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HTC Rezound Review – Verizon

htc rezound

By the end of November, Verizon may have the three best Android smartphones ever created all to itself. The HTC Rezound is one of those three, boasting next-gen specs, Beats by Dre audio enhancements, 4G LTE connectivity, and one of the first 720p HD screens even seen on a mobile device. On paper, this phone might be better than the DROID RAZR and Galaxy Nexus, the two phones it will compete directly with. In real life use though, can it use its sound-inspired name, HTC Sense skin, red accents, and spectacular design to come out on top of this epic end of the year battle? It’s going to be tough, but we have spent enough time with it over the last week to at least provide our opinion on that matter.  

The Good:

  • Screen:  This might be one of the nicest screens we have ever seen on a mobile device. The Rezound’s 4.3″ 720p HD Super LCD display is fantastic to stare at for hours. I have yet to see what the pixel density is on it, but I would assume it’s as high as any phone out there aside from maybe the iPhone and Galaxy Nexus. The pixel density is 342ppi which is higher than both the iPhone 4S and Galaxy Nexus. It’s incredible. If you want crisp clean lines, correct colors, and none of that ghosting non-sense that we have seen from some of the other higher end phones over the last few months, this is the screen for you. Rather than selling this at Beats-enabled phone, HTC should have spent more time telling everyone how amazing the display is.

Rezound

DROID RAZR

  • Hardware:  The specs in the Rezound are as good as any phone on the planet. It sports a 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S3 processor, 1GB of RAM, 4.3″ 720p HD Super LCD screen, 4G LTE, 8MP rear camera, 2MP front camera, 16GB on-board storage, and a 16GB pre-installed SD card. And to be fair, it’s the first smartphone in the U.S. that has an HD screen – there are few phones that are even close to being on this level. We would have liked to see NFC tossed in there, just like HTC did with the Amaze 4G, but there seems to always be something left out these days that would make a device almost near perfect.
  • Camera: Seeing an 8MP rear shooter with a 28mm wide angle lens on a smartphone is a thing of beauty. If you were looking for a phone that could come close to replacing your high-end DSLR in a pinch, this would be it. By no means am I a camera guru, but I still feel like I can tell if a camera rocks or not. This camera by all means, rocks. It allows you to use “hipster filters” on the fly, take amazing panoramic shots, and quickly share them with your favorite apps. We have some photo samples below that have only been resized and not touched in any other way. We also have a 1080p video clip for you in the video section at the bottom as well.

  • Design:  HTC may not take many risks with their hardware designs, but I’m OK with that as I have always been a big fan of their simple, elegant style. The Rezound looks like a modern day DROID Incredible, but with some added red accents to make it really pop. The black and red theme fit nicely with the phone’s Beats integration and really give it an identity that other Android phones can lack at times. If someone saw your Rezound and follows any sort of technology information site, they would know exactly what it was. It’s a bold, beautiful and powerful phone.
  • Beats:  We know that not everyone is a fan of Beats by Dre headphones, but the addition of special Beats software and a pair of ear buds with the Rezound is welcomed in a time when device features seem to be evolving so slowly. If there is a way to differentiate yourself from the Android pack, adding in high-end audio is a way to do it. The sound quality with Beats enabled is most definitely noticeable, and HTC assures me that it’s not just a “bass boost.” While I’m no audiophile, I can easily say that the audio experience on the Rezound far surpasses any previous Android handset. We’ll get into the one frustrating aspect of Beats integration in the “not-so-good” section below.
  • Battery Life (sort of):  We should almost create an in-between category for these reviews, because things like Battery Life would fall right into it. What I mean by that, is that the Rezound held up pretty well in my battery tests – for a 4G LTE phone that is. If you follow me on Google+, then you probably saw my 4-day battery testing results which show that the phone, with my use, was easily getting me through 10-12 hours before having to charge it again. While that’s not an entire day, it’s at least a work day, and is much better than I think any of us imagined the Rezound’s 1620mAh battery was going to produce.

 

  • Call Quality and Signal:  I experienced no issues with call quality or data connections. My LTE connection is pretty strong here in Portland and did not notice any hand-off issues or other problems that we experienced with say, the HTC Thunderbolt. Call quality again, seemed just fine to my average ears. I know in the past that HTC phones have been so-so in this department, but nothing stood out to me as being poor during my tests.

The Not-so-Good:

