HTC One S ReviewHTC One S 8
We won't be spending time on the pros and cons of the new user interface on the One S, since we've examined it extensively in our HTC Sense 4.0 hands-on, and our video overview of its implementation on the HTC One X. It's lighter and more streamlined than the previous version that ran on Android Gingerbread, but still has some kinks to be worked out.
With the HTC One S being an Android Ice Cream Sandwich phone, the capacitive navigational buttons underneath the display could have been entirely replaced by on-screen ones. We are saying that not because it should be a goal in and of itself on every ICS phone – many people prefer having separate keys – but because Google has done some things with the interface that warrant a more painless transition. For example, the HTC Ones S has the three vertical dots of ICS that mark a context menu tab in each default app, and uses the right capacitive key underneath the screen for the multitasking menu. It's a good fusion, since we use the context menu key much more often than the multitasking key, so we don't have to stretch our thum way down, but just tap on the upper right screen corner instead.
The context menu button, however, appears in downloaded apps as well, but placed down in the ICS bottom strip for on-screen navigation keys, taking up precious screen real estate, yet the back and home buttons are still capacitive, making for two layers of navigational keys on top of each other. Not the most efficient arrangement.
The lighter HTC Sense feels rather peppy now, powered by the latest dual-core 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 chipset with “Krait” cores, in its MSM8960 reincarnation with HSPA+ radio and the new Adreno 225 GPU. The phone has the usual 1GB of RAM, and also 16GB of internal memory which are all you get, since there is no microSD card slot.
We got 5136 on Quadrant at first run, which is a pretty high result, 7015 on AnTuTu, and 204.9 MFLOPS on the Linpack multi-thread test, also quite a good score for the CPU. The Adreno 225 GPU turned out capable too, maxing out NenaMark 2 at the phone’s 60.3 fps cap. The graphics processor scored 49.13fps on the taxing Basemark ES 2.0 Taiji 3D benchmark, which is pretty stellar and much higher than what Tegra 3 manages, but Taiji is known for working well with Adreno GPUs.
All in all, you won't have any issues with processing power on the HTC One S, and the phone doesn't warm up significantly under load like its One X sibling with Tegra 3.
Internet and Connectivity:
HTC has added new functions to the on-screen context menu key placed at the right of the address bar in the browser, making it a snap to change otherwise obscure settings, unless you are left-handed, of course. You can turn on and off Adobe Flash or switch to desktop mode from the mobile version of sites directly from there, instead of fumbling around in the settings menu as on most other Android phones.
Scrolling, panning around and pinching to zoom work smoothly as advertised, and the Adobe Flash rendering is pretty seamless. The phone flickers for a second before it reflows the page upon double tap, and text reflow could be more fluid and intuitive. In addition, the Bookmarks, Tabs, etc. buttons that are constantly appearing and disappearing at the bottom of the screen make for a somewhat irritating experience.
HTC has a Read mode now in the default browser, so you can strip an article you found online from all ads, pics and distractions with a touch of the Read button left from the address bar, leaving you with an e-reader style layout of just the text body reflown to fit in the screen, and introduced on one page, pretty handy.
The HTC One S sports 42Mbps HSDPA radio, meaning that it will be able to take full advantage of T-Mobile's 4G network when it hits the carrier's shelves in an AWS version. It is also laden with a full connectivity suite – Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, A-GPS, a joint MHL/microUSB port for hooking up TVs, and DLNA for wireless media streaming, but there is no NFC chip inside.
|Display||4.3 inches, 540 x 960 pixels (256 ppi) Super AMOLED|
Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Plus, Dual-core, 1500 MHz, Krait processor
1 GB RAM
|Size||5.15 x 2.56 x 0.31 inches|
(130.9 x 65 x 7.8 mm)
4.22 oz (120 g)
|Battery||1650 mAh, 7 hours talk time|