Regular readers know I have been very happy with Windows Phone 7 devices on T-Mobile for the past year, but I am always willing to try new devices and there are two new Android Gingerbread smartphones launching this week that have me seriously considering another SIM card switch on T-Mobile. I have been using the HTC Amaze 4G and Samsung Galaxy S II extensively since Friday and am ready to drop some cash this coming week, but on the device you might not have thought at first. You can check out several images of the devices in my image gallery and in my video first look below.
|Image Gallery: Check out some photos of both the Samsung Galaxy S II and HTC Amaze 4G from T-Mobile USA.|
Then I tried the HTC Amaze 4G that came out and slapped me upside the face with its incredible design. I was thinking the Amaze 4G was just another typical HTC black slab phone, but I have to say I think this may very well be the best designed HTC device I have ever had the pleasure of using as I will describe in more detail below.
I knew the T-Mobile variant of the Galaxy S II would come with the largest display of the variants at 4.52 inches, but when I pulled it from the box I admit I was shocked by how light the device was at only 4.77 ounces. Unlike some of the previous Samsung Galaxy devices it doesn't feel cheap with a glossy black back and instead feels very well constructed with an attractive textured back. The display looks very nice, but doesn't seem to "pop" out at me as much as other Super AMOLED Plus displays I have seen on Samsung devices in the past.
The Samsung Galaxy S II has a large display, but does not feel that large in your hand due to the very light weight and thinness of the device. It is an impressive piece of hardware and I am sure those looking for the biggest screen on a T-Mobile Android phone will love it.
The Galaxy S II minimizes the use of hardware buttons and ports with a single power/lock button on the upper right, a volume button on the upper left, a microUSB port on the bottom, and the 3.5mm headset jack on the top.
The 8 megapixel camera and single LED flash are found centered on the upper back with the Galaxy S II embedded in the center. The battery, SIM card slot, and microSD card slot are found under the back cover. I love the new textured back cover that gives the device a high quality feel and some grip in your hand.
There are several T-Mobile apps, such as Slacker, TeleNav GPS Navigator, T-Mobile TV, Qik Video Chat, and Visual Voicemail along with several Samsung apps. For some reason the version of Google Talk on the Galaxy S II does not support video chat using the front facing camera.
The Galaxy S II on T-Mobile has the fastest radio in the US, out of all SGSII devices, with support for T-Mobile's 42 Mbps network. From my testing in Seattle I experienced a maximum download speed of 26.07 Mbps. Check out this post for details on my testing.
Let's check out the details of the HTC Amaze 4G »
When I pulled the Amaze 4G from the box my first thought was "Wow, this thing feels incredible!" The aluminum frame, angles around the display, and unique back design feel awesome in my hand. To see if others prefer the lighter weight or denser slightly narrower device I gave both of these to me wife and even though the Amaze 4G is heavier she said she much prefers it over the Samsung Galaxy S II. The higher resolution 4.3 inch display also looks fantastic.
The HTC Amaze 4G is slightly narrower than the Galaxy S II, but also thicker and heavier. However, I personally find the heft and use of metal, glass and plastic to be nicer on the Amaze 4G than the materials on the Galaxy S II.
HTC included a couple of hardware buttons that are actually helping to pull me towards a purchase. On the bottom right side you will find a still camera capture button and a video recording capture button. HTC brought their slick Windows Phone 7 capability that allows you to press and hold one of these buttons when the display is off that will launch the camera so you can go from pulling your Amaze 4G out of your pocket to taking photos or capturing video in seconds. I find it is much more natural to press a physical button on top of the device rather than trying to tap on the display to capture an image. There is also a large volume button on the upper right side.
The microUSB port is found on the left side with the 3.5mm headset jack and power button on the top. A back cover release button is found on the bottom and like a few other recent HTC devices the entire back and sides comes off in one piece.
The 8 megapixel camera and dual LED flash lights are found on the left side of the upper back with the loudspeaker on the right upper side of the back. HTC has stylish soft touch material and aluminum on the back giving it a great look and feel. I am testing the black model, but you can also order one in white. I am not sure if the white is soft touch material or glossy plastic.
The HTC Amaze 4G has the same excellent camera software found in the myTouch 4G Slide and in some initial tests I am finding it to be faster and more responsive than any point and shoot I have used before with very high quality photos being captured. I look forward to testing out the camera and comparing it to the Apple iPhone 4S.
Just like the Samsung Galaxy S II you will find T-Mobile apps such as T-Mobile TV, Slacker, TeleNav GPS Navigator, Qik Video Chat, and Visual Voicemail. I tested out Google Talk video chat with the front facing 2 megapixel camera with Kevin Tofel and it worked extremely well. I find that supporting services like Google Talk or Skype make these front facing cameras much more useful.
The HTC Amaze 4G supports T-Mobile's 42 Mbps network. From my testing in Seattle I experienced maximum download speeds of 27.99 Mbps. Check out this post for details on my testing.