The HTC Surround is a unique device. It has a sliding mechanism that reveals Dolby-certified stereo speakers, and a kickstand that can prop the device on a table for easy listening. We have to say that we weren’t too excited by the concept of having “better speakers” on a smartphone, having experience our share of tinny sound, but after listening to the device at loud volume, we were impressed. The music had greater mid-range than we’re accustomed to from smartphone speakers. Also, when cranked to 100% volume, we detected no distortion. But, don’t expect to feel much (or any) bass from the surround…the speakers producing the sound are still a bit small. On the speaker there’s a button which seems to mute the speakers.
The device had a high level of build quality, and the 3.8″ SLCD looked good, but not as good as the Samsung Focus. To fit the speaker slide-out mechanism, HTC had to make the device a bit thicker than they would a typical slab, resulting in a device that feels like it has a slide out keyboard, but obviously doesn’t. The operating system felt snappy, but again, not as good as the Samsung Focus. In terms of specs, well, you already know what to expect: the Surround has a 1GHz Snapdragon with 576MB of RAM. Look for the HTC Surround at the end of November for $199.