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My own little HTC Aria Review *Video/pictures coming soon*

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by MarcMaiden, Jun 26, 2010.

  1. MarcMaiden

    MarcMaiden Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    Jan 13, 2010
    Bay Area, ca
    Hello Android Forums!
    it has been a while since I've last posted here, mostly because I haven't been using Android for a while :O

    I started working for an AT&T retailer, and had gotten an Iphone to grandfather in the unlimited data plan for my employee line.

    With in my 30 days exchange time, I had the option to pre order the Iphone 4, but I decided against it as soon as I saw AT&T finally got a decent Android phone.

    Before people start saying "you should have waited for the Captivate" just know that bigger screen phones are not my thing and if it really is worth getting, I'll get it one way or another.

    Now for the review!

    The box/first impressions

    The Aria came with stereo headphones, instructions, the battery, USB cable, and home charger base. When I first held it in my hands, the first thing my customers and I noticed was the soft finish on the the back and sides of the phone. This added an extra level of comfort to the phone when holding it. It also feels like it has a little more grip to it, which is good because an all smooth/glossy plastic phone would have too easy to drop with a phone of this size. When I mean "of this size," I mean this thing is small. The entire phone is the size of the HTC EVO screen by itself. The reviewers say that it is similar to the HD mini in looks and size, but because I have never seen one in person I can't comment on that. When people see my phone though, they automatically think "HTC Incredible."

    The Hardware

    This phone is extremely simple on the outside. Volume rocker on the left side, power/unlock key on the top (with a 3.5 mm jack as well), and the optical pad on the front. Very clean and very pretty (in my opinion). On the inside, you have 384mb of ram, and a 600mhz MSM7227 processor. No, it is not a snapdragon, however, the phone runs lag free due to its size, and decent amount of ram. Even after loading all my favorite applications and widgets, I found no sluggishness at all. In fact, I was pretty impressed with the browser speeds (while on 3g). This phone does run on the 7.2 mbts 3g speeds (where available) so that might have come into play as well. The screen is not anything to brag about, however it does look good because of, yet again, its size. It isn't the highest resolution, but its size helps out of the total clarity. The optical pad is a refreshing feature because it makes a world of difference when trying to edit text. The battery is small, but does its job. I get a full day and a half using text/talk/internet/apps/3g. And there are more and more ways to conserve batteries with programs such as battery manager plus and advanced task killer.

    The software

    The Aria is running on HTC's Sense UI and if you are reading this post on this forum, then you already know about the bells and whistles it comes with. Moving from screen to screen is seamless and lagless, and I find myself swiping from screen to screen just because it looks so good. AT&T being AT&T had to load their bloatware to the phone, but it really does not get in the way of the experience. I use google's turn by turn navigation religiously which works very well except for the occasional weird routes here and there. There is not much to say about the software except that it is very well polished, and I can wait to see the 2.2 version of sense, whether it comes to me in a legal OTA package, or a down and dirty rooted package. One thing to note is that for security, AT&T blocked the downloads of software outside of the market place. While I do not agree with it, I do understand it, and there are ways around it if you read some of the forum posts here. The Keyboard does take some getting used to, but after a while I started typing in portrait mode with no problem, plus the option to speak text is here which has worked pretty well thus far.

    The camera

    This phone boasts a 5mp camera with NO flash. The flash would have been cool to add, but on a personal level, I never used the flash on my Moto Droid, and did not miss it on my Iphone 3gs. The picture quality is pretty good for a phone, and the camera interface itself is very easy and simple to use.

    The call quality

    The call quality was nice and clear on both sides, and had no reception issues what so ever. The only beef I have with this phone is that the ear/speaker is not very loud. It is good, but not super loud so if you are looking for a phone that is super loud because you are in places which high noise levels, this might not work for you. For the average user, it will be more than enough.

    Overall impressions
    Why did **I** get this phone?

    -Android 2.1 with Sense UI
    -Sleak and Small form factor
    -Optical pad
    -openness of Android, and the amazing community of users and developers it holds

    Why should ***you*** get this phone?
    - You want a good Android phone on AT&T
    - You want a smaller screen/form factor with out sacrificing preformance
    - You want free turn by turn navigation on AT&T
    - You want good call quality, and good battery life

    Who shouldn't get this phone?
    - Those waiting for Android 2.2
    - Those wanting a bigger screen/phone
    - Those who want to be on a different network
    - Those looking for the best possible hardware
    - Those looking for the loudest speaker phone

    I do not want to give this phone a rating/10 because when it comes down to Android phones, it is not about ratings, it is about what you as a consumer needs. I hope I put enough info for those to decide whether this phone is good for them or not.