  • Price:  There have been enough conversations on this site over pricing that I won’t go too deeply into this, but I can’t help but be a little frustrated by the steep price tags we are seeing with Verizon’s 4G LTE offerings. At some point we will probably be used to $299 just like we were with $199, however, I’m not ready to get there just yet. The Rezound weighs in at $299 on 2-year contract or $649 without one. It will hurt your wallet a tad no matter which route you go. Is it worth it? We’ll get to that in the Verdict.
  • Beats Enhancements are Limited:  The Beats experience on the Rezound is for the most part, enjoyable. With that said, the fact that it only works through the native music app on the phone and with head phones plugged in, is disappointing. If you load up Google Music or Amazon or Winamp, you do not get the extra Beats audio enhancements activated. As our world becomes more and more dependent on the cloud, this seems like a giant oversight from HTC. And maybe it’s impossible to enhance streamed music the way they want, but it still needs to be pointed out as a flaw.
  • HTC’s Sense and Performance:  With the Rezound, HTC introduced their latest version of Sense dubbed 3.5. It’s very similar to the 3.0 we saw on the EVO 3D and a variety of other HTC handsets from the last 6 months, but with some added…well, we don’t know. As someone that has never been the biggest Sense fan, it’s tough to tell what has changed from 3.0 to 3.5. What I can tell is that whatever did change, is not a good change. As a phone with a dual-core processor and tons of RAM, you would expect it to fly, right? It doesn’t and I’m willing to point my finger at HTC’s custom skin. The gallery app is incredibly slow to the touch, simple sliders lag behind your dragging finger, various keyboards all struggle to keep up with quick typing, and something as simple as having a WiFi toggle in the notifications menu is missing. On the other hand, the Samsung Galaxy S2 on T-Mobile that runs this same processor, is one of the most impressive phones we have ever tested, performance-wise. Sense is supposed to be an evolving and highly-polished skin, but all I’m noticing is its growing negative imprint on Android.
  • Phone Thickness: With the DROID RAZR in stores as the thinnest smartphone on the planet, the thickness of the Rezound is a bit of a turnoff. Is it thick when compared to some of the other non-RAZR phones? Not necessarily, but with Motorola and Samsung continually finding ways to thin out their products, we would have hoped that HTC had found a way to do the same.
  • Weight:  Again, compared to the DROID RAZR, this phone feels mighty heavy. Some people love a little bit of weight to a smartphone, but when you get your hands on the ultra-light players in the game like the Galaxy S2 series and throw them in your pocket, it’s tough to imagine life again with saggy jeans.
  • Lock Switch and Volume Rocker:  I’m a huge fan of the design of this phone, but unlocking and locking your phone or adjusting the volume is a chore. Since HTC did their best to keep this phone sleek and without sharp edges, they also made these physical buttons almost impossible to toggle. This shouldn’t sway your interest in the phone, but it definitely will take some getting used to.
  • Battery Life:  The Rezound performs better than a lot of the 4G LTE phones on the market today, but we would still like to see it last for more than 16 hours on a single charge. We know that current LTE technology will not allow for that, so we have to at least flag it something that could be improved.

Gallery:

Hands-on and Unboxing:

YouTube Preview Image

Software Tour:

YouTube Preview Image

Video Sample (1080p):

YouTube Preview Image

The Verdict:

The HTC Rezound is for the most part, one of the more impressive phones I have ever used. The design is almost flawless, looks beautiful on display or in your hand, feels great while using, and has the specs to compete with phones for years to come. There are very few flaws here. I love the Beats audio integration, the included ear buds, the 4G LTE speeds, the stunning HD display, and of course the camera. This is about as high-end as you can get with a mobile phone, folks.  There is one issue that I have to point out though, and that’s the custom skin that has been tossed on top of it. HTC Sense 3.5 feels like it’s moving in the wrong direction, is growing in size by the minute, weighs down the performance of the phone, and makes you feel like you are no longer using Android at times. That may sound harsh, but this really is the one downer that makes this phone somewhat of a question mark for me. With that said, you can always toss on a custom launcher and make enough tweaks through apps and skins to get this phone almost Sense-less. So by no means is this a killer, but it is something that has made us all focus so much of our time on the stock Galaxy Nexus.

You can’t go wrong with the Rezound, but if you are not in dire need of a new phone this very minute, I can’t help but tell you to at least give the RAZR and Nexus a few minutes before making your next phone purchasing decision.

HTC Rezound Specs | Other Rezound Coverage

  • Granted

    Awwwww! What an absolutely cute kitty! I’ll plus 1 this just for my affinity for cats!

  • http://profiles.google.com/staticx57 staticx57 is the best at every

    Anyone else getting terrible lowlight performance? It’s worse than my old incredible.

    • Anonymous

      htc has never seemed to get cameras right, especially the audio quality when recording a video. 

  • boooya

    Is Sense 3.5 like a custum rom(for example CM7?) or is it just a skin that can be replaced without rooting?

    • http://profiles.google.com/staticx57 staticx57 is the best at every

      It’s a custom (from HTC) Rom.

      • boooya

        wonder if ICS would solve sticky lag issues..the only one I noticed was web browser was a little choppy.

        • http://profiles.google.com/staticx57 staticx57 is the best at every

          As long as it is ICS without sense.

          • Interested

            Would this be a better phone than the Galaxy Nexus if you just used AOSP instead of Sense?

  • http://twitter.com/Golensama Jarrell

    Wasn’t the HTC Rhyme the first with Sense 3.5 on Verizon?

  • Anonymous

    Played with the phone tonight at the VZ store.  I really liked it – this is going to be hard choosing between this and the Nexus.  The screen is absolutely beautiful – better than the iPhone I think.  It’s immediately apparent how much better it looks vs. the RAZRs pentile when you hold them side-by-side.  If the Nexus’s pentile is visible I’m probably gonna go with the Rezound, the screen’s really important to me.

    The only real lag I noticed was scrolling in the browser, but it wasn’t that bad at all, especially coming from an OG Droid.

  • Anonymous

    Totally agree with the Sense sentiment. This phone doesn’t seem any more speedier than a Thunderbolt or any other current HTC phone. In fact the Rhyme feels as snappy as the Rezound. RHYME. It’s a sad day when something like that happens…

  • boooya

    Does installing Launcher Pro replaces Sence 3.5? Would that get rid of Web Browsing lag also?

    • Anonymous

      No, using an alternative browser like Opera Mobile would get rid of browser lag.

