Best smartphone I've owned. October 19, 2011
Reviewer: Anthony L (NC) -
Let me preface this review with my past phones. I've been thru 7 BlackBerrys in the last 6 years with Verizon. I recently switched from Verizon to T-Mobile as both my wife and I were constantly dropping calls in our home. I won't ever look back.
This phone is smoking fast. The UI is snappy and I've experienced 0 lag switching between programs even while streaming a movie over the 4G connection. I've downloaded and installed 10+ apps in the past few days including Netflix, a yahoo fantasy football app, a few games, a few social networking and chat apps as well as 3 different game emulators. I had 0 issues with installing any of the apps on this phone. When the 4G connection is active, webpages actually load faster than on my laptop over a local WiFi-n connection.
I've read reviews of HTC phones having issues with the quality of the speaker. I was able to use this phone in the middle of a very noisy state fair, surrounded by screaming kids, rides and other distractions without having to plug my other ear to hear the caller's voice. My friend later told me that he had no issues hearing me either. I find that the speakerphone works well, but the sound quality is better when I flip the phone over. My wife says I sound like I'm on a land line when I use the speakerphone, and the sound coming thru the speaker was not tin-cannish.
The screen is amazing. There's a handy app built into the phone that tells you what is draining the battery the most. After quickly draining the phone (4 hours) a few times, I discovered this app and saw that the screen was eating up 95% of the battery life. Changing the brightness of the screen to the lowest setting greatly increased the battery life, but it still looks great when dimmed.
The camera is snappy. I can take pictures as quickly as I can hit the button and they look amazing. The auto-focus can sometimes be finicky in low-light situations, but overall I have to say this could easily replace my $250 Sony point-and-shoot camera, and I haven't even begun to touch all of the camera modes on the Amaze. The video is fantastic as well. When viewing the 1080p playback on my tv, my family was blown away with the quality of the picture. The sound capture on the video could be a little better, but that is a minor deterrent.
If there is one major drawback to the Amaze, it would have to be POP3 email issues. I found the POP3 email delivery system / syncing adequate at best when using Hotmail and a school email account. Gmail syncs well, so if that is your only email address, you should be fine with this phone. POP3 emails seem to disappear and reappear whenever they want, deleted emails sometimes don't stay deleted and I occasionally receive notifications for emails I've already read. I'm a systems analyst and even when working with T-Mobile support and trying to tweak every syncing setting there is, we could not get this to perform as well as a BlackBerry with regards to email delivery. That being said, the official Hotmail app from Microsoft works without a hitch on this phone. I installed that and it has been smooth sailing ever since.
Battery life is not awesome on this phone if you use it for anything besides email / calls / texting. However, I didn't expect it to be with the qHD Super LCD display and when running everything else that I do (Facebook, games, streaming video, messaging apps, taking pictures/video). I'm getting between 5-6 hours of battery life before I hit the 15% mark. Installing JuiceDefender from the Android Market helped the life, as well as disabling Bluetooth and the GPS connection.
Few other quick points:
- The FM radio and MP3s sound wonderful over headphones / earbuds. No distortion.
- The GPS navigation works better than my 2 year old Garmin, and syncing Google map directions with calendar entries is easy and helpful.
- This phone is slightly weightier than the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy S2, but for me this is a bonus. I prefer using a phone that doesn't feel like it could snap in half if I sit on it by accident.
If you are up in the air between the HTC Amaze and the Samsung Galaxy S2, you really can't go wrong either way. Go into a T-Mobile store and play with each as I did to see what your personal preference is. Enjoy!
- As another reviewer has stated[[ASIN:B005SY3YSS HTC Amaze 4G Android Phone, Black (T-Mobile)]], the sound quality of recorded video is not that great. Since I've had more time to play with mine I've noticed that in some instances it is very hard to hear people speaking unless they are looking directly at the phone.
I've also seen a remarkable jump in battery life since updating the Amaze with software version 1.36.531.6. I can now use the phone for 12+ hours before hitting 15% most days (in good coverage areas).
Show Off! November 20, 2011
Reviewer: E. Brown "EB" (The Wilds) -
Most beautiful, highest-quality hardware on the market. You can tell HTC takes a lot of pride in this phone. It's stylized down to the 'Sense' user interface, surely the most impressive UI on any device.
Aside from obvious aesthetic appeal, 'Amaze' is a significant upgrade from the Sensation. HTC addressed most of my gripes w/ Sensation by giving Amaze a hardware camera button, more onboard memory, more RAM & more ghz. Multi-tasking is effortless. Amaze can run a number of memory-intensive programs without as much as hiccup, and does so with style. To put it bluntly, the Amaze throws down the gauntlet.
The device also runs on T-Mobile's 42mbps 4G network, provided you live in one of T-Mobile's 4G regions. I do, and the service is no where near as consistent as their 3G service. The highest download speeds I've reached on SpeedTest is 4mbps download. Theoretically, it can reach much faster speeds & some tests on YouTube have reflected as much as 12. I'm less impressed w/T-Mobile's 4G, but let's not blame that on the Amaze.
As with any device, and impressive as the Amaze is, it comes w/a few disappointments. The ability to shoot in 1080p is a big deal and, as w/the Sensation, the audio recording quality is unacceptable. You can hear a sample by searching YouTube for (HTC Amaze 4G 1080p Camera Test| Booredatwork) or (HTC Amaze 4G 1080p HD Video Sample). HD looks, LD sound. The end result of the video is more important than style & process. So, if you're looking to take advantage of one of this phone's major selling points - recording in HD - this might not be the best device.
