HTC One X Review
There's always a certain amount of coolness involved with being the first at something. Usually, the products that manage to be the first to deliver a new exciting technology to consumers are the ones that get the most recognition for their achievement, even if other competitive offerings also do that shortly afterwards.
Such was the case last year with the LG Optimus 2X, which was the first handset to come with a dual-core processor – the Tegra 2. This year, however, phone manufacturers had a new technology to implement in their products – the quad-core Tegra 3 processor, and this time, it was another company that got to the finish line first. HTC needed that. The firm went through a series of underwhelming financial results lately, which made some analysts express opinions that the unprecedented success story of the Taiwanese manufacturer has finally come to an end. However, opening the season early this year, HTC has already launched its new One series of phones, consisting of the One X, One S and One V.
At first glance, there's a lot to love in the HTC One X – the quad-core Tegra 3 processor, brand new ImageSense camera technology, beautiful 4.7” S-LCD 2 HD screen, massive amounts of internal memory and pretty much everything else a smartphone aficionado might dream of. However, we never judge a book by its cover...
It must be difficult to come up with a phone which has a very large screen, beautiful and thin body, as well as a relatively reasonable weight, all at the same time. HTC has done it for the most part. For the casing of the One X, the company hasn't used aluminum, as it often does with its handsets, but polycarbonate. This has basically ensured that the giant One X actually doesn't weigh that much at 4.59 oz (130 g). At the same time, its polycarbonate body doesn't feel bad at all. To tell you the truth, it's completely the opposite – the One X feels incredibly solid and fine to the touch.
In terms of size, there's just no way that it doesn't feel bulky, and that's exactly what it is, both in your hand and pocket. Alas, one can't have a small phone with a 4.7” display. But who says that the One X is even trying to be compact?! This is a smartphone targeted at the hardcore user who needs more function than form.
When it comes to its looks, we can only speak of the white variant, because that's what we tested, but the other color variants shouldn't be too different, of course. At least in white, the One X is a great-looking handset. It's very thin, but not too much, and has that sense of elegance to it, unlike previous HTC handsets, which also had premium written all over them, but where thicker and thus had a generally more masculine appearance. The front of the device features a nicely-shaped black glass framing the display, which also contributes to a somewhat sophisticated retro look. Interestingly, HTC has decided to stick with capacitive keys under the display, rather than on-screen ones. On one had, this leaves more space to display the interface at any time, but on the other, accidental presses are more likely. Above the screen is where you'll see the 1.3MP front-facing camera.
Taking our sweet tour around the sides of the handset, on the left we find the microUSB port, which doesn't fit the white casing really well. If it had some kind of a cover, that would have been a different story. However, we can imagine that it probably won't look bad in the darker versions of the handset. On the right is the volume rocker. It reacts OK when pressed, though the volume down key could have used a bit more travel. On the top of the HTC One X sit the power/lock key — which could also be a bit clickier, but is mostly fine — as well as the 3.5 mm headset jack and the second mic for noise-cancellation. Right behind the lock key is the Micro SIM tray, which is ejected in the same way that you eject the iPhone's Micro SIM tray – with a special tool, or, if you are a professional, with a clip. The bottom side of the phone houses only the primary microphone, while on the back you'll get to see the 8MP ImageSense camera with LED flash, awesomely-designed speaker grill, some dock connectors, as well as the HTC and Beats Audio logos. The 8MP camera actually sticks out like a sore thumb due to its protruding shape, and when we factor in the contrasting gray color that HTC used to distinguish it, this pretty much becomes the only area of the device that we find hard to look at (again, this is for the white version). Of course, this might be totally subjective, and some users might even like it just the way it is.
microUSB port (left)
Volume rocker (right)
3.5mm jack and power key (top)
SIM card tray
4.7” display of the HTC One X is very good-looking. Not only is it big enough to let you fully enjoy your videos, but it also has this great resolution of 720x1280 pixels. This means the pixel density comes in at 312 ppi, making it very hard to spot an individual pixel. The screen uses the so-called Super-LCD 2 (it uses IPS) technology, which is said to bring better viewing angles and less glare, compared to traditional S-LCD panels. We did find the viewing angles to be pretty good with this device, although the glare was about equal to what you get on other premium smartphones. The screen also treats us to some very saturated color. Actually, it's much closer to AMOLED, rather than LCD displays in this respect, which isn't a bad thing. In some situations, its colors might seem a bit too saturated, but in most of the cases the visuals that it produces are extremely pleasant. For those who still care, the pixels of the display are arranged in a standard RGB matrix, so no PenTile here.