      • boooya

        Ok, thanks.

      • Brandon Sobotta

        Opera is great, but I had to stop using it because it has such problems loading pages fully :/

        • Anonymous

          Hmmm, it loads all the pages I’ve tried just fine.  Were you using Opera Mobile or Mini?  Mini goes through Opera’s servers to render and then sends it to your phone as an image so it is subject to page rendering problems.  Mobile is much better.

        • Anonymous

          Dolphin mini ftw

  • Anonymous

    honestly i’d hop on this in a hot second if there was ANY way to get rid of HTC Sense and/or put on ICS before it comes out via ROMs…. if you can do any of these lemme know.

    • Anonymous

      U can’t do that with any phone so idk why you think this would be any different.

  • Mr. English

    I still want to wait and see if the Gnex 316ppi vs the iPhone4s 326ppi will be close or no cigar. I am suddenly all about screen clarity and the iPhone has it for me, so I’m praying for a droid variant with at least “as good” screen res. Doubt the Rezound is going to get play based on the sluggishness reported, but I am willing to wait until Gnex comes out and put all three side by side for comparison.

    • Pennywise

      I have heard many users of Sense 3.5 complain that it’s sluggish. Also, these Super LCD panels (as found in the Rezound) should be the best mobile display you can get for a while.

  • Marcus Reid

    This phone rocks.  Who cares about Sense UI bogging it down when we all know the first chance we get is to nandroid, root, then flash a custom ROM.  Then you will get the greatness of this phone.  And to be honest any UI that one doesn’t like a nice fresh and clean ROM always does the job.  

  • Dbarden31

    Why hasn’t the Razr been reviewed like this? Or am I missing something?

  • Godfrey2009

    Wheres the Droid Razr review??

  • MOTOX

    razr although its apps and build materials are nice… ehh. Im hoping they can get the motoactiv app to work on other phones…its a cool feature if you buy it and it seems worth it though the price is a bit steep at 299 for the thing… I think ill try the rezound…give it a good run for its money…i love htc phones but battery has been my problem.. but hoping they fixed it.. I sort of agree about sense…if not…i have till the end of january to trade up to a nexus.. maybe keep the beats… there more practical than my solo’s…lol

    • Anonymous

      if you return the phone you have to return the head phones.

  • http://twitter.com/trophynuts trophynuts

    when root becomes available CM7 will take care of a lot of the ui/software negatives you pointed out Kellex. 

    • Anonymous

      Already has root.

  • http://profiles.google.com/staticx57 staticx57 is the best at every

    What to do what to do. Picked up the Rezound today with the intention of returning it for the GNex but the more I play with it the more I like it and with custom ROMs coming eventually I might actually end up keeping it. But yet, every second I look at the screen makes me miss the AMOLED my Inc has and the GNex will have. Decisions decisions.

    • http://twitter.com/binglut9 Brian

      Yea while the rezounds screen is great, I found it to be very dull…I’m no way saying this display is bad just not for me I have had only LCD displays in my phones and I’m always envious of the contrasst that amoleds have….on the other hand the rzors display is just way to over saturated

      • Pennywise

        OLED is oversaturated. Note the period. What I’m saying is that you are missing something ‘fake.’  My advice is that you re-calibrate yourself back to normality with your new Super LCD screen (which blows the doors off ANYTHING OLED)

        • Anonymous

          Not contrast.  You also get ghosting and color banding on LCD that you don’t on OLED which also has superior viewing angles.

          • LionStone

            Yea, did a little comparison with the RAZR and ReZounds screen…I felt the RAZR looked better to me…the blacks looked black (much better) and colors were cleaner and crisper. The screens were turned all the way up too. RAZR has zero lag for repeat shots…ReZ. was slower but I do like their photo editing better. I would pick the RAZR over the ReZ.

          • Anonymous

            I just wish there were settings in android to adjust the color on OLED screens because they always come oversaturated by default.

          • Blanca Perez

            It’s like putting your TV on the Vivid setting

  • http://twitter.com/binglut9 Brian

    Thanks kellex for finally pointing out why HTC sense is becoming horrid…..it just keeps getting bigger, as Motorola and Samsung are easing the skins or making them lighter sense keeps growing adding 3d effects and transitions….I would almost think that HTC at some point wants their own os….it seems like that is the direction there going with their skin and its very sad….I know people like sense but I actually went in to the vzw store today to play with it and it was laggy….browser was not smooth at all felt very clunky, scrolling from home screen to home screen there sometimes be a little hiccup nothing major but with a dual core at 1. 5 you would think it would be smooth….

  • SamIam

    Still looking for a real RAZR review.  You know, one where you spend enough time with it to actually figure out it has BT 4.0 not 2.0?

  • Anonymous

    its a nice phone too bad its thick AND has horrid battery life

    • ShootAngelsFace77x

      Did the review say it has horrible battery life?  I missed that.

    • http://twitter.com/binglut9 Brian

      This phone is thick but its not that bad in hand

  • Anonymous

    HTC, Moto, blahhh…The G-Nexus better fly faster than the speed of light or I’m going back to morse code.

  • Anonymous

    I just got the phone this afternoon (about 6 hours ago) and its pretty nice and most of the things are pretty damn fast but nothing really wows me (other than 4g). ADW Launcher EX actually lags a fair amount for some reason when switching screens, the performance is comparable to  my incredible. Opening apps is a different story, this thing flies.

