HTC Rezound Review


As other recent HTC phones, the camera app has received a nice update as it now supports some extra features, such as 14 different visual effects, face detection, and manual image adjustments of the exposure, contrast, saturation, and sharpness. There is also a selection of 9 different scene modes to choose from. Like most other HTC phones, the Rezound does not come with a physical camera button. Instead, the camera continues to auto-focus on the center square shown on the display, or you can move the square around if you want to change where it will focus. To capture the image, you simply press on shutter icon on the right side, and it takes the image almost instantly.

On paper, there seems to be a lot to like about its 8-megapixel auto-focus camera, which features backside illumination, dual-LED flash, and wide-angle F2.2 lens for larger aperture. Sometimes, we can be jaded by all of the hype surrounding a handset’s photo-taking capabilities, but in the case of the Rezound, we’re simply not convinced after peeking over some of the results.

Overall, its production is average, with macro shots being its best specialty. Color-wise, it tends to be on the saturated side, which is able to raise our brows thanks to its vibrant and robust tones, but it tends to cast this purplish hue that doesn’t accurately portray the real-world scenario. Above all, the main distraction we notice is that fine details are simply indistinct. The images are usable for 4x6” prints, but are not on par with the best 8-megapixel phone cameras. 

With shots taken under low lighting, its exposure is considerably increased to enhance details, but at the same time, it’s dealt a blow with some evidence of noise – though, its dual-LED flash counteracts it. 

The HTC Rezound’s 1080p videos are shot in MPEG-4 format instead of the .3GP we found on the Vivid. So what’s good this time? It displays a smooth capture rate of 30 frames per second, mostly noise-free audio recording, and very minimal artifacting. Naturally, that’s fine and dandy, but what distracts us yet again is its vague looking details – it simply doesn’t exhibit the quality you’d expect for something tagged with ‘high-definition.’ Just like the Vivid, the Rezound offers a slow-motion mode that gives us a neat effect with recording that we don't typically see – though, its capture resolution is set at 720p at the most. It captures at 60 frames per second, but the final video is 30fps, thus making it 2x slower.

HTC Rezound Sample Video:

HTC Rezound Slow Motion Sample Video:


It’s one thing to offer the full-fidelity audio experience with Beats Audio, but it would’ve been nice for the music player to receive some love as well – in the end, it utilizes the same layout and presentation we’re used to finding. Popping in the included iBeats headphones and activating Beats Audio, our ears explode with the rippling effects of heavy bass tones that really accentuate both high and low pitches. These are the best headphones bundled with a phone, and most people listening to modern music will not feel the need to upgrade with other in-ear headphones. However, the Beats Audio profile is not a great deal and we wish there was something special in the hardware, resulting in better than the ordinary sound quality. Switching to the internal speaker, it’s undoubtedly strong with its volume output, and it doesn’t strain at the highest setting, but it lacks the thunderous pitches that we hear using the iBeats.

Being the perfect companion of any 720p video, especially when its screen resolution matches up, its performance is naturally seamless. Checking out some of the preloaded MPEG-4 720p videos on the handset, they obviously showcase the display’s bountiful performance with its rich details, smooth playback, and iridescent colors. Strangely, its exhibits some lag when playing another test video that’s encoded in H.264 with 1920 x 1080 resolution.

Sharing multimedia content couldn’t be any easier on the HTC Rezound seeing that it features an MHL port – but of course, you’ll be the one supplying the adapter. Nonetheless, we’re given the opportunity of getting a mirrored experience to show everything we do on the handset, all on a high-def television. Otherwise, its DLNA functionality is a decent alternative as well – as long as you have compatible devices.

Finding a 16GB microSD card included with the handset, it’s more than sufficient by today’s standards, but it’s further supplemented by 10.48GB of internal storage. Furthermore, there’s 2.1GB of memory strictly reserved for apps. Still, if the card isn’t enough, you can use cards up to 32GB in size.

Internet and Connectivity:

Packing 4G LTE connectivity, it’s blazingly fast in loading up complex web sites like ours in less than 20 seconds – much like the others in Verizon’s 4G LTE stable. Accompanying the fast speeds, are the responsive navigation controls that offer a near instantaneous response with everything – plus, it handles Flash content without sweating one bit. All in all, when you add in its 720p display, it essentially offers one fabulous desktop-like experience that will no doubt be any web surfer’s dream device.