All in all, HTC has done a terrific job with the One X's design. The phone is very big, as we said, due to its gargantuan display, but it still manages to appear elegant and pretty. Its polycarbonate body may not be anything that fancy, but it's solid, light and feels relaxing to the touch.
HTC One X 360-degrees View:
Drag the picture or use the keyboard arrows to rotate the phone.
Double click or press keyboard Space to zoom in/out
1. JackDude (Posts: 6; Member since: 03 Mar 2012)
Only 7,8/10?! My crapy LG Optimus One 8/10!!! Is it because of the price?
2. android_hitman (Posts: 642; Member since: 07 Jul 2010)
it's because it's not an iphone..!
i will wait and see other reviews.. i never trust PA when it comes to reviews.. they are too apple oriented
24. Chronos (Posts: 258; Member since: 25 Feb 2012)
No, it's because PhoneArena believed the One X deserved a 7.8.
49. bobfreking55 (Posts: 866; Member since: 15 Jul 2011)
The Verge, Engadget and other Apple Biased Sites gave it a very high mark in their reviews. They even said it's the king of all android phones right now, why 7.8 then?
80. boingboing (Posts: 3; Member since: 03 Apr 2012)
I like how 4 people disliked that comment. The truth hurts!
35. benfrost100 (Posts: 2; Member since: 02 Apr 2012)
This is true. Engadget has a more balanced review as well as the verge. I read PA for laugh breaks only.
46. cripton805 (Posts: 963; Member since: 18 Mar 2012)
I agree. They list the iPhone 4s as having cons and theres essential features that are missing on the iPhone like Flash, a longer battery life, the SAME DESIGN, the same UI with tiny tinks, etc...
Its a good phone, but its not outstanding.
Phonearena was too harsh and based its score on opinions like the keyboard layout. Some might prefer it that way. 7.8 puts it around some low2mid end Android phone and the hardware was enough to give it more.
What did it for me was the Razr Maxx review. The Razr got a 9 and the Maxx got an 8.5? Its the same phone with a longer batt. Its a winnn. Not drawback. Its like saying a 120gb iPhone is worse than the 16gb because it would be thicker by a tiny amount. Doesnt the + outweigh the -?
58. Chronos (Posts: 258; Member since: 25 Feb 2012)
The One X and 4S were reviewed by two different people.
63. Commentator (Posts: 2466; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)
I'm generally content with PA's reviews, but I have to speak out on this one. I agree that some points should be docked for the browser issues (which look weird, to say the least), but they seem to be nitpicking to the extreme. The keyboard layout, for instance, is a complete matter of opinion. I personally love the directional arrows on my Evo 4G. As for the 23 fps 1080p, that seems a little strange. If I may quote Engadget, "the One X captures 1080p video at a silky smooth 30fps with continuous autofocus and stereo audio." Something seems a little fishy here.
Oh, also, I'd think this phone would get higher marks simply for the fact that its the FASTEST FREAKING SMARTPHONE PRODUCED TO DATE (with the possible exception of the One S). I'd think that warrants a few more points...
69. Birds (Posts: 1017; Member since: 21 Nov 2011)
I see what you mean but PhoneArena said that the Razr Maxx should have been released at the same time as the original so there wouldn't be a lot of disappointed people who bought the original device months ago. They also argued that this phone is only for power users and if you don't need the extensive amount of juice of the battery then the original is fine. But my opinions are a little different from theirs though. In my opinion. If you are selling it for 100$ more than the original, put in a 32 gigabyte SD card and we have the perfect phone.
