HTC Amaze 4G on T-Mobile is an Android smartphone with a solid camera, but its hardware is a massive drain on battery life.
its new HTC Amaze 4G to attract those smartphone users who double as serious
shutterbugs, and desire a smartphone capable of replacing their everyday
point-and-shoot. The carrier also wants it to pull in fans of handsome-looking
devices, as well as those who want their data transmitted at lightning-fast 4G
HTC may have
taken any number of design tropes into consideration when crafting the Amaze
4G, but "thin and light" wasn't one of them. At 6.1 ounces, the smartphone
offers quite a bit of heft, comparable in terms of how it feels in the hand to
one of Motorola's Droid phones, and noticeably more weighty than the iPhone 4.
The curved plastic backing (with a wide metal strip along the lower portion) feels
comfortable in the palm, and its slight texture means it doesn't slide much on
The 4.3-inch quarter
high-definition (qHD) super LCD capacitive multi-touch screen (540 x 960
resolution) is crisp but seems a little dim or matte, especially in comparison with
the iPhone's Retina Display or the Samsung Galaxy S II. In an odd tweak of
design, the screen is also ever-so-slightly elevated above the main body of the
smartphone, creating an added edge you feel when gripping the device. It's a
matter of subjective perception whether this annoys you; I found it noticeable
but not overly distracting.
The Amaze 4G
packs a lot of power under the hood: a Qualcomm Snapdragon S3 processor with
1.5GHz dual-core CPUs, paired with Android 2.3.4 (Gingerbread). Applications
open at a snap. (With the 4G network in play, they download super-fast, as well.)
The smartphone seemed to laugh at any processor-chewing tasks tossed in its
sort of power comes with two noticeable drawbacks. For one thing, the phone
becomes noticeably hot after an hour or two of heavy use, to the point where
you can feel that heat radiating from a pants or coat pocket.
power drain (even for a moderate user) is considerable; this is not a
smartphone you can expect to last for a full day on a single charge. If you start
answering emails and shooting photos and downloading applications at 8 a.m., chances
are pretty good you'll need to hunt for an electrical plug by 1 p.m. Granted,
few Android-based devices are lauded for their power-management abilities, but
the Amaze 4G's hardware turns it into a hungry little battery vampire.
Android on the
Amaze 4G is responsive and user-friendly. The interface offers a neat application
that turns the camera flash into an effective little flashlight with adjustable
intensity, along with a grab bag of other applications (FM radio, WiFi hotspot,
weather, etc.). HTC has skinned Android in a way that, depending on your
sensibilities, you'll either find chock-full of easy-to-access widgets or hopelessly
cluttered. As a platform, however, it's becoming increasingly clear that
Android-no matter what sort of hardware it runs on-is in desperate need of
tweaking in order to match the smoother aesthetic styling of iOS or Windows
Phone. The next Android build (code-named Ice Cream Sandwich) might deliver
this, but maybe not.
however, is the Amaze 4G's strong point. The 8-megapixel rear camera, paired
with a 2-megapixel front aperture, is capable of taking 1080p HD video. Thanks
to the backside illuminated sensor (in conjunction with the rest of the
hardware), the camera snaps crisp images, although it wrestles a little bit
with dimmer conditions.
importance is the software backing that camera. Unlike the Droid Bionic or
other Android phones, which feature noticeable lag between clicking (or
"clicking," if it's a virtual button) the shutter and actually snapping an
image, the Amaze 4G's camera is near-instant when it comes to focusing and
snapping (accompanied by a spinning green reticule that seems like something
the T-800 or RoboCop might use) rapid-fire images. You can then edit the photos
to your heart's content (cropping, auto-enhance, high contrast, etc.), spin through
your portfolio of images or share them with the world.
shutterbugs who want an Android device might find that camera a big enough
draw. In addition to the camera, the combination of muscular processor and
speedy network make the Amaze 4G a solid all-around Android smartphone-unless
you need one that only sips battery power.
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