Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Full HTC One Review

By on 7:59 pm

HTC One SmartphoneHTC have just released their flagship phone for 2013, the HTC One. It can be viewed as  a direct competitor to the Samsung Galaxy S4 and many will be wondering how does it stack up. Is it the phone many are making it out to be? We analyzed it and here are  the results.
Let's start off with the basic stats. The HTC One boasts  a 4.7 inch display with a 1.7 GHz quad core Qualcomm processor. It runs on Android 4.1.2 Jellybean(update to 4.2 coming out anytime now) and is 4GLTE enabled. The display on this phone is truly outstanding with full 1080p HD and a resolution of 468 ppi. Screen images are clear and sharp, even in direct sunlight. It comes with 32GB  internal storage and 2GB of RAM.
When you first get a hold of the HTC One, the first thing that strikes you is the great way it feels in the palm of your hand. This phone is built from a single piece of aluminum alloy which was shaped out on a CNC machine for approximately 200 minutes. After such a long time to construct a single phone, it better be outstanding and it certainly achieves that. In terms of Android phones, the HTC One's construction is certainly the best there is. Of course, as it is a metal phone, there is the problem of nicks and scratches. HTC have stated they are confident that this phone is durable enough to withstand daily wear and tear but only time will tell on this front.
The HTC One has a  4.1 MP main camera with flash. At first glance that seems woefully inadequate for a high end smartphone such as this, but HTC have coined the term Ultrapixel to define their new camera technology. Basically, while other smartphones have been increasing their MP count and as a result decreasing micron size, HTC have gone the other direction and have used a camera with 2 micron pixels compared to other smartphones which have used 1.1 microns. What this means is that the camera has improved low light sensitivity as its main advantage. After seeing pictures taken in low lit areas such as bars and restaurants, I can say that it indeed performs better than other smartphones on the market now but maybe not as great as HTC would have you believe. Another interesting aspect of this phone is the Zoe videos. These are short video clips combined with about twenty pictures which can be taken with the HTC One and uploaded to social media sites or shared via email.I must say I really do like this feature.
This smartphone boasts dual frontal speakers with inbuilt amplifiers and Beats audio. HTC have labelled this setup as Boomsound. It must be said that the sound output from this smartphone is outstanding. Even at high audio output levels the sound is still crisp and distortion is at a minimum. Although you probably don't use your smartphone for high decibel sound output, it's still great that you can turn up the volume quite a bit.
The power button on the HTC One can also be used as a remote control for your home theater equipment since it also acts as an IR transmitter. Along with HTC's Sense TV app, you can use the One as a remote control and TV guide as well. I find that this particular feature is quite a nice addition and it is in fact very similar to Samsung's WatchON feature. Another thing that you will notice with this smartphone is that it's designed with only two capacitive buttons, Home and Back. This may be irksome for some users who are not used to this particular design, but I find that you get used to it quite quickly.
Let's move on to the battery. As with all smartphones, battery life is crucial. This phone is shipped with a 2300mAh non removable battery and HTC gives it a useable battery life of approximately 19 hours. I can tell you that after  a day of moderate use of this phone, there was approximately thirty percent battery life left. This is indeed very good and this actually mirrors my experience with the iPhone 5, so I think you get the picture, great battery life on this phone.

The HTC One comes with Android Jelly Bean 4.2.1 and HTC have put their software called HTC Sense on the phone. HTC Sense was present in HTC's previous smartphone offerings and the UI on this phone is reminiscent of those phones but with some minor changes. They seemed to have gone for a more minimalist look by removing the iconic clock and weather widget. The major change though is the addition of what Samsung calls Blinkfeed. This is basically a news and social aggregator which is the default home screen. Although it cannot be completely removed, it can be customized to show any one of HTC's home screens(Check out the Blinkfeed customization tutorial here). Through the use of the Google Play Store, users can download apps by choosing from a  list of approximately 700,000. No lack of choice there.
In terms of performance, the HTC One is fast, really fast. It utilizes a quad core Snapdragon 600 processor and from what I saw, nothing can slow this phone down. Whether you're surfing the web or just flipping through the phone's features, movement was seamless.
Overall, one could say that the HTC One is a near perfect smartphone. Again, drawbacks such as no micro SD slot for expansion and the non removable battery may annoy some, but I don't think these create too much of an issue for this phone. It is available on all the major carriers except Verizon, but there are rumors that it may come out on Verizon later this year. If you're thinking about getting it or you just want more info,  check it out here.
Please feel free to leave your comments below and say what you think about the HTC One.

About Frank Cern

I have been involved with technology for many years and I love to blog about the newest tech related issues.