Like many savvy smartphone watchers, we bet you’re hooked on the latest, most powerful, most incredibly advanced technology you can stuff into your pocket for some mega-multitasking on the move. If, like us, you are waiting patiently for the upcoming Superphone to end all superphones — the Nexus Prime — then you should also take note of what HTC is throwing your way soon, too. Both are packing remarkable specs that will make your parent’s computer beep with jealousy. Arguably some of the most hotly anticipated Android smartphones of 2011 – the HTC Amaze (T-Mobile) aka HTC Ruby, and the Nexus Prime are coming. Check out our comprehensive breakdown so you know what’s what, and where to throw your dollars (credit card). Fight!
T-Mobile has confirmed that the HTC Amaze 4G will come with a dual-core 1.5Ghz processor combined with an 8 megapixel camera with ‘specialist features’ and 1080p HD video recording support. This, of course, puts it right up there with the Nexus Prime and it may just come down to a case of which network you prefer (are locked into) between T-Mobile or Verizon. Both will offer 4G data support via HSPA+ and 4G LTE, and remarkable performance. Truly, as you will see below, the key differentiators will be two fold – Ice Cream Sandwich out of the box and the world’s first Super HD AMOLED 4.6 inch display for the Nexus Prime, whereas the Amaze will ship with Android 2.3+ Gingerbread and HTC’s latest iteration of their highly popular Sense overlay – Sense 3.5.
Other factors which may be of interest to you are that Ice Cream Sandwich will come in its most “vanilla” form on the Nexus Prime, meaning that it will be untouched and unmodified by the carrier itself. Samsung will not load its TouchWiz overlay, and Verizon will not have any “services” on their either. Anyway, enough of that – let’s carry onto what matters – putting these incredible pieces of Android technology through their paces to see which one emerges as the victor to claim the title of the most advanced, most tantalizing Android superphone of 2011!
The HTC Amaze contains equally impressive specs to the upcoming Nexus Prime – but lacks one critical killer feature – a Super HD AMOLED display. Still, it makes up for it by having specs that would make other phones weep with envy.
The Nexus Prime will be the first Android device to get Ice Cream Sandwich – simple. Said to revolutionize the way we interact with our smartphones, it’s the most ambitious release of Android to date. With performance enhancements across the board, better multitasking, better battery life, it will be the first version of Android to truly unify both existing and future tablets and smartphones. The Nexus Prime is also a pure Google device – meaning no carrier bloatware – and no skins. It will be easily rooted, and will be adored by tech fans, modders, and developers alike. Plus, it will always be in line to be the first device to receive updates from Google, as well.
HTC has built a strong and loyal following by building devices that are not only excellent quality, but also because of their custom overlay – HTC Sense. Regarded by consumers and industry onlookers alike as the best overlay going, HTC Sense 3.5 represents a minor upgrade over Sense 3.0, but it’s an improvement nonetheless. Unfortunately, we also know that manufacturer overlays are typically the primary reason why manufacturers have been slow to update their devices to the latest version of Android, but they have always sought to differentiate themselves through this practice, and it has paid off for HTC in particular, and has done horrors for LG, Sony, and Motorola devices – to a point. Either way, we have no doubt a premium device like HTC’s Amaze will be in line to receive Ice Cream Sandwich – it’s just a question of when.
While Samsung has earned a bit of a reputation for building phones that feel lighter in the hand due to their attachment to plastics, it’s looking like the Nexus Prime will mark a strong departure from their history in this regard. Said to be encased in an all aluminum body, we all have high expectations for this one. Considering that it will be both Google’s and Samsung’s true flagship and the first phone to have Ice Cream Sandwich on board, we highly doubt that Samsung will create a cheap phone here. Furthermore, it will be less than 9mm thin – putting it in Samsung Galaxy S II territory in terms of thinness, and will feature a contoured display with the world’s first Super AMOLED HD display at 4.6 inches. Quite simply, we think this is going to be one of the best selling Android phones in the holiday season and beyond.
HTC has, rightfully, earned a place in the hearts of many an Android fan. Their recent foray into a pseudo-unibody style design has proved both durable, and aesthetically appealing. Make no mistake – HTC phones are no featherweights. They are quality built devices, and they stand as testament to HTC’s expertise in this area. While some have opined that their latest slate of devices, including the HTC Sensation, the HTC EVO 3D, and others, are somewhat prone to dust, what device isn’t? Either way, expect the HTC Amaze to be no different – and in a word to sum it up – quality.
