Home > Phone Reviews > HTC Aria
What's hot: Compact, full-featured Android smartphone.
What's not: Can't install non-market apps, battery life could be better.
Reviewed June 21, 2010 by Lisa Gade, Editor
Honey, who shrank the HTC Incredible? That was my first thought when I saw the diminutive (by touch screen smartphone standards) HTC Aria on AT&T. My second though was shared by everyone in our office: it's cute. Though the design is distinctly industrial modern and masculine, the Aria's proportions and rounded edges make it seem friendly and inviting. The Aria is a mid-range Android phone that won't dethrone the Nexus One (also made by HTC), but it is affordable and full-featured. The Aria has a 320 x 480 pixel 3.2" capacitive multi-touch display, a 600MHz Qualcomm CPU and the usual wireless radios-- 3G HSDPA 7.2 Mbps, WiFi, Bluetooth and GPS. The phone has a 5 megapixel autofocus camera and a microSD card slot. It runs Android OS 2.1 Eclair with HTC Sense software.
Unlike the Motorola Backflip, AT&T's first Android phone, the Aria lacks a hardware keyboard, but it shares a flaw with the Backflip: you can't install non-market apps. That means you can download applications from the Android Market on the phone, but you can't install apps you've gotten elsewhere, such as beta applications that are available on websites but not the market. For the average user this likely won't be an issue, but for power users and developers it's certainly a drawback.
The HTC EVO 4G, HTC Aria and the iPhone 3GS.
Otherwise it's a standard Google phone with Google Maps, Gmail, YouTube, Gtalk, Google's voice search, Google's excellent Webkit-based web browser with pinch zoom and the Android Market. HTC's Sense software is on board for an improved home screen experience with 7 screens and widgets for weather, Friendstream social networking and more. AT&T hasn't bloated the phone terribly, and their apps are mostly useful: AT&T Navigator, AT&T Hotspots, AT&T Family Map and Mobile Video (the new name for CV). Less useful AT&T software includes Mobile Banking, YP Mobile, AT&T Maps (a mapping app with no spoken navigation that's free but is redundant since the phone has Google Maps), and AT&T Radio. The Amazon MP3 app is pre-installed on most Android phones, but it's absent here. Third party software titles include QuickOffice for viewing MS Office files, Facebook and a PDF viewer.
The HTC Aria has touch sensitive buttons and a tiny optical joystick that work well.