HTC One X Review
As every self-respecting smartphone nowadays, the HTC One X runs Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich. This latest version of the OS has come with tons of improvements in almost every aspect of the system, including the UI, the browser, the core apps, performance and so on. Still, you won't get to see a thing of the ICS interface, because HTC has personalized it heavily with the new Sense 4 UI. Everything from the lock screen, through the widgets, to the core apps has been skinned in order to get this typical HTC look.
The main goal for HTC in terms of the interface has been to simplify it. Indeed, previous versions of the UI had so much options and personalization stuff, that it could easily throw the more inexperienced users into confusion. Indeed, we do find Sense 4 to be significantly streamlined. Well, you still get the characteristic weather clock and big widgets, taking up a whole homescreen page, but HTC wanted to remain recognizable among the ocean of Android handsets on the market. However, gone is much of the eye-candy that was present in the previous version of the software. For example, you no longer get the spinning carousel when you energetically switch between homescreens. In some reviews, you might read that the widgets are no longer 3D, as in Sense 3, but are now simple planes. This isn't true, because the 3D effect is still there, it's just not that pronounced.
We're not going to go into too much detail here regarding the interface, we'll do a separate article on that. We'll just mention that the whole UI is good-looking, pleasant to use and very different from what you get on other Android phones. HTC has also pre-loaded a lot of additional apps like Mirror, TineIn Radio, Weather, SoundHound, PDF Viewer and Polaris Office, as well as the Teeter game and its services Watch and Hub.
So, you're wondering if it's comfortable enough to type long emails and lots of texts out with the HTC One X. Well, let's say that typing is OK with the handset. This absolutely isn't the best phone for this purpose, but it will certainly get the job done. Now, before you reach for that trusty revolver of yours and point it at us, let us share our arguments with you. First of all, even though the display measures 4.7 inches, the portrait QWERTY keyboard isn't so big, due to the aspect ration of the screen. Of course, that would mean that the landscape keyboard should be very large, and indeed it is, but it's not “4.7 inches” large, because there's a column of navigational arrows to its right side, so the whole space isn't dedicated to the letter keys only. Then we have another problem to consider. When in landscape mode, the keys are no doubt big, but there's almost no empty space between them. That makes it easier for the user to mispress a key. In addition, the graphical appearance of the keyboard itself doesn't help much, because the keys aren't of a contrasting color, and thus they easily blend with the background color; besides, the letters are lowercase ones (not as simple as uppercase letters), and to top it off, each key has its alternative function written on it, all of which contributing for an overall cluttered keyboard design. Make it a 5” display if you will, this keyboard isn't going to get much more comfortable.
Of course, every way of using email known to humankind is available on the HTC One X. In addition to custom POP3/IMAP accounts, you can also easily set-up Exchange ActiveSync, Gmail (now, that's a surprise!), Yahoo! Mail and Microsoft Hotmail.
And it doesn't stop there. When you're doing pinch-to-zoom, or simply double-tap-to-zoom, the handset, of course, zooms in, and you think you can start reading or whatever it is that you're doing, but then, all of sudden — BLINK — everything disappears, and then reappears, but with your view potentially offset, and the text formatted in a different way, causing an inevitable moment of frustration. That's this browser's way of doing text-reformatting, so that it fits the view width. The trouble here, however, is that it does it when it shouldn't, and it takes a few moments to do it. This way, if you want to zoom in on a certain element, you double-tap it, for example, this gets you closer to it, everything seems to have loaded, then you scroll a bit just to adjust your view, and it goes “blink”, and all of a sudden you find yourself in the opposite end of the page. Frustrating, we tell you, even for us. Imagine how the not so tech-savvy users would react to that. Naturally, Flash Player is supported. In terms of speed, the browser moves swiftly, but it's definitely not the best we've seen. We're willing to believe this is due to the underlying software, rather than the Tegra 3 processor. Unfortunately, we couldn't really resolve these issues with third-party browsers. Opera Mobile crashed, upon loading a page, while Dolphin HD performed in a similar manner to the stock one. Still, we guess there must be a browser out there that can set things right.
The international version of the One X supports HSPA+ at up to 21.1 Mbit/s down and 5.76 Mbit/s up. In the States, the phone will be carried by AT&T and will feature LTE connectivity.
The GPS of the HTC One X works the way it should. It found us relatively quickly without using the aid of wireless networks, and almost immediately when we turned on the A-GPS.
As we told you, the HTC One X is the first handset to launch with a quad-core processor - the Tegra 3 by NVIDIA. We're definitely excited about this new technology, although there still isn't a lot of software that can take advantage of all that horsepower. Anyways, we decided to run a few benchmarks to see what we'd get. First up, we fired up Quadrant Standard, where the One X achieved an average score of about 4500, which is a great result. On the AnTuTu system benchmark, we got an average score of approximately 10500, while on the purely graphical NenaMark 2 test, the One X managed to achieve 47.9 fps. All of these scores are great, and indeed, the One X is one very snappy handset. We didn't encounter any lag or choppiness while browsing through the UI, or when running 3D games. The best thing is that this should get even better, when developers start to optimize their apps to take advantage of the quad-core SoC. Check out the comparison table below to see how the One X's results rank against some of the competition.
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: 587; 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: 257; 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: 907; 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: 257; Member since: 25 Feb 2012)
The One X and 4S were reviewed by two different people.
63. Commentator (Posts: 2183; 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: 927; 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: 1141; 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: 907; 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: 184; 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: 141; 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: 419; 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: 405; 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: 686; 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: 257; 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: 1141; 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: 103; 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: 68; 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: 176; 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: 1884; 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 (Posts: 132; 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: 1141; Member since: 05 Oct 2011)
the usa version will in fact be dual-core using a 1.5ghz snapdragon s4.