One of three high end Android LTE phones for the holiday season on Verizon, the HTC Rezound will be available November 14 for the usual $299 with contract. Its claims to fame are the 1280 x 720 Super LCD display and Beats audio with Beats earbuds in the box. This Android OS 2.3.4 Gingerbread phone will get the upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich in early 2012, and it runs HTC Sense 3.5 software.
The HTC Rezound has a 4.3" 720p display. That's a lot of pixels in a small place, and indeed text looks razor sharp and clear. It's not super-saturated like a Super AMOLED display, but it is color accurate and very pleasing to the eye. The phone runs on a 1.5GHz dual core Snapdragon CPU with Adreno 220 graphics and a gig of RAM. In our Verizon signal-challenged area for LTE (yes, we're in a major metro area but these things happen), the Rezound hold onto a signal like a hungry hound dog. While my TI OMAP-based Motorola Droid Bionic and Droid RAZR waffle back and forth between 3G and 4G all day long, killing the battery, the HTC Rezound just won't let go of 4G. Something to keep in mind if you too live or work in a weak LTE area. If you've got solid LTE coverage, move on, there's nothing to see here.
The phone has Beats audio and it comes with a set of Beats earbuds that do sound quite good for buds. Beats audio enhancements are available whenever headphones are plugged in (any brand will do), and you can definitely hear the improvement when you turn Beats on. The sound is better than the iPhone 4S when using the same sets of headphones for comparison. Nice for you music lovers.
The HTC Rezound has 16 gigs of internal storage and it comes with a 16 gig microSD card, so there's plenty of room to store tunes. The battery is underwhelming at 1620 mAh, and we're still testing its stamina on LTE. The good news is that you can swap a new battery in when on the road, unlike the Droid RAZR. Speaking of the RAZR, as you'd expect, the Rezound looks pretty darned chunky next to it. This is not a thin or ultralight smartphone. The design clearly hails back to the HTC Droid Incredible 2, with it's waterfall like design on the back and rubbery, durable texture.
Voice quality so far hasn't impressed us, which is surprising given the good reception and HTC's general competence at telephony. Outgoing voice particularly sounds digitized and sometimes gargled in poor coverage areas. Things clean up if you've got solid coverage but it's still not as crisp and clear as the Droid Bionic and Droid RAZR.