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HTC One Review


Posted: , by Victor H.


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.

HTC One Review
HTC One Review
What’s in the box:

  • SIM card removal tool
  • Earphones
  • 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.

In a world of plastic Androids, the HTC One stands out - HTC One Review
In a world of plastic Androids, the HTC One stands out - HTC One Review
In a world of plastic Androids, the HTC One stands out - HTC One Review

In a world of plastic Androids, the HTC One stands out

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.

The front comes with two large speaker grills and a new button layout - HTC One Review
The front comes with two large speaker grills and a new button layout - HTC One Review
The front comes with two large speaker grills and a new button layout - HTC One Review

The front comes with two large speaker grills and a new button layout

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.

Left - HTC One Review
Right - HTC One Review
Top - HTC One Review
Bottom - HTC One Review





HTC One Review
HTC One Review
HTC One Review

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.

Display measurements and quality

Maximum brightness (nits)Higher is better Minimum brightness (nits)Lower is better Contrast Higher is better Color temperature (Kelvins) Gamma Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
HTC One 460
Samsung Galaxy S4 289
Sony Xperia Z 440
Google Nexus 4 427
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HTC One 360-Degrees View

  • Options

posted on 14 Mar 2013, 12:05 74

1. Topcat488 (Posts: 1396; Member since: 29 Sep 2012)

Looks good! I really love the front speakers...

posted on 14 Mar 2013, 12:15 22

7. GTR722 (Posts: 270; Member since: 20 Oct 2012)

Desing is perfect, UI is horrible, need a new launcher asap

posted on 14 Mar 2013, 13:50 11

55. jsdechavez (Posts: 758; Member since: 20 Jul 2012)

I actually like the Metro -inspired UI... I'll port this to my Xperia!! haha

posted on 15 Mar 2013, 09:45 16

103. preet27in (banned) (Posts: 173; Member since: 07 Jul 2012)

idiot have u used it?> how come ui is horrible? htc has worlds best and simple ui. no match for it nywhere. now its sense 5.0 which again is at top.

posted on 16 Mar 2013, 20:46

123. bojan (Posts: 188; Member since: 06 Oct 2012)

HTC One vs Sony Xperia Z vs LG Optimus G


posted on 17 Mar 2013, 04:25

124. rizevnarastek (Posts: 349; Member since: 06 Sep 2012)

I can see some framse being dropped on HTC One, but overall it makes a better video than Xperia Z. The LG doesn't even compare.

posted on 17 Mar 2013, 09:56 3

131. rizevnarastek (Posts: 349; Member since: 06 Sep 2012)

My predictions for the New HTC One (2014):

Low power 5" FullHD SLCD4 with user preference software keys
Sapphire screen for screen protection
Carbon-titanium infused aluminium unibody, Zero gap design
Symetric organic design, like a mix of One X and One 2013
Stereo front facing speakers with built-in amplifiers
Power button up top, centered, double as IR blaster
Hand power technology to wake the phone without using buttons
Left side of power button SIM tray
Right side of power button SD tray
Right side of phone features a volume rocker
Bottom right side a camera / user selected action button
Docking pinns of the left side of the phone
Standard coin size indentation for "kickstand" feature on the left back side
Bottom left side a headphone jack
Bottom right side USB/MHL
Floating touch interface and gloves-on usability
5MP Ultrapixel camera with dual LED / xenon flash
Advanced optical stabilisation system
2.5MP HDR, wide-angle camera front facing camera
HTC logo in between the speaker holes and on the back
Top of the line CPU/GPU Quad-core 2GHz
32GB option only (but with SDXC support)
3000mAh battery (non-removable, Li-Po)
Wi-Fi, Wi-Di, BT,GPS, GLONASS, IrDa,
Thermometer, barometer, gyroscope, ect...
Eye Sense screen timeout and auto rotation feature
Loads of other usefull software Sense features
Physical dimensions same as HTC One 2013

posted on 20 Mar 2013, 07:51 4

145. mydi.maus (unregistered)


posted on 02 May 2013, 00:25 1

171. WakaFlakaD (Posts: 527; Member since: 30 Apr 2011)

No way people should thumb this down. While it might not come anytime soon, but it is my very ideal device as well.

Camera button!!! I feel like this is always being overlooked at. Xenon flash is always welcome (How I miss my Nokia n82 from back in the days)

I don't mind paying $800 for this to be honest

posted on 19 Mar 2013, 14:18

142. JEverettnow (Posts: 228; Member since: 11 Mar 2013)

I have never been a fan of any HTC ui. I think its all personal preference when it comes to Touch Whiz Vs. Sense, but IMO Touch Whiz has always felt more complete and smooth compared to Sense.

posted on 26 Mar 2013, 19:47

158. thelukewarm (Posts: 18; Member since: 18 Dec 2012)

the design is impeccable, the front speakers are fairly powerful, but the UI is not horrible, to me it seems to be a mixture of WP and iOS

posted on 16 Apr 2013, 23:52

167. trexnkrumpets (Posts: 45; Member since: 15 Jan 2013)

with blinkfeed and the simpler ui? :) I find WP8 a mix between android and iOS. (Much more stable than android, but more customizable than iOS) I just want to be able to customize app drawers/folders than only limited filing for games,dang-nab you MICROSOFT!

