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HTC Rezound Beats smartphone hands-on and first look

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HTC Rezound Beats smartphone hands-on and first look
We got some hands-on time with HTC's new monster of a smartphone, the Rezound. The Rezound features a number of firsts, as it is the first smartphone with Beats audio in the U.S., and features the first 720p display on an HTC device.
When I first picked up the Rezound, I noticed right away just how large the phone is. It's not entirely unwieldy, thanks to the narrow aspect ratio of its 720p resolution display, but it's not particularly thin or light. I really do love the red accents that are found all over the device - including the translucent red plastic body seen when you remove the rear battery cover.
I have to be honest when I say that the 720p resolution of the display didn't really stand out in normal use. The display looked great, of course, but the blacks were still not really black, and I just didn't see the extra pixels as doing much. Until I played back an HD video, that is. The display, when paired up with an HD video, comes into its own and is super impressive. The video playback is very smooth, too, thanks to the dual-core 1.5GHz processor and 1GB of available RAM.

While the Beats audio support sounds cool, and the Rezound ships with custom Beats in-ear headphones, I can't really say how much it did to improve the experience since we couldn't test the actual headphones and I had nothing handy to compare them with. When listening with a pair of over-the-ear Beats headphones, though, there was a noticeable improvement when the Beats system was enabled.

The Rezound will hit shelves on November 14, and it carries a price tag as large as its dimensions. Verizon Wireless will be asking $299.99 on-contract for the Rezound, and you will be able to pick it up at Verizon stores or Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile locations when it is released.

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