on November 23, 2011
I don't know which is more impressive, the hTC Rezound or Verizon's 4G LTE network. I switched from the hTC EVO 4G on Sprint to this phone and the difference couldn't possibly be more dramatic.
Physically, the phones are a similar size. These large format smartphones take some getting used to, from carrying them in your pocket to the fine art of one-handed touchscreen action where you stretch your thumb across the screen. The Rezound actually sits well in my pocket and once you get spoiled with the larger display, it is nearly impossible to use any other phone without squinting and thinking "this thing is too small!".
The pixel density is outstanding and colors are good. Not quite SAMOLED but still very good. With this resolution, I was worried about the lag I had been reading about, particularly with the latest hTC Sense. I did notice the occasional short lag when you inundate the GPU with a lot of actions like swiping several screens and then hitting the home button. But it was surprisingly good. I loaded GO Launcher and it eliminated all lag (and gave me the 5x5 icon layout with no labels that I prefer).
In direct sunlight, the screen has a bright enough setting to be functional, but you'll always struggle in direct sunlight with a glass screen.
Since Amazon/Verizon is enticing new contracts with aggressive pricing, it bears mentioning that Verizon's 4G LTE network is second to none. They've invested in this network heavily this year, and it shows. If I drive out of town and into the country, I might lose LTE signal briefly, but coverage is astounding. Great work, Verizon.
Speed is even more astounding. Even in the metal building I work in (that would drain the hTC EVO battery dry when desperately reaching out for a Sprint signal), I generally achieve 10,000 - 13,000 kbps. The highest download rate I've experienced is 32,000kbps! My local cable High Speed Internet doesn't even touch this. Again, great work, Verizon! They've raised the bar and I hope they can keep it there.
That said, the tiered data plans take careful considering. I went through 2GB in my first week, enjoying the fast network speeds perhaps a little too much! Ironic that I reluctantly connect to a WiFi network to reduce my data usage and the relative speed differential becomes even more evident.
I can't move on to review any other aspect of phone without raising the subject of battery life. I tried to manage my expectations for battery life with this phone. With what was sure to be a gas-guzzling dual barrel 1.5GHz processor on the LTE network and the highest pixel density in the industry, I couldn't bring myself to hope that the battery would take me through a typical 10 hour workday. The Rezound again delivers. Even with the excitement of a slick new phone on the best network in the business, I still managed to make it through a 10 hour day on a battery charge. As the excitement wears down, I can even make it through 16 hours of awake time without charging. But I've already picked up a spare battery, as it seems to defeat the purpose of a wireless device to be tethered to a charger all the time. This is a powerful mobile device, much like a laptop. You wouldn't expect your laptop to run all day on a charge so just get used to the idea that this is no ordinary phone.
This was a huge consideration, for me. I'm an amateur photographer, and don't always have my DSLR handy, and so I end up taking a great deal of photos using the phone's camera. In broad daylight, some pictures have come out good enough to be published. The key advantage is always having a competent camera handy when an incredible opportunity arises with perfect lighting, autumn scenery and that amazing backdrop that makes you wish the DSLR was in the back seat. The impressive f2.2 aperture and competent 8 megapixel sensor in the Rezound does a really great job at capturing light, even when it is limited. In optimal lighting situations, coupled with the "Backlight HDR" setting (which seems to do some post processing tone mapping to improve visible dynamic range), the results are downright stunning. There is still some noise in low-light situations, but I'm happy to see just black in dark shadows rather than noise.
Oh yeah, this thing has a phone? I didn't make a phone call until I'd already had the phone for four days and was very impressed with the call quality. I don't ask for much, but my last phone didn't quite have enough volume and I was happy to find that the Rezound has plenty enough volume to spare. I actually had to turn down the call volume a bit, which a nice luxury.
