HTC One X review

Reviews Paul Briden 13:27, 29 Mar 2012

We get to grips with HTC's One X quad core Android flagship smartphone

Rating: 
4.5
Pros: 
Fast,Brilliant interface,Excellent camera,Incredibly sharp screen,Stunning exterior desing
Cons: 
No microSD slot, Protruding camera lens
Verdict: 
A truly amazing Android smartphone

HTC's One X is the company's flagship device and the top model in its One range. At the beginning of 2012 HTC announced it was changing its strategy from producing a wide range of devices and would instead focus on a small number of high quality ‘hero' devices. The One range is apparently the culmination of that change.

First and foremost, this is a beautiful looking device. HTC's representatives described the bodywork at the One range's unveiling as having a ‘piano key' finish. We can see what they were driving at, while we think that analogy is slightly odd the feel of the materials used is very satisfying indeed.

It's a sort of matte plastic but it's incredibly solid. The handset is made with a unibody construction which adds to this well-made feel, the edges are a softened, faceted and chiselled shape with a slightly glossier finish than the front and back surfaces.

Being a unibody phone HTC has opted for micro SIM, which means there's also a pop-out tray - the handset comes with a special key to open this.

In profile it's perhaps not the thinnest phone in existence but it's plenty thin enough to keep things looking slick. The main body has a curved shape and from the front you can see a relatively narrow strip of bodywork around the outside of a flat, contoured slab of glossy black which houses the screen.

It's a very striking and appealing look with the white version of the One X which we had for review, we can imagine the black version still looks excellent but without the contrast it'll be more about smooth understatement and less about the ‘pop'.

The camera housing on the back panel is worth mentioning. It's not a deal-breaker but it is a little peculiar and perhaps not to everyone's tastes with its round almost ‘porthole' appearance which sticks out slightly from the handset like a cartoon moon crater. The lens is also not recessed which could cause dirt and fingerprint issues - not the best design but it'll do.

The screen is incredibly sharp and a joy to look at, HTC has fitted the One X with a sizable 4.7-inch Super IPS LCD 2 capacitive multi-touch display, reinforced with Corning Gorilla Glass to protect against scratches.

The resolution clocks an impressive 1280x720 pixels giving a pixel density of 312 pixels-per-inch (ppi). This is one of the best screens we've seen on Android devices so far in terms of picture clarity.

The operating system is Google's Android platform and it's using the latest build, Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) 4.0 and the One range is the first set of devices to sport version 4.0 of HTC's Sense user interface (UI) overlay. Ice Cream Sandwich is a much better optimised and much more stable build of Android with excellent performance capabilities.

On the One X's Nvidia Tegra 3 quad core 1.5GHz processor (with 1GB of RAM) navigating the homescreens and menus is seriously smooth. In fact, we can't put enough ‘o's' in the word smooth to sufficiently convey how good it is. This thing just flies through typical smartphone tasks with ease.

We also benchmarked the handset and as you can see the results are impressive, we've no doubt this handset will handle any current high-end game or app without breaking a sweat.

As might be expected of an Android phone it is excellent at multi-tasking, however, it's not just the performance which is noteworthy this time.

In Ice Cream Sandwich Google has introduced to phones the fast app-switcher menu from the Honeycomb tablet build. But there's a neat twist as it now has the handy ability to swipe running apps away to close them. It's great to have a faster and more intuitive way to manage your apps rather than being forced into fumbling around in the settings menus.

Settings menus are more thoughtfully planned out and it's easier to find exactly what you want. Integration is also quite deep, you can share pretty much anything via most popular social networks or through email and text with a few taps.

We also liked the additions to the App Drawer which allow you to sort, share and manage apps directly from this screen.

Specifications

Typical Price £460-£600 or £40 per month contract
UK Launch March 2012
Frequency GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100
Phone Style Touchscreen
Thickness 8.9mm
Length 134.4mm
Width 69.9mm
Weight 130g
Built-in Memory 32GB, 1GB RAM
Additional Memory No
High-speed Data GPRS,EDGE,HSDPA,HSUPA,DLNA
Connectivity Wi-Fi,Wi-Fi Hotspot,Bluetooth 4.0, MicroUSB 2.0, NFC,GPS
Screen Size 4.7-inch
Screen Colours 16 million
Camera 8-megapixel backlight-illuminated sensor (BSI)
Camera Resolution 3264x2448 pixels
Zoom Yes
Flash LED
Video Resolution 1080p, 720p on secondary
Ringtones Yes
Music Player Yes
Music Formats MP3/eAAC+/WMA/WAV
Song Storage Yes
Radio Yes
Speaker Yes
Video Calling Yes
Internet Yes
Browser HTML
Games Yes
Battery Standby TBC

Disqus - noscript

Hmmm, one suspects you didn't actually get one for more than a few minutes.&#13
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No mention of the Benchmark tool used, no mention of how many apps you put in it to gauge performance.&#13
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No mention of battery life either.&#13
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No mention if the speaker is any louder. Most of HTC phones are a bit on the quiet side.&#13
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As a HTC Desire HD user of almost 2 years, I'm thinking of upgrading to this soon. So a detailed review would have been welcome.&#13
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But no reviewer yet has give it a decent detailed review from a user POV. So did you actually have one for more than an hour?&#13
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