HTC One Smartphone Review – How well does it compare?

The HTC One Review

This is my review of the HTC One. The One is really an interesting phone this year for a couple of reasons. Number one, this is HTC’s main flagship so it seems like it’s their last hope and this is a bit of a must-win phone for them. Number two, it’s competing directly against Samsung’s flagship, the Galaxy S4 for sales and that’s interesting because HTC actually took some serious risks with this phone that you don’t usually see in other phones.

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Some of you already know what I’m talking about. We’ll get to those in a second but initially picking up this phone and holding it is a pretty nice experience which is quite obvious. It’s an all-metal uni-body aluminum back design which kind of wraps around to the front. It’s definitely not the thinnest phone in the world and it’s certainly not the lightest phone in the world either but it feels rather sturdily built and that’s always a good thing. In fact, this is probably one of the best things about this phone, how hefty it feels in the hand. It feels really good and how well everything fits together with than that piece of metal.

Video Review for the HTC One Smartphone


Now some people have had small gaps appear between the layers of the phone and sometimes it’s worse than others but my phone, my HTC One, it feels pretty much perfect so that’s always good.  The one thing about the outside hardware of the HTC One that I don’t like is the button placement, mostly the power button placement. So the power button is up at the top left hand corner which is a little bit awkward but if you hold your phone to your left hand, you can get to it and if you hold your phone with your right hand, you can get to it. However, I’m just so used to tapping that right hand side for power like I did on Samsung and Motorola devices that it kind of gets me. It throws me off a little bit and there are no buttons on the left hand side of the phone. There is just the simcard tray and on the right hand side is your volume rocker, no power button and speaking of all the placement.

At the top is also your 3 1/2 millimeter headphone jack and at the bottom is your USB port and now, at the front, you have some awesome design if you’re just going on here and then some other not-so awesome ones. First of all, you have a 4.7 inch, 1080p display coming in at just shy of 470 pixels per inch. It is an extremely nice display then down at the bottom, you have your HTC logo and just two buttons, capacitor buttons, your home button and your back button. You also have your boom sound front-facing speakers which we’ll also talk about in a second. It also has a wide angle front-facing camera and the holes for the boom sound speakers are micro-drilled. They are really really high quality. They look pretty good and also a notification like up top.

So overall, the front, I like that the design of this phone. It’s a kind of a two-tone design which is a, you know, mix bag. Some people don’t like it because it looks like an iPhone but honestly, I think it has a pretty neat appeal of its own. On the back, of course, you also have that band. The plastic bands are where the antenna signals would go through as for and we’ll see what happens, that’s where your radio’s blue tooth and everything will go through basically. You can’t go through the metal. Then, you also have your four ultrapixel camera and your flash and you have your ATNT logo for this model and beats audio which is, you know, it’s there.

This phone’s front-facing speakers are incredibly amazing. HTC calls it boom sound. I call it awesome sound! Whatever you want to call it, it’s a wonder nobody’s thought to do this in a smart phone before and executed this well on HTC. Not only are they front-facing, they’re also stereo speakers so if you’re watching a movie or planning a racing game or something, you can actually hear things move across the screen from one speaker to the other. It’s absolutely awesome. On top of all of that, on top of being front-facing and stereo, they’re insanely great quality drivers too. So there you go, actions speak louder than words here and these speakers combined with probably the best smart phone display on any phone I’ve ever used, period. Make it probably the best media consumption experience that I’ve had in my pocket and that is a huge reason to buy this phone by itself.

Now in terms of media creation, though, this camera is a pretty big deal and the camera on HTC One is actually not bad. It’s not bad at all. Basically, the phone takes decent pictures in regular light and outstanding pictures and video in lowlight. So if you care about low light, then this is probably the best phone camera for you next to the Lumia 920.   The problem here is that because this is only a 4 megapixel camera, not 13, there’s not as much detail. When you’re zooming in, there’s not quite as much sharpness so HTC decided they’re going to go ahead and add some sharpening in software to make the pictures appear as sharp as a 13 megapixel shot. This works pretty well for the most part until you can actually tell like when something’s supposed to be blurry and out of focus in smoothen background, the software tries to sharpen it up and gives it this weird look. Otherwise though, the camera and the optics are pretty great and the software behind it has plenty of neat features.

There are things like HTR shot and burke shot and things called HTC zone which basically gives you a few seconds of video on like command, basically really quickly. It’s pretty great. It’s also worth mentioning that the crop on this phone is way wider. There’s a way wider angle lens on the back and the front so you can get way more in the shot which is pretty nice and it’s also worth pointing out that there is tap to focus and tap to meter. So if your metering for exposure, if you tap a dark area, it’s going to blow-up the photo and it’ll be really really light. However if you tap a white area, it’ll get really really dark so you have to find the right area of the photo to tap to get the right exposure unless you trust the auto exposure.