There has been a lot of hype about the beats headphones included with this phone, and the "beats profile" that tweaks sound settings for optimal sound reproduction. I have to admit to being a little bit of a sound quality snob. Not the kind that spends $300 on speaker wire and snake oil. But I've spent many hours utilizing measuring equipment in the automotive environment in pursuit of sound quality and even more hours of critical listening and believe I can recognize good sound. Having made an attempt at qualifying my opinion of the Rezounds ability in the sound department: I think they sound great. Really. I mean, they're not going to replace a good set of cans and simply can't approach the dynamics and spatial imaging achieveable in a car or home. But they sound good. I already had a set of decent entry level earbuds (V-Moda Vibe Duo) and I'd say the Beats by Dr Dre buds by Monster are in the same neighborhood, but not quite as good. With the beats profile enabled, music seems louder and more crisp, but not necessarily better. I was able to replicate the effect in PowerAmp with equalization pretty closely. The Beats earbuds might be a little boomy, with not enough extension in the first octave. They are detailed, but midrange is a little more muddy than the V-Modas. I'll keep them as very competent spares, but continue to enjoy the V-Modas for now.
After a week of ownership, I should be able to think of a few criticisms for this phone. I do wish that we were given the option of an AOSP interface, why not Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0)? But that is indeed wishful thinking. This phone is sure to be popular with developers, though, and it won't be long before they tap into the true power in this very capable phone. It is a bit annoying to see Verizon bloat the phone with nonsense like V-Cast, that seem more suited for feature phones rather than a powerful Android phone. Would it be a valid complaint that I'm eating through a lot of data? That would be like saying I'm enjoying it too much. Maybe I am.
on January 2, 2012
Update - August, 2012:
Verizon has finally updated and released a Global firmware update that updates the radio and software for global GSM roaming! What does this mean? You can update the phone and use any SIM if you're roaming (or if you want to use it on a different carrier). For example, I put my friend's Tmobile US SIM in there, and switched to Global mode (from CDMA/LTE) and immediately was connected to Tmobile's network. After setting up the APN, I could browse the web (though only at EDGE speeds due to the different frequencies Tmobile uses). I will be taking the phone overseas soon and will update again after using a prepaid GSM SIM. This really makes this a GREAT phone - no doubt. Android 4.0 ICS, 720p screen, dual-core, unlocked GSM and CDMA/LTE
I've been an Android phone user since it first came out on the G1 and I've had many different phones and tablets that I like to hack/mod to optimize and customize the devices using root access or custom ROMs.
Root - basically gives you superuser access to do what you want to the device (stop/remove programs that the carrier installs aka bloatware, use apps like wifi tether without paying extra - data is data!).
ROMs - basically a different version of the phone's operating system. Typically it's customized/optimized to have less or no bloat and better features/tweaks (speed, stability, battery/CPU management, etc.)
I took advantage of the Amazon Wireless holiday specials and picked up two Rezounds (NOT for the Beats which is just an EQ and marketing hype) since they were the most powerful and high-resolution phones that VZW had at the time. I guess that title is shared now with the Galaxy Nexus.
After owning many different types of slippery smartphones, I was very pleasantly surprised to learn the Rezound has non-slip rubber back which really aids in comfortably holding and gripping the phone.
Using the phone is intuitive for anyone that is comfortable with any recent Android phone. Being an HTC phone, it ships with HTC Sense (basically a skin over the stock Android operating system) which is, in my opinion, the most tasteful manufacturer skin (compared to Samsung's and LG's). The powerful dual-core processor makes the phone very responsive as you swipe through menus and applications. The 720p screen is great - bright, clear and makes it a joy to look at pictures, videos and browse (in landscape, it's comparable to a laptop).
Unfortunately, with all the bloatware from Verizon (two sample games and a multitude of other apps) and the 4G LTE, the battery just gets annihilated. Making a few phone calls and speed tests (42 megs down peak so far in Houston) and my phone is at 50%. I keep this phone tethered to a charger when I'm in the car or office to make sure I have enough juice to last the day.
I've also (along with other people) have overheating problems that are sometimes fixed (sometimes not) by powering off and powering back on while on LTE all day. Switching to wifi when in the house helps, but I have 10 gigs of data, so why not keep LTE on til I'm near the cap?
The phone was locked by Verizon (HTC allows for unlocked bootloaders, but it's up to the carrier) and I was about to sell the phone on ebay and pick up a Galaxy Nexus so I could customize it and get rid of the bloat when HTC stepped up and added the HTC Rezound to the list of phones it will provide unlock codes for! XDA-developers has all the info and it came out just after Christmas 2011. Now there are at least 4 custom ROMs and permanent root (there was temporary root before, but it was random when it broke) access.
