HTC ONE Review (Hands On)
Let me just start by saying welcome back. Tomorrows Gizmo has been very quiet for some time since we have posted, sorry!
Anyway.. enough of that… Lets talk tech.
The HTC ONE is HTC’s new flagship smartphone, they have reinvented their offering with an all new all aluminium gapless design, which is both beautiful to the eye and pleasing to the hand. Having used this phone everyday for two weeks, im pleased to present my findings.
The aluminium casing is smooth, and has a really premium feel to it, when comparing the look and feel of my Samsung Galaxy S3 with its plastic casing against the smooth grey metal of the HTC One it is immediately clear that the HTC One is the premium phone here. From what I have seen of the Galaxy S4, I already know that Samsung’s full HD offering will not be able to compete on the look and feel front.
On the front of the device the edge to edge glass screen immediately catches the eye. At 4.7 inches I would say it is the perfect smartphone screen size, holding the phone in one hand allows I can reach all parts of the screen with my thumb. This is something I have admired about the iPhone 5, when im walking along, or im on the tube, I really really do not want to be using two hands to pick my next song on spotify, or tap out a quick reply to a text message. One hand and one thumb should be all it takes. And im pleased to say that the HTC One has this area nailed.
On the bottom there is a mico USB port for charging, syncing etc…. Interestingly the £500 pound device is supplied without a charger, this is to help save the planet apparently.
On the left hand side of the phone there is a MicroSim tray with eject hole. There is an eject tool supplied in the box for this purpose.
On top we have the 3.5mm head phone jack, which is interestingly not centered, HTC have had to cut away some of the aluminium to make this essential port fit. The jack is lined with the same plastic that loops around the whole phone. I have noticed that because the plastic is very thin around the jack it seems that the action of inserting and removing the headphone jack is wearing away the plastic at an alarming rate. I guess we will find out if this is going to have an impact on the function of the port in the future.
The recessed power button also sits atop this device in a rather awkward place. Being placed on the top left hand side of the phone it means it cannot be easily reached using one hand. This is actually surprisingly annoying at first, but after my first few hours of using it I got used to it, and its now no problem. I will say that I prefer the power button on the S3. However this power button has a little trick up its sleeve in that it doubles as an IR blaster, yes one of those old pieces of technology that I though was long gone from mobile phones has made a come back…. Except this time its actually useful, it has ben coupled with some very smart software on the phone called “TV” after setting it up with your TV and cable/sky box it displays all the current TV shows on your channels, one click and the TV changes to the channel showing your programe. You can set up favourites and also get it to tell you when there is a show on that you want to watch. It also has all the standard remote functions. Goodbye remote controls!
This leaves us with the right hand side which just contains the volume key, the volume key has a lovely premium feel to it, and even though its recessed, you know when your thumb is on it.
The HTC One’s screen is full HD and crammed into just 4.7 inches giving us a retina pleasing 468ppi. Th screen is unsurprisingly crisp, its bright, clear in the sunlight and provides excellent natural colour reproduction.
Oh the camera, four whole
megapixels ultra pixels. Ultra pixels are bigger, better and most importantly brighter than that your standard megapixel. HTC have had a bit of break through with the f2.0 rear facing camera. It is simply excellent, especially in low light situations where cameras like that on the GS3 cannot compete.
The images are not as crisp when blown up to 27 inches when compared to the higher megapixel sensors. however. The difference is marginal though, and the images are perfect for your phone, and facebook uploads.
The camera has loads of scene modes, filters and the video camera has a selection of settings including slow-mo. which allows you to record video and by using the edit tool slow-mo certain sections of the video that you want to highlight. Pretty amazing.
Zoe is lovely, Zoe is beautiful, clever and intelligent. Zoe is a new feature on the HTC One. It takes 3 seconds worth of photos and stitches them together to form a 3 second clip of your shot, this makes for a different way to view the moment, its very interesting, and brings your snaps to life in the gallery. A little like those live pictures in Harry Potter. You can of course select the one picture from the whole sequence to use. I love Zoe.
HTC Sense 5.0
The latest version of sense is slick and smooth. I have not encountered any errors, unlike with my S3 where Samsung’s Touch Wiz loved to apologise daily because it had “stopped responding”.
Interesting for about 50 seconds, then I reassigned my primary panel and forgot about it. A pointless addition but nothing to worry about. Sorry HTC.
Yes this is a phone, and it has all the modern things you would expect, phone calls, text messages etc etc…. And im pleased to say it does them very very well. The calls are clear for both you and the person you are calling thanks to the built in noise reduction mic on the rear. Most importantly though its easy and quick to access your contacts, the phone never stutters, never freezes or locks up with you want to end your call (Unlike my S3)
The dual front facing stereo speakers are the best we have ever heard on a phone. Clear, crisp, loud and bassy! Yes this is a phone with bass. It sounds gorgeous. If you get this phone, then Spotify premium is going to be a must, because you are going to be listening to allot of music on this phone. Which is possible because the battery life more than impressive.
Leave your charger at home for the day, forget about power saving mode, and dimming the screen. This 2300mAh pack never gets tired, it just keeps on churning out the juice. Im up at 6am every morning, checking facebook, news, watching video, streaming share prices, weather information, using the internet, over wifi and 3g. Come bed time at 11pm… I have over 50% battery remaining. My S3 would have been dead by 3pm. This for me is the HTC ones biggest feature.
The Snapdragon processor in this phone sips energy when its not in use, it shuts down cores, reduces clock speed, switches off video, if it was anymore efficient it would be charging the battery.
HTC have hit a winner with this phone, it is everything a smartphone should be. Its beautiful, and oozes premium quality. The camera is awesome, the processor is smart, the battery does not let you down, and sometimes I turn on the screen just to admire it.
Best smartphone ever? YES.
Gorgeous perfectly sized screen.
Long battery life.
Snappy performance like no other Android phone i’ve used before.
Premium build quality and materials
Dropping this phone is very bad ( See I Fix its Tear Down)
Power button location is inconvenient.
….. And thats all I can think of.