HTC Rezound Review

HTC has been one of the more profound vigilant figures in the mobile industry that always has a knack in producing quality smartphones. When it comes to the Android landscape, they were there right from the beginning showing their commitment in tastefully complementing Google’s mobile platform with something as equally compelling on the hardware side. With memorable devices like the T-Mobile G1, Nexus One, and HTC EVO 4G under its belt, all eyes are on them to see what they can do to continue that trend in the face of never-ending competition.

Out of all the carriers out there, most people can wholeheartedly agree that Verizon has gotten its fair share of top-notch HTC smartphones – like the HTC Droid Incredible and HTC ThunderBolt. However, we can most certainly say that the HTC EVO 4G is still the benchmark device that HTC lives by to this day – mainly because it brought along a lot of ‘firsts’ that haven’t been seen before during its time. For all of us out there salivating for the next big thing, Big Red is being blessed with something so deliciously high spec’d on paper that it begs for some warranted recognition.

HTC helped Verizon launch itself into the 4G LTE era with the ThunderBolt, a device widely panned as being a fitting candidate, but besides its 4G LTE support, it wasn’t all that cutting-edge. Continuing the trend of packing some ‘firsts’, mainly because it’s the first handset to release on US soil with a 720p display and Beats Audio support, the HTC Rezound is gunning to make its presence widely known as being HTC’s second-generation 4G LTE device. Unlike the underpowered ThunderBolt, the Rezound is outfitted with only the best of the best in order to survive the volatile high-end market, but it’ll need to make some glaring noise if it wants to take the thunder out of the recently launched Motorola DROID RAZR.

The package contains: 
  • HTC Rezound
  • microUSB cable
  • Wall Charger
  • iBeats Headphones
  • Traveling Pouch
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Product Safety & Warranty Information


When you really want to stand out from the crowd,  you should opt for a design that’s dramatically different. Well, that’s not  the case with the HTC Rezound, as it clearly has its ties to the HTC Droid Incredible 2 – thus, lacking that crucial differentiating appeal to reel us in. Yes, it’s still one solid feeling handset, though it’s not quite on the same level as some of HTC’s uni-body designed handsets. Featuring a gunmetal like bezel, rounded corners, and its distinctive soft touch tiered back cover, we’re able to gently grasp the handset with no problems at all – and it helps that it doesn’t attract much dirt or debris! Even though the handset appears to be primarily constructed out of plastic, it still packs a noticeable amount of weight. With a 0.54” (13.7mm) waistline, it is almost twice the thickness of the slim body of the DROID RAZR. Above all, there’s nothing extravagant with its all too generic design style, and in the end, it doesn’t deliver something that should complement its underlying aura. 

You can compare the HTC Rezound with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.

We’ve been teased by it for many months now, but a 720p display is finally for real with a handset – and the HTC Rezound is the first one to market with it in the States!  

The 720x1280 pixel resolution is an incremental leap forward, following after other popular resolutions like WVGA 480x800 and qHD 540x960. When you do the calculation, the Rezound’s 4.3” display is the most detailed out there with  pixel density of 341 ppi. In contrast, the iPhone 4S Retina display boasts a pixel density of 326 ppi – so finally, the Rezound is the first phone to beat it in this aspect. 

Even though we’re convinced on paper at how it’s superior in resolution, it’s ultimately our eyes that are going to concretely confirm those allegations. The visual detail is most profoundly evident when we look at the display up close and personal– or when looking at tiny details, like text when we’re in a zoomed out view in the web browser. At that point, yes, we behold the majestic detail that the 720p display has to offer – making even the faintest of lines and curves pop with plenty of clarity. As you can see in the photos, detail is so much better than a standard screen, which results in beautifully looking icons, menu details and so on. Nevertheless, its Super LCD (S-LCD) panel continues to deliver the characteristic traits that the display type is known to exhibit – like some deep and vibrant color tones. However, it does suffer from poor viewing angles and outdoor visibility.