79. boingboing (Posts: 3; Member since: 03 Apr 2012)
Or maybe the iPhone got a better score because it's the better phone? I know that may be a little hard for you to understand - after all, it doesn't run Android, so how could it be better? And so what if the new iPhone shares the same industrial and UI design as the last one? It's a good design that's held up very well (only the Lumia 800/900 and One X come close to matching the elegance of the 4/4S hardware, imo). Sure, the software may not be as eye-catching as Windows Phone or ICS, but it works and works well, which is the one thing most people want from their phones.
Also, Flash is missing on every smartphone now because Adode simply isn't developing a mobile version of it anymore. Never understood why Android fanatics put such credence in Flash anyway - it was always just another way for app developers to put even more ads where they weren't wanted.
As for "the same UI with many tinks"... erm, isn't that Sense 4.0 all over or am I missing something here? I'll admit I'm not the biggest Android fan, but I do think what Google did with the UI design of ICS was a huge improvement and a massive step forward for the platform. Where Sense and other, similar skins once pushed Android forward in the early days, I can't help but feel they're now holding it back. There's something to be said for consistency in design language, but as long as OEMs continue making these skins, this will unfortunately never be a reality for Android. The impression I got from reading the review was that the writer believed this too, which may go some way to explain why such a promising phone scored so...averagely. Shame, 'cause it is a really nice phone - if it ran something closer to stock ICS, I'd be all over it.
81. kshell1 (Posts: 1143; Member since: 05 Oct 2011)
its not missing they just will not advance it to next version of android os. or further develop flash on mobile devices. it is not missing
91. cripton805 (Posts: 963; Member since: 18 Mar 2012)
If you really think the iPhone is better thats dumb. LoL
If you like it better, thats another story.
You do realize you gave 0 reasons to why the iPhone would be better and you bashed on things that are offered through Android Os as flaws. "Even though it gives a better experience offering a FULL pc like browser..." Are you sure thats a con? Sound more like excuses and you dissed the iPhone in your own words lol.
53. ZEUS.the.thunder.god (unregistered)
one of the best reviews i have ever seen (yeah sarcasm). this phone deserved 7.8 because as reviewer said 4.7 inches keyboard is not spacious enough in comparison to iphone`s 5 years old, BIG, 3.5 inches, perfect and magical keyboard.
3. Crossblade (Posts: 190; Member since: 21 Apr 2005)
The Optimus One is not better than the One X :)
84. saket.shrivastava (Posts: 55; Member since: 02 Apr 2012)
iPA try to make us ''iBi A$$ ed''
Haters Gonna Hate !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
23. ddxmms (Posts: 145; Member since: 09 Feb 2012)
wait for it,,i think this is another april fool thing.
but but but,,its april the 2nd!!!
39. legospace9876 (unregistered)
On German magazine, Connect top list LG GT40 (Optimus) is placed front of Samsung Galaxy Nexus. So, from a magazine or web site does not necessarily mean that everything is in practice as.
52. ZEUS.the.thunder.god (unregistered)
iPA... or just iRAY
62. itiswhatitis (Posts: 423; Member since: 23 Jan 2012)
i'm really confused now when i read the reveiew on engadget the only con was battery life and camera quality is better than iphone 4s but not as good as N8,i guess i'll have to wait for gsmarena review cuz i feel they have the most detailed review!
4. rawbow (Posts: 428; Member since: 30 Mar 2012)
It may do good in the market considering this is the first quad by a big name company.
Best of Luck HTC. Always liked the design and the sensible interface. Just like cigar and scotch is not for everyone, HTC is not for everyone. It has good class and style.
5. Jon_33 (Posts: 10; Member since: 17 Feb 2010)
What I really hate about Sense 4 is that Gingerbread app tray
6. bloodline (Posts: 693; Member since: 01 Dec 2011)
Terrible review, even from the get go you has a negative out look while writing this review.
Even when talking about its positives you still seem negative.
I always goto GSM arena for there reviews.