Like all of Verizon’s 4G LTE smartphones, the HTC Rezound follows in accordance by essentially being compatible to work on Verizon’s network. Furthermore, it packs all of the usual cast of connectivity options like aGPS, Bluetooth 3.0, 802.11 b/g/n/a Wi-Fi, and mobile hotspot functionality. With the latter, it offers exceptional signal strength in allowing devices as far as 30 feet away to connect to it.


On the software side, there’s nothing of particular interest since it’s mainly comprised of apps that we tend to find preloaded with most of Verizon’s portfolio. Not surprisingly, Big Red’s presence is blatantly evident with things like Backup Assistant, Mobile Hotspot, Mobile IM, V CAST MUSIC, My Verizon Mobile, Verizon Video, and VZ Navigator. Meanwhile, there’s a ton of bloatware on there, with some being more useful than others. These consist of Amazon Kindle, Blockbuster, Need for Speed Hot Pursuit, Polaris Office, Scan, and Slacker. And if you happen to love videos a lot, besides those from YouTube, you’ll definitely appreciate the catalog available with HTC Watch – it’s the hub where you can rent or purchase movies and television shows. 



1. sportsinger75

Posts: 71; Member since: Nov 11, 2011

Seems like a fair review to me. Thanks.

2. anirudhshirsat97

Posts: 408; Member since: May 24, 2011

Finally a phone setting a new benchmark in ppi and beating the previous champ the i-phone 4s. Screen is highly detailed. Wish it was a super amoled plus instead of slcd. That would have made it a winner for sure. But considering all the features dont you think it deserved slightly more than 8? But fair review overall.

80. cupcake

Posts: 106; Member since: Apr 15, 2010

it got an 8.5

3. roldefol

Posts: 4744; Member since: Jan 28, 2011

Well, this review (paired with CNET's) clinches it - I'm waiting for the Nexus. Too heavy, too thick, too small battery and just as capable of lag as everyone here expected.

7. AndroidNext

Posts: 4; Member since: Oct 05, 2011

Agreed. It would be great to see the Rezound / Nexus / Razr next to each other IRL to make the final call. Of course, that won\'t be an indication of battery life, but I think we can assume the rezound is the weakest of the three there.

12. roldefol

Posts: 4744; Member since: Jan 28, 2011

I'm most curious about the screen comparison. I'm a fan of AMOLED, but what I've seen of HTC's S-LCD screens impressed me. HD SAMOLED or HD S-LCD... you can't lose.

53. terabyteRouser

Posts: 457; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

I checked out the screen today. The screen is definitely sharp. However, after glancing at the RAZRs screen, it looked better. Maybe it was that the brightness on the Rezound was set to medium, but I do recall prefering the RAZRs screen. The RAZR looks so much better as well. The Rezound felt outdated.

73. roldefol

Posts: 4744; Member since: Jan 28, 2011

I'm sure this depends on what you're used to. Once you're accustomed to the "pop" of colors on an AMOLED screen, it might be tough to go back to LCD, even when it's as crisp as the Rezound's.

96. whiteninjazx6r

Posts: 32; Member since: Nov 22, 2011

I agree here, side by side, the RAZR impresses me by far. I made sure to turn up the brightness on both devices side by side, and the RAZR wins for sure. And although the crispness is see-able on the Rezound, its only in tiny details that you may only notice when zoomed all the way out on something...but overall, the RAZRs screen is perfect for me. Better out there, maybe, but packaged in the RAZRs amazing shell, no. Hopefully the Nexus will step it up, although I sort of doubt it...Other than its software...I am not seeing this being the better phone either...

27. Snapdude

Posts: 128; Member since: Aug 27, 2009

htc will soon realize the qualcomm cpu's and gpu's will be their downfall in the superphone market. snapdragon chips and adreno gpu units simply cant compete anymore

100. Birds

Posts: 1172; Member since: Nov 21, 2011

you are wrong. HTC failed to optimize the Software with the CPU with this phone!!!!!!!

85. CJx70

Posts: 2; Member since: Nov 16, 2011

This phone is actually quite light. The thickness is so minor you will never notice the difference. Weight and size are such minor things for a phone when it is increase my only a small amount to produce a better phone. 2 Days of ownership, still zero issues. Lasts much longer than my Thunderbolt, and performs extremely fast.

