Pros + The Rezound is pretty zippy, with a 1.5 GHz dual core processor
+ Screen: It is beautiful and incredibly clear and realistic
+ Camera on the Rezound is fantastic!
+ Call quality is very good
+ LTE signal is strong and consistently fast for me
Cons - Rezound gets really hot when playing certain games!
- Ringtone and notification volume seems rather low even with volume setting on max
Summary I don't know which is more impressive, the hTC Rezound or Verizon's 4G LTE network. I switched from the hTC EVO 4G on Sprint to this phone and the difference couldn't possibly be more dramatic.
Physically, the phones are a similar size. These large format smartphones take some getting used to, from carrying them in your pocket to the fine art of one-handed touchscreen action where you stretch your thumb across the screen. The Rezound actually sits well in my pocket and once you get spoiled with the larger display, it is nearly impossible to use any other phone without squinting and thinking "this thing is too small!".
The pixel density is outstanding and colors are good. Not quite SAMOLED but still very good. With this resolution, I was worried about the lag I had been reading about, particularly with the latest hTC Sense. I did notice the occasional short lag when you inundate the GPU with a lot of actions like swiping several screens and then hitting the home button. But it was surprisingly good. I loaded GO Launcher and it eliminated all lag (and gave me the 5x5 icon layout with no labels that I prefer).
In direct sunlight, the screen has a bright enough setting to be functional, but you'll always struggle in direct sunlight with a glass screen.
Since Amazon/Verizon is enticing new contracts with aggressive pricing, it bears mentioning that Verizon's 4G LTE network is second to none. They've invested in this network heavily this year, and it shows. If I drive out of town and into the country, I might lose LTE signal briefly, but coverage is astounding. Great work, Verizon.
Speed is even more astounding. Even in the metal building I work in (that would drain the hTC EVO battery dry when desperately reaching out for a Sprint signal), I generally achieve 10,000 - 13,000 kbps. The highest download rate I've experienced is 32,000kbps! My local cable High Speed Internet doesn't even touch this. Again, great work, Verizon! They've raised the bar and I hope they can keep it there.
That said, the tiered data plans take careful considering. I went through 2GB in my first week, enjoying the fast network speeds perhaps a little too much! Ironic that I reluctantly connect to a WiFi network to reduce my data usage and the relative speed differential becomes even more evident.
I can't move on to review any other aspect of phone without raising the subject of battery life. I tried to manage my expectations for battery life with this phone. With what was sure to be a gas-guzzling dual barrel 1.5GHz processor on the LTE network and the highest pixel density in the industry, I couldn't bring myself to hope that the battery would take me through a typical 10 hour workday. The Rezound again delivers.
Even with the excitement of a slick new phone on the best network in the business, I still managed to make it through a 10 hour day on a battery charge. As the excitement wears down, I can even make it through 16 hours of awake time without charging. But I've already picked up a spare battery, as it seems to defeat the purpose of a wireless device to be tethered to a charger all the time. This is a powerful mobile device, much like a laptop. You wouldn't expect your laptop to run all day on a charge so just get used to the idea that this is no ordinary phone.
This was a huge consideration, for me. I'm an amateur photographer, and don't always have my DSLR handy, and so I end up taking a great deal of photos using the phone's camera. In broad daylight, some pictures have come out good enough to be published. The key advantage is always having a competent camera handy when an incredible opportunity arises with perfect lighting, autumn scenery and that amazing backdrop that makes you wish the DSLR was in the back seat. The impressive f2.2 aperture and competent 8 megapixel sensor in the Rezound does a really great job at capturing light, even when it is limited.
In optimal lighting situations, coupled with the "Backlight HDR" setting (which seems to do some post processing tone mapping to improve visible dynamic range), the results are downright stunning. There is still some noise in low-light situations, but I'm happy to see just black in dark shadows rather than noise.
Oh yeah, this thing has a phone? I didn't make a phone call until I'd already had the phone for four days and was very impressed with the call quality. I don't ask for much, but my last phone didn't quite have enough volume and I was happy to find that the Rezound has plenty enough volume to spare. I actually had to turn down the call volume a bit, which a nice luxury.
There has been a lot of hype about the beats headphones included with this phone, and the "beats profile" that tweaks sound settings for optimal sound reproduction. I have to admit to being a little bit of a sound quality snob. Not the kind that spends $300 on speaker wire and snake oil. But I've spent many hours utilizing measuring equipment in the automotive environment in pursuit of sound quality and even more hours of critical listening and believe I can recognize good sound. Having made an attempt at qualifying my opinion of the Rezounds ability in the sound department: I think they sound great.
