The recent announcement (and preceding months of rumors) have most minds set on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. This makes it hard for other manufacturers and products to compete. But if we take a look around, there are other outstanding devices to be had.
For example, the HTC Amaze 4G – a superphone that had the bad luck to be released so close to the first Ice Cream Sandwich device. This device is one of the best I’ve seen or used; it’s probably the best option avaialable as of now. At least until the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Motorola Droid RAZR, and HTC Rezound are released. But depending on your personal needs and preferences, the HTC Amaze 4G could even beat these devices.
The HTC Amaze 4G has great performance, as well as the outstanding build quality you can always expect from HTC. It would definitely make many Android fans happy. Let’s go into the details and see what the pros and cons are.
This is one of the most important aspects to consider when choosing a phone. You could be handling this device for two years (or more); it should not only feel resistant, but it should feel comfortable in you hand.
Certain users prefer light, thin devices, like the ones Samsung usually manufactures. Others believe that such builds feel rather weak and “plasticky.” The HTC Amaze 4G is neither. The first thing you’ll notice is the device’s durable, strong feel.
Yes, it’s definitely heavier and thicker than many devices (11.8 mm thick / 6.1 ounces), but that also makes it feel very solid. Part of that is also due to the uni-body design that we also saw in devices like the HTC Sensation.
After letting some friends hold the device, the first impressions were always positive (regarding the physical feel). No one told me, “this is too heavy.” Most were of the same opinion I am: that the device has a nice weight to it.
Due to the great reactions (personal and online), I will give this category a “plus.” The device feels very durable. It is heavier, but also comfortable to hold. And it just feels like it can definitely handle some drops. If you’re the kind to prefer light and thin devices, though, this is not the phone for you.
The second thing you notice is always the display. And this 4.3 qHD (540×960) Super LCD screen is not bad at all. It may not have the awesome blacks and saturation that Super AMOLED Plus has (or the stunning colors of the HTC Sensation XL), but it is definitely up there with the big guys.
In direct sunlight, this display looks great — at least compared to many other devices. I never had trouble using the device under the sun (and San Diego is very famous for its sunny days). Its viewing angles are also very noticeable. Not as much as the Sensation XL, but you can definitely see your content from all angles.
The qHD definition makes images and letters very crisp; there are phones coming out with 720p definition now, though. Such devices will definitely be much better in this sense.
As for colors, they are not as saturated and vibrant as others. But the display is very clear, and the colors do look great. There are definitely other great options for displays on the horizon.
This happens to be one of the first devices to come with a dual-core processor clocked at 1.5 GHz (Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ S3). This, along with 1 GB of RAM memory, makes the device perform amazingly well. In using it for a week, lag and wait time was unnoticeable.
The device is very responsive, apps open instantly, pinch-to-zoom is good, and the device works great even right after boot (which happens to be very quick, as well. It usually takes less than 20 seconds for the device to boot. Sometimes close to 10 seconds).
I did not have a single force close, nor any noticeable lag when using the device. Sometimes I experienced load times when using the browser, but that’s due to data speeds, not the phone’s performance.
Quadrant Benchmark scores averaged at around 2,800, with peaks of up to 2,900. Devices like the Samsung Galaxy S II are known to get higher scores, but this may not mean much to most of us. The device performs just as well. Even when purposefully running a lot of apps at the same time, it’s hard to make the device slow down.
Not quite as fast as Verizon 4G LTE (at least in my market), this runs on T-Mobile’s HSPA+ 42 network. No, the device does not go up to 42 Mbps, but it does go significantly higher than some devices. Most of my speed tests averaged around 10 Mbps down and 1 Mbps up. Sometimes they would reach as high as 14 mbps, but in some areas it would drop down to 2-3 Mbps.
Verizon 4G LTE usually runs at around 15 Mbps down, with peaks of 20+ mbps, and 2-3 Mbps up. This device would not have the fastest 4G speeds, but 10 Mbps down is nothing to frown at. It feels almost as fast, and it is many times faster than some home internet.
This device currently runs on Android 2.3.4 and has HTC’s Sense 3.0 UI overlay. This software is not bad, and it actually works great. But it’s not what we’re expecting.
Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich is about to be released with the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. You may not care about this. You may be very happy with a Gingerbread device. But the device also has Sense 3.0 instead of the latest (HTC Sense 3.5). The newest overlay runs on mid-to-low-end devices like the HTC Rhyme, so it would only make sense that HTC would slap the newest version of Sense on this powerful device.
This device has all the features HTC Sense 3.0 has to offer. These include that awesome lockscreen, the personalization options, those amazing widgets and weather app (seen in the image to the right), and all the HTC services (like HTC Watch, HTC Likes and HTC Hub). Not to mention NFC compatibility, which will be useful once the feature gains more momentum.
This device gets a thumbs down in this category only because Ice Cream Sandwich is right around the corner and HTC Sense 3.5 is not present. Some of you may not care for HTC Sense 3.5, and HTC is already considering update plans for ICS. Since this is one of the best around, it has great chances of getting an Android 4.0 update in the near future.
Flip over to the next page for the rest of the review.