    I'll be happy to answer any questions you have about AT&T, this phone, or any other phone we have to offer. Just note that my opinions and statements are of my own, and do not reflect that of the company.

    Video and pictures coming soon

    Thanks for reading


  2. Sirtalksalot66


    Jun 21, 2010
    Student ;)
    Madison, WI
    Good review. I agree with many of your opinions! My dad just bought this phone off of Amazon and this is his review...


    Just received my new Aria last night. This is
    my first ever Android phone - Full
    Disclosure: I am coming from an old
    Blackberry & Moto Slvr so I am not exactly
    on the bleeding edge of smartphone

    My initial impression after about 4 hours of use is - fantastic phone! Things did not get off to a good start
    however when I couldn't get the phone
    apart to put the battery and SIM card in. I
    found the trick was to put my fingernail into
    the slot where you are supposed to split the
    phone apart and slide it to the left and right to get the top catches to release - others
    have said pushing the front out by pressing
    on the speakerphone in back while also
    using the slot works but I was hesitant to do

    The size and weight are perfect for my
    needs as I didn't want something the size of
    the Spring Evo 4G, etc. Although the big
    displays on that phone and similar phones
    are great I just felt they were too big for my
    daily use (and I had to stay on AT&T). The upside is with the resolution on this screen
    on a physically smaller screen than say my
    son's iPhone 3G the "crispness" of the
    display (especially text) is super. Physically the phone feels fantastic in hand
    and the build quality is excellent.

    Regarding the two primary AT&T induced
    drawbacks...no sideloading and AT&T
    bloatware: for the average user those are
    probably minor to non-issues. There are
    workarounds for both issues - the phone
    has already been rooted (check any of the Android developer forms) and custom
    ROMs are even available with the AT&T
    "features" removed. I was going to wait a
    few more weeks to let the hardware gurus
    fully explore the phone before making any
    modifications - but I really want that Swype keyboard.

    After a look at some of the AT&T software I
    think I might have to agree with some of the
    conspiracy crowd that AT&T would rather
    not be forced to deal with Android. Initial
    opening of the AT&T Hotspot app and the
    page is not centered?? Come on AT&T - at least make it look like you are trying! Sorry -
    I have been ticked off with AT&T from day
    one with regard to Android as I never
    understood how it was in their interest to
    NOT sell a phone that their customers want
    given the REAL revenue is in the two year data agreement - not the hardware. Lots more to explore but I don't think you
    will be disappointed with the Aria
    (especially at Amazon's price) if you decide
    to purchase one.
  3. Jofaba

    Jofaba Android Enthusiast

    Jun 27, 2010
    Really nothing to add to what's already been said. As for the phone being hard to take apart, it took three guys at ATT several minutes to figure it out. I'm not looking forward to taking it out myself if I ever plan to upgrade the micro-sd card...

    I am crashing a lot of programs though. Probably because I put every dumb thing available on it to play with but... since the marketplace is locked, shouldn't those be stable/compliant? I've had the OS crash a few times too. Now that the newness is wearing off and I'm going to be transitioning to daily use, I need to get those issues resolved. Kudos to the droid OS though for recovering almost immediately after each crash.

    My only real gripe besides the crashing is the volume button placements. Since the phone is small, I find myself hitting the volume nearly 60% of the time switching to landscape mode because my natural instinct is to put a finger there to keep the phone from slipping out of my hands. I'm sure I'll get used to it.

    This is my first droid phone and I am in love with how simple and predictible the system is. I was able to easily figure out how to move/delete programs by doing what felt natural.

    I researched the Inc and X for weeks and only gave the Aria a few minutes, at the store, and was sold. I didn't think I would feel comfortable settling for a far-inferior phone going into a two year commitment, but I'm pretty happy with this thing.

    I'm keeping my options open to possibly hopping out before my 30 days are up to either the iphone4 (I don't see that happening) or jumping ship and ponying up the $400 security deposit Verizon is requiring of me for the Inc or X (if they're available).

    But there's certainly not very much to dislike about this model.
  4. anoid

    anoid Member

    Jun 17, 2010
    I'm just glad to hear so many in these and other forums say the reception is good.

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