The Good Great HD screen. Elegant body design. Unique camera features. Everyday Zippy Performance.
The Bad Fixed battery and storage. Only average media playback options. Battery life is not suitable for business use.
The Bottom Line In many ways, the HTC One X is one of the best smartphones we’ve seen. The sleek design and lightning-fast performance of the One X is a premium phone, although it can still disappoint heavy users.
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White, slim and exquisitely sleek, the One X is a smartphone that is getting serious attention. HTC’s design may have been missed and missed last year, but it’s not reflected in the company’s latest flagship. HTC does not break any new foundations in this design; The One X is still a monoblock touchscreen smartphone, but it manages to rediscover what may be so desirable in smartphone design, with its slim curved display and delicate lips and grooves on the body of this device.
The 4.7-inch HD resolution display is really the icing on the cake. With great viewing angles, great color and 312 pixels per inch, this screen is the best we’ve seen from HTC to date. As with the new Apple iPad, you may find it difficult to notice how great this screen looks when you look at it in isolation, but it is very difficult to return to the lower resolution screen afterwards.
The flawless One X design looks and looks great, but that means you can’t replace the battery.
HTC runs the risk of plugging the phone’s battery and memory into the handset so that no user can replace it. But then, many of the top-level phones we’ve seen lately use the same design, and we guess that only a select few will be put off due to the inability to replace the batteries. Memory is another matter – it’s more fun – and if you don’t think 32GB of memory (25GB only available to the user) is enough, you’ll have to look elsewhere.
Just as important as the physical elements of this phone, the updated HTC Sense user experience is paramount to whether you love this phone or miss it. Now the senses are noticeably weaker than before. Transitions and animations are simplified, as are some of the system widgets, especially the iconic HTC watches.
Some changes in meaning are easy to see.
There are more significant changes underneath the surface – some that only HTC fans will notice. The app drawer now scrolls horizontally, not vertically – the change we love. Applications are automatically divided into four tabs: “All”, “Frequent”, “Downloads” and “Vodafone” on our overview block. These tabs can be moved or deleted, but oddly enough, you can’t add your own. You can add folders to any active home screen that meets the same purpose.
Tense menu The personalization presented in sense 3.0 remains but is now exhausted in the main system menu. This is a good solution that helps to remove home screens. The transition between home screens is still dimly three-dimensional, though it certainly feels smoother with animation than it did in last year’s editions.
The Nvidia’s quad-core One X processor is one of the most popular selling points for this handset, and while it may be difficult to unstable its day-to-day performance, it’s also an extremely difficult feature to test. Is this phone faster than previous Android smartphones? And if so, does this set of speeds match the Tegra 3 chipset, will we take it to Android 4 or any number of other factors?
Speed is obvious in everyday use when using One X is nice. The touch screen is responsive, and there are no noticeable pauses (or very few) while navigating the system. As we exit the program, our review unit has infrequently restarted the Sense Launcher program, and while it is annoying, it is not a crucial issue in our books.
We did measure the One X compared to other phones we recently tested, but found that its results, although strong, did not match the results, such as the Galaxy Nexus. This was true for all types of tests; be it browser execution or OpenGL rendering, One X was one step beyond how these tests measure performance. But then, it has very little, and you would try to say that the One X is “slower” than other phones in any other respect.
Battery life can end with a love affair for some users, depending on how you use your phone every day. The One X battery endurance tests failed, with less than four hours of web browsing on Wi-Fi and 720p HD video playback. However, this does not reflect the standard usage when One X was able to get most days of moderate usage, including push mail. This is not a heavy duty phone, especially considering that you cannot switch batteries during the day. Road warriors who fall in love with One X must make sure they have chargers.
The 8 megapixel camera in One X is where HTC really hopes to line up. With its dedicated image processor, the One X is considered one of the fastest smartphone cameras, a statement we are happy to agree with. From the home screen to your first photo, it will take about three seconds when smart fingers control the action and the image quality is superb for the phone.
The details on the pictures are good, especially when viewed on the phone’s own display.
The software behind the camera has many features and settings to keep in mind before shooting. Above the shutter button is a shortcut to a number of popular image filters, and on the Scenes menu, you’ll find Panaroma, Macro and HDR modes that complement the image, complementing the usual range of lighting settings.
Hipsters rejoice: there are a bunch of Lo-Fi image filters to play with.
If we have one complaint about the camera in One X, this is the best results beyond the default settings. Without changing the settings of the One X image, we found that the images were both oversaturated and overstressed, and the quality of the images we took was significantly improved by adjusting one or both of these parameters. Fortunately, these settings are set and forgotten, so if you find a favorite setting you like, you can leave it this way for the future.
Color reproduction is good if it is oversaturated to the touch.
Here we have two similar photos with gradually different camera settings.
Thanks to Beats Audio’s built-in One X, the music move is likely to be of interest to music lovers, though we’re not sure if it ticks all the boxes for the selected audiophile. Beats Audio is activated whenever music or video files are selected, no matter what programs you want to play, and then with them. Although we apparently simplify this, the Beats software seems to act as a “Bass Booster” or “Loudness” installed on older phones and MP3 players. So while there is a significant difference between on and off, we are not sure that it actually does much to differentiate audio from the One X compared to its closest competitors.
One X is also unable to play a wide variety of popular audio and video file formats. It will play standard MPEG 4, WMV, H.264 video and MP3 and AAC audio, but don’t expect it to recognize your library filled with DivX, MKV, XviD, FLAC or OGG files. For many smartphone buyers, this may not make much difference, but given that you can buy phones that support these files, especially high-end audio files, this is taken into account by HTC and the Authentic Audio marketing campaign.
Last year, HTC released a dedicated Media Link accessory to promote the idea of using DLNA to share music, videos and photos with a TV or home entertainment system. HTC still wants you to use DLNA, and this year has included a new “three-finger gesture” in its software that allows you to create a media streaming connection by dragging it around the screen that looks like you ” you press the “” media from your phone to a larger screen.
We love this idea and any new use of gestures to control complex commands on mobile devices, but we have many problems using this to share media on devices other than HTC Media Link. Most media sharing tools on other machines, such as the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3, require the user to build a client-server relationship before attempting to stream media. One X tries to skip this part and we were unable to stream media to these machines without downloading a third-party application to the phone.
In many ways, the HTC One X is one of the best smartphones we’ve seen. Its design is gorgeous, its screen is gorgeous and it has many great, easy-to-use features. Some features of its 8-megapixel camera are unique to this phone, like the ability to take photos while shooting video, and the camera takes great pictures after a little tweaking.
The combination of the Tegra 3 processor of the phone and the latest Android and HTC Sense versions works well to provide a smooth, painless user experience, but we are sure there will be some who think this is still not fast enough, like the performance boost from last year’s dual-core systems to this quad-core system is difficult to perceive. Similarly, some will have enough battery life, but it is not outstanding, and business users may find that it simply does not meet their needs.