With Android OS 2.3.4 (Gingerbread) runing on a 1.5GHz dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM, the HTC Rezound is fast and powerful, and this showed up in the testing. It received a score of 2176 on the Quadrant benchmark test, a very respectable result. It did well on the Net Speed test as well, with download speed of 2276 kbps, an upload speed of 990 kbps and a ping of 33.
Beyond the numbers, the Rezound is simply a joy to use. I know that it can’t anticipate what I’m going to do next, but it certainly feels that way, responding to my every swipe, tap, and button press with lightning speed. If you don’t want to wait around for *anything* at all, whether it’s loading or switching apps, the Rezound should make you happy.
Sound quality is excellent — every call come through crystal clear, and a couple of my test callers didn’t even notice that I was using a cell phone. There were no issues at all with background noise, or with strange sounding, clipped, or muffled voices. Since the trend these days is for folks to give up their traditional home phones and just use a mobile phone, voice quality is more important than ever, and the Rezound delivers on that front.
I wasn’t able to test the mobile hotspot feature, since it wasn’t activated on the test account that came with the phone. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth work just as expected though, so no matter how you choose to stay connected, the Rezound performs like a champ.
The same is true of the social networking experience, thanks to HTC Friendstream, which consolidates all of your friends and online social activities into one manageable flow of information. HTC Peep and the official Facebook app are also on hand if you prefer to use them instead.
The email and web browsing experiences are Android-standard; there’s nothing particularly new or innovative here. Everything just works, with all of your messages and the web pages you want to browse loading quickly and effortlessly, no crashes or synchronization problems at all.
If IM is your thing, the Mobile IM app will keep you connected with your AIM, Windows Live, and Yahoo buddies on the go.
All of the standard PIM apps are on the Rezound, and they work just as expected, keeping you on track with multiple Google Calendars on display as well as your contacts, a calculator, a clock, and your tasks. The task app is pretty basic, but it works — however it does not sync with Google Tasks, which is a disappointment.
Polaris Office is included for all of your Microsoft Office document viewing needs; you can also create Word and Excel files on the go. A handy barcode scanning shopper app is also included, plus a voice recorder, voice dialer, and voice search apps.
Navigational duties are handled by your choice of Google Maps or Verizon’s VZ Navigator. Choose Google’s navigation service and you’ll be able to enter your destination using voice recognition and also choose among three different routes.
Considering the inclusion of Beats audio technology, it should come as no suprise that the HTC Rezound simply shines when it comes to entertainment. Whether you’re using the built-in music player, Google Music, or the Amazon Cloud Player, you’re in for a real treat when you plug in those Beats earbuds and start rocking out to your favorite tunes. Music sounds the way it’s supposed to sound, not a pale imitation of what it should be.
The external speaker quality isn’t anywhere near as good as the experience you’ll get when using the included Beats headphones, but it’s better than what you’d typically get. You can make the music extremely loud if you like, with no distortion, though you won’t get the thumping bass and ultra-clear melody with the speaker.
One note of caution needs to be inserted here — the Beats headphones are noise-isolating and produce an immersive music and entertainment experience. That’s definitely a positive for this device, but you do need to be mindful of your environment. If you’re listening to music while walking around town, keep the volume low and pay extra attention to your surroundings to avoid accident or injury.
Need for Speed Hot Pursuit and Let’s Golf 2 demos are included with the Rezound, though you’ll have to download the necessary files when you launch the app the first time. That’s an extra 333MB of storage for Need for Speed, but it’s worth it — the game looks and plays beautifully on the smartphone.
The Google Books app is preloaded, or you can download the Amazon Kindle app or your favorite ebook reading app from the Android Market.
The 8 megapixel camera takes very good photos — not quite as spectacular as the HTC Amaze 4G, but still good enough to share with family and friends. There are plenty of options, such as the ability to enhance a photo immediately after you take it, plus scene selections, direct sharing options, and much more.
The zoom is slightly disappointing, both because it’s hard to use due to the annoying volume button, but also because the loss of quality is just a bit more than I would expect. It doesn’t take horrible photos, but you may need to get as close to the action as possible to ensure that you get the best shots.
I was able to get through just a couple of days with heavy use, but that should be expected considering how much more I tend to use this device in comparison with other phones I’ve reviewed. I always give loaner devices a good workout during the review period, of course.
But when music and movies sound this good, you’re more likely to watch them during the public transit commute home, for example, instead of randomly surfing the Web or checking your email. That extra entertainment is a bigger drain on the battery, but it seems that the Rezound is up to the challenge. Battery life could be longer, of course, but I’m satisfied with the results I was able to achieve.