The HTC One has been one of the most hotly anticipated smartphones of the year so far. HTC have put a lot of effort into the One and are hoping that it can help turn the company around after what has been a disastrous few years. I have owned this phone for about 5 months and this review is a summary of my first hand experience using the device daily.
Build and design.
Well the HTC one is easily the nicest phone to come from HTC, possibly one of the nicest phones full stop. The device is clad between two precision cut pieces of aluminium with a strip of durable solid plastic running around the edges. There is a streamlined volume rocker on the right hand side and a power/lock switch on the top left. Also on the top is a well placed 3.5mm headphone jack. There is nothing on the left side and on the bottom is situated the connector port. The majority of the front is taken up by the gorgeous 4.7 inch full HD LCD display with a stereo speaker above and below. There is no denying that this is a beautiful handset. In my opinion this is the finest looking Android in existence. It has a lovely weight to it and feels brilliantly solid to hold. One gripe is that the power switch should be on the side for easier single handed operation. Also some may complain about the lack of removable battery and memory card slot. Personally I think these sacrifices are easily justified considering how beautiful the device is. HTC have done an excellent job in the design department.
Power and spec
As mentioned the One sports a gorgeous 4.7 inch full HD LCD display. This equates to 469 pixels per inch (ppi) and is simply stunning. Which is better between this and the Amoled display used in the Samsung Galaxy S4 will simply come down to preference. Colours are nice and bright and clarity is excellent. Sunlight legibility is also pretty good. The device is powered by a snapdragon 600 processor with an Adreno 320 GPU in the graphics department. This is all supported by a decent 2GB of RAM. This all makes for a very speedy experience. I have experienced little to no lag in the operating system and switching between apps is buttery smooth. The Adreno 320 eats through most apps and games although in more demanding games such as the newly released Asphalt 8 I have noticed a slight bit of lag when things get busy. This is not however anywhere near being unplayable. The sound pumped out from the amplified stereo speakers is great and coupled with Beats this makes for a great experience. One not so good feature of the phone is the battery. Whilst its not terrible it certainly doesn’t have the best battery life. When playing graphically demanding games the battery will completely run down in just a few hours. It also runs quite warm but this is normal because of the metal construction.
The camera on the HTC One is of the new ultra pixel variety. This means that although HTC have opted for a 4mp sensor, each pixel is much bigger and can subsequently capture more light. Picture quality is pretty good and low light images come out well. I have found the camera problematic in strong light situations particularly outside and the sensor does seem to get a little overloaded when the sun is strong. You are not going to get the level of detail like with higher pixel cameras but this camera can certainly hold its own. If your into sharing images via Facebook and Instagram etc then this camera will be perfect for you. If on the other hand you want to take large high resolution images then perhaps this is not for you. The One is also capable of filming in 1080p HD and it does a good job at it. I am happy with the camera overall but it is certainly not the best on the market.
My HTC One is running on Android 4.2. Again this is buttery smooth and I have yet to experience a single system crash. HTC does a great job with Android and makes menus easy to read and more accessible. The main menu gets loads of functionality as you can organise apps either alphabetically, by most recent apps or custom. You can also increase the amount of apps on view and search directly from the menu. A nice addition is the new BlinkFeed. This is basically like Flipboard and allows you to access all your favourite news feeds and social network feeds all from one place. It’s not quite as good as Flipboard but I’m sure it will be improved with future updates. BlinkFeed also acts as your default home screen. HTC sense has always been my favourite OS skin. I always find it buttery smooth and easy on the eye. I also find it helps so much with album art work when copying music to your phone. This always seems so much more difficult on samsung devices.
I absolutely love my HTC One. It’s such a beautiful handset. For me it’s the best all round Android on the market right now. Whilst the Samsung Galaxy S4 may beat it in some benchmarks, if you want an all round brilliant smartphone then the One is the one! It’s combination of exceptional design and features make it the real device to beat. It’s also reliable. Whilst still at the top of its game, smartphones such as the LG G2 and Samsung Galaxy Note 3 are just on the horizon. These use Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 800 processor and will really top the benchmarks! For now though the HTC One is more than adequate.