HTC Rezound Review: The Beats Go On

by Reads (22,879)
Editor's Rating

Ratings Breakdown (1-10)

    • Service, Warranty & Support
    • 9
    • Ease of Use
    • 9
    • Design
    • 8
    • Performance
    • 10
    • Value
    • 8
    • Total Score:
    • 8.80
    • Rating 1 to 10, top score 10

Overview

  • Pros

    • Cool looking and not too heavy
    • Excellent display
    • Very responsive
    • Excellent voice quality
    • Oustanding camera
  • Cons

    • Proprietary charging interface
    • Annoying volume button that is hard to operate
    • Screen is so reflective that it can be distracting

Quick Take

Sounds great, looks great, and performs exceptionally well in every respect.


The HTC Rezound is an Android smartphone aimed at audiophiles — it’s the first to have integrated Beats audio technology. It also features a dual-core processor, 16GB of internal storage, a 4.3-inch display, 4G LTE, and an 8 megapixel camera.

The smartphone is available from Verizon Wireless for $300 with a new two-year service contract. That price is higher than the typical $200 or $250, but the Rezound comes with a pair of Beats earbuds that are valued at $120.

Build & Design

At first glance, the Rezound looks like most of its modern smartphone cousins — mostly black, and dominated by a large touchscreen display. But it shares design inspiration with the HTC Droid Incredible, with subtle red accents on the face buttons and around the camera lens, plus the small Beats audio logo on the bottom of the back cover.

HTC Rezound from VerizonThere’s nothing over-the-top flashy here, but those red accents combine nicely with a hematite-colored wraparound bezel and a partially knurled back cover. Remove that cover and you’ll see that the interior of the phone and the battery are red, just like the Incredible. And all of those elements come together to create an attractive and even sexy-looking handset.

The Rezound is just slightly larger than the HTC Amaze 4G and the HTC EVO Design, but it’s still comfortable to use one-handed. It’s somewhat lighter than you might think it should be when you first pick it up. It’s solidly built, but doesn’t feel heavy or bricklike at all.

Display
This model was designed for audiophiles, but it’s got a fantastic 4.3-inch super LCD screen. It offers true HD 720p with a resolution of 1280 by 720, a first for HTC. Photos and video look just fantastic, and with the right gaming apps the graphics are so sharp it feels like you could just fall into the fantasy world being depicted.

My only complaint about the screen is that it’s super reflective, so I saw myself in the display more than with other smartphones I’ve reviewed recently. It’s not a huge deal, but it’s annoying at first until you get used to it.

Keyboard
You’ll be using a virtual on-screen keyboard for text entry on the Rezound, since there’s no physical keyboard here. It works well, with large keys, and I didn’t have any problems with hitting the wrong virtual keys.

HTC Rezound from VerizonThe word completion feature also works well, offering suggestions without being too aggressive and “correcting” things that you didn’t type incorrectly in the first place.

Other Buttons & Controls
The Power button and headphone jack are on the top edge of the device, and the Volume control button is on the right edge. The Volume button in particular is a little annoying, because it’s extremely low profile and hard to find with your finger when you aren’t looking at the phone.

The charge/sync port is on the bottom left side of the phone, and it uses a proprietary connector, not the micro-USB connector you’d typically expect. That’s frustrating since micro-USB is the de facto standard (at least for everything except the iPhone), but this is the second HTC phone I’ve reviewed recently with this weird connector.

You’ll get a pair of Beats earbuds in the box with the Rezound. I was surprised that they didn’t come with the storage pouch and extra ear tips that come with the headphones when you purchase them separately at retail. I’m not sure whether this is an oversight since this is a loaner unit or whether those extras just aren’t included with the Rezound.

A 16GB microSD card is also included, so you’ll have plenty of room for apps, games, ebooks, and all of the music you’ll want to listen to when you’re on the go. The card slot is located under the back cover, right by the battery, which you’ll have to take out to access the card.


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