7. metoyou (Posts: 277; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)
I'm waiting for Samsung S3 then i'll decide whether this or S3
for some reason whenever Ray review an unit i never watch the vdo or even bother read them.hm..
59. Chronos (Posts: 258; Member since: 25 Feb 2012)
You might also want to consider waiting for the new Nexus to be released.
8. abdullaaryan (Posts: 8; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)
it is such a goog phone can't be compare with other phones.
9. darac (Posts: 2156; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)
This review is a joke.
23 fps full hd video (wow what an issue), somewhat not ideal typing(wow, I would have to download some third party keyboard), un-intuitive STOCK browser!!(wow, I'd have to use dolphin hd, opera mobile or CHROME for android!)
..and the phone gets 2 points off!!
The phone that is by far better than Galaxy Nexus who got a 9.5!
(let me remind you again- a sub pair processor compared to this, a dull screen with 250 nits of brightness, soft plastic body, and inferior camera)
That being said, though, I'd never buy this because I think an LTE version with dual core s4 processor will actually be more powerful and yet much more energy efficient, despite of the LTE.
The first phone that will deserve a 9.5.
22. Stuffies12 (Posts: 5; Member since: 09 Dec 2011)
Engadget did a comparison test on the Tegra 3 on One X and the Snapdragon Krait processor on the One S and the snapdragon processor showed higher numbers and I was quite confused when I saw it. The US version could be more powerful although more energy efficient I'm not too sure about...
29. kshell1 (Posts: 1143; Member since: 05 Oct 2011)
the a15 and 28nm architecture makes up for the lte
113. mrbtree (Posts: 59; Member since: 22 Feb 2012)
of course the one s was going to win, the one s doesn't have to power an extra 33% or something extra pixels on the screen
99. gtrxman (Posts: 122; Member since: 10 Sep 2011)
You're completely missing the point. No question that you can download whatever software you like, but why doesn't a flagship phone perform flawlessly out of the box? Lagging Sense, bad Flash performance, poor camera performance. It seems that if HTC was really trying to reboot their line, they would have addressed this stuff before releasing the phone.
100. gwuhua1984 (Posts: 1237; Member since: 06 Mar 2012)
Once again, you need to look at other reviews and stop basing your comments on just what PhoneArena is basing. Other reviews has shown that the camera was able to record at 1080p @ 30 fps under sunlight, as it should be and not what PhoneArena claims. Battery life was also better than expected with 1800 capacity.
Of course, there will be minor bugs (even the iPhone 4S couldn't escape), but there's no major flaws that an update couldn't fix.
I think this phone deserves a 8.5 a least, if not 9.0. HTC has done a pretty good job at rebooting their line, and I'm sure they'll do better later on.
10. steff195 (Posts: 3; Member since: 02 Apr 2012)
How come you didn't even mention about the lack of microsd slot or about the non removable battery in this review? I mean, what kind of review is this? I think those are pretty important things to mention. Instead you mentioned some minor things like the browser or the typing, things that can be solved with some other programs.
I didn't even understand if this device comes with Beats headphones after all, or it will have just the technology: "The HTC One X also comes with Beats Audio in order to deliver an impressive audio output as well. Sadly, we couldn't test the bundled earphones, but they won't be Beats ones anyway. "
67. glentomas123 (Posts: 70; Member since: 01 Jun 2011)
The lack of the microSD and non-removable battery are the two biggest negatives for this phone.
- I doubt very much that the S4 (28nm) architecture is going to perform well enough to deliver useful battery life on LTE with only an 1800mAH battery. Add to that, a 720p screen. That's a lot of pixels to light.
- 16GB of storage will be devoured so quickly by 1080p recording and an 8 meg shooter. At least they could have given 32GB!! WTH!!!
What was HTC thinking?? Pisses me off, because, I really want this phone. But those two things will like be it's undoing. Hopefully, the American carriers correct this with their proprietary versions of the phone.
11. darac (Posts: 2156; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)
Look at this review, Ray:
They called it an android masterpiece!
