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.
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: