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Review: HTC Aria

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The music player on the HTC Aria looks better than the standard Android player, but it lacks some of the stock player's functionality. The phone had no trouble finding my music on the microSD card, and most, but not all, of my album artwork came through. It's easy to create new playlists and shuttle through tracks, but there's no equalizer or any advanced music features. The stock Android player lets you start a Web or YouTube search from the Now Playing screen by holding down on an artist, song or album name, but the HTC Sense player doesn't have this feature.

The HTC Aria, like AT&T's other Android phone, the Motorola Backflip, cannot load apps that are not featured in the Android App Market. That includes the Sirius XM radio streaming app. The phone comes pre-loaded with AT&T's own streaming radio service and an FM radio instead. AT&T Radio was better than I expected. It includes some streaming stations from AT&T as well as a Last.fm client.

For music hardware, the HTC Aria is adequate. The phone uses a 3.5mm headphone jack so I could listen with my favorite pair of earbuds. AT&T includes a 2GB microSD card in the memory slot, beneath the battery cover but not under the battery itself. That's a good start, though I'm seeing more 8GB cards packaged with phones these days. I've already complained about the wan, distorted sound from the phone's speaker, so I'll only add that when the phone is screen up, the speaker is completely muffled lying flat against the surface below.

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