Review: HTC One – Smack Them All

HTC_One

Introduction:

It all started with original One X which HTC launched back in 2012 and followed by OneX+. Both the devices were solid but got overshadowed by the competition. Recently HTC has been struggling to make a decent and real flagship phone. Ever since HTC officially announced their next flagship,that is, HTC One, we immediately fell in love with it. For company it’s the one that would turn their fortune around. For us, it’s the one that stands apart from the crowd of lookalike droids (*cough*Galaxy*cough). It’s like fresh breath of air.

Design:

HTC One is company’s full metal phone. It uses aluminum for the construction. HTC One has close resemblance to Blackberry Z10 and looks somewhat like iPhone 5 but we think it’s just a coincidence. It takes HTC around 150 minutes to create one handset. So you should understand how much attention HTC pays to the design. Since HTC One is slightly curved, HTC has used customized internals instead of standard ones so that they fit properly.

HTC One has 4.7” screen which uses S-LCD3 display with FullHD (1080p) resolution giving it a pixel density of ~469 ppi. It’s somewhat odd to see the flagship come with only 4.7” screen while its predecessor HTC Butterfly, which wasn’t exactly the flagship, had 5” screen. Since smartphones are increasing in size, it’s obvious for people to expect even bigger screens with every iterations. Still we think the size is appropriate and comfortable to handle.

One_Front_Full

Above and below the screen, there are loudspeakers, which HTC calls as Boomsound. They are powered by Beats Audio chip. The loudspeaker grill, the display glass and few buttons are the only parts that are fitted separately on the main chassis. Well, it seems that HTC left a flaw in the design. The main housing is slightly curved. The loudspeaker grills fitted on the housing actually have a slight gap between them and the housing. The gap on our unit was enough to let the dust slip through and reach the front camera. Except for this, there’s nothing to doubt the construction quality.

One_Front_Top_Closeup One_Front_Bottom_Closeup

Since HTC One uses unibody construction, it’s obvious that the battery isn’t user replaceable. Ironically, the Chinese version of the handset has removable back cover, dual SIM support and microSD card for memory expansion but battery is still not removable. On the left edge there’s a microSIM slot while on the right side there’s a volume rocker. We think HTC should have included a dedicated camera key on the same side.

One_Left One_Right

Another thing we missed on HTC One is the lanyard socket. One is not the only handset to miss it. Many new handsets are nowadays coming without it and it’s exclusion is not acceptable given that buyer spends a lot of money on such flagship phones. A small handstrap can save your phone from many accidental drops.

The top of the phone has power button which doubles up as IR sensor which in turn allows you to use your phone as a remote control. There’s a 3.5mm audio jack as well. On the bottom there’s a microUSB cum charging port.

One_Top One_Bottom

On the back of the phone there’s a 4 “Ultrapixel” camera as HTC prefers to call it with single LED flash. Come down to the middle and there you will see a big, prominent HTC logo. Move down further and there’s a red Beats Audio logo.

One_Back_Full

Hardware, Performance and Battery Life:

HTC One is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 SoC (System On Chip) which consists of a quad core processor each core running at 1.7 GHz. Expect some flawless performance here. We used the handset as our daily driver and we never faced any sluggishness. It’d would have been surprising if such a powerful configuration had stuttered. Hardware is one part of the performance, HTC as always has optimized their software as well to run smoothly.

Battery was a concern for us. With our usage it’d pull for around 12 hrs on 3G network and ~16 hrs on 2G network before we needed put it back on charger. Once it hits 14%, Power Saver mode automatically kicks in. Our figures are without Power Saver mode so you might get some extra time there but that again depends on how you use it. Some users are reporting even better battery life than what we got. So it could be attributed to our particular unit also.