Really. I mean, they're not going to replace a good set of cans and simply can't approach the dynamics and spatial imaging achieveable in a car or home. But they sound good. I already had a set of decent entry level earbuds (V-Moda Vibe Duo) and I'd say the Beats by Dr Dre buds by Monster are in the same neighborhood, but not quite as good. With the beats profile enabled, music seems louder and more crisp, but not necessarily better. I was able to replicate the effect in PowerAmp with equalization pretty closely. The Beats earbuds might be a little boomy, with not enough extension in the first octave. They are detailed, but midrange is a little more muddy than the V-Modas. I'll keep them as very competent spares, but continue to enjoy the V-Modas for now.
After a week of ownership, I should be able to think of a few criticisms for this phone. I do wish that we were given the option of an AOSP interface, why not Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0)? But that is indeed wishful thinking. This phone is sure to be popular with developers, though, and it won't be long before they tap into the true power in this very capable phone. It is a bit annoying to see Verizon bloat the phone with nonsense like V-Cast, that seem more suited for feature phones rather than a powerful Android phone. Would it be a valid complaint that I'm eating through a lot of data? That would be like saying I'm enjoying it too much. Maybe I am. (If you are looking for best deal for the HTC Rezound, I suggest you have to check it before you decide at: Androidcheaper.blogspot.com/2011/12/htc-rezound.html
Pros + Gorgeous, well-crafted screen that pops with color and makes text crisp and easy-to-read.
+ Freakishly fast processor. Thinks "Usain Bolt"
+ Premium build quality. Attractive and understated "blacked out" bezel with red accents. Feels good in hand.
Cons - Battery will last all day, but needs a recharge at night
- Thicker than the RAZR, iPhone, and Galaxy Nexus. Small hands need not apply.
- Beats needs integration w/ other music apps.
- Sense UI (HTC's customization of Android) needs to go on a diet
Summary Lost in the fanfare of the latest and greatest phones on the market (iPhone 4S, RAZR and Galaxy Nexus/S2) is the Rezound. I had not planned on buying this phone. But once I held and played with the Rezound in person, I was impressed by its build quality and speed. It also looks much nicer in person than it does in photos. The contoured back feels great; in contrast, the RAZR doesn't feel as good due to its angled back with sharper edges. Come to a Verizon store and try it for yourself.Updated observations + shopping advice (Nov 21)
Since the technical details about the phone are explained in the CNET review, I will explain some of the qualitative reasons why I chose this over the iPhone 4S and the Galaxy Nexus:
The screen makes browsing the internet a joy. Once your eyes get used to the extra real estate, it's hard to downgrade to a smaller screen (a la the iPhone 4S). The displays on the RAZR and Nexus are fantastic, too, but lag behind the 4S and the Rezound.
The Beats integration is nice, but is still a work in progress until the software gets integrated w/ Spotify, Winamp, Pandora, and other 3rd party services. The headphones that are included are fantastic. I personally love them. When you are using the standard music player, the Beats software and headphones combo make rock and hip hop awesome to listen to.
The Sense UI is nice, but can use Slim Fast. My old phone was a Motorola Droid, and I can tell the customizations are ever so slightly holding the phone back. Still, Sense is easy to understand. It's easy to use the extras are fun. Plus, with a dual-core 1.5 GHZ processor, everything is fast and responsive.
Battery life is just OK. The Rezound ain't bad, but the other phones sound like they will have better battery performance. If you are a super heavy media user, then you're better off with the iPhone 4 (not the 4S) in my opinion. That thing sips on battery. For most people, battery life will be a minor issue. As of now, I'm at 85% and it's lunch time for me. Shrug.
Given the steep level of competition, I'd strongly advise cross-shopping this phone w/ others. I'd still recommend the iPhone 4 or 4S for moms and dads for ease of use and battery life. If you want ICS now, then you should wait for the Nexus. BUT if you like Android, then this phone has a ton to offer. Thanks for reading.
Updated on Nov 21, 2011
Cannot emphasize enough - visit a local Verizon retailer and play with all the phones you are cross-shopping with the Rezound! I would not buy ANY phone without seeing them in person.
Also, if you can, SLEEP ON IT! There are/will be some great deals online for these phones, as well as the release of the Galaxy Nexus. Waiting = more choice and possibly lower prices.
re battery life:
If you are coming from a non-4G smartphone, the battery life will be a step down. BUT, if you are coming from another 4G phone, this is a step UP. The Rezound should last an entire day with moderate use. Please buy a charger (or a micro USB cable) for the workplace OR a car charger - same goes for the Nexus, RAZR and iPhone 4S.
If you buy this phone, ask the Verizon rep to help you remove things like widgets that you don't want or need. Should help a little bit w/ overall speed and battery life.
Pros Excellent signal, excellent call quality, Sense UI, great camera, beautiful design, excellent build quality, perfect size, gorgeous display.
Cons Battery is like any other 4g. Though I can get 12 hours if I don't play with it constantly.