I've since cleaned up the bloat (and that fixed the overheating problems as well as made the battery last a lot longer!) and switch to CleanROM.
The phone is a powerful phone that is crippled by bloatware from Verizon. If you own this phone and are unhappy with the heat and/or battery life, you owe it to yourself to try unlocking it and removing some of the bloat. You could easily do this by rooting the phone and then using Root Toolkit to remove the apps you don't want if you're not ready to take the plunge to a custom ROM.
on December 15, 2011
I was absolutely torn between Nexus vs Rezound. Both are great phones, but in the end, I ended up with the rezound, and I THINK I made the right choice. In brief, while the nexus has the bigger screen and ICS, the rezound, undoutbley has the better hardware, and will get ICS early 2012 anyway. You can upgrade the software, but you cannot upgrade the hardware. The rezound beats out the nexus in several major categories: 1.) SD card slot 2.) Disk-drive Mode. 3.) Faster processor. 4.) Slightly higher resolution 5.) Beats audio (more on that later) 6.) 8 MP vs 5 MP camera. The Nexus has its advantages over the rezound, but they end up not being as important: 1.) Slightly bigger screen. 2.) Slightly thinner/lighter. 3.) ICS
Of course, ICS is a big advantage of the nexus over the rezound, but again, the rezound will get ICS is the upcoming weeks anyway, rendering the major advantage that the nexus has, moot.
I came from Sprint using the HTC Evo, and I actually like the physical look of the Evo better, since it's a little shorter and slimmer with the same size screen, so it almost felt like a slight downgrade getting a phone that was a little less attractive on the exterior. The transition from Evo to Rezound was a smooth one. The rezound is essentially what the Evo SHOULD have been, but wasn't. It was nice because I felt like I was using my same phone that I always liked and was used to, but it was faster, more responsive, and more reliable. HTC finally got it right, for the most part, with this phone, as it is smooth, crisp, and responsive on all fronts. It isn't NEARLY as choppy and sluggish as the Evo, and the upgraded hardware combined with verizon's speedy and reliable network make this a truly remarkable device.
I was also eager to find out what all the hype was about the Beats feature. Essentially, Beats is a sound enhancer that intelligently equalizes the bass and treble bands, making the music sound the way it was meant to be heard. At first, I was thinking it was just a simple equalizer found in apps like poweramp, but after comparing the sound between poweramp and beats, I can absolutley tell the difference. I wanted to see if Beats was just a pre-set equalizer setting, so I tried to fine-tune the equalizer in poweramp to match the sound of the Beats enhancer. On one song (Xxplosive by Dr. Dre), I nearly matched the sound of my poweramp equalizer to Beats, and figured I decoded the secret equalizer settings. However, with the same equalizer settings on the next song, the Beats enhancer again sounded different, and better than the poweramp equalizer with the settings I just set. This led me to the conclusion that Beats is more than just one secret equalizer setting, rather, it is a comprehensive software that somehow, finds the very best mix of bass and treble bands for each specific song. The end result is a really awesome mp3 player that's got BEATS!
As for the criticisms, there are few, but they are noteworthy:
-Battery life hasn't gotten any better from other HTC models (Evo, Thunderbolt, and other high-powered devices).
-While the interface is generally smoother and quicker, it STILL has a little work to do as you get some choppiness when switching screens quickly. The responsiveness isn't up to speed with the iphone yet.
-Beats ONLY works on the built-in music app, and doesn't work through google music. This a bummer because google music is the best way to wirelessly and seamlessly keep my music library on my comp in sync with my phone. I used the feature in google music to have my music available offline, thinking that it would store my music in a location accessible to the stock music app on the phone, and thus, be able to use Beats. For some reason, the location of the google music folder is very obscure and not visible to the stock music app, so in order to use the Beats enhancer, you have to manually sync your music from your computer to your phone. Also, the phone's stock music app doesn't do a good job of locating album art, if your ID3 tag doesn't identify the album. google music and other players easily identify album art even if you don't have the name of the album.
