on 16 April 2013
I'll like to start off with a bit of context. I previously owned an iPhone 5 before moving to the HTC One and have, in the past, had a Galaxy S2.
Short Summary for those who don't want to read a wall of text:
The design is wonderful; it really resonates the word premium. The display is again wonderful and has brilliant outside light performance. The performance is lag free and is everything you would expect of a flagship phone of 2013. The camera earns the phone its 4 star. Overall, capable of producing some wonderful pictures, the low light sensitivity of this phone is fantastic, but in some cases photos can be lacking in detail and may contain noise. Advice: have a fiddle with the camera settings, because used right, you won't be left disappointed.
This is probably one of the finest looking phones you can find on the market. I currently have the silver model without a case and everyone has commented on how wonderful it looks. The metal finish feels fantastic - quite similar to the backing of an iPad if you have ever felt that. The overall look of the phone with the thin bezel down the side just makes it stand out from the crowd. If you want to feel like you are holding a top end phone, then this will not disappoint you. Overall aesthetics may not be high on many peoples' priority list, but when a phone has the whole package but lacks in design, I feel you are always left with that little feeling that you just wished it would feel that little bit more premium. Weight wise the phone is fine - not too light and not too heavy.
The speakers on this phone should be an industry standard - they are phenomenal. Some wonder if this whole Beats Audio thing is just a bit of an advertising kick to try and entice buyers, but on this phone solely, you get the best audio experience I have ever experienced on a phone. It's clear, it's loud and it sounds fantastic. Thankfully, this quality is transferred into the call quality. People can hear me loud and clear and I can hear them loud and clear.
1080p LCD3 screen with a stupidly high PPI. There's nothing much to say about this screen, except that it stunning. Everything is clear and crisp and colours are nice. Sure it may have the vibrancy that you would get from the AMOLED screens you find in the Galaxy range, but you're not really trading off. I personally am a fan of AMOLED screens, but I have no complaints about the screen.
Very similar performance to the Galaxy S4 UK version. Both use the same GPU (adreno 320) and both pack the same quadcore processor (Snapdragon 600). Despite the Galaxy S4 being clocked a little higher in both the graphics and processor departments, it all boils down to real world use. Plain and simply put, it is a smooth, fast, lag free experience. Internet loads quick, apps load quick, games play well. Really, what more could you ask for?
HTC Sense 5
Blink feed is quite similar to Flipboard. It basically pulls it all the information that you want it to pull in. So for instance, on mine it pulls in my Facebook feed, my Twitter feed in addition to all the technology news etc. I find myself using this thing a lot. Overall, HTC Sense 5 is nice and simple. There's not a hundred different things all over the place. Everything you need is where you want it to be.
So it's important here to remember we are talking Ultrapixel. What does that really translate in to you may ask? Well it's a 4 mp camera which some may think is lacking when you consider most phones coming out are packing 12 and even 13 mp. However, the trick behind what HTC did with the camera is enlarge the pixels so that they take in more light so theoretically resulting in a phone that can take pictures in low light and produce less noise. In reality, it's a different story - but not by much.
The low light performance of the phone is fantastic. You could be looking at a dark room, but the picture captures so much light you would question whether the room is dark in some occasions. I'd like to note here though that for the phone to take in that much light, you do get more noise in your picture, but this is not something that is exclusive to the HTC One. You'll find that most cameras be them phone or stand alone have the same problem and you really only start avoiding the problem when you start considering expensive stand alone cameras. So in relative terms, it's fantastic. I'd rather trade some noise to my picture for the ability to take pictures when I am out in a nightclub or out having a meal with someone on an evening and actually see the people I am taking a photo of in good quality. This is a notable area my iPhone 5 never excelled in.
In day light it is a bit hit and miss. It has the ability to capture some fantastic photos which I discovered myself when at a party. However, it doesn't always capture everything in the quality you would expect. I wouldn't really call this phone a point and shoot kind of experience. Sure, you can do that but if you really want to maximize the quality of your picture, have a fiddle with the settings and match it appropriately to the environment you are in. Though if this is something that worries you, HTC are working on future firmware upgrades to the camera so that it produces even better quality pictures. I'd say about 70-80% of the time, the auto settings produce a good quality photo, but sometimes you just have to do it manually. This is why the phone gets 4 stars.
