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HTC smartphone offers 720p resolution, free Beats headphones

Nov 4, 2011 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

HTC and Verizon Wireless announced a high-end Android 2.3 phone due Nov. 14 that's said to be the first U.S. smartphone with “Beats Audio” integration. The HTC Rezound is equipped with a 1.5GHz, dual-core Qualcomm MDM9600 processor, 1GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, 4G LTE, and a 4.3-inch 1280 x 720 display, and features lightweight Beats headphones.

The Beats Audio brand was created by hip-hop/rap musician Dr. Dre, and has been applied to products including headphones from Monster and computers from HP. In August, HTC invested $300 million for a majority stake in Beats, and gained the exclusive rights to offer "thundering bass, soaring midrange and crisp highs" in mobile phones.

Beats Audio, which was pre-integrated in the HP TouchPad, is making its Android debut on the Rezound, which ships with a pair of lightweight Beats headphones, "created exclusively to integrate with the Beats' audio profile on the device," according to Verizon Wireless, which will begin selling the phone Nov. 14.

HTC Rezound

(Click to enlarge)

Previously tipped as the HTC Vigor, the Rezound takes its place at the top of HTC's expanding list of Android smartphones, above high-end models like AT&T's new HTC Vivid. Like the recently announced LG Optimus LTE, the Rezound is equipped with a dual-core, 1.5GHz processor, and like the Optimus LTE and the Android 4.0 equipped Samsung Galaxy Nexus, it moves up to a Honeycomb tablet-like resolution of 720p (1280 x 720 pixels).

The 4.3-inch super LCD screen is slightly smaller than the 4.5-inch displays on the HTC Vivid and Optimus LTE, let alone Galaxy Nexus' 4.65-inch model, although that will be a plus for many.

In exchange for the $300, plus contract and data plans, the Rezound also returns a healthy 1GB of DDR2 RAM, 16GB of internal storage, and an additional 16GB microSD card for 32GB total storage. The Android 2.3 software, meanwhile, will be upgraded to Android 4.0 in early 2012, says Verizon.

At 5.08 x 2.58 x 0.54 inches (129 x 65.5 x 13.65 mm), the Rezound won't be competing with the sleek, 0.28-inch thin Motorola Droid Razr. But then again, the Rezound has the Razr beat on clock rate and screen resolution.

Eight-megapixel camera features low-light support, 1080p recording

The HTC Rezound is equipped with an eight-megapixel autofocus camera with dual LED flash, as well as a f/2.2, 28mm lens with a backlit sensor, says Verizon. The camera, which appears to be the same model used on the HTC Vivid, supports 1080p video recording, and special effects including panoramic mode, says the carrier.

The front-facing cam, meanwhile, features a generous two megapixels of resolution. An HDMI port is available with Mobile High Definition Link (MHL) connectivity for pushing video to an HDTV, complete with "5.1 surround sound and SRS WOW HD surround to take advantage of a home theater setup," says Verizon. The phone is also said to support Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) media sharing.

The HTC Rezound support's Verizon's 4G LTE network, and offers 802.11a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0, GPS/aGPS, and a mobile hotspot capability for up to 10 devices, says Verizon. Other features are said to include micro-USB and audio ports, a built-in mic, and sensors including light, compass, proximity, and G-sensor. The phone ships with a 1620mAh battery, and is said to be "wireless charging capable."

The Android 2.3 build is augmented with HTC Sense 3.5, which features a customizable "active lockscreen" showing social updates, photos, weather, or stock updates. The lockscreen also lets users quickly jump to the frequently used features. Other Sense features include group messaging and social networking integration via FriendStream.

One early hands-on report by CNET's Jessica Dolcourt praises the Rezound for its top-notch features, as well as its excellent phone craftsmanship. Dolcourt is a Beats fan, and loves the headphones bundled with the Rezound. She also notes that the headphones typically cost at least $120, which should help cushion the $300 sticker shock.

Meanwhile, for a closer look at a cheaper, but less impressive HTC smartphone, our sister publication eWEEK has reviewed Sprint's previously announced HTC Evo Design 4G, calling it "solid but unexciting."

Stated Jimmy Iovine, chairman of Beats, "HTC fully recognizes the destruction to audio caused by the digital revolution. They embrace our vision to repair this ecosystem and bring the feeling from the recording studio to the smartphone. This is only the beginning of our plan to fix how music is delivered."


The HTC Rezound will be available beginning Nov. 14 at Verizon Wireless, Best Buy, and Best Buy Mobile stores for $300 with a new two-year customer agreement. Also required is a Verizon Wireless Nationwide Talk plan beginning at $40 per month and a smartphone data package starting at $30 per month for 2GB of data. More information may be found in Verizon's HTC Rezound announcement.

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