HTC Aria (AT&T) review: HTC Aria (AT&T)

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CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
  • Overall: 7.3
  • Design: 7.0
  • Features: 7.0
  • Performance: 8.0

Average User Rating

2 stars 2 user reviews
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good The HTC Aria is compact, feature rich smartphone that runs on Android version 2.1 with HTC's Sense user interface. It has a 5-megapixel camera, GPS, Bluetooth, and supports Wi-Fi and 3G networks.

The Bad The Aria's smaller display makes for a cramped onscreen keyboard. Its camera doesn't have a flash and you can't install non-Market apps.

The Bottom Line The HTC Aria is a solid, midrange Android smartphone, but it's a shame AT&T restricts it by blocking Android's capability to install third-party apps.

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At CES 2010, AT&T announced it would introduce an HTC Android phone this year. True to its word, it just unveiled the HTC Aria. Similar to the HTC HD Mini in design, the Aria runs on Android 2.1 with HTC's Sense user interface and includes a good deal of features for its size. It's certainly not the most powerful Android device on the market--power users might want to wait for the recently announced Samsung Captivate--and we're upset that AT&T has once again blocked third-party app downloads. However, the Aria is a solid midrange smartphone that's certainly better than the Motorola Backflip, AT&T's other Android offering. The HTC Aria costs $129.99 with a two-year contract and after a $100 mail-in rebate. We think it should cost a bit less--$100 would be the sweet spot--but its price isn't unreasonable.

Design
Though the smartphone design trend appears to be moving toward "bigger is better," the HTC Aria is representing for the little guys. At just 4.1 inches tall by 2.3 inches wide by 0.5 inch thick and weighing 4 ounces, the Aria stands in stark contrast to the HTC Evo 4G . While you might not get that ginormous screen that the Evo has, the Aria's petite size makes it easy to slip into a pants pocket and more comfortable to hold as phone.


Unlike some of the latest smartphones, the HTC Aria is compact and travel-friendly.

The Aria's screen measures 3.2-inches diagonally and has a 320x480-pixel HVGA resolution. It's not the biggest or sharpest display we've ever seen, but it's clear, bright, and surprisingly adequate for use in most tasks. The Aria's capacitive touch screen supports the pinch-to-zoom multitouch gesture, so if you have any problems seeing something on the display, you can easily magnify it. The only issue we ran into with the display is using its onscreen keyboard as it's pretty cramped, particularly in portrait mode; however, with the built-in accelerometer, you can rotate the phone and use the landscape keyboard that has slightly more room.

HTC Sense provides you with a nice user experience on the phone. You have seven home screen panels that you can customize till your heart's content with such widgets and shortcuts as the Friend Stream, Group Contacts, and weather. You can even switch "Scenes" to customize another set of panels based on themes--such as work, play, travel, and social. Though the Aria supports the Leap screen that shows a thumbnail view of all your home screens, it does not offer live wallpapers.

Below its display are four touch-sensitive buttons--home, menu, back, and search--and an optical joystick. There are no buttons on the right side, but there is a volume rocker on the left. There's also a power button and 3.5mm headphone jack on top and a Micro-USB port on bottom. The camera is located on the back, while the microSD and SIM card slots are behind the battery door. Despite the screws on the four corners, you can pull off the back cover. It requires a little work to pry off, but there's a small divot on top of the device to help get you started. Also, like the HD Mini, the interior of the phone is yellow.


When you pop off the battery door, you'll find a surprise.

AT&T packages the HTC Aria with an AC adapter, a USB cable, a 2GB microSD card, a wired stereo headset, and reference material. For more add-ons, see our cell phone accessories, ring tones, and help page.

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Where to Buy See all prices

HTC Aria (AT&T)

Part Number: 300084 Released: Jun 20, 2010
MSRP: $379.99 Low Price: $135.00 See all prices

Quick Specifications See All

  • Release date Jun 20, 2010
  • Talk Time Up to 360 min
  • Technology WCDMA (UMTS) / GSM
  • Combined with With digital camera / digital player
  • Service Provider AT&T
  • Weight 4.6 oz
  • Diagonal Size 3.2 in
  • Sensor Resolution 5 megapixels