It's simply a great phone. I love it, I absolutely love it. I love what HTC has done with it. I was tossing this up with the Galaxy S4 and part of me thought, Samsung is such a big brand that isn't going anywhere soon so maybe I should stick with them because you have the reassurance behind you, but I went for the plunge and went for the One. I'm glad I took it, because right now I wouldn't trade it for an S4. Buy it, because I guarantee you will not be disappointed.
on 4 May 2013
Build quality is flawless, I guess Amazon having delayed stock was a good thing as earlier models had build problems. The look and feel overall really shows HTC has learnt from their mistakes and is trying to get back on top.
Sense 5.0 feels a lot cleaner and smoother than previous versions, while I prefer stock Android, Sense 5.0 is actually something I don't mind using, it adds onto the phone quality and makes the overall phone feel great.
Speakers are great, and they are very loud, even on low volume. This is great for anyone who wants to play music out in the open or watching films. Compared to rear facing speakers, these make a hell of a difference.
Camera quality wasn't perfect initially but an update from HTC seems to have solved it by quite a bit. Not as good as some phone cameras in the same price bracket but colour wise it's more accurate. Low light shots are great as well, meaning I don't need to rely on flash too much.
Don't let HTC's past phones put you off this device, it's on a completely different level and by far one of the best phones I have ever had.
on 5 September 2013
This phone is absolutely BRILLIANT! It's Sense 5 (Android "skinned") software is definitely a step in the right direction for HTC. Why? Simply put it is quick, reliable and beautiful. Zoe for example is a great camera feature that captures a short 3 second video and then allows the user to scroll through it one slide at a time so that he/she can choose the best shots to save to the gallery.
Speaking of the camera, it takes lightning quick photos (in burst mode if you wish) and allows users to record video and capture pics at the same time. Sure the 4 ULTRA Pixel camera is only "4" pixels, but it is prefect for taking shots in low light conditions thanks to its larger ULTRA design. This allows the camera's cells to receive more light - useful for indoor and/or dark situations. Photos look great, even in really dark conditions, but has limited zoom-ability should you wish to take a closer look.
The HTC One looks stunning: Its build quality is excellent (*hint* *hint* Samsung), and feels great in the hand thanks to its sturdy aluminium (metal) body. I bought the white/silver model and I am very pleased with my purchase.
As for the rest of this phone, its striking features:
- The screen is a 1080p, 469 pixels per inch, 4.7inch sized, Gorilla Glass 2 protected beauty that's absolutely gorgeous. Seriously, this display fires off razor-sharp images and videos with a lot of detail
- The volume keys are silver in colour and look real pretty...they are even cool to the touch much like the sleek aluminium body housing the device
- Now the Home / Power button might be a bit awkward for some folks (at first) because it is located at the top left hand-side of the phone, but you get used to it in no time (as I did)
- Finally, HTC really lifted the bar when it comes to the smartphone sound system thanks to the One's dual front-facing speakers. These monsters are incredibly good at creating the quality stereo sound that all audiophiles deserve.
Right, a word or two on software: I must point out that the keyboard is a dream to use and looks incredibly good. Swipe in very much encouraged, even if you haven't tried it before. Trust me, it works wonderfully here.
Blink Feed is a novel "Flipboard" feature that's ALWAYS present on your phone's "desktop" and although some find it intrusive I actually enjoy using it. Why? Because it works really well in updating quickly and displays articles in neat tiles that actually look rather good. Man this phone's great!
