBLUR) to consistently slow down operating systems. And sadly, it’s likely not the only thing it’s going to slow down. They announced today that the Rezound is Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) ready, but I have it from an HTC rep that they will only bring Ice Cream Sandwich to the Rezound (and their other phones) after they have figured out how to adapt Sense to it. I really wish they could offer Sense as an optional suite of replacement apps. That way you could get your updates right away, and pick and choose the elements of Sense you like. If I could, I’d mandate it across all manufactures. End of soapbox speech.
Overall, though, this looks like a terrific phone and it’s definitely media centric. Video will look and sound killer on this thing, and it should come through super fast with Verizon’s 4G LTE (which no one else has been able to touch, yet). Now let’s get this thing up against the Galaxy Nexus.
The Rezound ships in the US on November 14th, costing $US300. No word yet on an Australian carrier or pricing.