HTC Rezound: First U.S. phone with Beats Audio arrives Nov. 14 at $300
The HTC Rezound will be the first phone with Beats Audio to hit the U.S. when it arrives in Verizon stores Nov. 14.
At $300 on a two-year contract, the Rezound will feature a 4.3-inch touchscreen, a 1.5-gigahertz dual-core processor, an 8-megapixel rear camera capable of shooting 1080p video, a dual LED flash on the back, a 2-megapixel front camera and 32 gigabytes of storage (16 gigabytes built in and 16 gigabytes on an included micro SD card).
The Rezound will ship with Google's Android Gingerbread operating system, skinned in the HTC Sense user interface, but will be upgraded to the new Android Ice Cream Sandwich early next year.
The phone will run on Verizon's 4G LTE network and ship with Beats Audio in-ear headphones; black with red cables to match the phone, which will be black with red highlights.
HTC is hoping that Beats Audio will be a differentiator for its smartphones as the competition for high-end handsets grows -- the Motorola Droid Razr and the Samsung Galaxy Nexus are both launching this month on Verizon too.
In order to get Beats Audio's name and technology into its product line, HTC purchased a $300-million stake in the company known mostly for selling high-priced headphones marketed by hip-hop legend Dr. Dre.
HTC has already released smartphones with Beats headphones and speakers, such as the Sensation XE, in markets outside the U.S.
Record mogul Jimmy Iovine, who is chairman of Beats Audio and started the company with Dr. Dre, has pitched Beats as more than just fancy headphones and speakers on HP laptops and in Chrysler sedans. Rather, Iovine preaches Beats as a solution to the music industry's sales decline as digital music files and cheap headphones have degraded the quality of music being sold.
"HTC fully recognizes the destruction to audio caused by the digital revolution," Iovine said in a statement. "They embrace our vision to repair this ecosystem and bring the feeling from the recording studio to the smartphone."
-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles
Image: The HTC Rezound with Beats Audio. Credit: HTC/Verizon