- Slightly unusual design
- Good screen
- Responsive and easy to use
- Great camera
- Voice quality is not great
- Battery life is slightly disappointing
This is the perfect phone for shutterbugs, but perhaps not for those looking for the absolute latest bleeding-edge smartphone.
The HTC Amaze 4G can be quickly described as a shutterbug’s phone, since it packs in an 8 megapixel camera (with advanced features) and 1080p video capture, plus a dual LED flash. It also has all of the features you’d expect to find in a modern Android smarphone, including a 1.5 GHz processor, Wi-Fi and 4G wireless, Bluetooth, and even NFC compatibility for wireless payment and social media check-in functionality when available.
It’s currently available from T-Mobile for $260 with a new two-year service contract and a $50 mail-in rebate.
BUILD & DESIGN
The Amaze is a little more stylish than some of the other phones I’ve reviewed recently, being white with brushed silver accents. The front of the phone is dominated by the display of course, but there’s a band of silver on the back, embossed with the HTC logo, that also wraps around the sides of the phone. If white’s not your thing, it’s also available in black.
It fits nicely in the hand, being a bit narrower than some of its recent competitors, but it is somewhat thicker and heavier. If you’re concerned most about having the thinnest or lightest phone, the Amaze isn’t the one for you, and you should look elsewhere. It’s also a bit slippery too, since the back is so smooth there’s really nothing for your fingers to catch on when holding the phone.
I happen to like the form factor, since I don’t mind a little extra thickness and prefer a slightly smaller display to decrease the overall width of the device. It seems odd to say that a screen this size is “slightly smaller”, but that’s the truth in high-end models these days. And I would definitely want a case or a silicone skin to make it a little easier to hold on to.
The display is a 4.3-inch touchscreen with a resolution of 960 x 540. It’s extremely clear and sharp, and bright enough to see clearly even if you’re outside on a sunny day. The display is capable of blinding brightness, in fact, so you might want to turn down the brightness a bit to make it more comfortable to use when you’re indoors.
There’s no physical keyboard, so you’ll be typing on screen. It works just fine, though you likely won’t want to tap out that novel you’ve been working on for the last decade.
Other Buttons & Controls
The power button and headphone jack are on the top edge of the Amaze, while the volume up/down button is on the right side, along with two small buttons that start a video recording or capture a photo when pressed. That’s a really nice feature, and much faster than starting the camera app as usual.
On the left side you’ll find the charge/sync port, which is not the standard micro-USB connector that you may be used to. I found it frustrating to deal with a non-standard port; I had to carry along the proprietary charging cable instead of using any of my third party solutions.