Oct 19 AT 7:25 PM Edgar Cervantes 23 Comments

HTC Amaze 4G hands-on and first impressions

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Everyone is still hyped about the recent announcement of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. That does not mean there’s no room for some other powerhouse devices, though. The HTC Amaze 4G was released last week, and sure is a huge step up compared to most devices out there.

Overall, this device is fast and smooth with the amazing build quality we always expect from HTC. After using it for a day, there’s not much to complain about. Let’s take a look at the specs:

HTC Amaze 4G Specifications

  • Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread with HTC Sense 3.0
  • 4.3-inch qHD Super LCD display (960×540)
  • 1.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S3 dual-core processor
  • 1 GB RAM memory
  • 16 GB internal storage
  • 8 MP rear facing camera with face detection and HD 1080p video recording
  • 2 MP front-facing camera

Build quality

The first thing you’ll notice about the device is its great build quality, which is a trend with HTC devices. The device has a unibody aluminum shell, much like the Sensation. This gives the phone a very solid feel when held. Nothing feels loose. And though it might be much heavier than competing smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S II, the weight also gives it a sturdy feeling.

Performance and battery life

In the time I’ve been using the HTC Amaze 4G, I’ve found no issues with performance. Videos, games and all other normal tasks perform very well. That 1.5 GHz dual-core processor and 1 GB of RAM sure do their job well. But does it come with a negative effect on the battery?

I have not had the device enough time to say exactly how good the battery life is, but it isn’t amazing. After being unplugged at 3:00 pm (fully charged), I used the device for about 7 hours until it died. The battery ran out on me at about 10:15 pm. This was under constant 4G connectivity and heavy use. Mainly to check e-mails (received and sent a total of about 40), Twitter, Facebook, Google Voice texting and about 1 hour of browsing (in total).

Display

This Super LCD qHD display is not bad at all, but it’s not as impressive as the HTC Sensation XL. Just like the Sensation XL, the viewing angles are impressive, but the colors are not as saturated and vibrant. The Amaze holds its own when it comes to use in direct sun light. The definition is also very good. Text is crisp in the browser, and pixelation is nearly impossible to see with the naked eye.

Data speeds

The device happens to be compatible with T-Mobile’s HSPA+ 42 network. This means that speeds are substantially higher, but not as impressive as we’d expect. Using SpeedTest.net’s app, the data speeds averaged about 10 Mbps down and 1 Mbps up. There are areas of the city where it would go up to about 14 Mbps down and 1.5 Mbps up, while other areas would result in lower than 5 Mbps down and 0.7 Mbps up.

Generally speaking, though, the speeds are much higher — even comparable to Verizon’s 4g LTE network in my market (San Diego, CA). Verizon’s 4G network normally has down speeds of about 8-14 Mbps (in my area), with peaks of up to 20 Mbps and upload speeds of 2-4 Mbps.

Camera

HTC has been putting a lot of effort into improving its cameras, and this device is no exception. Its camera is much faster and has many options. If you like playing around with photography, this smartphone camera allows you to change ISO settings and boasts the following shooting modes:

  • SmartShot — Takes 5 photos and compiles the best parts to create one perfect shot.
  • BurstShot — Capture 5 consecutive shots with just one click, so you never miss the action.
  • SweepShot panorama — Take ultrawide shots then sweep in any direction.
  • ClearShot HDR — See crystal clear detail even when shooting in mixed or direct light.
  • Perfect Pics — Analyzes & scores your photos, then groups the best ones for easy sharing.
  • Night, Action, Macro and Portrait modes also included

I have not had time to play with the camera features very much. After taking a few shots (in auto mode), it does have a quick response and close to zero shutter lag (though not as fast as the Samsung Galaxy Nexus). Here are some pictures I took, one in the living room and the rest sitting in a vehicle going about 60 miles per hour (to test shutter speeds). You can be sure that we’ll be going into more detail about this in the full review. For now, check these out:

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Wrap-Up

The HTC Amaze 4G really is a great smartphone to have. Even if it might currently be overshadowed by the just-announced Samsung Galaxy Nexus. Still sporting Android 2.3.4, it’s unknown if this device will be updated to Ice Cream Sandwich. But the possibilities are pretty high.

HTC did mention that it was looking into ICS upgrade plans. This being one of the most current devices gives it great odds. Not to mention the fact that it does have NFC, and could take advantage Android Beam, Google Wallet and other features/services.

I will be writing a full review next week, so stay tuned. Also, check out the images posted below and let us know what you think of the HTC Amaze. Is anyone thinking of getting this device? Would you rather wait for the Samsung Galaxy Nexus to come to T-Mobile (if it does)?

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Hello, I am Edgar Cervantes. I am an avid Android fan, and keeping myself updated on the topic is part of my daily life. I will always work hard to give the best of me to our community of Android enthusiasts, and I am very honored to be part of this ship. Hopefully we can all enjoy sharing our knowledge and opinions!

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