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.

The main menu is also different now – the apps are arranged in a 4x5 grid pages, which are scrolled horizontally, instead of vertically as in previous versions of Sense. The new experience is probably simpler this way. The good thing for us is that the handset is moving pretty swiftly now, with no hint of lag or choppy animations. We're not sure how much of this is to be attributed to the optimizations done to the interface, or the Tegra 3 processor, but anyways – the result is a perfectly smooth UI, and that's what we care for.

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.


Browsing the internet with the built-in browser is an affair similar to the typing experience with the built-in keyboard, of which we spoke about in that clunky paragraph above. In short, we don't like it, and we'll tell you why. It's just not intuitive, and, at times – irritating. In addition to the Back button, address bar and menu button in the upper end of the screen, there are the “Add to”, “Bookmarks”, “Saved for later” and “Tabs” keys situated in the lower end of the screen. Now, the trouble with all of these buttons is that they seem to appear at random. In most cases, when you're scrolling downwards, they do not appear; while sometimes, and note that we said “sometimes”, they appear when you're scrolling upwards. This type of inconsistencies leads us to think that HTC has rushed the phone, without taking its time to perfect the software. Yeah, it works, but it doesn't work the way you'd expect a premium, cutting edge smartphone to work.

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: Mar 03, 2012

Only 7,8/10?! My crapy LG Optimus One 8/10!!! Is it because of the price?

2. android_hitman unregistered

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: 258; Member since: Feb 25, 2012

No, it's because PhoneArena believed the One X deserved a 7.8.

49. bobfreking55

Posts: 866; Member since: Jul 15, 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?

57. Chronos

Posts: 258; Member since: Feb 25, 2012

Different opinions.

77. boingboing

Posts: 3; Member since: Apr 03, 2012

Apple "biased". Ha, good one!

80. boingboing

Posts: 3; Member since: Apr 03, 2012

I like how 4 people disliked that comment. The truth hurts!

83. saket.shrivastava

Posts: 55; Member since: Apr 02, 2012

phoneArena iBiased

35. benfrost100

Posts: 2; Member since: Apr 02, 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: 1485; Member since: Mar 18, 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: 258; Member since: Feb 25, 2012

The One X and 4S were reviewed by two different people.

63. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 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: 1172; Member since: Nov 21, 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: Apr 03, 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: 1143; Member since: Oct 05, 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: 1485; Member since: Mar 18, 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. iPA.

66. glentomas123

Posts: 70; Member since: Jun 01, 2011


3. Crossblade

Posts: 224; Member since: Apr 21, 2005 The Optimus One is not better than the One X :)

55. Mittal

Posts: 494; Member since: Dec 14, 2011

Sure! But it's gr8 in it's own right!! ;)

84. saket.shrivastava

Posts: 55; Member since: Apr 02, 2012

iPA try to make us ''iBi A$$ ed'' Haters Gonna Hate !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

23. ddxmms

Posts: 170; Member since: Feb 09, 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: 423; Member since: Jan 23, 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!

70. Birds

Posts: 1172; Member since: Nov 21, 2011

They do.

4. rawbow

Posts: 428; Member since: Mar 30, 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: Feb 17, 2010

What I really hate about Sense 4 is that Gingerbread app tray

6. bloodline

Posts: 706; Member since: Dec 01, 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.

37. benfrost100

Posts: 2; Member since: Apr 02, 2012

spot on bloodline... sport one.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

One X
  • Display 4.7" 720 x 1280 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 1.3 MP front
  • Processor NVIDIA Tegra 3 T30, Quad-core, 1500 MHz
  • Storage 32GB
  • Battery 1800 mAh

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