HTC have started 2012 with a bang with no less than 3 new handsets. While this isn’t patch on the sheer number of handsets the Taiwanese company made over the last 24 months; their new One range shows the handset maker is finally ready to focus on a core set of handsets and concentrate on quality over quantity.
From the get-go you can tell the new One X features a very slick design, super-fast processors, the best camera they’ve ever made and Beats Audio as standard. The One X is their new flagship phone and the 4.7-inch goliath more than lives up to the billing.
HTC’s have always been great phones, but they’ve suffered from poor design decisions and often mediocre, bland design lines. They’ve never been ugly, but they were a long way off the quality of Apple designs.
Well you’ll be glad to know that for the new One X design is its strongest suit. The One X is made from polycarbonate – posh plastic, basically – making it light in spite of its size. The unibody frame means it all holds together effortlessly, with no creaking, no matter how much you try and flex it.
Out is the removal battery cover and what has replaced it is a solid all-in-one design which oozes sturdiness and quality. It’s very hard to see where the seams bind together, meaning the One X finally has the feel of a phone that can easily compare to an iPhone. They’ve done away with traditional sim card slot for a micro-sim meaning the design curves are no longer spoilt by large gaping slots. Some might gasp at the lack of a microSD slot, but 32GB of built-in storage is plenty, and you also get access to bonus Dropbox storage for two years.
The screen on the HTC One X is something really quite special. For a screen of its size we’d have to say that it’s probably the best we’ve ever seen. It has near-perfect 180 degree viewing angles, incredible colour reproduction and works equally as well with full motion video or still images. At 4.7 inches, it’s the resolution that stands out. This measures 312 pixels per inch, almost as high-definition as the iPhone 4S, and the larger size means it looks arguably more impressive.
The new camera onboard is easily the most accomplished HTC have ever offered. The 8-megapixel snapper comes with a LED flash and takes pictures with little or no shutter lag. For those of you looking to capture video you’ll be glad to know the 1080p functionality works admirably, with deep blacks and eye-pieceing colours.
Where the camera really starts to make sense is the extra features: you can capture pictures while recording video or even snag a picture from a video in “post production mode”. Overall there’s very little to choose between the iPhone 4S camera and the One X camera.
One of the main selling points on the One X is: speed. That because the new handset is one of the first to have a quad-core processor. With added speed there’s always a downside: battery life. The phone is incredibly fast, zipping from apps to games in a flash. In every department, the phone’s speed knocks you out.
Battery life has always been a bug-bear for all Android handsets – whether this is because the batteries aren’t up to scratch or the OS is being too greedy is unclear. But with ICS users are now able to keep track of what apps are running in the background. Unfortunately the One X suffers the same issue as almost all smartphones: poor battery life. If you’re careful you’ll get over 12 hours, maybe even 18 – but start playing high def video or playing games and you’ll see the battery drain increase. It’s not brilliant, but with such increase in speed there was always going to be downside.
Part of HTC’s partnership with Beats audio means the sound quality of the One X is amazing, volumes levels are fantastic and the overall quality is well ahead of anything we’ve heard on any other Android handset.
The sound is all processed via Dr Dre Beats Audio software and hardware, giving improved sonics on everything from Adele to Angry Birds. Add in a pair of their trendy headphones and you’ve got music like the artists wanted you to hear it.
The HTC One X is the best phones HTC has ever made. You get a real sense that from the 40-odd phones they’ve released over the last couple of years they really learned from all minor the mis-steps and brought all the knowledge together to make the One X. A marquee moment for the Taiwanese handset maker and now it’s Samsung’s move.