The Surround ensures that it is a HTC smart phone with its high quality construction and appropriate look. The phone measures 4.7 inches in length, wide by 2.4 inches and is thick by 0.5 inch. The phone weighs around 5.82 ounces which is almost 2 ounces more than the Samsung Focus. The phone is very heavy but we have the advantage of having a solid feel in hand. Its premium design is also enhanced with the soft touch finish at the corners.
It is understandable the increase in weight is because of the built in Yamaha speakers which hides behind the screen and can be revealed on pushing the screen to left. Using the kickstand at the bottom you can actually prop the device when watching videos. To activate the SRS WOW HD and Dolby Mobile you need to press the small button at the sides of the speaker. You will feel a vast difference in audio quality once you turn them ON, meaning that audio quality is richer when they are ON. We do not say that the sound is going to blow you off but definitely is better than most speakers that are around. We were expecting for a better quality when using the speakerphone during calls but nothing as such. We do not think that the speaker is going to be a selling point for the phone.
Upfront is the 3.8-inch display having a resolution of 480x800p. It is a capacitive touch screen but is not that vibrant and colorful as in Samsung Focus which features a Super AMOLED screen. Just below the display are Start, back and the search touch sensitive button just like in the Samsung Focus. The volume rocker and the camera button are present on the right spine of the phone while the 3.5 mm headphone jack and the power button are present atop. The camera lens and flash are present at the back.
Out of the box you get an USB cable, AC adapter, stereo headset (wired) and a reference material.
Some important features about the phone are:
Price: $ 199.99
Carrier: AT & T
Weight: 5.82 ounces
Display: 3.8-inch capacitive touch
Camera: 5 MP with flash
Processor speed: 1GHz
Battery life: 4 hours talk time
The interface remains the same as in Samsung Focus and hence we suggest you take a look at it.
The Surround features a 5 MP camera along with flash support. The camera is capable of recording HD videos. The phone features all the essential editing options including effects, scene modes, flicker adjustment etc. The editing options are however less than in the Samsung Focus. You can choose a photo to be emailed, post in Facebook etc or upload to SkyDrive, an online storage system from Windows. The Picture hub will not only show the photos taken with the camera but will also display the photos in your computer and those in your Facebook account. You can view the images classified as date, favorites etc. You do not get a slide show option and you need to swipe if your choice of photo is down the memory lane.
Apps play in an important role in today's smartphones and since it is a big question mark with the Windows Phone 7. We do not have a clear picture on whether Microsoft will be able to compete with the Android platform and others but overall it gives a satisfying look. Microsoft promises that at least there will be 1000 apps in the Market place before the phone is being released. For now there are around 450 apps available including Weather Channel, Amazon Kindle, Social networking apps like Seesmic, Facebook, Twitter etc.
HTC Surround however comes with some AT & T services like AT & T Radio, AT & T Navigator etc. AT & T will be offering a free entertainment pack for a limited period. The entertainment pack will include a 30 day trial period of U-Verse Mobile which normally costs $ 9.99 / month. It will also include a 30-day Zune pass.
Call quality is good as always with the AT & T network but it will depend upon the various factors. There was some hint of back ground noise at time but can be forgiven. Despite including a speaker speaker system, speakerphone quality is still not acceptable. Using a Bluetooth headset would be a better option. The Motorola S9 and Logitech Mobile Traveler are always a better choice.
The HTC Surround works on a 1GHz processor, 512 MB ROM / 449 MB RAM. Storage capacity is limited to just 16 GB of internal memory as there is no expansion slot. There is some slight lag when switching between applications. HTC Surround has a battery life of 4 hours talk time and 11 days standby time with the 1,230 mAh battery.