HTC Rezound Review

The HTC Rezound is a decent phone and certainly a solid buy if you're on Verizon, but we can't help but be disappointed with HTCs limited implementation of Beats Audio and the poor battery life...
The HTC Rezound is a decent phone and certainly a solid buy if you're on Verizon, but we can't help but be disappointed with HTCs limited implementation of Beats Audio and the poor battery life...
The HTC Rezound is a decent phone and certainly a solid buy if you're on Verizon, but we can't help but be disappointed with HTCs limited implementation of Beats Audio and the poor battery life...

Highs

  • Fast 4G LTE speeds
  • Great camera
  • Slow-motion video recording
  • 32GB of storage (16GB internal)

Lows

  • You can't use Beats unless you use HTC's Music app
  • Beats earbuds sound muffled unless you're using Beats
  • Poor battery life
  • Power and Volume buttons hard to press

Verizon’s 4G LTE network is starting to grow up. The HTC Rezound is the third dual-core device on the new network and HTC’s second. The High Tech Company ushered in the high-speed network earlier this year with the HTC ThunderBolt, which definitely had speed, but lacked a dual-core processor, acceptable battery life, and a competitively thin profile. With the Rezound, HTC corrects most of these problems, but introduces a new one: gimmicky Beats Audio integration that doesn’t really work.

Design and Feel

The Rezound is a bit of a revival for HTC. Design-wise, it’s basically a sequel to the Incredible, right down to the red interior. Much like the Incredible, the Rezound has a rubberized black finish with bright red accents all over the phone. The rear also has that oddly shaped top to it with the right corner missing.

htc-rezound-review-front-screen

There are some differences, starting with the dimensions. With a 4.3-inch screen, this is a larger phone than the Incredible and it’s a bit fatter too, most likely so it can fit in Verizon’s LTE technology and a big enough battery to manage it. It has a shiny faux-metal front exterior and the back rubber backing has texturized ridges in it, making it easier to keep hold of. It also has even more red on it. The navigation buttons—Home, Menu, Back, Search—are now completely red as well, as is the speaker grating up top.

htc-rezound-review-side-view

From a usability standpoint, the Rezound is thin enough to hold and operate at 4.3 inches, but it definitely feels a bit thicker than some of the dual-core phones on the market. On one note of annoyance, the power and volume buttons are a bit difficult to press. They are sized appropriately, but they don’t stick out of the phone far enough to easily find them when you aren’t looking. The power button, as the one you’ll press more than any other, is suspiciously uncomfortable to press sometimes.

htc-rezound-review-back-camera

Like the Amaze 4G on T-Mobile, the Rezound has a Micro USB port that doubles as a fast-charging port, if you use your HTC charger. Unlike the Amaze, however, there is no camera button on the phone, which is a bit of a shame.

Finally, if looking at the inside of your phone is something you like to do, the Rezound will provide hours of staring. The inside of the phone is colored red, much like the Incredible, as is the battery.

Specs and Screen

The Rezound has most everything we look for in a top-notch smartphone this year. It has a 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm MSM8660 processor, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, comes with a 16GB microSD card, an 8MP rear camera with dual-LED flash and a 2MP front camera. Bluetooth 3.0, Wi-Fi, accelerometer, and a digital compass are all, of course, present. We ran a Quadrant benchmark test and the unit came out at about what we expected, scoring between 2400 and 2500, or about in line with what we achieved on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 and a few hundred higher than the Amaze 4G, which is a helluva phone itself. For reference, a Motorola Droid would score about 400 on this processing test and a Droid X or HTC Evo would score a bit over 1000.

htc-rezound-review-kayak-app

The screen is high resolution and nice, but I am hoping HTC invests in AMOLED technology, moving forward. Though Motorola and Samsung have now put their weight behind Super AMOLED, HTC is sticking with LCD displays. The 4.3-inch screen of the Rezound has a 720×1280 pixel resolution, but it doesn’t have the brightness and contrast you get from Super AMOLED. Still, S-LCD isn’t bad and our complaints (if you want to call them complaints) about the display are superficial, at best. Overall, it’s a great, high-resolution display.

