A well-designed smartphone that offers speedy performance, a fast 4G connection, a crisp 720p display and a good camera.
It’s thicker and heavier than other phones in this class, Beats Audio only works with two apps and the design lacks a kickstand.
Beats Audio is way over-hyped, but despite that the Rezound is a great smartphone. It offers robust and speedy performance, good call quality and a camera that won’t embarrass. It can’t boast a razor-thin design. Still, the comfortably curved sizes, solid feel and attractive accents make up for that. The $299 price tag is high, but the included Beats headphones retail for $99 alone. Even if you don’t use the Rezound as your MP3 player, you can use this great set of earbuds with anything.
HTC Rezound | $299 | Verizon Wireless
The Beats Audio phone has finally made it to the U.S. in the HTC Rezound from Verizon Wireless. This dual-core smartphone boasts the ability to make music sound the way the artist intended, as well as speedy performance and blazing connectivity. It also boasts a higher than average $299 asking price. With a 720p HD display, an 8MP camera capable for 1080p recordings, and the promise of Ice Cream Sandwich in the near future, the Rezound hopes to make you forget the Droid RAZR, the Galaxy Nexus and even the Thunderbolt. Will Dr. Dre be the one to affect that selective amnesia, or will the phone have to offer more than just some good beats? Read on to find out.
The inclusion of Beats Audio is supposed to be the Rezound’s biggest selling point. However, unlike Monster headphones or HP computers, the advantage Beats brings isn’t all that significant. Certainly not enough to get people to abandon their iPods or other dedicated MP3 players. Beats’ sound enhancements activate when users plug in headphones or external speakers (via the jack). Though it only turns on when you play tracks via the stock Music app or video clips via the Gallery. Want Beats Audio while listening to Pandora, Google Music, your favorite podcasts or while watching Netflix? You’re out of luck. Audio sounds better with Beats Audio on, especially if you use the included iBeats headphones. You get a full, rich sound that’s heavy on bass, but not overwhelmed by it, and more clarity in the treble range. This also proved true when using other Beats headphones. With non-Monster/Beats headphones the sound was more bass-heavy, but still fuller than with Beats off. Thing is, Beats Audio doesn’t make all music sound better. Rock and Hip-Hop do well, classical and folk not so much. That’s because the audio enhancements are nothing more than equalizer (EQ) settings on the phone. And Beats’ particular EQ curve enhances some genres better than others. Owners are better off downloading an EQ app that allows you to fiddle with settings yourself (and they won’t be limited to two apps). Beyond the Beats Audio disappointment, this phone doesn’t have any trappings of a music-centric device. The Music app has no meaningful enhancements and there’s no obvious way to sync tracks and playlists with your computer. There aren’t even music-based HTC themes or lockscreen skins, though there is a Beats Audio wallpaper. There are no play/pause and skip buttons on the phone itself, though there are player controls on the headphone cord. If you lose the iBeats, you’ll have to turn the screen on to access them. If Beats Audio is a bust, are there any other reasons to go for this phone?
The HTC Rezound measures 5.0 x 2.6 x 0.54 inches and weighs 6 ounces — not the skinniest phone around. With toothpicks like the Motorola Droid RAZR (0.3-in thick) and the Samsung Galaxy S II (0.4-in thick) on the market, the Rezound comes off like Kate Wins