HTC One S Hands-on Review

HTC One S Hands-on Review
Slim smartphones are a pleasure to admire, and the HTC One S is no exception. With a waistline of under 8 millimeters, this is the slimmest handset that the Taiwanese company has added to its portfolio so far. But don't let that slim profile fool you as the HTC One S, despite not being a flagship device, has the specs necessary to put it in the high-end category. 

Design-wise, the device is very similar to the higher-end One X. The body is aluminum which has gone through a multi arc oxidation process which makes it 4 times harder compared to regular aluminum, and ceramic-like properties. The thickness is also something to note – only 7.9mm. All combined – it is very light, thin and extremely durable. The back is soft-touch textured, elimination any possible finger-prints.

Displaying all the eye-candy is a 4.3-inch AMOLED display with qHD resolution. Punching these numbers in a PPI calculator results in a pixel density of 256ppi. This is another differentiation from the One X, which is LCD2 and 4.7”. Nevertheless, the display is quite good – vibrant colors and brightness is what you can expect from a Super AMOLED. 

We have to thank HTC for equipping the One S with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich straight out of the box instead of having us wait for an update. It comes personalized with HTC's Sense 4.0 of course.

With a dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor clocked at 1.5GHz and 1 gigabyte of RAM, the HTC One S might seem like a slight disappointment compared to the quad-core HTC One X  (international version), but this is not the case. The devices here at the Expo are pre-production units, but nevertheless are extremely snappy.  However, we have yet to see how long the smartphone's 1650mAh battery will last for under regular usage. 

The camera is the same one found in the One X – 8 mega-pixels, with f/2.0 aperture allowing more light to enter the sensor for better low light pictures. The time it takes to launch the camera app is something to envy – 0.7 seconds from the home screen. Focusing adds a mere 0.2 seconds. In total – about one second to take a picture! The phone uses its proximity and light sensors to calculate just the right amount of flash light necessary to properly expose the object to be shot. The camera is also capable of shooting 1080p video and take pictures simultaneously. Go here to read the full feature set of the new HTC ImageChip.  

The One S will be available in April with the rest of the One series. In the U.S., T-Mobile will be the carrier to have it first!
Overall, the HTC One S seems like a very promising device. Stay tuned for our full review!

Related phones

One S
  • Display 4.3" 540 x 960 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 0.3 MP VGA front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Plus, Dual-core, 1500 MHz
  • Storage 16 GB
  • Battery 1650 mAh(7.00h talk time)



1. Birds

Posts: 1172; Member since: Nov 21, 2011

Cool. I just wonder if this phone has the same camera as on the Amaze 4G. I also want to know if the screen is Pentile or Standard RGB matrix.

2. Galen20K

Posts: 579; Member since: Dec 26, 2008

no its a much better new camera than the Amaze and yes it is Pentile.

3. Birds

Posts: 1172; Member since: Nov 21, 2011

Ok. Thank you for the info. I hope it has very high brightness output then.

5. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

yes, S.Amoled is pentile, SA+ is RGB. They are pretty consistant about that so u automatically know which kind of screen it is.

6. Birds

Posts: 1172; Member since: Nov 21, 2011

Ok. I was wondering because I got confused with Nokia 900 which doesn't note whether it has a pentile or RGB screen (even though it has a RGB screen). Thanks :)

4. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

So comparing the american to american versions of the X and S, the ONLY real difference is the fact that the S uses a smaller S.Amoled screen compared to the LCD2 at 720p and has 150mah less on the battery. did i miss anything? So its really a preference of screen size more than anything.... oh, and saving half on the phone bill. lol

7. slicer

Posts: 5; Member since: Nov 01, 2011

Does anybody know if this has groilla glass?

8. kshell1

Posts: 1143; Member since: Oct 05, 2011

yes yes it does.

9. slicer

Posts: 5; Member since: Nov 01, 2011

Thanks Kenneth! :)

10. pedobear

Posts: 22; Member since: Feb 24, 2012

are both color variants coming to U.S?

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.