With the holiday smartphone smackdown in full swing, the HTC Rezound is stepping into the ring. At $299 on Verizon Wireless, this Android phone will have some tough competition against Motorola’s Droid RAZR and possibly Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus, but HTC’s hoping the addition of Beats Audio will help the Rezound stand out.
The Rezound has a 1.5 GHz dual-core processor and a 4.3-inch Super LCD display with 720p resolution, making it the first 720p phone we’ve seen in a screen smaller than 4.5 inches. HTC paid special attention to the camera as well, with an 8-megapixel, an f/2.2 sensor that’s supposedly superior in low-light, dual LED flash and 1080p video camera. There’s also a 2-megapixel camera up front.
The star of the show is HTC’s partnership with Beats Audio, which manifests itself in the form of advanced audio tuning and lightweight Beats headphones included. Engadget reports that the audio tuning is “extremely bass-heavy,” as expected from Dr. Dre’s audio brand. To match the Beats branding, the Rezound is decked out in red trim on the Android buttons, the headset and the camera, fitting nicely with Verizon’s own color scheme.
Other specs include 1 GB of RAM—that’s the high-end of what we’re seeing in smartphones today—and 16 GB of built-in storage, plus a MicroSD card if you need more.
For software, the Rezound runs Android 2.3.4, but HTC says Ice Cream Sandwich, the latest version of Android, will be available for the Rezound in early 2012. Of course, HTC’s also loading this phone with its Sense interface, bringing built-in photo effects, a suite of social widgets and the ability to jump directly to your favorite apps from the lock screen.
Can the HTC Rezound hold its own against the impressive-looking Droid RAZR and the Galaxy Nexus, with its unmodified version of Android Ice Cream Sandwich? That’ll depend largely on the software, and whether you prefer HTC’s vision of Android over Motorola’s and Google’s. You’ll be able to decide for yourself on November 14, when the Rezound launches on Verizon Wireless for $299 on contract.