HTC Aria review: The little tenor
First we were hit by a Wildfire, now we’re being soothed by an Aria. The HTC Aria shares a lot of DNA with the HD mini, but makes the jump to Android and is ready to take on compact touchscreen midrangers.
The HTC Aria goes against the current trend of ever growing touchscreens. HTC are already pushing the limits with the 4.3” display on the Evo 4G. The Aria settles for a more compact 3.2” screen and it opts out of the gigahertz race too – with a 600MHz CPU inside.
But it doesn’t show – the software on the HTC Aria is ticking fast and smooth, no lags and speed bumps. And that’s on Eclair – when Froyo arrives it will make things even smoother.
Here’s how much (or how little in fact) the Aria has changed since the HD mini.
- 3.2" 256K-color HVGA capacitive touchscreen with multi-touch input
- Compact body and bold industrial design
- Android 2.1 Eclair with Sense UI
- Qualcomm MSM7227 600 MHz CPU and 384MB RAM
- Quad-band GSM support with dual-band HSDPA 7.2Mbps and HSUPA 2 Mbps
- Wi-Fi b/g connectivity
- Built-in GPS receiver with A-GPS support
- 5 MP autofocus camera; touch focus, geotagging and face detection
- VGA video recording at 30fps
- microSD card slot (32GB supported, 2GB included)
- Office documents and PDF viewer
- Optical trackpad
- Standard microUSB port and Bluetooth v2.1 with A2DP
- Standard 3.5mm audio jack
- Stereo FM radio with RDS
- Flash support in the browser
- YouTube client, Facebook and Twitter integration
- Very good audio quality
- Excellent loudspeaker performance
- USB tethering
- Poor display sunlight legibility
- Patchy Flash support in the browser
- Card slot under the battery cover
- No DivX/XviD video support out-of-the-box
- No secondary video-call camera
- No voice dialing
- No dedicated camera key, no lens cover and no camera flash
The front has changed a bit – mostly the keys and the fresh addition of an optical trackpad. The signature screws on the back are here again – they serve both a decorative and a practical purpose, not to mention they make the HTC Aria look tough and rugged.
Other than that, the HTC Aria promises the same solid user experience as the other HTC droids with Sense UI. It comes with a great software package out of the box (Office document viewer, social networking apps) so we don’t anticipate any problems on that score.
The HTC Android genealogy is getting quite tangled up – the Legend is Hero’s successor and the Wildfire is a bite-sized Desire, with the HTC Aria sitting somewhere in-between those two.
The devil’s in the details though. Its specs are very close to both the Wildfire and the Legend, so it’s going to be the minor differences that decide which one you get. So, pay attention as we open up the box and examine the hardware of the Aria.
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