-General media syncing/cloud integration is a step behind the iphone, but google music is a great step in the right direction.
-The stock SD card is a class 4, and works reasonably well. I was able to transfer files at speeds of 6-8 mpbs, BUT this is still much slower than the file transfer rate of the iphone, so the android community still has a little catching up to do there.
-Not a huge deal, but permanent root still isn't ready on this phone and I miss the custom OS I had on my Evo and the ability to use wireless tether, remove bloatware, and block ads. I am sure in time the community will develop a permanent root solution, however.
In the end, I'm happy with the phone. I echo all the standard array of compliments (good call quality, Beats, fast and smooth UI, etc). The feel of it is pretty similar to what I had with my Evo, but the faster, more reliable network, and the upgraded hardware makes this phone much more fun, and usable.
on November 15, 2011
I've had a Rezound for a couple days and it has pretty much reached my expectations with a few caveats. The 720p screen looks great and the phone seems to have very little lag when using apps or browsing the web. The camera is also pretty good, although it does have trouble in low light situations and it can't take pictures very quickly. The phone also comes with Beats audio in-ear headphones to go along with its built in Beats audio system, the headphones are way better the typical ones that come with phones, although they seem fragile and being forced to either have Beats enabled or have flat equalization can be a big negative if you don't listen to the bass heavy music that Beats was designed for. Voice quality is pretty mixed, it is easy to hear the other person but your voice will be noticeably distorted on the other end. Reception was solid and the 4G is very quick, though that's pretty much the standard for LTE phones. The big letdown was the battery life, I really had to watch my usage in order for it to last through the day and have ended up taking the charger with me just to be safe. It also comes with a ton of Verizon bloatware which can't be removed and the HTC Sense modifications really didn't do anything for me, plus it won't be updated to Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) for a while, so I would hold out if you like the features being added in that update. Finally, the phone itself is a bit thick, but I found it comfortable to use and carry in a pocket, but you might want to try it out in person just to be safe.
Very quick (Apps and web browsing)
Outgoing voice quality
No ICS yet
Loaded with bloatware
on December 12, 2011
*Once a 4.5 star review, then down to 3.5. Now this review has been rewritten with one conclusion: DON'T EVEN BOTHER!*
This review used to contain a breakdown of two test scenarios (from 100% battery down to 10%) conducted and repeated within the first 30 days of using this phone. The results were good and acceptable for most people, though not great. However, now it's impossible to get anything approaching the battery life I got during that early time unless you I barely use the phone. My usage has increased, but so has the drain from standard tasks. Those early tests included multiple full days after I had turned on hourly Twitter updates, push email, auto podcast downloads, and hourly weather updates. I had turned off the HTC fullscreen weather animations (see TIP at bottom), and I was either fully on Wi-FI or 3G/4G.
**UPDATE - Spring 2012**
There was a minor update by HTC/Verizon (BOTH of them, but blame here goes to Verizon) in January 2012 that first chopped battery life off at the waist (not even the knees), and then once stabilized, battery life is at best two thirds (2/3) what it was... Frustration... Also, phone calls seem to drain a lot more now. Your mileage may vary, but my use patterns haven't changed much--moderate at best, and still no Facebook use.
**FINAL UPDATE - 09-23-12**
My phone has been stock HTC/VZW software from day one. Now, well over a month after the ICS (Ice Cream Sandwich)software update in August 2012, battery life while NOT on Wi-Fi is abysmal. With ICS, the phone is actually snappier, and some well deserved improvements have appeared.
If you don't mind plugging in your *mobile* phone all the time, wherever you are, then there's no problem. For everyone else who isn't at home all the time, DON'T BOTHER! MOVE ON! To this day, HTC hasn't gotten the message that they need to practically overcompensate on battery size for the crap American carriers will do after a phone ships. It's too bad, but in this 4G era, when a phone that is purposefully set only to use 3G performs this poorly, their overall sales reflect it.