Secondly, although the screen in quarter HD, it's not quite as vivid, bright or impressive as some of it's competition.
iPHONE 4S (Requisite comparison)
The iPhone isn't really in the same league. It's an incredible device, but it's just an app tray - squares on a screen. As a result, iPhones are generally far more consistent. They are also less glitch/bug prone than Androids. If you're new to Android, this will take getting used to. The Apple is a bit smoother because it doesn't have to do much more than launch apps. We don't expect a multi-functional SUV to be as smooth as a basic car. iPhones have no widgets, no multiple homescreens, (still) no full flash browser, no customization, no memory card, no removable battery, no keyboard options, no homescreen replacements, smaller screen... You get the idea. iPhones don't do much more than host/open apps. iPhones are well-designed, user-friendly & have wonderful cameras, but they're tract phones. Pretty basic & that has broad appeal. If you think you need Siri, Android already has Vlingo & Iris. If you're a busy career and/or family person, or not too good w/ technology, however, the iPhone is definitely better for you because it takes less time to configure, learn & operate. Not a matter of better/worse. There's something for everyone.
As HTC comes out with a new flagship seemingly every month, however, this phone will not hold its value as well as an iPhone, which is released only once a year. Like Samsung, HTC is known for creating buyers' remorse by coming out with something better only weeks after you pay $100s for their flagship release. Be prepared for that.
ANDROID & de Führer Google
There is *a lot* to configure & customize on a high-end Android. Busy, older folks will either be overwhelmed, or proceed w/o a clue as to what this device can actually do, in spite of having paid for it. Secondly, Androids are *very* Googley. When you sync your Google account, be prepared for folks you've emailed once, 8 years ago, to show up on your phone. If you have a Picasa album, all of your photos will be automatically downloaded to you phone. If you erase them, all of the images will be deleted from Picasa online as well. Even storing phone numbers poses you with questions of storing to phone, SIM card... or Google. The same with calendar entries. Google is very invasive. Android has a lot of options, choices, customization, questions, combinations, permutations... It's like asking for water & the waiter spends 5 minutes asking - sparkling or flat?... chilled or room temp?.... w/ or w/o ice?... large or small?... green glass or blue?... with straw or w/o?... It's overkill & obtrusive. Android won't win any prizes for being user-friendly, but it will for being thoroughly customizable.
GALAXY S II
Amaze's only real competition on T-Mobile, at the moment, is Samsung's Galaxy S II. The GS2 has a larger screen which, depending on your tastes & size, may or may not be a plus. The GS2 can be used on AT&T's network, should you hold onto the device long enough to weather the possible merger. The GS2 has the most beautiful screen colors & saturation, but Amaze has slightly higher pixel density. They're both very competitive.
In the end, this is a dual core, HD device. If you provide HD imaging, you should provide the corresponding audio for it. Amaze fails to deliver on the basics - decent audio recording for videos. If you're not big on shooting videos w/ the HD shooter, then one is as good as the other. However, as 1080p is one of the primary selling points for this device (& you pay for it), the Amaze takes a significant back seat in audio quality to Galaxy S II. The audio it produces from recorded videos is an embarrassment, frankly. (You can compare video-audio quality for the competition on YouTube as well.) For this reason, I give it 4 stars. This is the only area where Amaze fails to live up to its name. It is, otherwise, an impressive device - inside & out.
I love this phone, but... February 7, 2012
Reviewer: Steve H. (Seattle, WA, USA) -
...there are a couple of issues.
Pros: Blazingly fast, super sharp LCD pixel density...text is notable sharper on this than the Galaxy S2, but the Galaxy has better color saturation so this screen looks a little washed out side by side. Your pick, better color or sharper picture. Sense interface: It just makes sense! It rings louder when it's in your pocket, you can silence the ringer at a meeting instantly by setting it face down, the web browser re-wraps text when you zoom in on web pages (I'm unaware of any other phone browser that does this) which is a HUGE plus for me (on most phones, the text is either too small or doesn't fit on the screen. This phone solves that). The camera really can replace a digital point and shoot (you know the kind, the little pocket ones)...the camera really IS that good.
Cons: Here's the really big one: This phone is cancelled already! They are only selling what is left in stock. There are very few accessories that fit this phone. It's notably heavier than the Galaxy S2. Some users report that the back cover gets squeaky over time. The buttons on the bottom light up which bleeds into the screen at the bottom when you view something dark. The battery life on this is about half that of the Galaxy S2 (when I got it, it would make it about 9-10 hours on a charge. Now that I'm over the wow factor, it lasts morning 'til bed (since I don't fiddle with it and play games on it anymore). Oh, and it's cheaper at T-mobile than here at Amazon!
I love this phone, but know that there will probably only be one more update and then nothing. It is scheduled to get Android 4.0.3 sometime in the next month or 3.
UPDATE: T-Mobile raised the price back to $230 since this review.
Best Phone on the market. JUST DONT BUY IT FROM AMAZON.COM April 25, 2012
I love this phone. Hands down much better than the IPhone and Galexy SII. The reason I gave an adverage score is because Amazon doesn't send the full package. When you buy yourphone from Wirefly, Newegg or even Tmobile the Htc Amaze come with 16gig SD card. Now... I got my Amaze from Amazon and it was the phoneonlyfor$200.Imagine how mad I was to buy a phone with Zero memory! A brand new 16gig SD card cost about $60. Now my phone has cost me $260. At Tmobile or wirefly the phone cost $220 with the card already.
Don't waste your money on Amazon. Phone is missing the SD Card. So buy from a site that come with the card for only 20 bucks more :)