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printed November 24, 2014
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Review: HTC Amaze 4G

Form Basics Extras Wrap-Up Comments  4  

Is It Your Type? Body The Three S's  

HTC's design language hasn't taken a dramatic step away from the earth-colored hues we've seen on its smartphones in the past year, but it has taken a little step. Rather than deep browns and brownish grays, the Amaze sticks with a more techie silver and black (or white) color scheme. The combination of black and silver is well balanced. Rather than exist as a black (or white) phone with silver accents, or a silver phone with black (or white) accents, the back and sides share a nearly proportionate amount of each. It's a really nice-looking phone. It's modern, it's edgy, I dig it.

It feels solid in the hand, as there are plenty of metals, glass, and plastic materials making up the shell and guts of the Amaze 4G. It’s a wee bit on the big side, and comes off feeling heavy, as well. Any phone that packs this much glass and metal ain't going to be a dainty flower. Comfortably rounded curves along the back edges allow the Amaze to be gripped easily. There’s no skimping on build quality, here. It'll slip into pockets, no problem, but given its large footprint and weight, you'll always know it is there.

 

Click a thumbnail above for a larger view.

Similar to the Sensation 4G, the Amaze has a very subtle rim that encircles the display. The only way you'll notice it at all is if you drag your thumb off the edge. This little rim puts the Amaze's display perhaps 1mm off of any flat surface that you might set it down on. The end result should be fewer scratches on the display. The four typical Android controls are capacitive buttons below the display. They offer haptic feedback.

As is typical of an HTC handset, there are barely any buttons to mar the outer edges. On the left, you'll find nothing but the microUSB port, which doubles as an HDMI port with an MHL adapter. The volume toggle is on the right side of the phone. It feels better than most of HTC's previous volume toggles, and has excellent travel and feedback. The power/lock key is on the top. HTC couldn't have done a better job with this button, it works perfectly. The 3.5mm headset jack is also on the top.

Perhaps most intriguing is that the Amaze 4G not only has a dedicated camera button, but it has a dedicated video camera button, as well. Press and hold either when the phone is asleep, and it will go directly to the camera or video camera app. The video camera key is the smaller of the two and has a red marking on it. It’s a single-stage key. The camera button is bigger, and is a dual-stage key for focusing and releasing the shutter. Both buttons have excellent travel and feedback.

The battery cover encompasses the entire back of the phone, as well as the sides all in a single piece. It is easy to remove, though I found it a little tricky to realign correctly. If you want to access the memory card, SIM card or battery, you have to take the cover off. Thankfully the microSD card port is accessible without pulling the battery.

In all, the hardware is great. It reeks of quality, works as it should, and looks great while doing it.

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