HTC Aria Hands On

AT&T released the HTC Aria on June 20. It seems they forgot to tell their employees about it, but that’s another story.

The Aria is AT&T’s second Android device, and it is a huge upgrade from the Motorola Backflip. Here are the specs:

  • Android 2.1
  • 3.2″ Capacitive HVGA Touch Screen (480×320)
  • Integrated GPS
  • 5MP Camera, Video Camera
  • microSD upgradable to 32GB, 2GB included in box
  • Bluetooth 2.1
  • MP3 Player/FM Radio

The specs put this into a mid-range category. It is better than some phones, but not as good as others. I think it is a good introduction to Android, especially since it starts on 2.1. You can hit the ground running with a smaller learning curve that way.

The phone feels really light, and fits comfortably in my hand. The backing feels like a blend of plastic and rubber, and won’t be showing fingerprints like the iPhone. The Sense overlay is relatively intuitive, and I found navigation to be pretty straightforward.

One of my favorite things is the touchscreen. When you type, you get a slight pushback and a vibration, letting you know it accepted the letter you typed. On a touchscreen, and a small one at that, this type of feedback is really helpful.

Another thing I found worth noting is the rotation feature. I can go from portrait to landscape and back really quickly. With the iPhone 3G, this feature was hit and miss. The Aria has nailed it every time I tried.

One problem I’ve noted is the battery charging. I tried to charge it tonight and the minimal level of battery I managed to gain wasn’t that great. It seems that the phone doesn’t like running and charging.

All in all I think this is a really good phone. I would recommend picking one up if you have the chance. Check out my video review below.

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