-Turning off the fullscreen weather animations (raindrops + windshield wiper on the home screen, etc.) helps a lot on HTC phones:
> Press + hold the main homes creen weather widget > Options to EDIT or REMOVE will appear on bottom of screen > Drag widget to EDIT > Click CURRENT LOCATION or [YOUR CITY] > Uncheck SHOW FULL SCREEN ANIMATION
on November 21, 2011
Not the slimest and not the coolest. But everythying works and it passed the train test of streaming Netflix in the station and all the way home on the train from downtown Chicago to the burbs. Camera works great. Size if best for me. Had the 4.5 inch and too big. Before I tried all the latest phones I had the Thunderbolt. Got very tired of the extended battery (only way to last a day).
Very Happy with Battery Life after having RAZR and coming from Tbolt.
I get up at 5:00am and take off charge. at 2:00pm it is at 60%. Charge it for an hour and it goes to 100%.
Leave work and go home. On the train stream netflix and it lasts till I go to bed at 9:00pm.
Yes it would be nice it no charge at 2, but one charge I can handle. The tbolt took 2 in a day before I got the extended battery.
Razr charges more slowly and loses charge faster.
Everything works well on the rezound. HTC got it right after ra number of issues with the tbolt.
Phone feels good in hand. Better than tbolt, razr and ATT Skyrocket. Display is nice although I have gotten used to the samsung super Amoled. I will keep this phone as I still have the unlimtied data plan. Once contract is up I may switch to ATT as better phones adn their LTE was just as fast. Just failed the train test for me.
If on verizon, buy this phone if you want a solid 4g performer.
on November 26, 2011
I have been using the phone for about a week. I have had a couple of HTC phones and this one is by far the best.
1. This phone works for surfing the internet 3g/4g while on the phone. Emails come in while your talking which is great if you use your phone for business.
2. The processor speed and screen are amazing. No loading times and lightning fast speeds.
3. LTE is amazing.
4. Lots of storage and found an MHL micro to HDMI on amazon for $20 that allows me to watch my phone screen on my 60 inch LCD, its great!
5. Decided I don't need a tablet, the screen and functionality of this phone are enough to do it all.
Battery life is decent. If you turn off LTE 4g/GPS/wifi you will get a lot more time. With them all on I get 5-6 hours of medium to heavy use during the work day. Plug it in when you can.
1. Clock on phone isn't working (Known issue), just an FYI. My clock resets to incorrect time all day. You can fix by entering manual time but if you travel your clock dosen't update automatically, hopefully fixed soon.
2. Call quality is not great. I have used the phone all over Phoenix and get 4 bars at my house and the call quality has been less than perfect. I give call quality a B-.
Overall the best functional device I own. I wish they would have made the call quality better but overall its been an infrequent minor annoyance.
on January 28, 2012
A few years back, I went looking for a Smartphone with a decent camera, great screen, that was very fast and loaded with features; what I ended up with, was the Droid Incredible and honestly, after having used the Incredible, I can safely say it was the best phone on the market at the time (Yes, even better than AT&T's iPhone 4).
Jump ahead about 1.5 years and, I was wooed by the idea of LTE and quickly moved to sell the Incredible for my Upgrade to the Thunderbolt! Well, the Thunderbolt was nice but it wasn't the same experience that the Incredible delivered and I found myself wishing I had never sold the Incredible!
Jump a little bit further ahead and I was again tempted to try the next big thing, The iPhone 4s on Verizon! Again, this failed to live up to the hype and still failed to match my experience from the original Incredible!
Well, about last week, I decided I had, had enough of the serious limitations and the heavily gimped feature set that is, in some circles, affectionately known as the iPhone 4s. So, I sold my Verizon 4s for $400 and found a brand new HTC Rezound for $350 on a rather well known forum and I took the Plunge!
Okay, enough with the back story, lets get on with the review!
HTC Might not be known for slim phones or have the eye of the yuppie elite but there's one thing they've always been known for and that's their build quality! You will not find a better built phone than the HTC and honestly, the Rezound is just one more great example of this fact.
This is seriously, one of these best Displays on the market and even though it isn't Amoled, the pixel density, sharpness and vibrance and contrast are very good and I would say this is pretty even with the Galaxy Nexus and the latest LG offerings. I won't say it is better and I won't say it is the same in every area as the other phones but it has enough strengths where I would say it is overall as good as those displays (Believe me, I'm a big fan of Amoled and my Incredible is to thank for that).
