Review: HTC Amaze 4G – The Best T-Mobile Has to Offer
The Good: Beautiful hardware and the camera is the best available. HTC Sense 3.0 is better than ever. The camera and video recording buttons make it easy to quickly launch the camera app. T-Mobile’s 4G network is fast and consistant.
The Bad: The device is rather thick and heavy. The back is slick and easy to drop. The camera struggled in low-light conditions. Will spontaneously reboot sometimes, though not that often. Battery life is subpar. It is expensive at $230 with a contract.
Overall: The HTC Amaze 4G is a blazing fast device with the best camera available on a phone. While the device is thick, it is beautiful and feels sturdy in the hand. T-Mobile’s 4G networks is rock-solid and very fast. The Amaze is easily T-Mobile’s best Android device, and one of HTC’s best available.
The HTC Amaze joined T-Mobile’s crowded Android line-up just a little while ago and has become on of the most popular device on the network, and one of HTC’s most popular devices. The Amaze is $229.99 with a new two-year agreement on on T-Mobile.com.
The HTC Amaze features a 4.3 inch Super LCD with a resolution of 540×960, or qHD. The display really pops and video and text look extremely crisp. The Super AMOLED Plus display, found on the Galaxy S II, seems slightly better, but the Amaze has a much higher resolution.
The device weighs in at 6.1 ounces and measures 5.12 inches tall by 2.58 inches wide by 0.46 inch thick. As you can tell, it is one big piece of hardware, which is both good and bad. The weight of the device makes it feel sturdy and solid. But, it eventually gets a little heavy and uncomfortable to hold.
Below the screen, you will find your normal Android controls: home, menu, back, and search. On top, you get a power/lock button, while the Micro-USB port is located on the left side. The right side features a volume rocker, a camera button, and a dedicated video button. On the back of the device is an 8 megapixel camera with dual LED flash and 1080p video with a 2 megapixel shooter on the front. Holding down on the video button takes you into the video mode of the camera app, while the camera button takes you into the camera mode.
In the box of the Amaze, you get your standard micro-USB cable, a wall adapter, and your reading materials on how to use the device.
Software and Performance
The HTC Amaze ships with Android 2.3 with Sense 3.0. Sadly, it does not have Sense 3.5 like the HTC Rezound on Verizon.
The Amaze is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S3 1.5GHz dual-core processor and has 1GB RAM, and man does it scream. The device could handle every test we through at it. Games such as Need for Speed and Angry Birds performed flawlessly and the web browser was smooth as silk.
However, we did experience some spontaneous reboots. The device would completely freeze up and then reboot. We are hoping that HTC fixes this in an upcoming software update.
As we do in all of our reviews, we ran a Quadrant Standard test. Quadrant, available in the market, puts your phone through several tets, such as 3D graphics, 2D graphics and more.
The Amaze 4G scored around 2200 consistently, which is a very good score. Though, it is not as high as the Galaxy S II.
HTC’s biggest selling point of the Amaze is the 8 megapixel camera. In addition to the great camerahardware, the camera software is great as well.
New in Sense 3.0 is scene mode. You get ten scenes to choose from:
- Auto: Automatically detects and adjusts settings
- SmartShot: Quickly takes a slew of pictures and tries to find one in which everyone is smiling.
- SweepShot — aka panorama
- ClearShot HDR
The pictures taken on the device are absolutely stunning when you have good lighting, but go in a darker environment and pictures become a tad grainy.
Video recording is in 1080p, and it as well is outstanding in both light and dark environments.
Data and Phone Quality
The Amaze is compatible with T-Mobile’s faster HSPA+ 42 network, meaning it can reach a theoretical download speed of 42Mbps–double that of its HSPA+ 21 network. Currently, this network is available in more than 150 markets, including New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, and covers 170 million Americans.
Using the speedtest.net app, we were able to consistently get 6-8mbps down and 1-2mbps up. ESPN’s mobile site loaded in a speedy 6 seconds.
Phone quality was great and speaker phone was decent, though a bit tinny. We experienced no dropped calls in a twenty call test.
The HTC Amaze 4G ships with a 1,730mAh lithium ion battery with a rated talk time of 6 hours and up to 16 days of standby time. As with most HTC devices, battery life was rough. We had trouble getting through a day with moderate use without having to charge the device.
The HTC Amaze 4G is a blazing fast device with the best camera available on a phone. While the device is thick, it is beautiful and feels sturdy in the hand. T-Mobile’s 4G networks is rock-solid and very fast.
If you are in the market for a T-Mobile Android phone, we definitely would recommend the Amaze. It compete’s directly with T-Mobile’s Galaxy S II variant, which features the same Snapdragon processor, but we prefer the camera and design of the Amaze. However, the Exynos powered Galaxy S II found on Sprint and and AT&T performs a lot better.