Summary I love everything about this phone. A lot of people don't like Sense. I love it. I had to put a custom ROM on my Droid X to get it to do what the Rezound does straight out of the box. Toggles in notification bar, native screen shots, reboot from the power button. Oh and I almost forgot to mention widget scrolling on the native home screen, this is a huge plus. As for the 78 widgets available.. I like 'em!
The call quality is excellent. I love being able to hear my callers through the handset. With the Droid X (don't get me wrong, I love my X) you had to move the phone around to get it in just the right place over your ear in order to hear the caller. Callers come through loud and clear on the Rezound no matter where you position it. I also use a CommandOne BT headset and the call quality through it is great as well.
I love the screen on this phone. I took it over to Verizon to compare it to the Nexus when it launched. Viewing the same web site with both, the Rezound looked much nicer.
I use my camera and video a lot. That was what interested me in this phone originally as the camera got such good reviews. I had planned on getting the Nexus and was disappointed the reviews the camera was getting. The Droid X had a so so camera. Hit or miss. Sometimes the pics were beautiful, sometimes horrible. I am happy to say the Rezound camera is great.
This phone is fast. I have no lag when using Sense. I did find that when I put Go Launcher, ADW or QQ Launcher, it gets choppy. No worries, I like Sense better anyway.
This is my first HTC phone. I love the build quality. It looks and feels great. The attention to details that HTC put into this build is surprising. Motorola build quality is excellent, but they look boxy and plain compared to my Rezound. It's sturdy and sexy.
I love the native print feature. I use my phone for business and I think it's about time Android phones start catching up with BB in that regard.
I was pretty well set on the Nexus when it was announced. After I started reading more on the specs, I started looking at all the 4g phones at Verizon. There, obscured by the Razr (I would never own a phone with a non removable battery)and the upcoming Nexus, was the Rezound. Information wasn't jumping out all over the place about it. Even the salesman at Verizon asked me if I knew about the Razr when I told him I wanted the Rezound. Why this device was downplayed is beyond me unless they were concerned that sales for the Razr and Nexus would be jeopardized if people knew how great the Rezound is. The salesman did finally admit that the Rezound is the top dog and would probably be for a while. I'm just glad I did my research and picked the best phone available on the Verizon network.
Pros -Gorgeous Display
-Fast 4G capability
-HTC Sense (best user interface of any smartphone)
-Screen vibrates when touched
Cons -Gets hot with apps
-Awful Battery Life
-No ICS (yet)
Summary Having this phone makes me wonder why people could possibly want the iPhone. This phone has a better display, better camera, faster internet speeds, faster processor, better sound quality, its durable, looks great, and of course, A 4.3-INCH SCREEN! Plus, it comes with google's navigation service which gives turn by turn directions free of charge (something an iPhone cannot do without paid apps), it more photograph effects including a panaroma feature, access to the amazon Appstore which gives users a paid app for free daily and an extensive library of music and movies superior to apple. Yeah, yeah iTunes is great and all but google music runs consistant sales for entire albums for $5, plus you can rent a movie from the HTC market for just $.49! Plus, you can customize your homescreen and lock screen with different shortcuts and widgets that give immediate information and the wallpaper can even move!
I could go on and on but I think I'll stop there. With the exception of Siri, the iPhone 4s is WAAYYYYYYYYYY of not only the Rezound's league but Android in general. It seems to me that the mass hysteria surrounding the 4s just goes to show how misinformed the general population is; they put popularity above functionality and its a shame. Google should be the most admired company in the world, not apple!
And all this while typing on an iMac...
Pros Easy to use (HTC Sense 3.5)
Blazing Fast Processor
Impressive Battery for an Android Phone
LTE (4G) Speed
Cons Verizon Bloatware
Summary First disclaimer, I am a former iPhone owner. However, this time around I refused to be stuck on a two year contract with slow 3G speeds and small screen that the iPhone 4S offered. However, I did purchase a new iPhone 4S for my wife when I purchased the HTC Rezound because that is what she wanted. As for me, I have been amazed at how easy the transition has been to the Rezound. I have had the phone for about a month. Set up was simple, even transferring all my iTunes music that I currently have, and may purchase in the future (there's an app for that!). iBeats is nice, but I already had a pair of iBeats headphones so I gave the new ones to my wife. The build quality of the phone is great. I love showing the display to my iPhone friends, then show them how fast the phone is. In my home, not on Wifi, I usually hit 18-19 Mbps download on average. Love LTE. As for apps, I found all I need, and more, in the Android Market. As for the battery, after all I heard, I was really concerned at first. However, I can get through two days easily with the battery that came with the phone. But then, I don't play games all day. The phone is also extremely comfortable in my hand and I really like the rubberized backing. Makes it feel like the phone isn't going to slip out of my hand. As for the camera, the quality has been good but I would give just a slight edge to the iPhone 4S, but it's not a deal breaker by any means. Bottom line, I am extremely pleased with the phone and I am more than satisfied with my purchase.