Skip to main content

HTC Rezound Hands-On: One Sweet-Sounding Superphone

The HTC Rezound has a serious battle on its hands, going up against the Motorola Droid RAZR and Samsung Galaxy Nexus on Verizon. But it's hoping to bring the noise--literally--with high-quality Beats Audio. And that's not all this Android superphone has going for it. It boasts a 1.5-GHz dual-core processor, a sharp and bright 720p display, and an 8-MP camera that records 1080p video in slow-mo.

Here's our hands-on impressions of the HTC Rezound, which will costs $299 when it goes on sale Nov 14th for a steep $299.

  • Design: At first glance the Rezound is kind of blah and blocky, but up close we like the rubberized textured finish on the back, as well as the red accents here and there. It also feels lighter in the hand than the Thunderbolt and Droid Bionic.
  • Beats Audio: Right in the notificiation tray you'll see a button for toggling Beats on or off. It's a nice before and after trick, but you'll never want to turn if off. An Adele track sounded rich, loud, and detailed through a pair of Beats headphones. We tested the Rezound with an over-the-ear set, so we look forward to trying out the bundled earbuds.
  • Killer Camera: Like the Amaze 4G, the HTC Rezound features an 8-MP camera that shoots 1080p video. But this device goes a step further by putting fun effects just a touch away while you're shooting. Our favorite was the dot matrix pattern. Another fun feature is the ability to record video in slow motion. We recorded a quick clip of the crowd at the launch event for the Rezound, which looked boring. You're going to need some faster action to shoot. The only thing missing is a dedicated camera button (bummer).
  • HD Screen: Having a 720p screen might sound like overkill for a phone, but we appreciated the enhanced detail when loading next to the Droid Bionic. We saw more lines of text on the Rezound, and the panel is fairly bright. However, the viewing angles on this LCD aren't as wide as what you'll find on the HTC Droid RAZR or Galaxy Nexus, both of which have Super AMOLED screens.

Outlook: At $299, the HTC Rezound isn't cheap, and it faces very stiff competition. We do think music fans will appreciate the audio boost Beats provides, but the phone could get overshadowed by the thinner Droid RAZR or the Ice Cream Sandwich-packing Galaxy Nexus. So far, though, we like what we see--and hear.