11.24.2011

HTC Amaze 4G @1 month

Ok so it's been a minute.  Life is busy and I let it take hold, so since I had a minute or two I decided I'd write something.  If you haven't noticed I buy new phones like people buy socks.  Today I'm going to give a quick 1 month after review of the HTC AMAZE 4G from T-Mobile.  While most people are talking about how great the Samsung Galaxy S 2 (SGS2) is I'm here to tell you that the Amaze does not disappoint like other past Samsung products I've had...cough...cough...Nexus S...cough...cough...

Hardware
Right off the bat the build quality is as my Nexus One was.  Solid.  I've got no creaking as some review have.  In the hand the Amaze is a little hefty compared to the Nexus S but I'll take the heft with the solid feeling then the light with the creaking.  I've even gone and put a lanyard that has a silver ring, one that you wear on your hand, on the Amaze.  It looks absolutely silly but I like it.  I'd take a picture but my main camera has always been my phone. hee hee. The only thing that has me a little worried is the headphone jack.  Maybe because the phone is still new but when I plug in my Tte Isurus head phones it takes much harder push than I am used to.  Still works fine.  The camera/video buttons made me worry but with the fact that you have to hold them down for a few seconds took all those worries away.  The screen is pretty good for old stuff, this something I wish HTC would get from Samsung.  The screens on Samsung phones can't be beat right now.  The Amaze screen doesn't suck but it could be better.  Mind you the screen is still better than my Nexus One's AMOLED.  Screen bleed is a problem that anyone using an LCD will have to deal with, well that's what I think anyway.  I've got a little at the bottom of the screen and it's pretty noticible especially with Sense running.  I'm sure even with Gingerbread you'd still have the same issues.  The speaker is much better then most of the other HTC phones I've had over the years and is not showing any signs of failing like my Nexus S did.  Overall the hardware is solid with some flaws that will bother someone who is OCD but not someone who's using it as a daily driver.

The real reason I bought the phone...42mbs HSPA+... I'm not going to say the thing is blazing fast. A couple of my buddies on Verizon's 4G LTE smoke my phones.  I will say that for not truly having a 4G network the Amaze is actually pretty decent.  I live in a semi-decent area.  A new tower went up a few years back during the original "4G" roll out.  On a consistent basis I get these measures from Speedtest.net Android App. Ping: 40-500ms (yeah I know it's all over the place) Down: 9-13Mbps Up: 1.5-1.7Mbps.  This is a pretty good jump from my G2x which got half the numbers that the Amaze gets.  I'm happy about it.

Battery wise not so happy.  I don't think I've ever owned an Android phone that didn't chew batteries up like a crazed puppy.  I already know it's because I never use WiFi and the apps on my phone.  I've heard reports of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus GSM variant getting close to two days on a single charge with a 1750mah battery.  Which begs the question is it software or hardware?

Software
I have never been a fan of overlays on top of stock Gingerbread.  My first real taste was with TouchWhiz on my Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1.  It's nice but I'll take the stock flavor any day over an overlay.  This goes for Sense as well.  While Sense fills in many gaps the stock experience leaves out I'm not about flash.  I don't care if it looks nice I just want it to work.  Being that the stock experience is my personal preference, I'm very biased.  I do however think just like TouchWhiz, Sense 3.0 make for a more comfortable user experience if you need the 'flare'.  I'm still wondering when companies will actually give me the choice of using their overlay or the stock Android experience.  I'm not a fan of rooting and ROMing phones.  Mostly because I'm lazy and the bricked table on the floor next to me.  However the benefits of rooting and ROMing come from the freedom and necessity that user want/need.  Sense 3.0 in all respects took a little getting used to but I can see from an average Android users standpoint how nice the little touches can be.

The camera software is one of the best I've used.  Nothing has beaten LG's original camera software on the G2x.  The HTC software is still pretty badass.  All the little options like changing the tone (Sephia, polorizing, etc) and aperture times are nice.  They even went as far as to have specific setups for whatever you're shooting and the sensor does a good job at flipping the switch when needed.  Overall I'm pretty excited that HTC has made improvements to the camera software.  I used a Imate JAM which was rebranded as the T-Mobile MDA, that thing made me want to never use the Camera.

Minus the bloatware it's not too far off from a stock experience.  Or I would have downloaded the apps anyway.  Like Lookout Security and T-Mobile's own "MyDevice" and "My Account".  I'll take it over what AT&T doles out... I still think Apple had a hand in making AT&T handicapping Android devices.  Hence the reason why when the iPhone went to other carries that the Android device software didn't suck so bad you had to root and Rom it.  I digress on my AT&T hate though.

Software wise very few apps have issues with the hardware.  Trust me I've had all sorts of issues from an app not working to complete meltdowns.  I like to try stuff out what can I say.

Overall
I'm happy with my purchase.  Happy enough that I might pass up the Galaxy Nexus.  If you read any of my Nexus S hate rant you probably understand why I'm hesitant.  But most of it is because HTC did a great job with the Amaze.  While the looks of the phone aren't super stylish the phone F@#$%^G works.  I've owned appoximately 6 HTC phones.  All of which have always disappointed me somewhere, the HTC Amaze doesn't.  I left HTC to try Motorola, LG, and Samsung phones and yet here I am back with HTC.  I have no reservations recommending this phone at all to anyone.  Even a good buddy of mine who came from WinMo to the iOS to Android traded in his newly bought G2x for the Amaze after my recommendation.  He's pretty happy with it too.

Sidenote
Interestingly enough while writing this and reading articles about the Galaxy Nexus I'm glad to hear that Samsung made the GSM variant work on both T-Mobile and AT&T's networks.  Sad to see they went with the TI OMAP instead of the Exynos processor.  Can't have it all.  Knowing me, even against my own better judgement you might be hearing me complain about the Samsung Galaxy Nexus soon. :D