Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) continues to add to its stable of LTE smartphones, and launched the LTE-capable HTC Rezound, the first U.S. device to take advantage of Beats Audio technology.
Click here for details on the Rezound.
The Rezound, long rumored as the HTC Vigor, will be available Nov. 13 through Verizon Wireless and Best Buy for $299.99 with a two-year contract. The device is also the third high-profile Verizon LTE smartphone to be announced within as many weeks.
On Oct. 18, Verizon unveiled the Motorola Mobility (NYSE:MMI) Droid Razr, updating the popular device from 2004 to the smartphone age by having it run on Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android platform. And then on Oct. 24 Verizon announced it will launch the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, the first phone to run the latest version of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich.
Most notably, the Rezound features the Beats Audio technology in which HTC invested in August, and will support a high-end audio experience and come with new lightweight Beats headphones, created exclusively to integrate with the Beats' audio profile on the device. HTC purchased a 51 percent majority stake for $300 million in Beats Electronics, the headphone manufacturer founded by hip-hop icon Dr. Dre and Interscope Geffen A&M Records Chairman Jimmy Iovine. At the time, HTC CEO Peter Chou said the investment would allow HTC to innovate and the "partnership is really built on the core belief that amazing audio is a key to the mobile experience."
The Rezound runs on Android Gingerbread but will be upgraded to Ice Cream Sandwich in early 2012. The device sports a 1.5 GHz dual-core Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) Snapdragon processor, 4.3-inch true HD 720p display, 1 GB of RAM, 16 GB of on-board storage with a 16 GB SD card pre-installed, HDMI and the ability to share an LTE connection with up to 10 Wi-Fi-enabled devices. The device also features the latest version of HTC's Sense UI, which supports a customizable active lockscreen experience as well as a new group messaging function.
Interestingly, the Rezound launch will come shortly after AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) will launch its first two LTE-enabled smartphones, the HTC Vivid and Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket, on Nov. 6. AT&T's launch is timed to coincide with an expansion of AT&T's LTE network coverage to four more markets, for a total of nine. Verizon's LTE network is currently in more than 165 markets, covering 186 million POPs.
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