Anything wrong or annoying with the HTC One you ask? Well, I wish it had the option for expandable storage via a Micro SD Card, but the 32GB of on board storage does go a long way. Also, the phone can get a bit hot if used intensely whilst plugged in to charge but so will nearly ALL powerhouse phones under the same conditions. Also, some people think it's a shame you can't remove the battery should you wish to swap it or replace it in the future. I have NEVER needed to replace a battery in any of my phone's before and I've had many phones (as you can see from the list below) so this is no hurt for me - the 2300 mAh battery gets me through a day and that's what I've come to expect from smartphones today. You can make the phone last longer by switching off Wifi and/or Mobile Data if you so wish. Finally, Android 4.2.2 is on board here but still no 4.3 update (nor 4.4) as of 06 September 2013, but this should be sorted in no time I'm sure.
So to wrap up. I've owned a number of phones over the years:
- iPhone (1st Generation)
- Galaxy S(1)
- Galaxy S2
- Galaxy S3
- Galaxy S4
- Galaxy Nexus
- Nexus S
- HTC Desire S
- HTC Sensation
- HTC Sensation XE
...and the HTC One is hands down THE BEST phone that I have EVER owned. Period.
I would (and DO) recommend this phone to anybody wishing to purchase / update / upgrade to a new smartphone. Heck, I recommend those who own the HTC One X upgrade to this phone if possible: I used the One X for a time and some of my buddies who own it are a bit disappointed with it. Well, you WON'T be disappointed with this One - it is the One to rule them all.
Great job HTC.
on 17 July 2013
Bought this phone a few days ago from Amazon UK (not Marketplace sellers). Phone arrived quickly and got down to business of setting it up. A bit suspicious of phone initially as there is a slight sticky bits on the phone, but rubbed off so didn't think much about it further. Another suspicion is when I saw Vodafone UK apps pre-installed on the phone when I turned it on.
Read about the new Jelly Bean 4.2.2 update, so decided to update phone software via the software update. This is where the problem comes in. It refused to install the new update because it is saying that the current version is a 'Variant System Version', meaning it is not the HTC original software version! Upon checking the bootloader, it turns out that it is a Vodafone UK software but someone somewhere trying to flash it back to original but did a half baked job. This probably indicates that the phone is not new and/or refurbished!
I expected a lot better from Amazon UK, I'm not sure if Amazon UK knew about this batch (yes, there are others who reported this on the XDA Developers forum) or it is HTC trying to pass off these batch as new, but either way it is UNACCEPTABLE to sell this as SIM free Factory NEW! Just beware when buying this phone from Amazon.
on 16 May 2013
"Inspirational, conceptual, beautiful. The #HTCOne is THE phone of 2013"
HTC really have done a superb job with this phone, I have been running the silver variant for 2 months now and have to say this is one of the finest phones I have used to date. Not only in design, but the Sense UI has been trimmed to give a more fluid feel and less power hungry which shows in the battery usage.
So let's start with the design; Overall from the front it looks like a sandwich of clear black in between the two silver speaker grills. And while the actual digital screen isn't edge to edge I quite like having that 5mm black edge framing the visible screen. The top speaker grill also houses the 2.1MP front facing camera and the ambient light sensor, proximity sensor and within the left side of the actual speaker grill is where you'll find the LED (although you won't know this until you get a notification or put it on charge). Round the side you'll find the volume rocker which is an almost flush ridged flat metal bar which works to keep the sleekness of the phone whilst still having that tactile feel so you can find it without looking. On the bottom is the USB port and pinhole for the mic while the top just has the headphones jack and power button. Again, the power button is made flush to the phone, so it can be slightly tricky to find/press, and I can imagine might be tricky if you have larger fingers. The other thing with the power button is it's clear black, why is this? Well it's also an IR blaster, this is used to transmit Infra-Red signals to a TV, Sky Box, Hi-Fi etc as the phone can also act as your remote control. On the back is where you'll find the much talked about Ultra-Pixel camera and accompanying flash, as well as another pinhole for the rear facing mic for use when capturing video's (in full 1080p HD).
The phone in it's entirety is surprisingly slim, and another surprise is the weight. 143g, which is just the right weight in my opinion. Not too heavy, but not light enough that you don't know you have it. It's a sleek design and the back is set on a slight convex so that it sits nicely in the palm and just feels natural to hold. The only downside to this is when you are lying the phone on a flat surface such as a table and typing a text or using the phone as it makes a slight wobble. The finish overall is of a high quality which would be expected of a flagship device from HTC, as with all HTC devices I've used I've found their build quality to be unsurpassable.
