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HTC Listens - Comprehensive overview of this show-off device
on October 30, 2011
Most beautiful, highest-quality hardware on the market. You can tell HTC takes a lot of pride in this phone. It's stylized down to the 'Sense' user interface, surely the most impressive UI on any device.
Aside from obvious aesthetic appeal, 'Amaze' is a significant upgrade from the Sensation. HTC addressed most of my gripes w/ Sensation by giving Amaze a hardware camera button, more onboard memory, more RAM & more ghz. Multi-tasking is effortless. Amaze can run a number of memory-intensive programs without as much as hiccup, and does so with style. To put it bluntly, Amaze throws down the gauntlet.
The device also runs on T-Mobile's 42mbps 4G network, provided you live in one of T-Mobile's 4G regions. I do, and the service is no where near as consistent as their 3G service. The highest download speeds I've reached on SpeedTest is 4mbps download. Theoretically, it can reach much faster speeds & some tests on YouTube have reflected as much as 12. I'm less impressed w/T-Mobile's 4G, but that's no fault of HTC's.
As with any device, and impressive as the Amaze is, it comes w/a few disappointments. The ability to shoot in 1080p is a big deal and, as w/the Sensation, the audio recording quality is unacceptable. You can hear a sample by searching YouTube for (HTC Amaze 4G 1080p Camera Test| Booredatwork) or (HTC Amaze 4G 1080p HD Video Sample). HD looks, LD sound. The end result of the video is more important than style & process. So, if you're looking to take advantage of one of this phone's major selling points - recording in HD - this might not be the best device.
Secondly, although the screen in quarter HD, it's not quite as vivid, bright or impressive as some of it's competition.
iPHONE 4S (Requisite comparison)
The iPhone isn't really in the same league. It's an incredible device, but it's just an app tray - squares on a screen. As a result, iPhones are generally far more consistent. They are also less glitch/bug prone than Androids. If you're new to Android, this will take getting used to. The Apple is a bit smoother because it doesn't have to do much more than launch apps. We don't expect a multi-functional SUV to be as smooth as a basic car. iPhones have no widgets, no multiple homescreens, (still) no full flash browser, no customization, no memory card, no removable battery, no keyboard options, no homescreen replacements, smaller screen... You get the idea. iPhones don't do much more than host/open apps. iPhones are well-designed, user-friendly & have wonderful cameras, but they're tract phones. Pretty basic & that has broad appeal. If you think you need Siri, Android already has Vlingo & Iris. If you're a busy career and/or family person, or not too good w/ technology, however, the iPhone is definitely better for you because it takes less time to configure, learn & operate. Not a matter of better/worse. There's something for everyone.
As HTC comes out with a new flagship seemingly every month, however, this phone will not hold its value as well as an iPhone, which is released only once a year. Like Samsung, HTC is known for creating buyers' remorse by coming out with something better only weeks after a flagship release. Be prepared for that.
ANDROID & de Führer Google
There is *a lot* to configure & customize on a high-end Android. Busy, older folks will either be overwhelmed, or proceed w/o a clue as to what this device can actually do, in spite of having paid for it. Secondly, Androids are *very* Googley. When you sync your Google account, be prepared for folks you've emailed once, 8 years ago, to show up on your phone. If you have a Picasa album, all of your photos will be automatically downloaded to your phone. If you erase them, all of the images will be deleted from Picasa online as well. Even storing phone numbers poses you with questions of storing to phone, SIM card... or Google. The same with calendar entries. Google is very invasive. Android has a lot of options, choices, customization, questions, combinations, permutations... It's like asking for water & the waiter spends 5 minutes asking - sparkling or flat?... chilled or room temp?.... w/ or w/o ice?... large or small?... green glass or blue?... with straw or w/o?... It's overkill & obtrusive. Android won't win any prizes for being user-friendly, but it will for being thoroughly customizable.
GALAXY S II
Amaze's only real competition on T-Mobile, at the moment, is Samsung's Galaxy S II. The GS2 has a larger screen which, depending on your tastes & size, may or may not be a plus. The GS2 can be used on AT&T's network, should you hold onto the device long enough to weather the possible merger. The GS2 has the most beautiful screen colors & saturation, but Amaze has slightly higher pixel density. They're both very competitive.
In the end, this is a dual core, HD device. If you provide HD imaging, you should provide the corresponding audio for it. Amaze fails to deliver on the basics - decent audio recording for videos. If you're not big on shooting videos w/ the HD shooter, then one is as good as the other. However, as 1080p is one of the primary selling points for this device (& you pay for it), the Amaze takes a significant back seat in audio quality to Galaxy S II. The audio it produces from recorded videos is an embarrassment, frankly. (You can compare video-audio quality for the competition on YouTube as well.) For this reason, I give it 4 stars. This is the only area where Amaze fails to live up to its name. It is, otherwise, an impressive device - inside & out.