posted on 28 Apr 2013, 00:13 1

169. xuan3 (Posts: 1; Member since: 28 Apr 2013)

LOL Seriously? Sense is horrible? Go use a Nokia then. Sense is so much better than other UIs, and you think it's horrible. GENIUS.

posted on 14 Mar 2013, 12:17 32

9. samsunggalaxylover (Posts: 37; Member since: 23 Jan 2013)

the samsung galaxy s4 will beat it easily.

posted on 14 Mar 2013, 12:23 24

11. Mxyzptlk (unregistered)

Yeah right

posted on 16 Mar 2013, 04:09 3

111. Jonathan41 (Posts: 532; Member since: 22 Mar 2012)

We finally agree on something!

posted on 14 Mar 2013, 12:30 39

21. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5993; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)

If the GS IV is basically a warmed-over GS III (aka GS IIIS), HTC gets some breathing room. Sammy will ultimately sell more GS IVs, but HTC gets a solid opportunity to play against the Sony Z, LG, and other non-Sammy Android phones. I might even swap my GS III for a One if it is available on VZW. I won't be trading my Note II, however.

posted on 14 Mar 2013, 13:37 22

50. Evil_SaNz (Posts: 259; Member since: 20 Oct 2011)

The sad thing is that Samsung is considered like "Apple of android"; even if another android device will be by far superior of the galaxy franchise people will still think that sammy does the best android phones. Power of ads and persuasion...think out of the box :)

posted on 14 Mar 2013, 13:52 8

56. McLTE (Posts: 922; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)

lets be clear here.. while the One shapes up to be a great phone, there's nothing "FAR superior" about it.

It has some great features for sure, but I'd put them both on a fairly equal playing field. Lack of removable battery and SD card slot KILLS the phone for me though I realize some may not care.

posted on 14 Mar 2013, 21:25 3

92. 007akshay (Posts: 37; Member since: 20 Jun 2012)

but the tru fact is s4 in great in features ,ui interface,battery,software,big screen......htc is grt in design camera innovation., n d speakers................ these features cant be done by apple so dont compare android mobiles to iphone......iphones r lik same s**t overpriced

posted on 08 Apr 2013, 19:44

165. HDShatter (Posts: 1021; Member since: 17 Jan 2013)

(inb4 downvotes)

Sorry HTC, the international s4 is a more powerful device than the one. The Exynos 5 is better than the snapdragon 600. Simple as that. It also has ddr3. But sense does look much better than it used to. Beats touch wiz any day but on my s4 (international) I will just root and use custom roms, which the HTC one can't do till they unlock the bootloader.

posted on 10 Apr 2013, 14:34

166. chocolaking (Posts: 495; Member since: 22 May 2012)

The S4 is COMPLETELY no match to the HTC ONE.
Stop dreaming..

posted on 14 Mar 2013, 13:27 2

46. jsdechavez (Posts: 758; Member since: 20 Jul 2012)

Samsung just might one up the HTC One with an even lower megapixel count!! hahaha

posted on 14 Mar 2013, 13:32 1

48. RiseAgainst94 (Posts: 281; Member since: 03 Mar 2012)

And maybe even the same miserable low light photos! :D

posted on 14 Mar 2013, 13:40 1

51. bhagi108 (Posts: 21; Member since: 09 May 2012)

wake up dude! stop sleeping on the lap of Maya.

posted on 14 Mar 2013, 13:43 2

52. therealestmc (Posts: 475; Member since: 23 Jul 2012)

Can you elaborate on that?

posted on 14 Mar 2013, 14:01

60. NokiaFTW (Posts: 2072; Member since: 24 Oct 2012)

It might beat it , but not easily .

posted on 14 Mar 2013, 12:23 21

13. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5993; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)

If nothing else, HTC has moved the bar for flagship smartphones. Props to them. I hope they have success with the One. In the U.S., if the One truly does ship on VZW, they might manage to pull off a successful product. Especially if the GS IV is actually a GS IIIS.

posted on 14 Mar 2013, 12:25 1

16. THE-ONE (banned) (Posts: 28; Member since: 14 Mar 2013)

Let's wait and see.

posted on 14 Mar 2013, 13:54 2

58. McLTE (Posts: 922; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)

From what I've seen they haven't really raised the bar on flagship phones.. Joined the party? Absolutely!

I sincerely hope HTC has success with this phone and they can give Samsung a run in the future. Having 2 big players in the Android world would be great for us consumers!

I'm still a bit shakey on HTC having seen my wife with her few.. I absolutely love their idea of front speakers though. I HOPE HOPE HOPE that catches on!

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OS: Android 5.0 4.4.3 4.4.2 4.3 4.2.2 4.1.2
view full specs
PhoneArena rating:
Display4.7 inches, 1080 x 1920 pixels (468 ppi) S-LCD 3
Camera4 megapixels
Qualcomm Snapdragon 600, Quad-core, 1700 MHz, Krait 300 processor
Size5.41 x 2.69 x 0.37 inches
(137.4 x 68.2 x 9.3 mm)
5.04 oz  (143 g)

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