First the sensation, then came amazement. It is a pretty awful pun on the Sensation 4G being the former to the Amaze 4G, but it stands perfectly on its own. What the Amaze 4G has done is simply raise its HSPA+ data speeds to 42MBps, a faster 1.5GHz dual-core processor, new styling, and a better sensor in the 8 megapixel camera, capable of 1080p HD video recording (same specs for the camera, just better quality on the Amaze). To top all of that off, the Amaze 4G has a fantastic design reminiscent of the Sensation 4G (obviously), but alos the HTC Legend, an Android handset so old (by Android’s standards) that it is only a legend by now. Sorry, HTC just makes it easy to make puns out of the names of their products.
Full review after the break. And it’s the last LM review for 2011.
Price as Reviewed: $229.99 on a new 2-year agreement
The Amaze 4G reminds the coolest of tech aficionados of the HTC Legend and HTC Sensation 4G — essentially, the offspring of both devices. The design is mostly metals and plastics, and while feeling very comfortable in the hand, is very prone to scratches as it seems, as well as fingerprints. Moreover, it isn’t the lightest smartphone to manage: it weighs a hefty 5.1 ounces and is 11.7mm thick. It’s more aesthetically appealing, but overall is not an improvement over the original Sensation 4G.
However, if this glaring characteristic is looked past, then the Amaze 4G has the looks to please. That being said, appearance is fine and all, but what about all of the rather intelligent silicon and other materials underneath, which playing a pivotal role in what you do everyday — computations. Essentially, what’s in the Amaze 4G? You don’t need to be Sherlock Holmes to figure this out, just continue reading.
Instead of showing you long and wordy compositions of what runs inside of this Amaze 4G review unit (plus using a ton of Oxford Commas), I’ll just leave you with this delightfully long bullet-point list, then continue with if all of these parts make the Amaze 4G amazing to use.
- Android 2.3.4 with Sense UI 3.0 (same experience I’ve reviewed over and over again)
- 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor
- 1GB RAM
- 8 megapixel main camera/1080p HD video recording
- 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera
- 4.3-inch qHD 960×540 multitouch display
- 16GB onboard storage
- 1,730 mAh battery
Let’s start off with what is appealing (read: not that much). You see, a few months ago I would have gone on and on about how fast the 1.5GHz dual-core processor is, or how the 1GB of RAM keeps that performance going, or even how the camera takes the shot within 1-2 seconds of taking the photo, making it great for travel. There is almost an infinite amount of praise I could give the Amaze 4G, but I won’t. You see, like mathematics, these aforementioned details are designed to work the way they do — they just work. The real prize here is how they all come together in a livable, enjoyable experience. And sadly, they don’t. I have, more than once, felt the Amaze 4G heat up in my hands or pockets, and it is not a pleasant feeling (metals hold heat admirably, I might add).
There is nothing wrong to be said about how the Amaze 4G performs tasks — see the benchmark below, but I do not appreciate the heat it causes, and even the energy it consumes, observed in the next section.
The Amaze 4G at the very least with a Twitter account, Gmail, some web browsing, and listening to some Rdio, would last you no longer than 4 hours. It could last you 6 hours, if you happen to not check your phone consistently for email, locations using Google Maps, or you know — actually using your phone. It unfortunately was something overlooked on HTC’s part, and the next-gen wireless speeds that add up to 42MBps. It just won’t last you an entire day. And for that, I suggest you bring your charger everywhere; at least a USB cable that could be connected to your tablet, laptop, or car.
Absolutely delightful. It’s crystal clear, at a great resolution (8 megapixels) and takes some very respectable 1080p full HD video (fun fact: it’s the exact same sensor as the myTouch 4G Slide’s). If the battery lasts long enough, then I’ll be glad to bring it along instead of a point-and-shoot camera on trips. Also, there is an interesting AI dubbed “Perfect Pics”, which rate your photos depending on certain values of which I’m not ware of, then places them in this folder. As a photographer, I deem this to be a vapid and nebulous feature, and some of my most awkward photos got into the list, while the others with better lighting did not. Excuse me, HTC, but this isn’t very useful.
Oh, and a gallery below displays some example photos. The one of me uses the front-facing camera, and the others use the main 8MP shooter (as you can see, I had a test subject for this review).
Amaze 4G Test Photo Gallery
In testing, I have never reached the theoretical peak of 42MBps T-Mobile advertises. I actually have reached 14MBps, seen above. Otherwise, in and around New York City and New Jersey you can expect speeds of at least 5MBps and greater; perhaps that would even seldom happen?
As for the call quality, both sides of a phone call can perfectly hear the other through the earpiece, headphones, or on speaker — places where the Amaze 4G excels.
The final say on the matter: HTC could have done better. There is so much more potential in the Amaze 4G other than a high-power processor, camera, plenty of RAM, and a great design. This could have been the best handset on T-Mobile — but I don’t think it is. It is one of the better smartphones on the market, however. A longer battery lifespan would have been greatly appreciated, and perhaps that’s what amazes me about the Amaze 4G — the amount of potential that could have been tapped into by HTC and T-Mobile USA.