HTC One Review
Saying that the HTC One is an important handset for HTC would be an understatement. The device is crucial to the company that just a year and a half ago passed for one of the biggest Android success stories, but is now struggling to squeeze out profits. The One name is not coincidental - HTC is hoping this device to be the one to really change the tide for it and the company has put its best effort in it, refining the design to near perfection.
Pressured by declining revenues, the company has harnessed its best engineers into the task of making a truly groundbreaking device, one that can compete with the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S 4 juggernaut.
To make that device, HTC has focused on four key areas - design, screen, sound and camera. The HTC One brings the best out of HTC’s industrial design legacy. Clad in a beautiful aluminum body, it comes with a 4.7-inch bright and vivid display and an impressively loud and clear front stereo speaker setup. Lastly, HTC took a huge risk with its new UltraPixel camera, going against the market trend of more megapixels, and instead using just a 4.3-megapixel sensor allowing for very large pixels for superior low-light performance.
On paper, this looks like a killer combination. But now, at last, the final device is in our hands and we are ready to put all of HTC’s ambitious new features to a test. Read on.
What’s in the box:
- SIM card removal tool
- Micro USB cable
- Wall Charger
- User Manual
In a world of plastic Androids, the HTC One stands out. It’s different - a gorgeous-looking slender device with chamfered edges and a slightly curved back that lays in the hand almost organically. It’s extremely ergonomical and even though it’s a big phone, it is comfortable to hold and operate. Thickness comes at 9.3mm, or 0.37 inches, and it weighs a well balanced 5.04 oz (143 g).
The HTC One has a body made out of aluminum, a front and back aluminum plates (you can choose between silver and black colors) with two tiny stripes of white plastic on the back allowing for better signal.
The front comes with two large speaker grills, the holes drilled symmetrically on the top and bottom of the device, promising an exciting sound experience. The device comes with a new button layout and instead of the standard three capacitive buttons you only get two, and an HTC logo in the middle instead of the third. What’s missing is the multitasking button, which you now access by double-tapping the home key. Long holding the same home key fires up Google Now. This new layout is a bit strange and having the back button on the left makes it a bit of a stretch to reach. You get used to it over time, but it doesn’t feel like the perfect setup.
Physically buttons are large and comfortable to press. The volume rocker is on the side and the lock key, which doubles as an InfraRed blaster, is located on top. Its top location is a bit of a stretch for the finger and we would have preferred to have it on the side, but it is a compromise made so you can use the One as a remote control for your TV. We got used to its position fairly quickly. On the bottom, there is a microUSB port that doubles as an MHL one. Finally, on the back, in the top central part, there is the large eye of the UltraPixel camera.
The One is a culmination of HTC’s years of design experience. It brings the best of the company’s industrial design legacy in a device that is ergonomical, looks good and feels even better.
HTC is known for making some of the best screens out there. Last year’s HTC One X set a gold standard for screens in Android land with a bright and vivid 720 x 1280 display, and this year the bar was high.
With the HTC One we can safely say that the company meets the expectations. The device features a 4.7 inches Super LCD 3 display with a resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels.
The screen is extremely detailed, sharp, and for the tech geeks - pixel density comes at the whopping 468ppi.
Colors are stunning, they just out at you with deep blacks, vivid reds and blues, and a great contrast. Viewing angles are also amazing.
If we had to pick the nits, we’d mention that HTC has toned down the maximum brightness and the One’s screen is slightly dimmer than say an iPhone 5. With reflections from the panel, this might make using the handset in direct sunlight a bit hard, but not impossible.