The next gen HTC One model is called just that, no ‘X’, no ‘+’ or 'S', just a simple number denomination. So far, the Taiwanese company hasn’t been faring all too well with devices like the HTC Butterfly proving to be way too pricey and the Windows Phone 8X and 8S models still remaining under the radar. This could be HTC’s big break back into the majorly relevant league, but the price of Rs. 42,900 (MOP) might still be a deterrent for some. So we’re here to tell you if the HTC One is indeed a handset worthy of consideration, price tag be damned, or if it’s just another fly by night, high spec'd smartphone that’ll be here today and gone tomorrow.
HTC’s sticking to its unibody design form even with the HTC One. The One is encased inside a zero-gap aluminium shell that, while definitely giving it a tres chic and elegant look and feel, also has a downside. For one, the metal body tends to make the handset a little slippery when it’s cold. Secondly, it also becomes rather hard to hold on to when the processor starts to heat up after excessive use. The curved rear of the handset also rests a little unstable on a flat surface and naturally feels wobbly if you’re trying to type with it resting on your desk. In your hand, however, it does feel quite comfortable.
Quite a looker this one
The perfectly-sized 4.7-inch Super LCD3 display with a full HD (1080 x 1920, 469 ppi) resolution makes for excellent viewing and was quite legible even in broad daylight. Thanks to Corning Gorilla Glass 2, you can be assured the screen will remain scar free to quite an extent, though fingerprints and smudges were still very much evident.
The power button also serves as an IR sensor
The speaker grilles located at the top and bottom of the display also adds a better tone to the overall design form. The light and proximity sensors are located on the left of the earpiece, with a little notification LED placed subtly under the grille. A 2.1MP HD ready camera (1080p @30 fps) with HDR is located on the right side. The volume rocker located on the right hand side of the handset and the power button on the top near the 3.5mm handsfree are quite flushed into the design, which can make them a little hard to use at times. A slightly more prominent protrusion might have been better here. On the left is the micro SIM card slot that can be extracted by using the HTC pin. A microUSB/MHL port is placed at the bottom. While the volume keys might be well-placed, the Power/Sleep key will work great for lefties but will require a bit of a stretch for others to access. Incidentally, the power button also doubles up as an Infrared transmitter so the handset can be used as a remote control.
Available in black, silver and red, the HTC One is truly an inspired design and sexy as hell!
Features and Performance
Setup can work directly on the handset or via HTC’s set up website that lets you customise how you have the phone ready for use. It allows users to select apps to be downloaded, choose or create wallpapers etc. and transfer the whole setup to the handset OTA. Of course, you could just do it all via the handset like any Android device as well.
An all-new setup process via the web
HTC’s Sense UI has undergone a drastic change in version 5. It’s no longer as we remember it, but a few functions have managed to slip through so you won’t feel too much in the dark. We have to admit that it took a little while to grow on us, but once we familiarised ourselves with the layout, it was a pleasure to use. The new home screen called BlinkFeed works a little like FlipBoard and acts as a feed reader for all of the sites or topics you choose (for which there is a wide array). It’s neatly laid out for you as soon as you switch the handset on from sleep mode and will keep you constantly updated on all your favourite stuff including your Facebook and Twitter feeds. A little tab at the top allows you to customise this section and also select a specific feed to view if you wish. Our only suggestion to HTC would be to have this option constantly available while scrolling. But to keep it, simply double tap the Home option and you’ll instantly be transported back to the top. Each story is also easily shared via all available mediums.
Sense UI v5 definitely brings some great functionality to the HTC One
Version 5 of Sense UI also lets you create folders in the app drawer, making it much easier to access and sort apps. The weird thing was the Weather and Time widget that’s glued to the top of the BlinkFeed and App Drawer sections. We couldn’t seem to get rid of it and having two clocks displayed, at all times, on the same side of the display seemed fruitless. The dropdown notification menu could have also used a few docked toggle switches to make it easier to switch radios on or off instead of leading us back to the main settings menu.
As usual, Sense UI tries to seamlessly integrate your accounts in the Contacts menu and offers you the options of linking contacts on its own. This can save quite a bit of time.
There’s plenty to like here and with the rich colours of the full HD LCD3 display, the UI really comes alive.
Saddled with a 1.7GHz quad-core Snapdragon 600 chipset, 2GB of RAM and available with 32GB or 64GB of on board memory (no expansion option), the HTC One proved to be one blazing fast smartphone. It’ll ship with Jelly Bean (v4.1.2) with an update to v4.2 to make it out later on. We’re hoping this will change and HTC will ship the handset with 4.2 when it launches at the end of the month. From accessing apps to quickly loading high quality games and overall super slick functionality, the One easily stands out from the rest.
We ran our usual benchmarks and the scores were through the roof. Linpak scores gave us a whopping 272.5 MFLOPs on a single thread run and hit the 600s with multi thread (averages). Antutu showcased the Galaxy S4 as the only handset to best the One, so we’re eager to see if that’s true. But we compared them to some of the devices we have tested recently, so do take a look at the Nenmark2 and Quadrant scores as well in comparison to the competition: