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HTC Amaze 4G hands-on impressions and photos

T-Mobile held a big party in New York last night to celebrate the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S II and HTC Amaze 4G. Both phones were just released to counter the launch of the iPhone 4S, which T-Mobile was not fortunate enough to secure this year. 

Internally and externally, the HTC Amaze 4G provides an extremely similar experience to the other dual-core, high-end HTC Sense 3.0 phones that have been released this year, all of which run on Android 2.3 (Gingerbread). If you’ve used a T-Mobile MyTouch 4G Slide or HTC Sensation, then you’re already quite familiar with how the manufacturer’s latest batch of phones work and look. The Amaze is especially speedy, with a 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor behind the wheel, 1GB of RAM, and 16GB of internal storage. Add in a 4.3-inch qHD (540×960 pixel) screen, a Micro SD slot, 1080p video-capturing on the 8MP rear camera, and a 2MP front camera and you’ve got a solid phone, on paper. The phone also has “4G,” but keep in mind that it really runs on a beefed up 3G HSPA+ network. It can deliver higher speeds than 3G, but real world experience has shown it to lag far behind Verizon’s next-generation 4G LTE network. 

There are a few distinguishable elements to the Amaze. First is that it has a dedicated video recording button right next to its dedicated camera button. With camera buttons disappearing, this is a bit odd, but we didn’t mind it. The volume rocker is also on the right side, bumping the power button to the top of the device. The phone also comes with NFC capabilities and a microUSB charge port that appears to double as an HDMI port in a pinch. The phone had a design that was a mix of the HTC Flyer tablet’s plastic flourishes and the T-Mobile MyTouch 4G. Like the MyTouch, T-Mobile is emphasizing the capabilities of HTC’s camera in its advertisements. We didn’t get a chance to test that, but HTC consistently has good cameras. The phone is held together by a unibody shell not unlike the Sensation. 

The phone comes preloaded with the typical assortment of HTC and T-Mobile apps. There are plenty of useful and useless apps, but no real surprises. Overall, the Amaze 4G is a speedy phone that feels good in the hand and runs some of the best Android 2.3 software around. But the speed comes at a price. At launch, T-Mobile is charging $260 for the phone, with a two-year contract. 

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Jeffrey Van Camp
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