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printed November 27, 2014
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Review: HTC Rezound for Verizon Wireless

Form Basics Extras Wrap-Up Comments  6  

Is It Your Type? Body The Three S's  

Screen

The Rezound has a 4.3-inch Super LCD with 1280 x 720 pixels. It is one of a very few HD displays available in the U.S. It looks really, really good, though I wasn't as completely bowled-over as I was expecting to be. Held side-by-side with a qHD (540 x 960 pixel) display, the Rezound's didn't look noticeably sharper or brighter. In fact, brightness is lacking a bit in my opinion. Most of the content on the Rezound's display looks fantastic, especially pictures, video, and web pages. Web pages, in particular, look impressive because you can actually read the text of full HTML web sites when zoomed all the way out. The extra pixels are put to good use there, and I was actually able to playback some HD movie content and enjoy it at full resolution. Outdoor visibility is not all that great, however.

Signal

As a 4G device, the Rezound performed well in my tests in New York City. Both indoors and out, it was able to find Verizon's 4G LTE network with no problem, and remained attached the entire time I was in the city. It never dropped to 3G. Data speeds over 4G in NYC were inconsistent, though. The Rezound was noticeably faster when outdoors and slower when indoors. The fastest download speed I saw over 4G was 8.87Mbps and the fastest upload I achieved was 2.65Mbps, though both those results were outliers. Average speeds were slower.

As a 3G device, the Rezound did OK, but fell short of excellent. Held side-by-side with other Verizon devices, it typically showed one bar less of coverage in any given location. It also showed a slightly higher propensity to drop calls. It dropped two during my tests, while another Verizon handset made calls from the same location without dropping them. Data speeds via 3G were typical for Verizon's network.

Sound

The Rezound is an excellent voice phone. Not only is the earpiece incredibly loud, call quality is clean, free of static/noise, and has a pleasant, warm tone to it. Color me impressed. Set to max. volume, the Rezound is loud enough to be heard in even the noisiest environments (busy city streets, small room full of 100+ people talking, and even bars with karaoke blasting in the background). Call quality through the speakerphone was also very, very good, but the speaker itself is prone to distortion when set to the highest volume. Leave it set at about two-thirds and you be rewarded with crystal clear conversations that are plenty loud for most rooms. The ringers and alerts can be set loud enough to stir the corpses in your local cemetery. The vibrate alert is buzz-saw strong. (We’re reviewing the Rezound's music (Beats) audio quality in a separate section.)

Battery

The Rezound is Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde when it comes to battery life. In 3G-only coverage areas and the LTE radio turned off, I was consistently able to coax just over 30 hours of battery life out of the Rezound over the course of a week. That's not fantastic, but it is good enough to keep most people connected for an entire day.

Switch the LTE radio on while under 3G-only coverage, and battery life drops to about 24 hours.

Use the Rezound in an area with both 4G/3G coverage, and the battery will die off much faster. During a day in NYC, the Rezound fell from 100% charge to a 50% charge over the course of about six hours. The bottom line is that you'll have to tweak your settings and usage to get the best battery life out of the Rezound, but be prepared for less than a full day of charge if you’re a heavy 4G user.

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