21. Stuffies12 (Posts: 5; Member since: 09 Dec 2011)
That was a good review. I liked that one. It showed everything about the phone
60. javorr (Posts: 14; Member since: 28 Feb 2012)
Masterpiece.. battery life sucks, do not forget to carry the master charger for the masterpiece. HTC phones are known with their week battery life. May be you could find an ultrabook with comparable battery life.
12. darac (Posts: 2156; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)
..and again, the LTE version should be epic.
The benchmarks for snapdragon s4 are just sensational
13. PackMan (Posts: 277; Member since: 09 Mar 2012)
oversaturated? some german guy compared the display to samsung gakaxy note on youtube and you can clearly see that it has more natural color production than any other phone to date.
14. Guest_star (Posts: 231; Member since: 30 Dec 2011)
well i don't know..i don't really like sense...
15. PackMan (Posts: 277; Member since: 09 Mar 2012)
it definitely seems like a 8.5+ phone from other reviews i have seen.
16. PackMan (Posts: 277; Member since: 09 Mar 2012)
waiting for 40 more articles about this phone today.
17. keron (Posts: 11; Member since: 28 Mar 2012)
i think when the iphone will come PA surely award that 9.8 or 9.9 coz that's iiiiiphone...... :p..but they give one x only 7.8.......cant understand...........I'll wait for gsmarena......
19. FoneAddict (Posts: 206; Member since: 05 Jul 2011)
Terrible review. With bias like this iPhone rivals have no chance.
Waiting for GSMArena, their reviews are far more detailed and more importantly HONEST!
20. Stuffies12 (Posts: 5; Member since: 09 Dec 2011)
Light, durable and thin profile build quality, looks amazing, great screen, fantastic display, dedicated camera processor, quad core processor, keeping stock ICS elements instead of tossing them out with their own overlay and this phone gets a 7.8? I literally did not believe what I saw on my screen. I refreshed the page thinking it was a mistake. This deserves a 8.5 or 9. How does the 4s get a 9.5 and this get a 7.8? I am in total shock...and engadget reviewed this with their 1080p video at 30fps. Why is it 23fps here? This phone is brilliant in every way except for probably the battery life (which is the only thing engadget slammed down). Appalling review
50. ZEUS.the.thunder.god (unregistered)
so ? do you honestly think this deserves 7.8 ?
74. biophone (Posts: 1894; Member since: 15 Jun 2011)
No 8.5 would have been the score i gave it. I haven't used the phone though.
25. iWallE (Posts: 48; Member since: 10 Oct 2011)
OK, I've never thought of a phonearena article or review as biased, despite some people constantly making such accusations. But this review really got me thinking. Not a word about the phone's ability to take photos and video at the same time. The processor and IPS display are barely mentioned. Yet there are long passages about 23fps video and some minor glitches in the browser that almost certainly will be fixed with an OTA update in the near future. And bashing the keyboard! That same Sense keyboard which on much smaller displays has been praised by many reviewers (including on this very site) as being the best one out there. I'm sorry but there's something in this review that's just not right. Positive things are not given enough attention or are not mentioned at all, while there is a strong intentional focus on the negatives. The reviewer has all right not to like the phone - it's a matter of opinion. But when writing what's supposed to be an objective review one should keep his personal feelings to himself as much as possible.
26. strikercho (banned) (Posts: 156; Member since: 20 Mar 2012)
Mmm, I'd rather say no. It is a nice device, but it's hard to call it a phone. It's too geek-orientated with this stupenduously large display, also the camera is rubbish, compared to the top ones in its class - N8, 808, 4S and GS2. The battery life also seems disappointing.
28. vishalms (Posts: 2; Member since: 19 Mar 2012)
beginning line.. "This is a review of the international HTC One X. In the U.S., thennphone will launch through AT&T and will be equipped with a dual-core processor and LTE."
DUAL core?? its quad core!
30. kshell1 (Posts: 1143; Member since: 05 Oct 2011)
the usa version will in fact be dual-core using a 1.5ghz snapdragon s4.