Now, inside this beast, running everything is a 1.7 gigahertz, Qualcom, Snap Dragon 600 CPU. Excellent processor. Never a doubt. This thing crushes benchmarks just like on the galaxy S4 as we’d expect, but I kind of want of like to see it matched up to the galaxy s4 at 1.9 gigahertz. I don’t know why, it’s just something about me wishing they didn’t clock it down as much, but then again, that’s probably going towards saving battery.

The fact is this is a 2300 milliamp hour battery so it’s not quite as big but it lasts as long as the Galaxy S4’s 2600 milliamp hour battery because of the slightly lower CPU clock speed, the slightly slower DDR two rams, they have DDR three, the slightly smaller display. If you have the things in software but it lasts basically a full-day ahead of use from 7am to about 8pm, no problem.

Would you really want to use this phone all day?

To be honest, yes. It definitely is. It’s much better than previous HTC phone experiences. The HTC One is running the newest version of Sense UI called Sense 5, on top of android 4.1.2 jelly bean, we’ll probably see some updates to 4.2 pretty soon and this phone is fast.

Actually, I’ll take that back. I think quick is the better word. It’s a really quick and responsive. It’s very snappy, that’s another good word. I love everything about using it. I’ve never feel any sort of stutter or hiccup or anything. This thing flies through multitasking.

Performance is great. I never ran out of RAM. There’s 2 gigabytes of RAM and it’s just an awesome experience using this phone. The only delay I ever feel is when I sometimes mispress that capacity of home button or try to double tap and accidentally get a single tap and it’s kind of wonky.

I end up doing this a lot actually because in Sense UI, a double tap of the home button brings you into multitasking. A single tap of the home button brings you home and a long press of the home button brings you to Google so there’s a few actions you kind of have to know with the home button. But after a while, you’ll get used to it. I also accidentally pressed the HTC logo by the fault of trying to wake up the phone and that’s how I was using the galaxy Note 2.

The keyboard is another thing that is extra snappy. I’m finding that the autocorrect is also phenomenal. I actually think this is probably the best keyboard in any smart phone I’ve ever used so that’s another huge win for HTC. The keyboard is really good and very fast with just some regular typing. It’s also big enough for my pretty big fingers and then there’s also swiping so you can use this keyboard over the stock android keyboard and I’ve actually found that I use it a lot more.

Speaking of stock android, this is a double-edged so there are a couple of things that are weird Sense five. For me, number one is blink feed. I don’t really use blink feed. I guess I can understand why people would want it. It’s kind of customize so you can add your own sources and everything so that’s nice but I would like to be able to completely remove it from my home screen and not accidentally see it every time I swipe left.

Further Explanation About The HTC One


Number two is the app drawer and the dock are one. They are the same thing. They’re part of the same thing. It’s really weird so you know how you get something out of the dock, you should just be able to drag it out and put it somewhere else, right? Wrong. You just drag a shortcut out of the app drawer too because the dock is part of the app drawer so of course, it duplicates it and replaces it with another one. So that means you can’t drag things from the dock to the home screen, or you can but you’ll get another one. So basically, what you have to do is go into the app drawer and then drag it from the dock up into the app drawer to get rid of it from the dock. It’s just a weird process. It just takes away, it should have been the same way stock android is to be completely honest, the dock and that should be separate.

Then there’s another little quirk, changing a wallpaper. You would think it would be just as easy as a long press on the wallpaper just like stock android, right? Wrong. You’ll just find a way that it’s there. Instead, you have to change the wallpaper by going and digging through the settings and finding the personalize setting and then picking a wallpaper from in there. So there’s a whole bunch of weird quirks like that about HTC Sense Five that is HTC could either fix or just leave it there as a weird quirk.

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Otherwise, though, using this phone has been a blast. The experience has been really nice and like I said, it’s quick enough that it makes up for pretty much all the shortcomings that I love. How fast this phone is, there’s nothing I would ever take away from the performance and the speed of this phone. Whatever it does, whether it’s weird or not, it does it fast and I love that. That’s probably my favorite thing about the HTC One.

So that’s basically it and as you can probably tell, I am definitely a fan of this phone in a lot of ways and a lot of people like to ask the question you know, what is your next daily driver? To be honest, I don’t really have a daily driver. I do use different pones for different things but honestly, this is probably a great choice for a phone for the next two or three years if you sign a contract with it. I would have no hesitation recommending this phone to literally anyone. That’s how good this HTC One is.

There you go. Please leave any comments or thoughts you have about the HTC One in the comments below and thanks for checking out this review!

To learn more about smartphones you can check out this article from Wikipedia. You can find out more about Lance at Google+

Lance Gross

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