HTC Aria:Solid, Yet Elegant Android Phone-Review

HTC Hero and the US version of the Legend, the HTC Aria ($130 with a two-year contract from AT&T; price as of 6/14/10) is the second Android phone to land on AT&T. While it doesn’t have the beefy specs of the HTC Droid Incredible (on Verizon) or the HTC EVO 4G (on Sprint), the Aria should satisfy AT&T customers holding out for a full-featured Android device.

Solid, Yet Elegant Design

From the moment you first pick it up, you can tell that the Aria is a solidly designed phone. While the phone looks more or less like your typical HTC-designed phone, there are a few subtle, unique design elements. There are four holes in each corner of the soft rubberdized back, exposing the alloy-finished fasteners that hold the Aria together. Like the Droid Incredible’s fire engine red innards, both the Aria’s battery and plastic internal structure are brightly unicolored–this time in mustard yellow. Hardware-wise, it is practically identical to the Legend with the same display, battery, processor and camera. The only difference is the lack of a camera flash.

Like RIM, with its most recent BlackBerry models, HTC made the switch to an optical trackpad rather than a physical trackball. This is a welcome update as trackballs tend to get dirty or fall out. I found the trackpad nicely responsive as I quickly scrolled through the Aria’s menus. I don’t usually rely on trackpads/trackballs for navigation, but it is a useful alternative.

Alongside the optical trackpad, you’ll find the usual touch-sensitive hardware buttons: Home, Menu, Back and Search. The left spine of the phone houses an oblong volume rocker while the right is clean of any buttons (that’s right, no dedicated camera key). On the top of the phone, you’ll find the 3.5-mm headphone jack as well as the power button. At the bottom, there’s the Micro-USB connector for both data transfer and charging.

The Aria has a bright 3.2-inch HVGA display, nicely showcases the attractive HTC Sense skin over Android 2.1. The capacitive, multitouch screen is quite responsive as well; a light flick was all it took to flip through my various homescreens.

I’ve been spoiled by HTC’s 1GHz Snapdragon processor-powered phones, but I found that the Aria’s 600MHz processor (the same processor found in the Legend and the T-Mobile myTouch Slide) performed speedily enough with moderate data use.

Bottom Line

While the attractive HTC Aria might not have the beefy specs of its HTC Android brethren, like the Droid Incredible and EVO 4G, it is a fully capable, beautifully-designed Android phone and a welcome addition to AT&T’s miniscule Android portfolio.

It’s got everything you’d expect from the Internet. And with HTC Sense™, the Android™ 2.1 OS and 50,000 apps to choose from, it goes beyond every expectation of a pocket-sized phone.

Tech Specs

Operating System Android™ 2.1
Touch Screen Yes (Capacitive)
Screen Size 3.2 inches
Band HSPA/UMTS/EDGE/GPRS/GSM; Dual Mode UMTS/HSDPA/HSUPA (1900/850MHZ) & GSM/GPRS/EDGE (Quad band 850/900/1800/1900MHZ); HSDPA/UMTS (3GPP Release 5 Compliant; 7.2 Mbps Enabled) EGPRS Functionality
Integrated GPS Yes (GPS/AGPS)
Camera Resolution 5 megapixels
Video Camera Yes
Speaker Phone Yes
Expandable Memory Capability 32GB
Memory Card Type microSD
Bluetooth® V2.1
Hearing Aid Compatible HAC M3 – T3 Class
MP3 Player Yes
Napster Mobile Compatible Not preloaded
Mobile Internet Yes
E-mail Sync Yes
FM Radio Yes
Talk Time Hours (up to) 6 hrs
Stand By Days (Max) 15.5 days
Weight 115g
Ford Sync Yes

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