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HTC Rezound is a "secret" global phone?

Posted: , by Scott H.

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HTC Rezound is a
Some enterprising HTC Rezound owners at the XDA Developers forums have discovered that by putting a GSM SIM card in the Rezound that you get more network options to choose from. Switching will reportedly allow owners to place and receive calls on GSM networks, although the phone often resets itself. In some cases they are reporting data access over GSM networks as well, although SMS is generally reported to not be working.

It’s important to note that the FCC did not note or test any GSM radio or antenna in the Rezound, so something fishy is going on here. Yet it seems that too many people have confirmed using the GSM radio for it to be an elaborate hoax, and the Qualcomm MSM8660 SoC does include the silicon for a GSM radio.

Our best guess is that HTC/Verizon simply planned to not have the radio turned on, but some code somewhere wasn’t fully pulled out and is getting accessed when a GSM SIM is inserted. The reports of missing data, lack of SMS, and struggles with the software switching the phone back to CDMA mode would seem to confirm that the Rezound’s software is “conflicted” about the situation.

Is it possible that Verizon could decide to turn such a feature on later? Probably not without getting FCC approval again. Perhaps some enterprising developers will figure out a way to more consistently unlock the latent radios inside. But all of this begs a larger question: Why aren’t more phones shipped with global radios working?

The short answer of course, is money.

U.S. carriers want to sell you a phone that’s locked to their network, and prefer for global roaming to be a special feature of a couple of premium phones (and if you happen to rack up a huge global roaming charge, so much the better).

But this practice is inherently anti-consumer. Carriers already get two-year contracts when customers purchase a subsidized phone (which practically all U.S. customers do), isn’t that enough lock in? Why are they shipping phones that cripple basic features that any customer needs when traveling?

So perhaps the bigger question here isn’t “what’s going on with the Rezound?” but instead, “why is any phone shipped without all of its radios enabled?”

HTC Rezound is a "secret" global phone?

source: XDA-Developers via Droid-Life

6 Comments
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posted on 26 Jan 2012, 16:17 13

1. Birds (Posts: 990; Member since: 21 Nov 2011)


THe HTC rezound is a great phone in its right but I'm ready to see these stupid Phonearena followers bash this phone for failing at something it was not meant to do! 3-2-1...go!!!!!

posted on 26 Jan 2012, 16:34 4

2. McLTE (Posts: 699; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)


You would think carriers like Verizon would want to push more Global phones as a way to compete with AT&T.

THough with my experience with Verizon phones in europe, I'm not sure that's such a good idea. My experience with Verizon blackberries in Europe has been HORRIBLE with data connection and speeds. AT&T's blackberries are much much better.

posted on 26 Jan 2012, 17:41 2

3. GALAXY-S (Posts: 701; Member since: 07 Jun 2011)


This is weird .. tmobiles phones are also supposed to be locked to use only there sim card but ive had 3 htc phones and they were all unlocked... 2 of them were brand new out of the box, so it doesnt suprise me this phone can take foriegn SIM
.. the phones were htc sensation and 2 htc wildfire s

posted on 26 Jan 2012, 19:18

4. letsb4real25 (Posts: 21; Member since: 28 Dec 2011)


Good to know I guess...we just received an OTA update too. Not sure what it is. Didn't install it since I am rooted.

posted on 26 Jan 2012, 19:22

5. letsb4real25 (Posts: 21; Member since: 28 Dec 2011)


Well here's what the OTA does:

Updated Signal Strength meter to 5 bar (RSSI)
Screen timeout issues while connected to Wi-Fi have been resolved
Mobile Hotspot stalling issue resolved
Improved audio quality during Voice call
Reduced forced closures
Improved device stability - reduces continuous resets
Resolved issue with Task Manager stopping mail background service

posted on 09 Feb 2012, 10:42

6. Jay_S (Posts: 1; Member since: 09 Feb 2012)


Quite a large number of folks are seeing significant battery drain issues after the OTA. Perhaps something to do with the Verizon Location Agent. A quick look at the Marketplace, where an update lives, shows a very large number of "1" ratings getting posted.

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