So on to the bread and butter, usage and UI; The first thing you'll notice once you've booted the phone up and gone through the standard setup process is the responsiveness of the phone. Sometimes I'm wondering if I even pressed the screen at times as I've gone to press an icon or shortcut and it's opened before I've felt anything. It's just so quick to respond to every gesture and press which is a far cry from anything I've used before... even AOSP/AOKP. You'll also start to grasp how much the Sense UI has been trimmed down. This time you have a maximum of 5 panes to add widgets/shortcuts to and these are aligned in a row with Blinkfeed (HTC's update to Friend Stream) taking the first pane, so really just 4 left to play about with. This time HTC have decided not to add loads of random widgets that you may or may not want to various panels, you just get Blinkfeed and the standard clock.... It's now up to you to customise which in my opinion is better as I hated having to remove loads of widgets I didn't want or use.
This time the app drawer is made to feel like an access panel rather than an additional window to be opened and closed. So rather than the button to open, and back button taking you out and back to the home screen. You just use the menu to open, and then menu again to reduce. This can be a little confusing to start with, but you get used to not being able to use the back button to close it and it does start to feel like a better way of operating.
All in all, Sense has had quite a revamp. So if you've used previous iterations of this skin it will certainly feel different, but in a good way! It's cleaner, more polished and HTC have taken out a lot of the unneeded widgets, stock apps etc that just added to the drain on processor and battery. To me it's starting to get to be more like pure android with some additional enhancements, whereas before it was a complete overlay which didn't allow you to truly appreciate the Android OS for what it is.
So what else is new? Well, HTC have added an IR Blaster into the power button. So by using the TV app pre-installed on the phone you can run a setup process to determine your, country, channels and hardware setup. Once done you can easily open the TV app, see recommended programs or all programs, press the image of the program you want to watch and it will select the channel for you. No more fighting over the remote! With the Sense TV app you can add remotes by room, so for example you could have a setup for your living room, and another for the bedroom etc. The only thing missing is I would have liked another app to be on the phone to allow you to just use the remote feature by itself. For example I have a wireless speaker which I take on holiday or outside if we're in the garden etc and I would like to have an app which could download or learn the remote codes for this without having to worry about the TV channels etc.
Have I mentioned the dual facing front speakers? This really is an impressive move. Stereo sound with a dedicated amplifier and Beats by Dre... all in a phone! It really does make a difference, and trust me you'll know when you get a message or your alarm goes off for the first time in the morning, you may want to turn the volumes down a little. And I never thought I'd hear myself saying that about a phone speaker. Playing music through it is just a joy, no tinny poor quality sound. And if you put the volume on max, the bass doesn't distort or feel un-natural. You really do need to hear it to believe it!
Blinkfeed - In a slightly controversial move HTC have made Blinkfeed a static non-removable home screen panel taking up the first of the 5 available to you. So what is it? Blinkfeed is like a mesh of tweets, Facebook status updates/wall posts, information such as news, reviews etc from various online sources as well as upcoming calendar appointments or TV shows (if you have the TV app configured). The aim is to provide a hub for the activity which it feels would be of interest to you all on one screen. I'm not a huge fan of seeing everything my Facebook friends are doing, so I've set mine to just show my calendar entries and TV recommendations. But I can see this would be good for people who do like to keep on top of it all.
Why no megapixels? If you haven't already understood ultrapixels then there are some great guides as to the benefits of ultrapixels over megapixels on the HTC blog. But in essence, megapixels are great if supersizing your pictures to put on a billboard or a very large screen. But for daily usage ultrapixels offer a better clarity and image processing. This leads to far clearer images and pictures I've taken on my phone are in such high quality I've actually converted from using my Canon compact to just using the phone now as the images are actually better. The colours and clarity offered is amazing to see, especially on the HD screen you get with the One. Just another feature I urge anyone to see for themselves as you won't get the full experience until you actually try it. One great feature, and one I use a lot is the movie highlight feature which using some clever algorithms creates a short film of an event in your gallery and combines stills & moving images to create a kind of trailer for your event. Everyone I have shown this to is massively impressed, and it's yet another feature I'd suggest looking at for yourself to really see how good this is.
