Every few months — a year at most — we see a feature or spec introduced on a phone that represents a new standard, a baseline that future phones in the high end have no option but to match. If you go back a few years, you can build a list: the front-facing camera, the gigahertz processor, HD video capture, the WVGA display, the dual-core processor — all line items that set a new bar. They're not always important line items, of course — we could do without front-facing cameras, I suspect — but regardless, these kinds of things force manufacturers to up their games and move forward.

Today, that must-have feature is now the 720p display. It wasn't more than a year ago that WVGA resolution was perfectly acceptable on a $200-plus smartphone, and qHD had just barely started to replace it over the course of 2011 when Samsung, LG, and HTC all decided that it was time to go straight to an actual high-definition screen. It's pretty remarkable to think that you've got close to a million pixels on a display that measures under 5 inches across.

HTC's Rezound for Verizon is the very first of an onslaught of 720p phones to hit the US market. As you might expect, its price ($299) and the remainder of its long spec sheet are just as hefty as the display: 16GB of storage, 1GB of DDR2 RAM, an 8-megapixel camera with 1080p capture, and naturally, LTE. The company is quick to point out that this is HTC's first Beats Audio device to hit the US, too, so let's find out whether this beast is as good as its feature list would have you believe.