HTC rolls out Beats-enabled Rezound

After lots of leaks, the HTC Rezound gets officially announced today. The high-end Android phone packs in some powerhouse tech specs to take on an increasingly crowded market.

HTC CEO Peter Chou shows off the new HTC Rezound.

HTC was planning a surprise party, but Verizon just couldn't keep the secret. Early ads posted at Verizon stores had already tipped us off that today's HTC announcement would be about the Android-powered Rezound smartphone.

We now have some official details to fill in the space between all the speculation. CNET's onsite team is live-blogging the press conference and getting a hands-on look at the new phone.

HTC Rezound
A shot of the Rezound from the press conference. (Click to enlarge.) CNET

Rezound run-down
The Rezound (formerly known as the HTC Vigor) is an Android smartphone that runs over Verizon's 4G LTE network. It's aimed at the high end of the market will be available on Nov. 14 for $299.99 with a new 2-year contract.

Tech specs
The Rezound has some hefty tech specs to back up its positioning as a top-end Android competitor. The phone sports a 4.3-inch 720p HD touch display, 1.5 GHz dual-core processor, 32 GB of internal storage (including SD), and 1 GB of RAM.

The rear 8MP camera also shoots 1080p HD video with instant capture, panorama, and action burst features.

The Rezound will ship with the Gingerbread OS and HTC Sense 3.5 UI rather than the latest Android OS Ice Cream Sandwich. That's a little disappointing, but not terribly surprising. HTC does say the Rezound will ship "ICS-ready" with an update likely coming in early 2012.

Beats Audio-enabled
Dr. Dre's fingerprints are all over the Rezound. HTC announced a strategic partnership and investment with the good doctor's Beats Electronics earlier this year. HTC introduced the new phone with an ear-rattling soundtrack at the press conference.

The Beats Audio technology integration is supposed to provide deeper bass and crisper vocals. We should have the opportunity to test those claims in a later review.

Included tangle-free Beats earbuds help deliver the sound. Beats headphones are already popular as status symbols, so HTC is pushing Beats hard as a way to differentiate itself from the Android pack.

The Beats logo stands out on the back of the phone to help boost your street cred. Try not to cover it up with your hand when you're talking.

Welcome to the Thunderdome
The Rezound arrives in a busy month for Android. The Motorola Droid Razr and Samsung Galaxy Nexus are competing for attention. Does HTC's new smartphone have what it takes to come out as top dog?

Those fun-filled hardware specs are a good start, but a quick upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich could be the icing on the cake.