4. terabyteRouser

Posts: 457; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

The HTC Vigor was such a cooler name...

19. Owlet

Posts: 450; Member since: Feb 21, 2011

You are not gonna call it, are you? ;)

5. ngo2dd

Posts: 896; Member since: Jul 08, 2011

I don't know why people so in to the thickness of a phone. Yes the Razr is thin but you don't have a removable battery. So take your pick.

6. roldefol

Posts: 4744; Member since: Jan 28, 2011

Something in between would be nice though, which is why the SGS2 and Nexus are so attractive. They may not have the same solid feel as the Rezound, but I'll take somewhat plasticky over somewhat heavy.

10. ngo2dd

Posts: 896; Member since: Jul 08, 2011

That is reasonable, I on the other hand like a solid feeling headset. I have the Nexus S and was not a fan of the size to weight of it. So I pick something else. As long as you enjoy your phone then there is nothing else that can change people mind.

84. roldefol

Posts: 4744; Member since: Jan 28, 2011

I held the phone last night alongside the Razr, and I take back my comments on the thickness. It's not the thickness that makes or breaks a phone, it's the overall dimensions. The Rezound actually felt more comfortable in my hands because of its narrower body and contoured back.

8. jackhammeR

Posts: 1548; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

Can anyone explain me (beware\'s a simple question and I don\'t wanna fight with anyone...I\'m just curious and I want to know why) why living wallpapares are so resources hungry? Even with dual core and 1 gig of ram, turning on wallpapers means goodbye fluid and smoothy operation? In this case it\'s because 720p screen which needs more power or sense or what?

9. ngo2dd

Posts: 896; Member since: Jul 08, 2011

It has more to do with the skin of the OS. Sense take a lot of resource. The resolution has some to do with it too.

66. alx33

Posts: 32; Member since: Oct 07, 2011

Well it has a lot to do with sense and how resource hungry it is. Also the the processor is probably having trouble keeping up with the high resolution. Also the clock speed and amount of cores doesn't totally affect the performance. for example samsung exynos processers are known for great performance at 1.2 GHZ while qualcomm snapdragons can lag at 1.5 GHZ. by the way i dont know why anyone would thumb you down. I mean it was just a simple question :)

72. jackhammeR

Posts: 1548; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

some fanboy I guess:) Thanks for answer

81. firelightx

Posts: 71; Member since: Oct 13, 2011

Personally, I would have attributed the sluggishness to the fact that Gingerbread doesn't have native hardware acceleration, and it wouldn't surprise me to find out that HTC didn't find a way t enable it, either. That would have a major impact, as the Adreno chip would be doing absolutely nothing to help process the LWP. But then there's the fact that the SGS2 handles it so nicely. Is the combination of sense+qualcomm really that bad comparitively, or has Samsung been hitting their phones up with Hardware Acceleration? And if the lack of HWA is part of the problem, will ICS solve the issue when it finaly enables that chip to do what it's supposed to?

82. KingKurogiii

Posts: 5713; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

Sense + Qualcomm is really that bad. xD it'll be better after it gets ICS but everything else will still be better. ICS will just bring things to an all new magnitude.

11. rainsft

Posts: 2; Member since: Nov 14, 2011

Dear phone Arena: Could you please start mentioning in your reviews whether the reviewed phone has an external notification light on the display and whether it is multi-colored. Thank you. (This is very important to some of us!) Meanwhile, does the Rezound have such a warning light?

13. jackhammeR

Posts: 1548; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

So...Sense is just a heavy cow. So..HTC will never be so power efficient and fast as \"pure\" android or those phones from samsung with touch wiz (which is less power hungry).

29. beatsandmelody

Posts: 109; Member since: Nov 01, 2011

Wrong thread

31. McLTE

Posts: 922; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

Agreed! With Samsung's habit of omitting the LED notification light, it's nice to know if it exists on the phone, and what the capabilities are.

34. AdamW33

Posts: 39; Member since: Aug 25, 2011

I just got my Rezound and it does have a multicolored notification light right near the front facing camera.

36. John.V

Posts: 99; Member since: May 27, 2011

Yup, there's one that lights up green next to the front-facing camera. Hope that helps.
  • Display 4.3" 720 x 1280 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 2 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon S3, Dual-core, 1500 MHz
  • Storage 16 GB + microSDHC
  • Battery 1620 mAh(6.73h talk time)

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