Emily saw it, tried it out, and posted her impressions first, but she wasn’t able to get video of the HTC Amaze 4G at T-Mobile’s post-Mobilize party earlier in the week. Last night, the folks from HTC helped me close the circle. After attending Intel’s AppUp Elements conference, I hopped in a rental car (with Myriam from Engadget, who takes her parallel parking seriously, btw) and headed out to dinner where I was able to get a few minutes of Amaze on video.
There’s no doubt that HTC’s first HSPA+ 42 phone for Magenta is a nice piece of kit. The phone feels solid, the display is bright, and performance is responsive. HTC continues to refine their design language while also adding cool little touches to their devices in the way of back cover materials, translucent plastics under the hood, and so on. The company is literally cranking out devices at an unprecedented pace this year, and they’re an interesting contrast to Samsung when it comes to industrial design: HTCs tend to be solid, use a fair amount of metal, and have a heft to them where Samsungs are light, light, and lighter, and often characterized as “hollow” and “plasticky.”
I mention Samsung because Amaze 4G will compete directly with T-Mobile’s version of the Galaxy S II at the top of the carrier’s U.S. lineup. Both devices were launched at Mobilize, and both feature Android, dual-core processors, and support for the carrier’s new HSPA+ 42 high speed data network. Both devices will also be up for pre-order on October 10 and in stores on the 12th, though Amaze will cost $50 more than GS2, slotting in at $259.99 on contract and after rebate.
My time with Amaze was limited, and the unit I played with didn’t have an active SIM card installed, so I couldn’t check out network performance. But the phone felt great in hand, and the combination of the qHD (960 x 540) display and the dual-core Qualcomm S3 processor made flipping through menus and launching apps responsive. HTC is touting the quality of the phone’s 8 megapixel camera and its myriad photo modes and options, but I obviously didn’t get a chance to really put the image capturing systems through their paces. Enjoy the video for now, and look for a full review of Amaze 4G just as soon as we can get a press loaner. And thanks for dinner, HTC!