    I’m still on the fence If I want to keep this or exchange it for the Nexus if it drops soon. Hopefully when they achieve s-off, it will be a lot better.

    • Anonymous

      Already have s off. Check xda.

      • Anonymous

        I don’t see permanent root all I see is temp root. Link me?

  • SKAV3NG3R

    all in all is a solid Aphone. 

    i played with the Aphone but didn’t get a min to do a quadrant test.
    i know its not the be all…still, i would like to know the numbers to get a loose feel of the speed.
    yes, i understand that a screen of that high DPI will be a little slower.

    THANKS

    • http://profiles.google.com/staticx57 staticx57 is the best at every

      Just ran quadrant on my rezound got a 2509. Compare to the tmobile galaxy s2 with the same processor which gets close to 4000. you will see two things: sense is limiting, and the chip is fast with the right software.

      • SamIam

        I’m not expert on that benchmark, but it probably has more to do with the ~2x # of pixels this thing is pushing compared to the Galaxy S2.  I’ve said it before & I’ll say it again, HTC & Samsung are on the bloody edge of tech with the displays & having so many pixels without upgrading the GPU is a mistake.  It’s just not a balance product anymore.

        • http://profiles.google.com/staticx57 staticx57 is the best at every

          Oh, no, you are right 100% about the resolution affecting the score, however it should not be that big of a performance difference. If you look at a screenshot of quadrant advanced which breaks down the scores, CPU and I/O make up the biggest chunk of the score.

          • Anonymous

            Quadrant is all about IO and CPU, I bet Samsung does something to their software to optimize IO, like caching and using the ext4 filesystem.  Not sure what HTC uses but Moto uses ext3.  Quadrant is really a terrible benchmark that hasn’t been updated in a year and should not be used to judge performance.

        • Pennywise

          No you’re spot on.  People are going to be ‘surprised’ at the low-scoring Nexus.

          • Anonymous

            With hardware acceleration in ics people won’t care about benchmarks. Especially since it isn’t that great of a gauge unless you want for bragging rights I guess.

  • guest

    Are you going to have a deeper point by point comparison with the razr ? I mean I realize the physical difference (screen, form factor) but how abuot sound quality, visibility outside, reception, call quality, tonal range and such ?

    • phoenix3265

      You would have to go to a real tech blog for that kind of review :P

  • Allen Cross

    Those contacts on the back cover look to be for the various antennae…*not* any kind of integral ‘wireless recharger’ apparatus. HTC’s been using that kind of spring-contact setup for a year or more.

  • http://www.facebook.com/michael.suriel Michael Suriel

    Kellex, does the Beats integration allow for finally being able to use the buttons on the cord? I have despised how well Beats work with iOS compared to Android. Please respond.

    Edit: I have the same beats as you :p. They’re kick-ass.

  • Dominick DeVito

    Custom UI Skins are Sense-less.

  • http://twitter.com/QSMinSD Q

    Lag = Do not Want.  Will stick with Bionic and “Motoblur” .. All transistions and animations of newer Moto devices are snappy and fluid as hell.

    • Dominick DeVito

      …but still useless and serve absolutely no meaningful purpose.

      • Anonymous

        …but still look awesome.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LQNNJDZQIWIIHJWUIUV7R24XAM Aaron

        All animations and transitions serve no purpose, they are just there to be nice to look at. So I don’t see what point you were trying to make there. Should Android get rid of the CRT screen of animation since it serves no purpose?

        • Dominick DeVito

          My point was, at least HTC’s Sense adds additional features and functionality. Moto’s UI doesn’t.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LQNNJDZQIWIIHJWUIUV7R24XAM Aaron

            The post you replied to said nothing about added features of motos UI just said he like the smooth animations and transitions. They did add some functionality in the GB build though, ability to toss out individual notifications, sending a text when ignoring a call, making groups within the app drawer, and I’m sure there are others.

          • Dominick DeVito

            Okay, whatever – if you’re happy I’m happy.

          • Anonymous

            There are several features blur adds over stock that are quite useful..one of which was nice enough google stole it for ICS.

            We get it, you hate your Bionic and Motorola .

          • Dominick DeVito

            …and which did Google steal exactly?

            I don’t hate the Bionic, I just got a refund. I don’t hate Motorola, I just won’t buy another one of their phones until they start settling down and giving us what we want in one phone (not 3 or 4 – in a 3 month period no less).

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LQNNJDZQIWIIHJWUIUV7R24XAM Aaron

            I think the text reply when you ignore a call is in ICS, I could be wrong though.

          • Anonymous

            Uh sorry to spill your bubble but I had that on my Optimus M that’s a year old.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LQNNJDZQIWIIHJWUIUV7R24XAM Aaron

             And it’s on my Droid X that’s over a year old.

          • Anonymous

            And on my mom’s Instinct that is over a year old and cost $200 full retail. What’s your point?

          • Anonymous

            You don’t hate the Bionic?  Funny, you’ve called it garbage and a pos enough.  Same about Motorola.  I like a lot of the features Moto added in their new software.  Yes, they did add features.

            It’s also an extremely fast phone.

      • http://twitter.com/QSMinSD Q

        My point is the Bionic, Razr, and even the Tegra2 devices like the Photon and Atrix absolutely fly.  They may not look as pretty as Sense-skinned phones, but I’d happy trade the fisher price look of Sense for the cold industrial feel of Moto phones since it seems they’re way more snappy and smooth.

