HTC One X
We’re looking at the HTC One X, part of HTC’s new One range, along with the One S and One V. It’s an impressive line, hitting new heights for Android handsets. With sleek design, a great new camera, new super speedy NVIDIA processors, Dr. Dre’s Beats Audio system and a brand new operating system in Android’s Ice Cream Sandwich. The HTC One X is an amazing introduction to the range, featuring a 4.7 inch screen but remaining ultra thin and easily handled. You’ll find my in-depth look at the handset below.
What HTC have given us with the One X is not just a slight update on their line. A lot of long standing HTC problems have been dealt with, such as the boring mediocre looks and low battery life, and as a result we end up with a HTC handset that comes from the same design school but looks unlike any they’ve given us before.
It’s an extremely ergonomic phone that just begs to be touched and rolled around your palm, I don’t think a phone has been this pleasing to the touch since Apple’s iPhone 3GS. I put this down partly to the fact that (excluding the buttons, charger and a tiny cover for the micro sim) there isn’t a visible seam on the handset, it just flows like it was one complete piece.
The HTC One X comes in at under 9mm thick and weighs just 130 grams with the battery so it’s comfortable in even smaller hands. The battery is sealed in, contributing to the seamless look, which may cause problems for those who tend to carry a spare battery but with less cladding we have room for more battery which is pretty essential when you have such a large screen on a handset with an incredibly thin body.
As with last year’s Nokia Lumia 800 we see with this handset that you really can attain a high-end feel without having to opt for aluminium or glass. HTC have used a polycarbonate (essentially a fancy plastic) for the One X and it gives you a very light handset without comprimising size. Thanks to the unibody frame it all stays together without any trouble. There’s no problems with creaking no matter how hard you flex the plastic.
Those with a keen eye will also notice that the white back of the handset is matte but for the edge and front they’ve opted for a gloss finish. A really cool little detail and the match between the two is flawless. just more proof of the attention to detail HTC put into these phones.
Time to turn our attention to the incredible display attached to the HTC One X; the minute you turn it on you can’t help but notice it. Now with an impressive 4.7 inches to it’s name it’s certainly a big one but what really grabs you is the resolutuion. With 312 pixels per inch the One X’s display is almost as high def as the iPhone 4 and, in my opinion, the larger size just makes it look so much more impressive. The colours are super sharp, the contrasts are great and you really notice the resolution when you’re capturing video or displaying photos.
And showing off your photo’s is something you’ll be doing plenty of when you check out the camera this phone is packing. Eight-meg/1080p with backside illuminated sensors and an LED flash, it takes absolutely stunning photos and videos with practically no shutter lag, but where it really stood out for me was with the extras.You can take stills at the same time as recording video and even extract individual photos from your videos while watching them back, picking each frame from the footage you caught. Just touching the shutter button while playing back will capture your image from the moving ones. You have a still photo and video capture button onscreen at all times, as well as a cool lens which lets you play with loads of Instagram style effects, adding sepia, vignette, distortions and loads more which you can view as you capture.
Speedwise the HTC One X is one of the smoothest handsets I’ve yet to come across. It’s one of the first to use the NVIDIA Tegra quadcore processor and believe me when I say it is QUICK. Watching videos is 100% stutter-free, game play is fast and without glitches. The touchscreen reacts instantly and is smooth as silk. This phone’s speed has really blown me away in every respect.
Now we come to the area that has always been one of HTC’s downfalls, or certainly never a strong point, battery life. I owned the desire and I had such problems with the battery I had to calibrate it myself and even alter the apps I used. The One X has certainly righted that, giving a good 12 hours of usage and it’s always lasted me to a nightly recharge. The only drawback is one we mentioned earlier and that’s being unable to remove the battery. I know some of you are extra heavy users and like to carry a spare battery around. Well that’s obviously not an option here and this might not be the handset for you, although I would say 95% of you will cope just fine.
The new browser is impressive and handles well with my favorite new feature being an Apple style ‘Read’ button. Using this strips away the images and just leaves the text, allowing for faster browsing. Zoom in and the words reformat themselves to fit the screen. The menu has some nice little extras such as a tab option, igconito browsing and a one touch option to access the flash player.
Beats By Dre
Now we get to one of the real selling points for myself, the sound. The audio is all processed by Dr Dre Beats Audio software and hardware, vastly improving the sonics on whatever you’re listening to, be that Sondheim or Skrillex. I really looked for something to criticise here but came up short. Some might have a problem with the lack of the SD slot but with 32GB of built in memory and two years of access to Dropbox seems like plenty to me.
HTC One X Overall
The HTC One X is a good looking, fast handset with a lot of power and great versatility. It seems to me like a great deal of though has gone into the main features (OS, camera, Beats by Dre) but also a lot of attention to detail has been applied to the little things, right down to the holes that form the earpiece and speakers. Pound for pound this is the best Android handset on the market at the moment in my opinion. Come back next time when we’ll be having a detailed look at the HTC One X’s new OS, Android’s Ice Cream Sandwich, as well as some of the apps available.