Overall there are many other features and technical detail I haven't gone into, but I've tried to cover off the parts which I think most people will relate to or use regularly. I can't emphasise enough how good this phone really is. If you are due an upgrade a would urge that you seriously consider the HTC One as your next phone as it is a fantastic all-round device which offers something for everyone.
on 1 December 2013
It's certainly a phenomenal phone. I've always preferred Android to the alternatives, as I like my platforms to be as open as possible. The problem was, Android was fairly laggy for it's first couple of years, so it had its own set of disadvantages.
I think it's fair to say that this is no longer the case. Android is definitely the way to go. The most open platform, well supported, tons of apps, and now so smooth and fluid that I didn't quite believe it at first.
But this phone in particular, wow. The build quality is tremendous, the phone is beautifully designed. I would strongly recommend getting a case for it to prevent damage (which is a shame, because the phone is so beautiful without it) and a screen protector. Regardless, I would recommend this phone to anyone.
The audio quality is brilliant, very loud speakers, the boomsound definitely isn't a gimmick.
The camera quality is very good, particularly in low light.
Anyway, 5 stars. Will definitely continue to buy HTC in the future.
I feared that much of the hype about the HTC One would be just that: hype. But it is not true. I have had high end smartphones since smartphones started coming out, about 10 years ago, and this is the best I have ever had. It fits incredibly well in the hand even though I'm a woman and have small hands (I've also tried the Sony Xperia Z1 and that feels like a brick), has an incredibly good screen, with excellent colour rendition and detail. I usually don't go below 4.7 in size because I do a lot of email on the phone and smaller screens feel constricted. It is very smooth (unless the Galaxy 4 which has a stutter) and very fast. The quality of calls is better than on any other phone I have had, especially in noisy environments. HTC Sense 5 was a pleasant surprise, very streamlined and well designed. One can tell that an awful lot of thought has gone into this phone. The one niggle is the camera: it is very good and very fast, but if you zoom more than half way and then look at the images on a 17' screen (or more!) then there is some pixellation. On the other hand the phone is so exceptional on balance that I'm more than ready to put up with this, especially as low light images are really very good.
All in all, this is an almost perfect synthesis of design and functionality. And since nothing is truly perfect in this world, that is the best we can get right now. Buy it, you won't regret it.
on 29 May 2013
I have replaced my almost 3 year old iPhone 4 with the HTC One. The choice between iOS and Android is personal preference, but in general there are advantages and disadvantages for each platform.
If you are looking to make the change, HTC One is probably the best phone to do this. The build quality is excellent, the screen is like jewelry, exciting and shiny. Responsivenes, performance is far beyond the poor 3 year old iPhone.
I am quite pleased, and can't recommended this phone enough to anyone looking to get an Android phone.
on 22 February 2013
Having now owned my One X+ since Christmas 2012, I'm not writing this review after just one day of ownership and saying it's the best phone ever made. But eight weeks in I feel it's now sufficient enough time to offer my first thoughts.
The phone is fantastic although a little too light in my hand and I have to say I preferred older, aluminium unibody HTC handsets. But since they're undoubtedly more expensive and heavier, I can understand the move to lighter, cheaper materials. And just to get it out of the way, it's made out of plastic. Composites, polycarbonates etc are just fancy names for the material commonly known as plastic. Of course, some plastics are stronger than others but ultimately, they're all pretty much the same material to the average layman. Good, now that's out of the way, let's move on.