Seriously, 1280x720P, 4.3" screen with class leading PPI, running 24-bit color... Is there really anything more to ask for? Enough Said!
This is really huge! Seeing the Beats Audio on the back really wasn't a big deal to me as I'm not a fan of their more expensive headsets (they're over priced compared to my Sennheiser HD518 Headphones) and from what I had ready the technology only worked with the Monster Headphones! Needless to say, I was prepared to be disappointed by this area of the phone.
Sometimes, being a skeptic has its advantages, especially when you're blown away by the actual experience.
The Beats Optimization is no longer limited to the Monster Brand Headphones and it now works with every pair of headphones you can throw at it! Needless to say, My Sennheiser headphones are sufficiently powered by the Rezound and they produce what I would honestly say is the best listening experience I've ever seen on a Smartphone, or MP3 Player, Period!
The Headphones supplied are actually a huge step above the cheap earbuds supplied with the 4s and they're a similar leap forward over those supplied with the Galaxy line of phones. Of course the competitors headphones are cheap $30 phones and the beats have a suggested retail price of $149 (Street is lower).
Again, I'm floored by this phone! The LTE speeds this phone is capable of, simply are far and away so much better than any other phone on the market and while I've seen 14 to 18 Megs down from other devices, I've seen close to 30 from the Rezound!
Basically, if you want LTE, don't waste your time with the other phones, just get the best of breed Rezound!
The Internal storage of the phone is 16 Gig and the a 16 Gig card is also included with the phone. As many are used to, the expandable storage is a strength of many Android phones and this is currently capable of running a 32 Gig Micro SD Card and larger cards could be available in the future.
Basically, this is typical Android Smartphone fare and a step above some of the Galaxy Line and iPhones on the market.
I had heard everything from , "The Phone is Blazing Fast!" to "Sense 3.5 really slows it down at times." but, my experience has been that the phone is actually very fast and I haven't seen any slowdown from Sense at all!
Again, I have pretty much only run this phone with the Android Update released a few days ago so it is possible all of these issues were corrected. Bottom line, don't worry about it because the issues aren't there now.
The Front Camera is great, works excellent for all intents and purposes.
The Rear Camera is Great With Good Lighting (Literally, the best on the market) but when lighting becomes less ideal, the Camera stumbles badly! This is compounded by the fact that HTC threw dual LEDs on the phone and then basically brute forced their output! Flash based shooting thus, leaves you with serious hotspots and this has always been an area where I felt that HTC could improve their quality (I wrote them a letter asking them why they don't diffuse the flash as this would have created a much better shooting experience).
Another note about the cameras, the White Balance Sensor isn't the best I've seen and it does leave quite a bit to be desired.
Bottom line, the Cameras are excellent for Family Outings during the day but not so much good at other times. They do offer the typical Android Flexibility you expect from them and in that area alone are they better than the competition.
I had to single this out for two reasons... One, because I was so ticked off that the 4s didn't have it and wouldn't allow 3rd party apps to interact so I could use this functionality to it's fullest and Two, because the GPS Chip in this phone is fast, just like every other part of the phone.
Seriously, the Rezound GPS Technology will lock on to satellites in seconds even if you have it turned off and that's a much needed boost for cellphones where Battery is a big issue!
Well, every super thing has to have a weakness right? There is no free ride here and all the speed for GPS, LTE, and the UI as well as the Screen Performance take a toll on the battery.
Bottom Line here, either put the phone's power setting in Normal Mode (changes the radio to 3G / CDMA only) or get the extended battery (it is the same battery as is offered for the Thunderbolt but the back is different so you cannot use that without purchasing the back). The good news though, Verizon Wireless is selling these batteries for 50% off right now and it only adds a little heft to the phone.
Everything that iOS is not, Android with Sense is! My biggest problems with the iPhone 4s were the fact that you couldn't integrate one app with another (like Dragon Dictate requiring you to cut and paste because it didn't work with Pages, Email or iMessages) and if an Application worked better than the stock app, you were not allowed to set that app as the default.