        • http://profiles.google.com/staticx57 staticx57 is the best at every

          It’s not Snapdragon CPUs, it is 100% sense. My incredible with the original snapdragon with MUI feels just as fast as my new rezound with its 3rd generation snapdragon but stuck with sense.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=30814337 Brian Rokosz

            just thinking the same thing this morning when my Incredible got updated to 2.3.4…the thing friggin flies through apps and widgets…even if internet doesn’t load as fast, i’m really curious as to how much faster these phones can actually get (I’m running Launcher EX instead of Sense)

  • Anonymous

    nirl.eu/7

  • Daggy1985

    As a user of the HTC thunderbolt, HTC needs to address the power button, it is nearly impossible to toggle the power button on my TB without the use of my seido phone cover which makes pressing the power button a breeze, but recently I’ve been using my phone naked, to admire the build of it. :) Thankfully custom roms address this issue and I am able to wake my phone with the volume rocker.

    • Anonymous

      Yes the Inc2 has the same issue. And yes thankfully there is a volume wake mod. HTC really needs to fix that

  • Christephor

    if i get this then return it for the galaxy nexus do i have to give the head phones back

    • chmcclellan

      I’d like to know this as well.

    • Anonymous

      Yes.

  • Larry

    I’m new to Sense is that circular showing of apps a custom launcher? I have not been able to find it yet. Thanks for the review I am enjoying the Rezound having come from a Fascinate.

    • Anonymous

      I believe its the third party app in the market called circle launcher. He has it customized that way in the video. There is a free and paid version. https://market.android.com/details?id=de.dbware.circlelauncher.light&feature=search_result#?t=W251bGwsMSwxLDEsImRlLmRid2FyZS5jaXJjbGVsYXVuY2hlci5saWdodCJd

      • Larry

        Thanks for the quick reply. I will have to try it out.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=30814337 Brian Rokosz

          there’s circle launcher which is what he is using, and animated widget which looks like a folder but when you click on it all the apps wobble around…running soooo much cool stuff with my Incredible 2.3.4 in Launcher EX

  • Anonymous

    Sense 3.5 is a bit laggy, mainly in the personalize menu and in tabs. I have been running it on my Inc2 for a while and thought it was because my processor couldn’t handle it. It’s not that noticeable though, nothing like the old blur was. The definite speed of these dual core phones will be realized though when Android 4.0 hits and the software is actually more optimized for dual core.

    • http://profiles.google.com/staticx57 staticx57 is the best at every

      Anything AOSP will run faster than sense.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Thomas-L-Wolfe/100000451164661 Thomas L. Wolfe

    I’m sorry, but your screenshot shows pixels.  I love you Kellex (and I know you hate pentile with a passion) but those screenshots don’t do much to impress me.  The clock looks more focused – that’s it.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LQNNJDZQIWIIHJWUIUV7R24XAM Aaron

      I think he was referring to the fact that he couldn’t see pixels with his naked eye. Of course your going see pixels on any screen if you take a zoomed in enough picture.

      • Brandon Sobotta

        I held my droid 3 up to the screen, and it didnt look nearly as bad as that razr photo does. I think your hand was shaking when you took the picture maybe? Or maybe people dont really look that closely at their phone screens? Either way, the Rezounds screen looks amazing from what I can tell, it would be the sole reason I would choose the Rezound over the RAZR

        • http://twitter.com/binglut9 Brian

          The rzors screen has great contrast about it….other than that its a piece of shit…..Motorola really needs to step up in the screen dot and camera…although the rzors camera is a lot better than recent Motorola phones….a lot more responsive

          • http://profiles.google.com/staticx57 staticx57 is the best at every

            Don’t even bother with the RAZR, get the GNex, it has AMOLED as well which gives it the contrast. And judging by the photo of it’s screen it has Pentile as well. Might as well get the GNex, the razr has nothing over it besides microsd and thinness.

          • http://twitter.com/binglut9 Brian

            Obv I’m getting the nexus just was stating my findings

          • http://profiles.google.com/staticx57 staticx57 is the best at every

            True, read your post too fast apparently. Yea, to be honest, the Razr seems the weakest of the three new phones.

          • Pennywise

            Frankly, Bionic is stronger than Razr.

          • Pennywise

            Yes!! I love it when colors are unrealistic and oversaturated and I can’t use my phone in broad daylight!!  I’ll take TWO GNEXOMGLOLBBQWTFAHHHHH’s if they can deliver me some good’n’crappy OLED :D

        • Anonymous

          AMOLED > LCD,  Pentile or not imo

          • Pennywise

            I need something to power-up my carrots… ok now I’ll try:

            LCD >DE-STROYS> OLED, Pentile or not imo

          • Anonymous

            Don’t be silly.

  • Jeff

    Can you put up non-blurry/artsy photos in the gallery please?

    • Biblo

      You have no idea what depth of field is, do you?

      • Pennywise

        He DID say not artsy…

  • Tom

    So, how well did the built-in lint remover on the back do?

  • Turbine Tech

    Been waiting for the G-Nex. Pulled into the Verizon store on the way home today and was going to buy this, fortunately/unfortunately for me they sold the last one before closing last night…

    • Anonymous

      Stay strong.

  • http://twitter.com/pdm_victor Victor Diatlovich

    Has anyone tested the MHL-HDMI on this yet? I like being able to plug my droid x into the TV for slideshows, etc.

