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“Best in sight and sound” is how HTC is marketing the Rezound. With a beautiful HD screen, Beats audio and a hefty 8-megapixel camera, HTC’s going where no other smartphone has gone before – up and beyond what consumers expect. We had a brief hands-on with the Rezound after its announcement and here are our thoughts. Click on for the full preview of HTC’s next great Android smartphone.

Specifications

4.3-inch screen (720p HD)
Android 2.3 Gingerbread (HTC Sense, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich-ready)
1.5GHz dual-core processor
8-megapixel camera
32GB Storage (16GB flash / 16GB micro SD)
1GB of RAM
Verizon 4G LTE

Design

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The Rezound takes its design cues from the Droid Incredible 2 – even the inside, which is made of red translucent plastic is breathtaking. I’ve never had any reason to really look inside of a smartphone, but now I do.

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The Rezound's translucent red innards are gorgeous.

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Another view of the inside with the 16GB micro SD inside.

As you can see in the shot above, the battery is hot swappable. It’s a 1,620 mAh battery in there.

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Very nice texturized grip on the back.

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Standard Android home buttons here.

The back sports a texturized grip and a very simple Beats logo. It almost feels like a darker Thunderbolt tossed into a blender with an Incredible. You’ll also see that it tapers ever so slightly on its butt. It’s significantly thicker than the iPhone 4 (nearly twice as thick), but the build quality doesn’t feel cheap and does not feel extra bulky in your front pants pocket.

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There's a slight taper there. Can you see it?

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The Rezound is thicker than the iPhone 4

Display

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4.3-inch 1280x720 display

This is the first smartphone with a 4.3-inch HD 720p display that HTC is releasing. It’s on par with the Galaxy Nexus’s 1280 x 720 display. It’s fantastic. When I checked out the Droid RAZR, I thought its qHD was already a huge notch above the rest of the smartphones out there, but HTC’s really hit a home run with the Rezound. Video has really never looked so good on a smartphone.

The entire screen really engulfs everything and is the centerpiece to making the Rezound one of the best mobile devices available.

Performance

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HTC Sense 3.5

The Rezound is runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread, with the latest HTC Sense 3.5 skin. It doesn’t have Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, but HTC said the smartphone is shipping as ICS-ready, meaning it’ll get it ASAP when Google finalizes it. From our hands-on, we can proudly report that the 1.5GHz dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM definitely never lagged. The Rezound is really fast and responsive. Though, to be fair, what dual-core smartphone that isn’t a piece of junk isn’t these days?

HTC said it was gracious to help kickstart the 4G LTE revolution with its lineup of smartphones such as the Thunderbolt and it follows through to the Rezound. HTC touts being able to download an audio track in four seconds via 4G LTE. We’ll have to wait to review the Rezound it before making any judgments on data speed performance.

With 32GB of storage (16GB internal + 16GB micro SD), the Rezound is definitely not lacking.

Camera

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8-megapixel with dual LED flash

One of the problems that HTC says its smartphones lag behind is in camera quality. With the Rezound, HTC aims to fix that with an 8-megapixel camera with an f/2.2 lens that can take great photos in extremely low light. Couple that with the dual LED flashes and pictures should look sharp.

How’s the video recording? Keeping up with what’s already on the market, the Rezound has 1080p HD video recording.

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2-megapixel front facing camera

Neat features like Action Burst, Instant Capture, Panorama, Slow-motion various effects to pictures and video to share the moment as it takes place in real time round out the Rezound’s camera. Impressive indeed.

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Various photo effects. It's like a built-in Instagram!

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See how it's warping in real time? Effects work live for video and photos.

Sound

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Beats audio earbuds included in the box.

One of the major features that HTC is playing up on the Rezound is it Beats Audio sound. After buying a 51 percent stake in Beats in August, HTC’s worked hard to revolutionize mobile audio. By integrating Beats audio into the Rezound, HTC’s managed to “figure out the degradation of sound” on the mobile phone.

We gave the Rezound a quick listen and it does sound kind of deeper, but we can’t be sure how much of an improvement the audio really is over the pumping speakers at this HTC event. It does also have intelligent acoustic switching, so it automatically optimizes the sound based on what you’re doing. Or you can do it manually (see below).

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Toggle Beats audio when you want that extra oomph in your music.

Right in the box, you’ll aso get a pair of slick looking Beats earbuds that’ll allow owners to have quality sound, without the need to run out and drop $200+ for a decent pair.

Conclusion

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The Rezound drops in the U.S for Verizon on November 14 and will be in Verizon online shops, Verizon retail stores and Best Buy for $299.99 with two-year contract. My overall impression is that the HTC Rezound is a beast. It’s fast, it’s slick, it’s backed by Beats audio, and that display is to die for. This is going to be a fantastic smartphone.

Filed in Cellphones >Featured . Tags: 4g lte, Android, beats, HTC, htc rezound, rezound, Smartphone and Verizon.
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