HTC Amaze 4G review

HTC aims to Amaze at 4G speeds, but can polished hardware overcome cluttered software?

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HTC amaze 4g
As you might imagine, a media-centric device such as the HTC Amaze 4G comes ready to please with a wide range of playback offerings.

The Gallery app neatly sorts media into folders based on camera mode (i.e., Panorama or Burst), with direct access to a micro-SD card and even a Locations folder for viewing where images were taken on a map.

HTC amaze 4g

Tapping on Albums view pulls up options to jump quickly to Facebook, Flicker or Picasa photos or even Media Servers, which will find UPnP volumes on your local network and stream content direct to your handset. We were able to successfully play most every AVI, WMV and MP4/M4V video file we threw at it.

The Amaze 4G comes standard with 16GB of storage, but true media junkies are likely to install streaming media apps or beef up their storage options with a micro-SD card.

Hulu Plus is still unavailable, but Netflix is ready for download in the Android Market and worked without a hitch. Our favorite home media server app, Plex, also installed and streamed content with ease.

HTC amaze 4g

T-Mobile has taken the liberty of preloading a wide variety of bloatware – er, apps – for your media consumption pleasure, including T-Mobile TV with Mobile HD, offering a variety of free and paid content including live TV options from FOX News, Disney Channel, ABC Mobile and ESPN and on-demand content for download such as PBS Kids' Curious George.

T-Mobile TV requires a connection to its 4G network to validate your account the first time, but subsequent visits can be done over Wi-Fi or 4G. We downloaded a free 30-minute TV episode in just a few minutes over 4G, and streaming options started playing within seconds.

Video was perfectly acceptable on the Amaze 4G display, and downloaded content can be watched for a limited time even with no wireless signal available.

HTC amaze 4g
Finally, the manufacturer has also waded into the media pool with HTC Watch, offering a limited range of Hollywood offerings for rent or purchase with most titles available for $3.99 and $14.99, respectively. Google's own Videos app is not preinstalled but can be downloaded from Android Market.