HTC One Google Play Edition Review
Highly prized and lauded by industry experts, even by us, HTC’s flagship smartphone for the first half of 2013 proved itself to be a serious contender in the upper echelon of the smartphone kingdom. What’s there to not like about this gorgeous looking thing? Everything about it screams precision and meticulous attention, as every part about it, both in the design aspect and software experience, was dissected to ensure that hungry power users were presented with a venerable smartphone. So what more can we ask for?
Well, after it was announced during Google I/O that there was going to be a pure Android version of Samsung’s very own flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S4, things seemed to stir up over in HTC’s camp regarding a similar offering. Just like boxers trading blows with one another, HTC threw its own uppercut by announcing a pure Google version of its outstanding HTC One. Naturally, purists and enthusiasts will drool with anticipation knowing that this is going to be a serious offering – even more knowing that it’s bound to receive software updates significantly faster (we hope) than its Sense 5 running sibling. In the past, there was a sense of notoriety with devices running the pure Android experience, however, there’s something peculiarly different this time around.
The package contains:
- microUSB cable
- Wall Charger
- Stereo headphones
- Quick Start Guide
- Product Safety and Warranty Guide
- HTC decal stickers
Cosmetically, the Google Play Edition of the HTC One is an exact facsimile to its Sense 5 running sibling, which isn’t a bad thing obviously – especially when its design was favorable from the beginning. It’s stunning, seeing that its design is distinct and carefully crafted from quality materials. Employing the same aluminum chassis, there’s no arguing that it contributes to its premium nature – plus, it helps when its chamfered edges and the slight curve of the rear also makes it so unique amongst other things.
137.4 x 68.2 x 9.3 mm
5.04 oz (143 g)
136.6 x 69.8 x 7.9 mm
4.59 oz (130 g)
139 x 71 x 7.9 mm
5.15 oz (146 g)
131.9 x 68.9 x 8.45 mm
5.11 oz (145 g)
Instead of finding three capacitive buttons beneath its display, the HTC One is only packing two – the home and back buttons. We can get access to the multi-tasking trayby double pressing the home button. So that’s not a biggie!
dedicated power button, which continues to be flat and unresponsive, still incorporates an IR blaster in it. However, since this is running a vanilla Android experience, it’s not activated – therefore, it’s unknown at this point if it’ll be activated with some sort of future update. Indeed, it’s one feature we’re sad to not see here!
Meaning, you still have microdots surrounding both sides of its display for its front-firing speakers with HTC BoomSound, which delivers some astounding tones with its built-in amplifiers. And as we take a tour around its bezel, we spot its volume control, microUSB port, standard mic, noise-cancelling mic, microSIM slot, and 3.5mm headset jack with Beats Audio support.
Volume rocker (right)
Power key and 3.5mm jack (top)
microSIM slot (left)
microUSB port (bottom)
The sides of the HTC One
It was an eye-catching thing before, so it’s back here on the Google Play Edition. Dazzling the eyes, the HTC One’s 4.7-inch Super LCD 3 display with 1920 x 1080 resolution continues to be gorgeous, vivid, and still one of the most detailed out there. Boasting an immaculate pixel density of 468ppi, detail is no doubt one of its strongest aspects, as fine text is sharp and visible to the eye from a normal viewing distance. At the same time, its color reproduction continues to deliver deep blacks and lively colors that aren’t overblown or saturated in tone. Outdoor visibility might still be a bit of a challenge, since the glass tends to show reflections, and its brightness output isn’t the strongest. Despite that, we can soundly say again that it’s a beauty to behold!
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1. Epicness1o1 (Posts: 201; Member since: 30 May 2013)
No blinkfeed,no Zoe,no many other features....Going to buy this phone but its going to be the original HTC One with Sense 5 not the Google edition.I just hate when the phones loses to much features by haveing the stock android ;_;
3. _Bone_ (Posts: 2104; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)
Blinkfeed is nothing special, Zoe is good though.
Here's what I think: when you fork out flagship price you want all the extras, and for a naked version you want a naked price, like $450 or something. For a Play Store device a higher res screen and better battery life just isn't worth the DOUBLE of the Nexus 4 price.
What would make sense is releasing last year's flagships in Nexus version with Nexus price, I mean who wouldn't buy a $350 Galaxy NIIGE or Droid DNAGE?
7. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 3755; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)
Can someone explain "basically 6 months old".....What?!?
Didn't the HTC One come out in April of '13? April...May...June...July... = 6 months old?
I am LOST!!!!
9. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 2992; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)
John V must be talking about the announcement...but still then, it makes it barely 5 months old!
13. lorenzattractor (Posts: 56; Member since: 27 Apr 2012)
I was wondering the same thing. Even if the device were 6 months of life, have we reached a point in which 6 months is already old/obsolete? Seriously? What's next? A month?
15. bayusuputra (Posts: 941; Member since: 12 Feb 2012)
Jelly Bean 4.2 is about 6 months old???
18. bubbadoes (Posts: 321; Member since: 03 May 2012)
6 months old or not--It's still the best SMARTPHONE ever made to include any platform. Nothing compares to it in beauty! I'm not being one tracked because I have an S4, but I will give props to this phone any day! # 7
2. darkskoliro (Posts: 935; Member since: 07 May 2012)
You mixed up the antutu and quadrant scores :)
5. roldefol (Posts: 2858; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)
Seems fair. Bonus points for stock are then deducted for pricing.
10. Evil_SaNz (Posts: 258; Member since: 20 Oct 2011)
For sure it leaves a "something is missing" feel...However, it also shows that pure google is snappier and more performant on same hardware. Who wants better performance chooses the google edition, who can sacrifice that for, instead, more useful apps takes the standard Htc Sense. Simple as that... :)
11. Taters (Posts: 2592; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)
The main thing I do not like about stock Android is that black bar at the top. It should be the same as the wallpaper like every other skin.
19. yazid1298 (Posts: 2; Member since: 26 Jan 2014)
Man I have the HTC One. Just the regular ATT model. The notification bar isn't black. It is the same as the wallpaper you use.
12. shahulvm (Posts: 107; Member since: 01 Apr 2012)
Am sure PA will give 9.5 for Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Edition
14. CX3NT3_713 (Posts: 1650; Member since: 18 Apr 2011)
I had the original one, I'll never buy , another HTC phone,,! Ever
16. phonesplurt (Posts: 1; Member since: 16 Jul 2013)
Such a pretty and solid design on this hardware... really wish this could run WP, but Android seems to up their game constantly. Lets see how it goes
17. cnwwyo (Posts: 125; Member since: 26 May 2011)
why don't you address reception anymore in these reviews? that is an important consideration when purchasing a new phone.
20. yazid1298 (Posts: 2; Member since: 26 Jan 2014)
I have the HTC One. I also had the S4 and the IPhone 5. Honestly the HTC is the beat of the 3. The IPhone is hard to beat you're just pulling hairs on that one but it just cones down to if you like IOS or Android. The S4 is very good undoubtedly but it's plastic design gives it a thumbs down. There's been a lot if complaints about the HTCs camera being bad but it's not. It's very good. It captures light better and the colors are more life like unlike the One X and it's very contrasted camera. Search up HTC One vs Galaxy S4 vs IPhone 5 camera. The HTC has a way crisper camera and takes better closer pictures. Honestly HTC is the way to go for android this generation. The G2, S4 and etc. Are good PERFORMANCE WISE! But design wise. Crap. That's like having a car with an amazing V12 engine but on the outside it's ratted out and falling apart. Design is everything. It's the first thing people see when they see something and the last they remember on their way out.