HTC One Review
It has been a difficult last twelve months for the Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer, who have lost an alarming share of the Android market to Samsung, after what we thought was a strong showing of the original One Series 12 months ago. Last week saw the UK launch of their new flagship phone, albeit a couple of weeks late, due to having problems sourcing parts for the new camera. We have had one for the last few weeks and we thought it only fair to pull together our HTC One Review.
Since this phone was unveiled to the public in London back in February, most of the technology world has been pretty positive about what HTC has brought to the table and after being hands on with this phone for 2 weeks I tend to agree.
The first thing you notice after unboxing the phone is that it really is well designed, HTC have continued on from their award winning design of the 8X windows phone and brought this forward thinking to Android and come up with a piece of aluminium that is cold to touch, stunning to look at and really feels like a premium product. It’s interesting to see both Sony and HTC have gone this way with their new flagship phones whilst Samsung have stuck with what they know, carry on as you know attitude with the new Galaxy IV.
Moving on to the use of the HTC One, the first thing that will strike you is that it roars into action with the start-up jingle, and this is only starting indication of how powerful the dual speakers placed on the front of the phone are. I’ve watched a film, masses of video on YouTube and listened to music via Spotify and the horribly named ‘Boomsound’ dual speaker system is just far superior to anything which we have almost tolerated on a smartphone before. (To say, the Boomsound is horribly named is perhaps a tad harsh, as the name tells you what it does on the tin, but to me it just sounds like a Geography teacher trying to be cool at a 6th form disco!). The quality of the display is very impressive as well, the 4.7 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixel Super LCD 3
Screen feels large, but not alien in size.
Then we get round to the part of the phone, which was a brave move on HTCs part and has certainly impressed me so far. The 4MP camera! The company have pulled away from the megapixels arms race and have come up with what they call Ultrapixels, which allow in more light and therefore take better pictures in low light situations. I tried this out at the darkest place I could think of, the local bowling alley, and was pleased with how the photos turned out. Photos outside seem to be of a similar quality to what we have seen before, so no major improvements there.
There is also a camera feature called Zoe which allows you take a short HD video whilst taking pics and sort of turns them into a Video Slideshow and gives you some excellent editing options, such as removing unwanted items from the background and adding in sequence shots. It’s a nice added touch, similar to the fun you can have on Vine, but I can’t see it becoming the standard media type of the future.
Once you are actually down to the nitty gritty of using the phone, it is very similar to any Android experience you may have previously had. The HTC One runs with Android 4.1.2 with the company’s Sense 5 User Interface laid over the top. I was previously using an HTC One X and must say the latest version of Sense is faster and smoother than the former incarnation.
HTC have also brought another new feature onto the handset called Blinkfeed which is like a rolling newsfeed, which you can tie in with both Facebook and Twitter as well, but for me this is a little gimmicky and at present doesn’t pull from enough news sources for UK users. Currently it does pull news from both The Guardian and The Independent, but as a Brit whose internet home page is set up to default to BBC Sport it would be improved no end if BBC and Sky were added to the feeds.
HTC One Review Verdict
Overall the all new HTC One will appeal to people who like a serious phone in their pocket. It appeals aesthetically to anyone who has previously chosen an iPhone and is tired of the operating system, or poor finish, and anyone who has owned an Android product should be impressed by the innovation that the HTC One has brought to the party. Time will tell whether this is the phone that puts HTC back into the big-time, but with a serious ad campaign behind it and high profile sponsorship of UEFA football competitions it could and probably should.
Oh, did I tell you it also controls my TV!!