Spacing themselves away from the bottom edge of the handset, we gladly accept the minimal accidental presses we find when touching its capacitive Android buttons, which sport a deep red glow (reminding of the Beats Audio element).

We’ve made it clear that we’re not blown away by the Rezound’s design, but what irks us most about the handset, is that its physical buttons are notoriously difficult to feel out. Both the power button and volume rocker are completely flush – thus, offering very little feel. Additionally, it doesn’t help that their response is subtle to the touch.

Above the display, we’re presented with the typical narrow looking earpiece that has been the staple of nearly all HTC smartphones of late – plus, the handset’s front-facing 2-megapixel camera is perched nearby.

Much like other recent HTC smartphones, the microUSB port on the HTC Rezound offers video-out functionality, but it requires the use of an optional MHL adapter that you’ll need to supply yourself. 

Rounding its high-spec’d hardware, the Rezound is packing a sizable 8-megapixel auto-focus camera with dual-LED flash in the rear, which isn’t all that surprising at the very least . Meanwhile, prying off its rear cover grants us access to it 1,620 mAh battery, SIM card slot, microSD slot, and speakerphone grill.

HTC Rezound 360-degrees View:



103. jdnlgor

Posts: 1; Member since: Oct 07, 2012

I give it a 1/10. I've had 4- yes, count them 4- Rezounds since 12/26/11. First one could only do 1G even tho it is a 4G phone. Verizon "played" with it for a while- i.e 2 hrs in the store while they tried everything. Got a new Rezound only 2 weeks after the 1st. The 2nd worked pretty good except for Yahoo Mail for 6 months, Only had to take it in for a factory reset because of deisplay problems once. then it DIED! Dead! No resurection possible. It worked fine 1 moment, dead the next. No dropping, no getting wet, nothing. So Verizon sent me a "factory reconditioned. That one worked well for almost a month, then started having problems supposedly with the display. The display was a problem- there wasn't one! The phone would ring but I couldn't answer, it would vibrate for a notification, but since I couldn't see anything, who knows what it was. Back to Verizon store, factory resets again. On the 4th visit in 2 months, I'd had it so the next time, they sent me a replacement- another factory reconditioned. It worked fine for a week. Then the same problem. We were out of town for the weekend & the screen would come on, then immediately go off. Couldn't do a thing. Called Verizon & after about 60 min on the phone (my hubby's ancient flip phone), the tech had me hold the volume rocked down while holding the power switch for 10 seconds. The 3rd time, that worked. Next day, same thing happened so I did it again & the phone worked for 2 days. Got home & it did it again. Worked for 1 day. Next day---again- off to Verizon AGAIN. They tried everything, nothing so they agreed to replace it. After 45 min on the phone @ the Verizon store (mostly on hold) they said they'd send a Pantech Maurauder- as we were finalizing that- the Rzound came back on. Still replacing it. Just hope the Maurader works. Looks like it doesn't have some of the features I paid for with the Rezound, but we'll see.

102. mstee28r

Posts: 1; Member since: Aug 12, 2012

i love this phone more than any phone and other but went back to the rezound and love htc phones the phone dont feel or look so cheap and htc has the best camera i think

97. markreif

Posts: 8; Member since: Dec 01, 2011

I had this phone for 5 days. I sent it back yesterday. Having had HTC's (rooted of course) in the past (TP2 and an Imagio under WM6.5) I guess I expected more. The level of bloatware in this device and coming from my current rooted DroidX proved to be unbearable. I'm going with the Galaxy Nexus (assuming it can be unlocked)..... Also - I found LTE to be overrated -IF your primary use is tethering a laptop for email and an occasional PDF download. I did play around with the temp root options that are out there but again compared to a rooted Droid X running a Liberty 2.0 ROM and overclocked to 1.2ghz ... even the dual 1.5 parameter - I consider - OVERATED. Lastly - the screen resolution -yes better than the I-phone. But my wife who has an Iphone 4 - trust me - still looks better. It's one thing to have the hardware. It's another to have the software ready to roll that can take advantage of those specs....

