HTC Aria Android smartphone
HTC Aria review: The HTC Aria aims to bring the full Android experience to a smartphone that is small and compact
- Has a compact design but its features are still comparable to larger smartphones, good build quality, HTC Sense UI
- Glossy body is slippery and hard to keep clean, rear cover creaks slightly when pressed, no camera flash
The HTC Aria is ideal for those who want an Android smartphone, but don't want one of the bigger Android devices on the market. The Aria's downsizing has had a minimal cost when it comes to features.
Price$ 559.00 (AUD)
HTC's latest Android smartphone, the Aria, is exclusive to Optus and provides all the features and benefits of more expensive HTC smartphones in a compact form factor.
The Aria smartphone looks stinkingly similar to the HTC HD Mini smartphone. Like the HD Mini, it's targeted at users who find larger phones like the HTC Desire and Samsung Galaxy S too big for their pockets. The Aria may be small, but it is still as well put together as you would expect from an HTC handset. The sleek, curved edges means the Aria sits comfortably in your hand, while the four fake screws in each rear corner are a nice touch, as is the silver area surrounding the camera that also doubles as the speaker grille. A metal bar at the top edge of the Aria houses the power button. There is a silver volume control on the left edge of the phone, and a clickable optical trackpad sits below the four standard touch-sensitive keys (home, menu, back and search).
Our main complaint with the HTC Aria's design is its glossy black finish. Although it looks attractive, it quickly becomes a grubby with fingerprints and is impossible to keep clean. This finish also means the phone is susceptible to slipping out of your hands if not gripped tightly. We also found the rear cover creaks slightly in certain areas when pressed. An odd but interesting touch is the internals of the HTC Aria: most parts, including the battery are finished in a bright yellow cover that is apparently based on HTC designer Horace Luke's Audi.
HTC has kept the Aria's price down by opting for a regular TFT capacitive LCD screen rather than the excellent AMOLED display used by phones like the Desire and the Legend. Thankfully, unlike the HTC Wildfire the Aria's resolution is a respectable 320x480 pixels, the same as the Legend. Its viewing angles aren't the best, but performance in sunlight is reasonable and the screen is bright and clear. The capacitive touchscreen makes text input a positive experience, though the 3.2in display means the keyboard does feel a little cramped.
The HTC Aria runs the 2.1 version of Google's Android operating system and it includes all the regular features and functions of more expensive Android smartphones. Access to the Android Market for third-party apps, an excellent notifications taskbar and automatic and seamless synchronisation with Google services are all part of the experience, as is HTC's Sense UI. The Aria can have up to seven home screens for live widgets and shortcuts, and you can pinch the screen to quickly display them and select an active screen.
The Sense UI includes Friend Stream, which integrates all of your social-networking contacts, including from Facebook, Twitter and Flickr, into a single "stream" of updates; People, which combines all forms of contact with an individual in your phonebook; as well as News, Facebook, Web Bookmarks and HTC's much-loved weather widget. Finally, Footprints allows you to take a geotagged photo and store the image in a particular category, then instantly share it with others via e-mail.
HTC says it is "hoping" the Aria will be upgradeable to the latest 2.2 version of Android (called Froyo) but hasn't specified a timeframe. Froyo will add full Flash support, built-in wireless tethering, and the ability to store third-party apps on your SD card, as well as a range of other improvements.
The HTC Aria has a 5-megapixel camera with autofocus, but the lack of a flash makes night-time photography problematic. Other features include a built-in accelerometer, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a digital compass and a GPS receiver. The Web browser displays Flash content and supports multitouch zooming. The phone has a microSD card slot for extra storage located behind the rear battery cover and HTC includes a 2GB microSD card in the sales package. The HTC Aria runs a slightly slower processor than the flagship Desire (600MHz compared to the Desire's 1GHz processor) but we didn't experience any lag or slowdown during general use.
The HTC Aria is exclusive to Optus and will be available in mid-October for $0 upfront on Optus' 49 cap plan over 24 months. The plan includes $450 worth of calls, 1GB of data and free access to a number of social-networking services including Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and Foursquare.
Become a fan of GoodGearGuide on Facebook
Follow GoodGearGuide on Twitter: @GoodGearGuide
Stay up to date with the latest reviews. Sign up to GoodGearGuide’s Gear Daily newsletters
Join the PC World newsletter!
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Lexar® Portable SSD
Google Daydream VR headset
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Huawei Mate 9
Acer Swift 7
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Surface Pro 4
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- 2 ZTE Axon 7 review: Is ZTE dumping old stock on Australia?
- 3 Oppo R9s smartphone full review
- 4 Huawei Nova Plus smartphone review
- 5 Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: Phones just got smarter
Latest News Articles
- Android's next destination: Untethered VR headsets with Snapdragon 835
- MWC 17: What's coming, what's not, and what we really want to see
- Xiaomi planning second version of its revolutionary Mi Mix ‘bezel-less’ phone
- 5G progress at Ericsson could help enterprises work worldwide
- Apple smartphones outsold Samsung's in Q4
PCW Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- Time to ditch Foxtel and the iQ3: How to replace Foxtel packages with cheaper alternatives
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTMid-Level Software Engineer x 2 - Adelaide Based (PV, NV2 or NV1 required)NSW
- CCTechnical Consultant - ITSM/HP Service ManagerQLD
- CCSalesforce DeveloperNSW
- CCSenior Infrastructure EngineerNSW
- FTLevel 3 EngineerNSW
- CCSolution DesignerVIC
- CCSolution Architect - Financial applicationsVIC
- TPInfrastructure Project ManagerNSW
- FTHead of ApplicationsVIC
- CCProject Manager - Telco Networks EngineeringVIC
- TPLead Change Manager - ERPVIC
- CCFinance Analyst/ Project SpecialistVIC
- TPSolution Architect - IntegrationQLD
- CCFront End DeveloperNSW
- CCService ManagerACT
- FT.net Developer (Front and Back end)QLD
- FTTechnical Team Leader | ArchitectQLD
- FTJunior Software Engineer - Positive Vetting, NV2 or NV1 requiredSA
- CCNetwork Engineer (cisco)NSW
- FTEnterprise ArchitectQLD
- TPTest AnalystQLD
- FTSenior Full Stack .Net Developer with Strong SQL DevNSW
- TPProject ManagerOther
- FTHR Payroll ConsultantQLD
- TPTechnical Report EditorQLD