  • Bewara2009

    I even heard that The front facing camera on this phone can do 720p. which means it does The front facing can do HD too, not just the rarzr! 

    • Anonymous

      No, just the RAZR…

      • Anonymous

        If it has 1.3 or more MP it can be enabled software wise to record in HD. It isn’t just a razr thing

        • Anonymous

          Calm down, I was kidding.

          • Anonymous

            I’m plenty calm just pointing that out.

  • http://twitter.com/eatfat_getfit Eat Fat, Get Fit.

    The fact that you own Beats, Kellex, makes me question your judgment.

    There are so many better sets of cans.

    • Kevin

      I must have missed where he said he owned a pair of Beats. They come with the phone and he was doing a review based on the phone with its included headset. He never said he like them better than other “high end” brands (I use that term loosely as I don’t really consider Beats a high end product), just that they sound better than any other android handset. So all in all, I see no reason to question his judgement on the matter.

      Edit: I see the picture of the full-size beats cans now. Here’s to hoping they’re someone else’s. :)

      • Richard Yoo

        Kellex’s set of Beats (full headphones, not the IE that comes with the phone) can be seen in the picture next to that of a cat.

        • Gordon Bombay

          Thanks Richard Yoo!

          • Deltaechoe

            I’ll keep my sennheisers tyvm

      • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

        The red ones in the picture are my personal pair. Like I said, not an audiophile and I like bass. :P

        • Anonymous
        • Anonymous

          Did you get the (PRODUCT RED) from apple? Lol
          Very awesome cans.

        • Kevin

           Kellex, while I’m not a fan of Beats cans (I compared them to a pair of Klipsch and came away unimpressed) I think you represent a large portion of the general population and if YOU enjoyed the sound, then there’s a good chance a large majority of people will as well.

        • Anonymous

          lil wayne Kellex?  Good god.

        • http://twitter.com/timberwolfkw Kyle Wilkins

          I like more cowbell in my music.

        • Brandon Sobotta

          Slappin the bass, MAN!

        • Anonymous

          Do u have the beats with the controlTalk and do those music controls work on the Droid Razr?

        • http://twitter.com/EatMoreFat Eat Fat, Get Fit.

          i just had my friend do a little comparison with her beats versus my sennheisers (that are half the price).

          she didn’t want to give me my headphones back afterward.

          and the majority of my music is bass heavy…no issue there.

        • TC Infantino

          Heya Kellex, not sure if you will see this post since it is in a story over 2 months old, but maybe you could edit this story to include the information that the Rezound is fully unlockable and rootable?  I know that some people who have yet to upgrade may do a search for reviews about phones they are considering and could come across this story.  If the unlockable, and rootable information was included, it may help them make their decision.  Thanks

          • http://twitter.com/huntken Dick Fitzwell

            Nexus

      • http://twitter.com/EatMoreFat Eat Fat, Get Fit.

        nah, he’s posted pictures of the pros.

        i’m a creeper.  ;)

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Forte/542650247 Michael Forte

      Like your mom’s for instance.

      • Anonymous

        I’m sorry, this was pretty funny

      • Anonymous

        lol

      • http://twitter.com/EatMoreFat Eat Fat, Get Fit.

        damn it.  such a layup.  nice.

    • http://twitter.com/white_shadow001 Zach White

      how are the beats terrible by any means? I have owned alot of cans out there from sennheiser to akg and my beats are my favorite right now

      • http://twitter.com/EatMoreFat Eat Fat, Get Fit.

        i find the build quality terrible… i find that they’re over priced.  i find that i prefer the sound of my sennheisers (hd 380s…so not top of the line) to any of the beats i’ve tried…

        i will admit that i haven’t tried the studio ones.  i’ve used the earbuds, the solos and the pros.

        (and most audiophile review sites share my opinion.  i’m no expert just “listening to my ears.” ha)

    • Mark Hall

      i am a severe audiophile, and not to mention, a classically trained musician. i can assure you, the studio beats headphones, even though theyre overpriced, are way better than any other “high end” P.O.S. headphones ive ever tried. and theyre not all about “bass” either. its a well, balanced sound. a COMPLETE sound. u can hear things youve never heard before with these headphones. i dont know about the ear buds tho cuz im not a big fan of wearing something inside my ears for a long period of time

      • Heya

        Yeah, but they are HUGE.  And at $399, they compete against other more balanced headphones.  Just bought my wife the Klipsch in-ear headphones.  For under $100….amazing!  And they are comfortable.

        • Jeglum

          they are 300 dollars 

          • Heya

            Actually a little cheaper on eBay but still the Klipsch has great sound and won’t weigh your head down. :-)

      • http://twitter.com/EatMoreFat Eat Fat, Get Fit.

        so, you’d choose the pro beats over sennheiser, grado, audio technica, etc etc?

        doubtful, primo.

        • Mark Hall

          sorry for the late reply but no, i would choose the STUDIO beats. the pros sound like shiz

          • http://twitter.com/EatMoreFat Eat Fat, Get Fit.

            respect.  if they have them in best buy, i’ll give them a whirl next time i’m there.

            but i’m ridiculously happy with my hd380’s… having tried a variety of beats (besides the studio ones)… maybe the build quality is better on them.