The Nexus Prime is rumored to have a 1.5 GHz processor, with 1GB of RAM, and will work on Verizon’s lightning fast 4G LTE network. Verizon has the most robust, and speediest network in the USA currently, and the most expensive. That being said, the experience it affords are second to none. While the specs of the Nexus Prime haven’t been confirmed officially, we make it our business to know each and every possible thing about the hottest Android devices on the block – and this one is it folks. Expect the performance improvements of Ice Cream Sandwich and the 1.5 Ghz dual core processor to work magically, processing your every whim with no delay whatsoever. We’re talking about truly premium devices that outclass every device out there currently – including Samsung’s own Galaxy S II, which is the most powerful Android smartphone on the planet, currently. That’s no small feat – and that’s before modders and the development community get their hands on them.
The HTC Amaze 4G is a very hotly anticipated phone for T-Mobile customers, and is expected to be the most powerful and fastest phone on T-Mobile’s 42 Mbps HSPA+ network when it goes on sale in the upcoming weeks.
The hardware specs and connectivity it is packing on board are both very impressive, and should leave no owner waiting – not even for a second. The only other phone that can compete on this level is the HTC Sensation XE. With its 1.5 GHz dual core processor, 1GB of RAM, and 42 Mbps connectivity, the Amaze is likely to be a device that will blow away their owners with its powerful and snappy performance.
The Super AMOLED Plus HD display on the Nexus Prime is looking to be the biggest thing to happen to displays on mobile devices in a long time. If you’ve ever had a chance to spend some time with a Samsung Galaxy S — or, even better — the Samsung Galaxy S II, then you’ll know that AMOLED displays really pack a punch for the eyes. They emanate a warm glow, and makes blacks perfectly black, colors saturated and delightful, and are very readable in sunlight to boot. Considering Samsung produces over 98% of the world’s AMOLED’s currently, it’s no surprise that the Nexus Prime would have their latest and most advanced technology on board. Plus – we’re not taking about a 800×480 display here, but rather a 1280×720 HD resolution display on a 4.6 inch screen. If you’re interested in the details behind it, check out our piece on Super HD AMOLED displays here. Additionally, the display will also be contoured, for added benefit for glare minimization, and to make the device more comfortable next to the face during (gasp) calls, and for rapid touchscreen typing.
The HTC Amaze will feature a qHD 4.3 inch 960×540 display. It’s of the Super LCD variety, and boasts good brightness and clarity under most conditions. Honestly, it’s hard to write about the HTC Amaze’s display in an unbiased fashion, as I am currently the proud owner of a Samsung Galaxy S II, and I look down on all other displays currently. That being said, LCD is a proven technology that has been used for many years, and HTC has some of the best displays of any phone on the market. 960×540 qHD displays also hit the sweet spot in terms of resolution, and and most users will find it to be a great display.
The camera on the Nexus Prime, while rumored to be only 5 megapixels, is said to boast advanced low-light optics and a number of improvements that should enable it to hold its own. We know – beyond the shadow of a doubt – that it will be able to take buttery smooth 1080p videos, and that it will have a dual LED flash on board as well. Make no mistake folks, do not fall into the megapixel trap. Samsung’s latest – the Galaxy S II has won fans the world over for its exceptional optics, and we expect the Nexus Prime to be no exception.
HTC has been taking the cameras they put into their devices very seriously recently. The 8MP camera on the HTC Amaze will have some advanced features like the SmartShot, a service which will take 5 photos one after another and compile the best parts to create one single image. For owners of the upcoming HTC Amaze, they will also be able to create panoramas with HTC’s on board camera software, which is pretty cool. Bringing it even further, the HTC Amaze will be able (allegedly) to automatically judge the best images in a group shot and put an emphasis to them. Pretty cool stuff.
There are rumors that the Nexus Prime will be a Verizon exclusive – but the question remains – for how long? Definitely for the 90 day period leading up to Christmas, and beyond that, it’s likely that Google will open up the floodgates and make it available on other carriers. Really though, what we are looking at here are simply two of the most advanced phones in the world. If you are craving a direct pipeline to Google for the latest Android updates, plus having access to Ice Cream Sandwich right out of the box, an incredibly powerful set of specs and arguably, the world’s most advanced display on a mobile device, then it’s a no-brainer folks. That being said, HTC’s Amaze is just that – an amazing device. We would hate to say that one phone is better than the other, as it boils down to the consumer, and in this case, both devices represent a huge win for Android, and for lovers of the platform alike.
And how about you? Which device is on your wishlist?