95. redmd

Posts: 1967; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

john velasco, it's not supposed to run ics out of the box. you have the galaxy nexus for that. would you count that as a con on every other new Android handset that doesn't run ics by default? a number of authors should contribute in making reviews.

91. macpilot

Posts: 2; Member since: Nov 18, 2011

Can someone explain to me why the phone needs a \"SIM\" card if it not a GSM capable phone? I am confused here. There are no GSM specs listed for this phone. There is a photo in this review showing what to me looks like a SIM card, but it says \"LTE\" on it. Does this mean that LTE/4G functionality could be swapped with a GSM SIM card? I am looking for a possible alternative to the iPhone 4S but I need a GSM capable phone with Verizon and their current offerings are junk IMO. I would love a RAZR if it had ICS and was GSM capable. Why can\'t anyone come out with an Android phone that has great specs AND is a world phone?

92. KingKurogiii

Posts: 5713; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

yeah 4G LTE is activated by a SIM card and no you can't use a GSM SIM card in it's place. if you want a powerful Android world device the Droid 3 is the best hands down.

93. macpilot

Posts: 2; Member since: Nov 18, 2011

Thanks for the clarification KingK. I am not into the hardware keyboard devices so much or I would go for that Droid 3. Maybe next year there will be a good ICS device on Verizon with GSM roaming.

94. KingKurogiii

Posts: 5713; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

cool. whatever floats your boat guy. glad to help. (:

88. nat171971

Posts: 3; Member since: Nov 17, 2011

I compared both phones, the screen is not just a little bit better but incredibly better. The audio is much better and the sense UI is much better as well. The processor on the phones that i tried the MOTO phone with an active wallpaper glitched while the rezound was smooth. Overall if you actually compare them real world the rezound is much better accept that it is thicker. If you want thin at the expense of the other things related then you will want the razr. I think the reviewers are to impressed by thin. Watch a music video with the beats head phones on the rezound and then tell me what you think.

87. Gcombs

Posts: 136; Member since: Aug 22, 2011

No Androids out with ICS yet so that shouldn't be a con. Base the review on the current Os.

71. Demietrich

Posts: 3; Member since: Nov 09, 2011

Why does it seem like the 60 fps recording isn't getting any sort of attention? I don't know about everyone else but when the LG Dare featured that I about exploded from excitement of all the fun things I could record and play back half speed. All I've seen is two videos on Youtube (One of which is PA's), and a brief mentioning on another site.

76. Owlet

Posts: 450; Member since: Feb 21, 2011

This phone just doesn't get any credit here.

78. roldefol

Posts: 4745; Member since: Jan 28, 2011

It's "too little, too late". If Verizon had released the Rezound over the summer, it would have had everything else in their lineup beat, hands down. Best screen, fastest processor, most memory, most user-friendly UI. Now its only clear advantage is the screen. Up against the Razr and Nexus, the Rezound is just another high-end phone. Each has its merits, but it's not a clear winner. It will be up to the buyer which one is best... and that's what I like to see.

69. rayjones09

Posts: 149; Member since: Dec 16, 2010

I must say that this 720p screen was not that big a deal, it looked like a regular old LCD screen or something. Really, high res screen resolution is cool and all, but that's honestly one of the last things on my mind if I'm looking to get a new device.

51. KingKurogiii

Posts: 5713; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

i called everything in this review. the good news is this is HTC's finest and the bad news is...this is HTC's finest. as impressive as this phone is it's not quite enough to stand up with the Razr and the Nexus. i'd definitely recommend this to Girls and music enthusiasts though. Bob from Wirefly told me this phone will work with the notification charm. i don't know if it'll get it's own or if you can just plug in the one from the Rhyme but that's good news to Women that don't want something as weak as the Rhyme.