      • Anonymous

        If you considered yourself a severe audiophile then you would have mentioned the fact that the beats headphones line are completely produced by Monster and NOT Dr Dre. You should have also realized that there are plenty of other headsets out there that sound better than Beats. And being a classically trained musician is not impressive when you’re in a forum discussing headphone quality considering music sounds better over a larger soundstage when representing Separation and other portions of the full music experience

  • Anonymous

    I’ve always felt the biggest difference between Big Red vs AT&T, Tmobile, ect, was their phone portfolio.  While Verizon spent years investing in their network infrastructure other companies seemed to focus on securing the latest and greatest tech.  To be in a position now to have the three best android phones on the market, plus a 4g/3g network that puts its competitors to shame, is a great feeling.  

    • Anonymous

      I feel like verizon always came out with better phones that any other company. like the og droid and other droid phones, it always seemed like they had a better selection of phones. at&t had the iphone and that was it for years until verizon got it n then they were like oh shit we need to step it up. Sprint and Tmoblie had a subtle collection of phones but they always had that one hard hitting phone like the Evo or HD2. Verizons mobile network is better than any other and sprint had it when they came out with their 4g in the beginning but then they like stopped putting out 4g cell sights which pisses me off, b/c my Evo 3D & 4G doesnt get 4g in my city. it definitively put me to shame

      • Anonymous

        Honestly, every one had the original Razr before Verizon and the iPhone was released on many platforms. These were really the most significant phones in the market. Before the OG Droid the iPhone was the only relevant smartphone device (unless you were a business man or girl with a Blackberry and that was just an email/texting machine).

        I just remember the days of wishing I could get cool phones like every other carrier had.

      • ThatRandomGuy

        my guess is you weren’t a part of verizon before the OG droid came out their phone selection sucked big time they never had any good phones before the 1st droid yea there were a couple of gems here and there but the bad thing is they over hyped them calling them the iphone killer aka the LG dare and OMG that phone sucked

        • http://twitter.com/JJL919 Jeremy

          Haha the Dare. I remember I had switched from Verizon (after putting up with crappy smartphones for 6 years) at the end of 2007 so I could get the iPhone. After about 5 months of crappy cell coverage, I switched back to Verizon. At the time, Verizon had useless WinMo smartphones, non of which were very good, so I went with their “iPhone killer,” the LG Dare. Haha, what a complete POS. I lasted a couple of months with that and then got the Samsung Omnia, then getting the OG Droid a year later.

          It really wasn’t until the Droid came out that Verizon finally had good phones. I mean, even with the original RAZR, Verizon didn’t get it until a year after AT&T.

          • Anonymous

            I am still using a crappy lg dare and I hate my life. Sad when a homeless dude has a better phone than me…I guess he would need a better phone than me though…

  • Russ

    I picked mine up yesterday. I agree with Kellex that the display is truly a thing of beauty. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the battery life as well. I expected far less out of a 1600 mAh battery. I’ve tried rooting a few times and met with very limited success and some resistance. I’ve got it “sort of” rooted but it unmounts the SD card. If I remount the SD card root goes away instantly and SU force closes. Also the 16GB internal memory seems to be confusing a lot of apps (most notably ROM Manager). I’ll just be patient. I know one of these brilliant devs will come up with a permanent root solution soon enough.

  • Appleanche

    DSLR? Take it easy, maybe it can replace a low end point and shoot but those pics aren’t even in the same breath as the cheapest DSLRS or high end P+S.

    • Anonymous

      So true.  It may be a fine phone camera, but even the most entry-level DSLR would CRUSH this camera in an instant.  The pano that is posted is terrible, too.  The phone lines make it easy to see the huge tear in the left-middle of the image.  Not an impressive example.  I’m not buying a phone to be a camera, but I agree that some perspective is needed!

      • DaWolf85

        Yeah, the panorama setting is worthless in Sense 3.5, it leaves out gigantic gaps of what you actually see. It even did that in Sense 3.0. I can’t understand why HTC hasn’t fixed this. It’s clearly obvious if you attempt to take a panorama of basically anything. I thought it was just an issue with the ROM on my Thunderbolt, but apparently it’s an issue with Sense 3.5 in general.

    • http://twitter.com/JJL919 Jeremy

      Yeah when I read that this phone can replace a high-end DSLR I started laughing, and realized I couldn’t take anything he says about cameras seriously anymore. The Rezound’s camera might come close to replacing a mid-level point-and-shoot, but there’s no way it can compare to the Nikon D700 I use.

      I think people get too caught up on megapixels without understanding how fruitless it is to focus on just that. Essentially, as long as you have a minimum level of megapixels, say 8-10 MP, it will serve anyone just fine assuming you’re not making giant posters or cropping your photos down to 5% of the original picture. The more important measure of a camera is its sensor. Cameras on phones, by design, have extremely small sensors, meaning they can’t let in much light. This is why under lower light conditions, everything looks really grainy. You just can’t have a quality sensor on a camera phone. Will it look ok for what it is? Sure. But replace a $6000 Nikon D3S camera body? Absolutely not.

      Oh, one more thing I forgot to mention: There’s a reason people use large lenses on their cameras, something you can’t get on a phone. When I take pictures, even when I can get close, I typically use a 200 mm lens at minimum, step back, and zoom all the way in. This technique compresses everything in front of and behind your main focal point, giving it a “blurred” effect. This, in addition to setting your F-stop to anything below 2.8 or so, will give amazing pictures. My whole point to all of this is that there is no way the camera on the Rezound will replace any DSLR.

