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Overall, there's a lot to like about the HTC Amaze 4G. It feels great in the hand and offers just the right balance of size, shape and weight – not too big, not too small. But while the hardware end is solid (literally!), the software is a mish-mash of confusing and often contradictory ideals.
Sense isn't great. Once you get past the attractive home screen, it's kind of downhill from there, layering on too many options and too much confusion for the average user to bear.
The bloatware on the Amaze 4G is pretty substantial. It's already like a virus among the U.S. carriers, and The Amaze 4G triples the offense here with offerings from T-Mobile, manufacturer HTC, and some questionable third-party offerings we could live without.
Finally, the battery might not suffice for everyone. We had no problem draining the majority of the battery over the course of an average day, which makes us think twice about using the Amaze 4G under heavy working conditions, and might just entice some buyers toward the Razr Maxx.
The build quality of the HTC Amaze 4G is surprisingly great. Despite the raised glass edges, the Amaze 4G looks and feels great; there's no creaky plastic feel to this smartphone.
And while we might not need two designated camera buttons, being able to jump straight to still or video camera mode so quickly almost makes up for the mediocre video quality.
It doesn't rival Android's highest-end handsets, but the Amaze 4G's 4.3-inch qHD is colorful and bright enough for all but the most discerning eyeballs.
T-Mobile users are frequently left in the lurch when it comes to the latest and greatest handsets, but the HTC Amaze 4G makes the best of its overzealous software selection and split personality by taking advantage of network speeds that, at least for downloading, often rival even 4G LTE carriers.
Standing out in the crowd is a tough thing for most Android-based devices these days, as manufacturers and carriers continue to pile on new handsets almost weekly. The HTC Amaze 4G may not completely live up to its name, but it fits in nicely with the upper class of Android devices thanks to a better than average build quality alone.