Phone

HTC One X: Review

After Google Galaxy Nexus, the HTC One smartphones are the first Android phones in the market that are launched with the latest Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich OS pre-installed. On top of that, HTC has customised the OS with HTC Sense 4.0, transforming the phone to be less geeky and more user friendly, to such extent that even a seasoned Android user like myself could be unaccustomed when handling the HTC phones.

HTC One X and One V

Let’s check out the specs of the HTC One X:

  • 4.7-inch 720×1280 (HD) resolution
  • 1.5GHz quad-core
  • Built-in 32GB user memory (no microSD card slot)
  • 1GB RAM
  • 1800mAh battery
  • Uses MicroSIM
  • NFC
  • 8 megapixel camera f/2.0 28mm with dedicated imaging chip
  • 1080p video recording
  • Pre-installed with Android 4.0 ICS
  • 130g
The review unit is white in colour, made of polycarbonate body and Gorilla Glass. For its size, the phone feels light on the hands. One thing which baffles me is why all the phone makers – except Samsung – continue to position the power button at the top of the phone. As smartphones get larger, it becomes more difficult to reach for the power button using one hand. I also do not favour the micro USB port located at the left side instead of the top or bottom of the phone.

Sense-sational Experience
The experience of a HTC device is defined by its interface and tools, HTC Sense 4.0. The HTC One X is heavily customised to rid the user of the boring Android stock interface.

Using the “Personalize” menu, you can conveniently change the theme, the skin, or customise the lock screen. You can choose from various preset lock screen settings, like “Photo Album”, “Productivity”, “Friend Stream”. These styles will allow specific content to be displayed on the lock screen without unlocking.

HTC has also maximised the homescreen by removing the Google search bar, moving the 3 on-screen button as touch buttons below the screen. The result is a very well-spaced homescreen, but still retaining the 4×4 layout. I thought HTC could have optimised by adding another row or increasing the icon size, but I guess you could use third party launcher apps to achieve that.

HTC One X appears warmer and more pleasing than Samsung Galaxy S2.

The Super LCD 2 panel is a beauty, the colours appear warm, better contrast and more pleasing than the Samsung Galaxy S2. The large 4.7-inch HD screen means you see more information on-screen with less scrolling, as highlighted in my earlier Google Galaxy Nexus review.

Personally, despite running on quad-core processor, the phone does not feel exceptionally fast. There are noticeable lags when performing some actions, for instance, pressing the “Recent Apps” button. Indeed, Quadrant benchmark runs off the roof at 4785, but I still experienced occasional non-response from apps, which I attributed to the stability of the Android 4.0.

The battery does not last longer than my Samsung Galaxy S2, despite a larger battery capacity. And since the battery is fixed, you cannot swap battery when it’s low. Your best bet is to keep it charged or buy a portable USB battery pack.

Sound Worthy
HTC has tied up with Beats Audio to incorporate their audio engine. When you plug the HTC One X to any headphones, the Beats Audio sound enhancer will be enabled. Pity that the earphones included in the retail package is not Beats-branded. I find the Beats Audio enhancement natural-sounding and it boosts the loudness and clarity of the music tracks.

Camera Wonder 
The most unique offering of HTC One has got to be the camera. The camera starts up fast and auto-focuses continuously so that you do not need to pre-focus. HTC builds a dedicated imaging chip so the phone can capture 99 frames at one go. Even when shooting multiple single shots, I don’t feel any processor lag. I like how you can do video recording instantly without having to switch to video mode.

My favourite feature has got to be the ability to capture full-resolution still images while video recording is in progress. No need to decide between high-quality still image captures and HD video recording. HTC One X lets you do both at the same time without lag.

HTC One V
If you find the HTC One X pricey (and perhaps too large), HTC One V is a more compact and affordable variant. It also comes with HTC Sense 4.0, Beats Audio, and 5mp camera for 99-consecutive shots. As it uses a lower-powered 1GHz processor, some limitations naturally exist: the phone feels more laggy, lower-resolution screen, less supported video formats, capture only HD-size still images while doing video recording. The body feels more rugged and you can expand the memory with microSD.

  • 3.7-inch 480×800 resolution
  • 1GHz single-core
  • Built-in 4GB user memory
  • Expandable microSD card slot
  • 512MB RAM
  • 1500mAh battery
  • 5 megapixel camera f/2.0 28mm with dedicated imaging chip
  • 720p video recording
  • Pre-installed with Android 4.0 ICS

It’s The One
HTC One X is the most powerful smartphone in the market now. It’s the first Android phone after the Google Galaxy Nexus to be pre-installed with the Android 4.0 ICS. The large screen and lightweight body is an ease to use, plus the camera is the best that any smartphone can offer. This is the phone to capture your memories, both still and video at the same time.

I would buy it because:

  • The camera is fantastic. I can capture video and still images at the same time
  • The screen is large and bright
  • It is lightweight
I won’t buy it because:
  • There is no microSD card slot to expand the storage
  • The battery is not removable
  • The power button is hard to reach using one hand
  • White colour is hard to maintain

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