With Android, you have total control over your environment and everything can interact, enhance, or replace a lesser application. This means I can download an EQ and it should work with every music player I have... It also means that I can literally replace the whole sense launcher with another one which might add functionality or even speed up the phone.
The Bottom Line here, there's no other OS on the market that is as flexible or feature rich as Android and if you use these features then all the hype in the world will never make you a fan of iOS period.
Android has more than 500,000 Apps the work on pretty much every device running 2.1 or higher! Yes the iPhone has more but part of that is to make up for the functionality that Android already has and part of that is just duplication of existing applications. For the most part, 90% of the top quality apps on the iOS exist on Android and more are ported to the platform every day.
Bottom line, you need to do something, there is more than likely an Application to do that and if you find something that doesn't exist, please send me the idea because I would love nothing more than to make an Application with no Competition! =D
I've finally found the phone that is going to make me forget about the Incredible and I will not make the same mistake as I did with the Incredible, I will be keeping this phone for some time to come! I want to rate the phone higher but the iPhone 4s has me a little gun shy and feeling a little like Brendan Fraser In Bedazzled so for now, I will give it a conservative 4 stars and note that it should at least be a 4.5 star phone.
Bottom line, You will be hard pressed to find a better all around phone on any network and honestly, from my perspective, the iPhone 4s (with all of its hype and gimmicks) just doesn't compete with the Rezound in any area but the camera. With that said, run, don't walk if you're seriously considering this phone!
*Disclaimer, I had not had this phone long before the bug fix release was issued so I have very little experience with the phone prior to that.
*If you want to see the limitations of the 4s that drove me nuts, I review that phone on here as well.
* I also find it ironic that HTC Keeps releasing these phones, that are simply better, right around the same time as Apple's latest Flagship Phone! Last time it was the Incredible and EVO, this time it is the Rezound!
on April 4, 2012
I am very pleased with my Rezound. All the other reviews do a great job detailing the phone's features, so I wanted to highlight some of the things I've learned about saving the battery, which is the phones biggest issue IMO. I have owned it since December and it has been a great experience other than the battery life, which was shockingly short. Turns out it was just a simple default setting I needed to change.
Open Settings --> Power --> Power Mode --> Change the Power Mode to Economy.
My phone went from lasting about 6 hours to 18 to 20 hours by making that change. I haven't noticed much of a difference in performance, now apps don't open "instantaneously" but that's because they are not all running in the background all the time. I have no idea why I overlooked this small step but I'm glad I found it, makes a HUGE difference. There are three settings: High Performance (this is what it was set to), Normal & Economy. I compared Normal and Economy and didn't notice a difference other than Normal used more battery. I am a full convert to Economy Mode.
Here are some more tweaks you can try: When you set your phone to Economy Mode a new option opens "Economy Mode settings". Here you can set if the battery gets below 30% turn off XXXX. I have it set if my battery gets below 20% it turns off background data (no updates for any app, you can manually turn back on things like email but you have to go to each app and turn the auto updates on, no way to filter) turn of screen brightness, wifi, bluetooth, and Vibration Feedback.
Here are some other things I use to save battery:
Advanced Task Killer app: Set the Auto Kill Level to "Crazy" and Auto Kill Frequency to "When Screen Off". This will try to stop apps from launching when you are not using your phone. And its free.
3G/4G Switch - There are lots of apps for this, but really they are just a shortcut to the settings on your phone to turn off 4G. You will get a huge battery savings it you turn off 4G unless you are browsing or uploading/download data. You dont need 4G for background updates.
If anyone wants more advice please leave a comment.
on January 3, 2012
Buy the Rezound, you won't regret it.
The HTC Rezound is an incredible smartphone. I've owned mine for about two months now. Initially, I thought I was going to buy a RAZR. My brother and I went to Best Buy and when we walked out, I owned this phone and he owned the RAZR. Our plan was to see whose we liked better before our one month return timeframe was up. We both ended up keeping the phones we walked out with.