  • http://twitter.com/AZTricky Will M

    Two questions that I have and I’m sure any of us who live some place without 4G and don’t expect it anytime soon is: Can you turn off the 4G to preserve battery life and does HTC provide any easy way to turn it on and off?

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LQNNJDZQIWIIHJWUIUV7R24XAM Aaron

      You can turn it off, it’s in the network settings. You don’t have to type in some crazy number to get to a sub menu like on the Tbolt.

      • LionStone

        TB also has it in network settings…and it has had the LTE ON/OFF app which is better than the network one.

  • Anonymous

    If Google hadn’t finally gotten a Nexus on VZW, I would have seriously considered this a contender.

    • Anonymous

      Totally agree. Prior to my current Droid2, I had 4 different HTC smartphones dating back to my HTC Harrier in 2004.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LQNNJDZQIWIIHJWUIUV7R24XAM Aaron

    One of the other reviews I read said that the Rezound was painfully slow until they performed a factory reset. After that they said it was super fast. May want to give that a quick try and see if it helps.

    • Anonymous

      I’ve heard this, too, but it still ought to be a mark in the “slow” category for a review. The average consumer will never know about this trick, so HTC ought to have had it sorted from the get-go.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LQNNJDZQIWIIHJWUIUV7R24XAM Aaron

        Agreed, I was just more curious more than anything to see if it would fix the issue on multiple devices.

    • Naseal903

      how can we do a factory reset

  • PyroHoltz

    Kellex,

    Your cat is fat!

    /thisconcludesmystory

    • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

      Hah it’s a kitten that weighs 4lbs. :P

      • JDub

        Just looks fat because of the breed. My cat is at 18lbs. Now that’s fat!

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Forte/542650247 Michael Forte

          Hah so is one of my cats!

        • Russ

          I once had a 27lb tabby. That cat could eat your cat!

          • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

            Your cat wins.

          • virtual human

            False, because he would never catch him!

      • PyroHoltz

        Haha wow, that image is deceiving then. Looks like its face is all smushed up and weighs a ton.

        Maybe it’ll grow into its face in a month or two like puppies grow into their appendages.

        • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

          He’s Persian so he has the smushy face. He’s a tiny little dude though.

      • Anonymous

        Then the camera really does add 10 pounds.

  • Anonymous

    Rezound PPI is 341, which is higher than the iPhone 4/S. They really need to be talking about this. LG just advertised a display yesterday with a PPI of something like 329 saying it was the highest ever. Uh… no it’s not. 

  • JMac726

    So you’re back to saying “By the end of November,” eh?

  • http://fabdroid.com Andrew Xie

    The pixel density of the Rezound is higher than both the iP4 and Galaxy Nexus.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Forte/542650247 Michael Forte

      Yep it’s 341.54 PPI. The iPhone is at 329.65 and the Galaxy Nexus is at 315.83.

      • Anonymous

        HTC may have the best display out out of the 3 devices, but the display on the razor is pretty nice :)

    • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

      And let me go ahead and update that. :P

      • 795

        Is that 10 hrs with LTE on?

    • virtual human

      Of course, because the GNex and the Rezound have the same resolution and the GNex has a bigger display.

      But, since I won’t be using my phone 6 inches in front of my nose, I’m not sure why I would care about this metric. Once you get past a certain point, who cares. So, what was your point…? =)

      • http://fabdroid.com Andrew Xie

        Just answering a question posed in the review. I too will be getting the Galaxy Nexus, based on its other merits, but there’s no denying the screen on the Rezound is top notch.

        • virtual human

          Ah, fair enough, just answering the question. I didn’t put two and two together as it seems simple to realize that if two screens have the same resolution the one with the smaller screen will have a higher pixel density. (Sorry, Kellex :p )

        • Anonymous

          The colors are natural and crisp. If display is your thing you can not go wrong with the display on razor, and rezound. I have not seem the one on the Nexus yet. I feel the one on the rezound will be the best one.

          • Deltaechoe

            Don’t knock samoleds out of the competition yet, the gnexus screen is pretty awesome

          • Anonymous

            Let’s wait and see. The display in the rezound is not pentile.

          • Anonymous

            pentile is trash so why is this a problem?

          • Anonymous

            I’m defending htc display tool lol. Pentile is bad on regular lcd. The display on the razor is awesome. The one on the nexus will be good too. Samsung should of kept the plus for the nexus. They went for the cheap display. Imagine the nexus not pentile and 1280 x 840.

          • Anonymous

            manufacturers dont switch to different displays if they dont think it looks better then the old one. keep that in mind.

          • Anonymous

            Let’s wait and see the display of the nexus.

          • http://www.facebook.com/byron.knowlton Byron A. Knowlton III

            Seen it. It’s not astounding but it’s not terrible.  Up against me Rezound my pixel density is better but how small a pixel can my eyes really see? 

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_MWIQV76IHX64ESY26MAD7XTXP4 Duke Of

            Manufacturers switch displays if it means marketing a slimmer phone to the masses that don’t understand that pentile displays sacrifice quality.

          • http://www.facebook.com/byron.knowlton Byron A. Knowlton III

            this is what we all, in the tech world, call an uninformed comment!

  • http://twitter.com/LiveInTheDream litd

    Thanks for the review. It gives me something to occupy the time while I wait for the GNex…

  • Anonymous

    Spaghetti.