The Taiwan giant HTC has hit a home run with it's One smartphone. In the looks department, it outweighs many of its competitors, with its metal frame and awesome looking display. You would be hard pressed to find a nicer looking phone. However, the HTC One lacks perfection, as all smartphones do, and if we look at it carefully, we'll see a few larger than normal blemishes. Let's begin this smartphone review by looking at its basic features first.
The phone checks in at just over 5 ounces, making it one of the heavier smartphone superstars. It's .37 inches thick, 2.7 inches wide, and 5.4 inches in height, so it's certainly not small. You immediately notice that there are 2 grills on the front which equates to two speakers habitating this phone. The sound has good separation, using a feature called BoomSound, with built in amplifiers. The capacitive touch display, at 1920 x1080 resolution, is made of Gorilla Glass, which is very durable and its display has excellent quality. It's a pleasure to watch. Populating the top edge include various sensors for light and proximity, as well as a notification LED. The power button is near the top as well, which also doubles as an infrared sensor for remote control operation of your TV. There are 2 touch buttons beneath the screen, Home and Back. The OS version with this phone is Android 4.2.2.
On the back side there are gyro and accelerometer sensors, with 4G/LTE, Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP, A-GPS, DNLA and WiFi-N/ac (dual band). The brains include a Qualcomm quad-core 1.6 GHz Snapdragon 600 processor with 2GB of RAM. There are both 32GB and 64GB memory versions available. The battery (2300 mAh) lasted 9 hours and 37 minutes when subjected to a video battery drain benchmark.
Sense User Interface / BlinkFeed
I'm not sure why smartphone manufacturers install their own interactive interface over the generic Android one. Perhaps they want to leave their brand "signature." This phone definitely continues this trend. The HTC user interface, Sense, has been upgraded and users that have HTC phones understand how intrusive the interface can be. They will be glad knowing that it's not as bad with this phone. The home screen, BlinkFeed, establishes itself as the first thing you see, as its tiled look quickly reminds you of an RSS feed. Okay, this can be quite fine if you like that as your home screen, but it becomes an annoyance when you realize it can't be disabled, one of the HTC quirks.
The front camera is mounted up at the top next to the sensors, and is 2.1 megapixel, at 1080p. The rear camera is a 4 megapixel lens with 2688 x 1520 pixel resolution including an autofocus. Other camera features include a picture capture during video recording, image stabilization, touch focus, and face detection. Recording video is at 1080p with stereo audio. The camera takes pictures with acceptable color and detail, but when you zoom in, the quality fades. The HTC Zoe feature, when enabled, provides a selection of various images taken (up to 20), and produces a short video using the shutter. When in the video mode, you get acceptable quality and the focusing is better.
Benchmark Speed Test
Benchmark speed test results show the Snapdragon/Adreno chipset in the One decidedly beats 2 other phones: the Tegra 3 found in the Samsung Galaxy S3 and the previous HTC One X. This is one area where the HTC One shines, and shines brightly. It is the fastest smartphone that has been tested. You will not experience much delay in anything you do with this phone. Now, the downside to the speed is that the phone does get warm. In fact it gets very warm and the metal case certainly does not help this effect. This usually occurs when the phone is really being put through its paces.
4G LTE Connectivity
The phone tested on a Sprint network was dismal. Average download speed was 0.45Mbps and upload speed at 0.46Mbps. An AT&T network was also used with much better results. Downloads on LTE were at an average 24.6Mbps while uploads peaked at a very respectable 12.6Mbps. It should be noted that in a number 0f places in the U.S. Sprint has yet to replace their existing network with 4G LTE and this was the case with this particular test.
Standard Features Missing
There are 2 major features missing that some users may feel as untouchable, as most users are used to seeing these features in a smartphone. One is that you cannot open the body. Consequently, you cannot remove the battery nor are you supposed to. The other quirk is that there is no SD card slot, thus no allowance for expansion.
Overall, the HTC One is an excellent phone and should be a consideration if you're ready for a phone replacement. It's easy to operate, has a great display, the two-speaker sound is outstanding, as well as superior speed performance. If you can handle the 2 missing features mentioned above, this phone will provide for your needs very well and then some. Keep this phone at the top of your shopping list.
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