67. Owlet

Posts: 450; Member since: Feb 21, 2011

I disagree. I think that Razr doesn't have quite enough to stand up with the Rezound. I played with both. I can't talk about Nexus though. I vowed to wait for all 3 to be out before I make a choice. Well, I pulled a plug today. Hope to have the Rezound in my paws tomorrow. :D

68. KingKurogiii

Posts: 5713; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

the Razr is more powerful, it has much better build quality, it's extremely thin, it'll no doubt have better battery life, the display is something of a trade off, the Razr has the lighter and (IMO) better interface and it'll get updated to ICS way before the Rezound i'm sure.

74. DaemonOfChaos unregistered

Where are you getting that rationale? The Rezound has the RAZR beat in every technical aspect except for thinness. There is no way you can possibly claim the RAZR is more powerful, especially when the RAZR is running at 1.2GHz while the Rezound is running at 1.5GHz.

75. Owlet

Posts: 450; Member since: Feb 21, 2011

Thank you! I think many people just got overly excited over the waistline of the Razr. I actually thought it felt a little disproportionate being that thin and at the same time that wide and light.

77. roldefol

Posts: 4745; Member since: Jan 28, 2011

I've been looking forward to the Rezound, and I happen to like its design better than the Razr, but you're off base on the spec comparison. The S3 Snapdragon is well-documented as being slower than the OMAP 4. So even though the clock speed of the Rezound is 1.5 Ghz, the Razr's (and Nexus') 1.2 Ghz performs better. They have to run the S3 that fast just to keep up.

79. KingKurogiii

Posts: 5713; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

the clock frequency doesn't matter, it's the quality of the processor that makes all the difference. the Rezound uses a Qualcomm S3 which is like the Wal-Brand of dual-core SoC whereas the Razr uses a Texas Instruments OMAP4 which comes second only to the Exynos processor used in most Galaxy S IIs. even at 1.5GHz the S3 can hardly even keep up with the 1GHz OMAP4 in my Droid 3.

89. nat171971

Posts: 3; Member since: Nov 17, 2011

wishful thinking go try the rezound and then make that statement. Not to mention the difference in carriers

90. KingKurogiii

Posts: 5713; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

what? xD i\'m sure it feels very fast but i assure you it\'s not going to perform as smoothly as either of the phones i mentioned and besides navigating the platform is only one part of the equation.

99. asrr62

Posts: 56; Member since: Sep 14, 2011

i would like to agree with you but im not so sure, i think the best is the tegra processors and then i have no idea. my kindle fire has a omap and that thing is unimpressive compared to my droid x2. but i have no idea about the qualcomm processors.

48. nb2six

Posts: 298; Member since: Apr 27, 2011

Lack of ICS out of the Box a con? Really? considering the new nexus isn't even stateside yet, I find it hard to complain about a phone not coming with it pre-installed yet. If this were mid January/February then yes it would be a con but to call it a flaw right now is a little ridiculous.

47. bolaG

Posts: 468; Member since: Aug 15, 2011

Good review. I disagree with ICS being a negative as I did with the RAZR. Benchmarks?

46. taz89

Posts: 2014; Member since: May 03, 2011

lol not running ICS out the box, how can you mark that down as a negative when ICS IS NOT EVEN OUT and everyone knows no phone will get ICS before the NEXUS so for you to mark t5he rezound for that is grasping at straws.

41. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2577; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

This is what I don't like about PA reviews is that the SECOND a new OS is announced they put a negative next to every phone that comes out afterwards without it EVEN THOUGH they know it is unavailable to the manufacturers of these phones until about the 17th of this month. I mean come on, I can understand if ICS was already released but it isn't.

62. terabyteRouser

Posts: 457; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

Manufacturers do not have the ICS until abouth the 17th, is that a true statement?

63. KingKurogiii

Posts: 5713; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

actually the source code launched today. (: it was an early launch.
  • Display 4.3 inches
    1280 x 720 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP (Single camera)
    2 MP front
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon S3, 1GB RAM
  • Storage 16GB, microSDHC
  • Battery 1620 mAh
  • OS Android 4.0

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