The phone is bloomin' huge, the screen massive and this will no longer fit in my top pocket but hey ho. I also keep my phones in leather cases as I always sell my phones once the contracts have expired and the better the condition, the higher the resell value. This is a £400+ handset and I can't imagine it looking too pretty if dropped face down onto concrete (unlike my previous N8 which twice landed face down onto concrete and suffered barely a scratch). Drop this face down and I can see the screen shattering as per a million iPhones that have all suffered a similar mishap. It might well be the latest Gorilla glass but I'm certainly not going to be testing its stuctural integrity anytime soon.
The screen is a little too dark to watch some downloaded movies, even on the highest brightness setting, but it's fine for iPlayer and Netflix (Lovefilm have seen the last of my cash until they release an Android app). It's also largely fingerprint proof though greasy fingers will still leave a residue. The camera appears to take very good pictures and they look beautiful on the phone screen but I still tend to use my small Nikon compact for when I'm off out. Not even the best high end camera phone will beat even the most average mid range dedicated compact.
The battery life is sadly not great. I have my One X+ on permanent power saver mode, albeit with a few modifications, and can get around a day out of the battery with light to medium use. With heavy use, this will run out in significantly much less so this is not a phone for someone who plays battery sapping games for hours on end. Also switch off wi-fi when not being used... this is a real battery killer when left on. I don't play graphically intensive games so can't say how good it is though with the 1.7ghz quad core processor, I'd imagine it's like lightning. My HTC Flyer tablet - 1.5ghz single core - stutters with online movie streaming but certainly not the One X+... I guess that's down to the considerable extra horse power of the processor.
Ref the audio, Beats is okay but IMO, it doesn't really add clarity to the music, it merely just makes it louder.... and this phone can go very loud. The built in Android music player is okay but unfortunately has no equaliser options so I downloaded Poweramp which has now transformed the audio. Although I received a pair of urBeats inner ear phones free with the handset, IMO they're merely okay and cannot beat even a cheapish pair of over the head headphones. Tweaked with my Poweramp settings, I use these on my travels with my Skullcandy Aviators and in the home with my near audiophile Denon AH-D2000's (which are Dre killers). The audio is simply awesome, especially on the Denons. Some professional magazines and online reviewers have criticised this handset for not having an SD card slot... errr, since when is 64gb not enough for these idiots? If you want a (dedicated) music/movie player with more capacity and longer battery life, then flipping well buy one of those and not this... this is primarily a phone after all.
Call quality is very clear thanks to in built noise cancellation and texting is okay (though I'm not a huge texter anyway). Apart from that, not much else to say feature wise.
All in all, a very good handset so far and I have no regrets buying it. I avoided the Samsung S3 as none of the Samsung handsets I've ever owned - around six - made it to the end of their contracts, either through poorly built hardware, badly designed software or more often both. Compare this to my five Nokias where they all still live years later and are even occasionally used today as spares if I go somewhere where I don't want to take a premium handset. The One X+, while not as bullet proof as the N8, still feels good enough to make it through the next twenty months and should fetch a nice little resell price when the time comes.
Very nice handset... just make sure you look after it! 4.8 stars out of 5.
on 25 October 2013
I've chewed my way through iPhones (my last was the iPhone 4), and have just waved goodbye to a shattered Samsung Galaxy S3 after 1.5 years' of service. This HTC One hardware knocks the polyester socks off the S3. It's incredibly fast and slick, the screen is great (and much easier to read in sunlight than the S3). I'm already stocked up with Android apps, so the whole process of setting it up was very efficient. I didn't really appreciate Blinkfeed taking up a whole screen and not being able to remove it, so I've skinned Android with Nova, and all is good in the world.
I do wish there was a slot for micro-SD, but the 32GB onboard isn't limiting me just yet, and I have used USB On-the-Go previously (allowing me to access files on an external USB drive), so it's not a deal breaker.
Battery life has proved to be a little better than average (still my first week so I should imagine that will improve).
It's quite a slippery piece of kit, however, so I would recommend getting a cover ASAP to avoid the horrible fate that befell my S3.
Thoroughly recommend it, especially as it's significantly cheaper than its two nearest rivals (Samsung Galaxy S4 and iPhone 5S) for the same amount of storage. This is a joy to use.