(Actually, my brother exchanged his RAZR for another one due to a slight problem with the screen when it was displaying a black image, for instance when watching a video. There were faintly visible blotches and lines present in the dark areas. The new one he received had the same problem, but he felt it wasn't anything major, so he kept it. It's not very visible unless you actually look for it, and apparently it is a small problem with the RAZR's screens in general).
I researched quite a few different smartphones before I decided on this one. I really like its size and weight, compared to the RAZR. The slightly thicker body and rounded edges make it easier to hold and more comfortable in the hand. It fits in my pocket well. I'm not a big fan of the ultra thinness of the RAZR. I can't really explain why.
The screen on this phone is incredible. My friends were wowed. 720p resolution looks amazing. I played the same YouTube video on the Rezound and the RAZR at the same time, and while each seemed equally sharp to me, the Rezound had warmer, more natural colors. The high pixel density (I'm pretty confident it's the highest of any phone out there right now) makes it possible to read even the tiniest of text.
I was hesitant at first because the RAZR has a 1750mAh battery, compared to the Rezound's 1620. I shouldn't have been, because the battery life on this thing is epic for what it can do. I keep 4G on, cycle through GPS and Wifi a handful of times, stream a couple songs every few hours, make a dozen (shortish, 1-3 minutes) phone calls, watch a YouTube video or 3, send huge amounts of texts, make a couple words with friends moves, and browse the internet for a while, all on one charge. I'm averaging about 20-24 hours of battery life with the above usage. Of course, a good 6-10 hours of that is when I am sleeping (with wifi and GPS off). I haven't yet needed to recharge it to get through a day. Brightness is set to about 30% except under direct sunlight, in which case I turn it up a bit. I'm not sure what effect, if any, it has on my battery life, but for the first month or so of owning this phone, I would try my best to drain the battery completely before fully recharging it. Another point I should mention is that the battery life gets better after the first few charge/discharge cycles. I have a few other battery savings tricks I use too, if anyone is that interested.
..about this phone is history. It has the fastest processor available, a great UI, and Verizon's AMAZING 4G network. (It is dangerously fast). I have 4 GB of data, and with the usage above, I rarely get up to 2 GB per month, usually much less. I have apps on this thing to control my Onkyo 7.2 channel receiver, manage my finances, check the weather (I disabled the huge HTC weather/clock widget and selected a smaller one of theirs), check my Gmail, play games, listen to music, etc etc etc. The camera is excellent. I'll post a picture I took with it from right outside the Best Buy store when I get around to it. My brother took the same picture with his RAZR and it was much lower quality.
Nothing major, just little nitpicky things I have noticed, and which probably are problems with the Android OS and not this phone.
- Sometimes when I try to go back and delete a word in a text message I am actively writing, if the word was auto corrected, it won't delete. I have to back out of the message (it saves as a draft) and click back on that person's name again. This happens rarely.
- Some settings are confusing. Mainly in reference to screen brightness and battery settings between different profiles (Android's Economy, Normal, and Performance). I think this is because I have a few different apps that try and help manage my battery life.
- Confirmations whenever I enable any of the 3 different GPS services (i.e, "Enabling this could potentially allow others to know your location and could pose a security risk, blah blah blah."
- Included ring tones and beeps are few. I liked the Blackberry's simple beeps and low tones for when I received texts, emails, FB posts, etc. Haven't found how to assign particular tones to the above messages.
- External speaker/speakerphone could be louder. But it's decent as background music for a couple guys sitting around drinking beers.
- Wish it came with gorilla glass like the RAZR, but a cheap screen protector has saved it from a scratch or two it would otherwise have.
- One drawback that I didn't think of at first but that I find very annoying are the volume rocker buttons. They are hard to press without a case on, and with one, frustratingly so. You'll need a fingernail, and forget about doing it with the phone up to your ear or in the dark.
The Dre Beats headphones and software did not factor into my decision to buy the phone. But they're a nice touch and the earbuds definitely sound good. (At least much better than the series of Apple earbuds that I have been using for the past 10 years).
This phone has a better camera, better screen, and better form factor than the RAZR does. Don't get me wrong, the RAZR is a great phone too, but the Rezound beats it in a lot of key ways. Go get one! Once you go smartphone, you won't go back.