Operating System

Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) is HTC’s OS of choice for the Rezound. The manufacturer has promised an upgrade to Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) by early 2012, but there’s no saying when it will actually arrive. Google has released the code for the OS, so hopefully HTC is hard at work on upgrades for most of its devices.

htc-rezound-review-android-operating-system

As it stands, the Rezound is a solid Gingerbread phone. It comes loaded with HTC Sense 4.0, a modified user interface for Android that loads the OS up with a bunch of fancy widgets and themes. Though Sense is still one of the better custom UIs, it is starting to show a little wear around the edges. Hopefully with the transition to Android 4.0, HTC will re-evaluate what it really wants to change about Android and figure out how it can better serve users.

Like all Verizon Android devices, the Rezound is preloaded with a fair amount of bloatware that’s unremovable. Expect to stare at icons for BlockBuster, NFL Mobile, Let’s Golf 2, Hot Pursuit, V Cast Videos, and some other apps for the next two years.

Product Review

Audio-Technica's M50xBT headphones bring signature studio sound to the streets

Audio pros may balk at cutting the cord on studio headphones, but it’s hard to argue with these results. Audio-Technica’s wireless ATH-M50xBT offer massive battery life and killer sound you can take anywhere.
Home Theater

Powerbeats Pro: A first look at Apple’s new true wireless earphones?

Beats will reportedly release a true wireless pair of Powerbeats earphones next month. The second-generation AirPods received the new H1 chip, which is also expected to power the new Powerbeats, and an image has been revealed.
Mobile

The Samsung Galaxy S10 5G might be a few short weeks away from launch

Samsung has announced a whopping four new Galaxy S10 devices, from the low-cost S10e to the triple-camera S10 and S10 Plus. But it's the Galaxy S10 5G that steals the show as it's among the first 5G-ready smartphones to hit the market.
Deals

Looking to upgrade? These are the best iPhone deals for March 2019

Apple devices can get expensive, but if you just can't live without iOS, don't despair: We've curated an up-to-date list of all of the absolute best iPhone deals available for March 2019.
Mobile

Need a quick battery boost? Try one of our favorite portable chargers

Battery life still tops the polls when it comes to smartphone concerns. If it’s bugging you, then maybe it’s time to snag yourself a portable charger. Here are our picks for the best portable chargers.
Wearables

Fossil made a smartwatch in 2004, and it’s part of a new brand retrospective

Fossil has been making watches for 35 years, and to celebrate the anniversary, it has a new retrospective exhibit complete with the first smartwatch it made — the Wrist Net watch from 2004.
Wearables

Fossil is working on a smartwatch with BMW, and it’s coming next year

Fossil, the watch company that makes smartwatches under its own name and partners with other major brands too, intends to launch a smartwatch with car manufacturer BMW in the future.
Mobile

Diesel’s denim-inspired smartwatch straps are a casual, colorful must-own

Diesel will release two new versions of the On Full Guard 2.5 smartwatch later this year, with seriously cool, denim-inspired straps in classic Diesel colors. We tried them on at the Baselworld 2019 show.
Mobile

The Moto G7 Power, with its massive battery, is now available for purchase

After a number of leaks and rumors, the Motorola Moto G7, Moto G7 Play, and Moto G7 Power are finally here. The devices represent quite a spec bump over the previous-generation Moto G6 phones, yet still come at a reasonable price.
Mobile

Got gadgets galore? Keep them charged up with the 10 best USB-C cables

We're glad to see that USB-C is quickly becoming the norm. That's why we've rounded up some of the better USB-C cables on the market, whether you're looking to charge or sync your smartphone. We've got USB-C to USB-C and USB-C to USB-A.
Mobile

5G's arrival is transforming tech. Here's everything you need to know to keep up

It has been years in the making, but 5G is finally becoming a reality. While 5G coverage is still extremely limited, expect to see it expand in 2019. Not sure what 5G even is? Here's everything you need to know.
Mobile

HMD Global admits Nokia 7 Plus handsets sent user data to China

Nokia could be in some hot water. According to recent reports, Nokia 7 models may be secretly sending data to China without the user knowing about it. Nokia says that the issue was a software bug and that it has been fixed.
Mobile

24 must-have apps for rooted Android phones and tablets

Rooting your Android device opens up a world of possibilities, along with a few apps. Here are 24 of our favorites, so you can make the most of your rooted device and unleash the true power of Android.
Mobile

Flex your thumbs (and your brain) with these fun texting games

Gaming consoles keep getting more advanced, but you can still have fun with the good old Latin alphabet. Here are our picks for the best texting games, so you can make the most fun out of that limited data plan or basic cell phone.