Rogers HTC One X Review (Video)

Daniel Bader

April 28, 2012 5:10pm

HTC had no choice but reinvent itself; it was necessary for its survival. After a disappointing year in 2011, the One X is HTC’s most important phone since the Hero, when it introduced Sense to the Android world and cemented itself within the industry as a promulgator of form and function.

At first glance, the One X is barely recognizable as a HTC smartphone. Though its singularly precise bodywork and outstanding balance reminds us in many ways of the Sensation, the move from aluminum to a matte polycarbonate and subtly-curved body speaks to the company’s willingness to experiment.

At the time of writing this review for the One X, it’s currently Canada’s most powerful Android device. On paper the device has it all, both outside and in. Let’s take a ride to the centre of the One X to see if the experience delivers on its promises.

Specs

– Android 4.0.3 with Sense 4.0
– 4.7-inch 720p Super LCD 2 display
– 1.5Ghz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor
– 1GB RAM, 16GB internal storage (non-expandable)
– 8MP back camera w/ ImageSense, 1MP front camera
– 1080p video capture w/ image stabilization
– WiFi (b/g/n), WiFi Direct, Bluetooth 4.0 w/ A2DP, GPS, NFC, Beats Audio
– 1800mAh non-removable battery
– 3G: 850/AWS/1900/2100Mhz, LTE: 1700/2100Mhz
– 3G: 21Mbps down/5.76Mbps up, LTE: 100Mbps down, 50Mbps up
– 134.8 x 69.9 x 8.9 mm
– 130g

Design

The One X is a big phone, given that it has a 4.7-inch screen. But there is nothing excessive about it despite its considerable height and width: in the hand it feels approximately the same size as the 4.3-inch Motorola RAZR. To cut down on thickness — the One X is a svelte 8.9mm — HTC has embedded an 1800mAh battery within the chassis. So too have they done away with expandable storage, limiting the user to 9GB of SD card space and 2GB for apps. I say this off the bat to set expectations: this is HTC at its minimalist best.

These are controversial changes, certainly, especially since the international version has 32GB of storage. Other than that (and the quad-core LTE-less Tegra 3 chip) both models are identical. A volume rocker, flush with the device, is on the right side. The left, three-quarters of the way up, is the microUSB charger, a curious location indeed. Most users I’ve spoken to prefer the charging port on the bottom, made standard by Samsung.

On top are the headphone jack and power button. Curiously the power button is on the right side, which caused some trouble when unlocking the phone straight out of pocket. Because of that whole-palm method of clutching the phone, it requires a subtle shift in the hand to reach the power button with the right index finger. For lefties this isn’t an issue, but it brings up an important question: is the HTC One X a one- or two-handed phone?

As thin as the One X is, much of the time I found myself needing to either shift the phone in my hand to reach the top of the screen, or to hold it steady in the palm of my right while manipulating the screen with the left. This is true of the camera, too, as we continue our tour of the phone. The 8MP camera module protrudes slightly, surrounded by a metallic plastic ring that matches shades with the HTC insignia below.

The mono speaker is elegantly etched into the bottom of the device using the same precision machine process as the Lumia 800. A Beats Audio logo above the speaker reminds us that we’re in for an aural treat, though ironically only when using headphones.

The two-handed question opens itself up again when using the phone’s superlative camera. While light enough at 130g to hold between thumb and middle finger, its length risks imbalance when tapping the on-screen shutter button. Cradling within the palm and stabilizing with the index finger while pressing the shutter with the thumb is also possible, but equally unstable.

All this is to say that the One X is somehow impressively compact and deceptively large. Because the polycarbonate finish is slippery — exacerbated by oily or clammy hands — having to reposition the phone to reach the notification bar is a trade off for an enormous, and triumphant, 4.7-inch display.

HTC has employed a slight curve to the phone, at both poles, ensuring a concave appearance from the side. But unlike truly concave displays such as the Nexus S, the glass on the One X is flat and the curve happens only to the plastic. Nevertheless, this slight outward glide helps fit the phone more comfortably in the hand — long phone calls were extremely comfortable on the One X.

Ultimately, HTC has made huge improvements to its overall design philosophy with the One X. Small quirks aside, the company hasn’t released a phone that feels this coherent, this singularly focused, in a very long time, and that speaks to how much I enjoyed using it on a daily basis.

Display

As I said in the Hands-On, the One X has the best display I’ve ever seen on a smartphone. The 720p revolution only started late last year with the Galaxy Nexus and Optimus LTE, but the quality of parts has proliferated immensely since that time.

With the One X, HTC has managed a non-Pentile with superb viewing angles, excellent maximum brightness and almost-perfect colour reproduction. This is the equivalent of the excellent Incredible S screen but with nearly three times the number of pixels.

I have two minor qualms with the One X’s display: its black levels don’t compare to that of an AMOLED display, and the phone’s automatic brightness levels leave the screen too bright in most situations. Let’s address each one individually. AMOLED displays will always have improved contrast levels over its rivals because they don’t employ a backlight; pixels are either on or off. A traditional LCD, even the Super variety, uses a backlight even on dark tones. But black levels on the One X are accurate and deep enough to offset many of the inherent advantages of AMOLED. The upside is that whites avoid the blueish hues that plague many of Samsung’s Galaxy devices, avoiding oversaturated colours in the process.

It’s easy to be seduced by the absolute clarity of the One X; reading text is like scrolling your finger up and down a laminated piece of paper. And because colours don’t lose their vivacity when angling the screen to and fro, the larger-than-average screen better mimics the effect of reading a book than any smartphone I’ve used.

The second slight issue I have with the One X’s display directly relates to that scenario: the auto-backlight is a bit liberal, leaving the screen too bright in most situations. Not only does this risk depleting the battery more quickly, but in many cases I prefer to read on a screen that is slightly darkened.

One of the first things I did with the One X was load up YouTube and watch some HD trailers. The device is so clear, so fantastically bright and spacious, that it’s the first mobile device on which I haven’t shied away from viewing full-length movies. HTC Watch, Google Play and Netflix were made for smartphone displays like this.

Performance

As I showed you in the hands-on, the One X blows away all other Android phones in the benchmark department. It nearly doubles its predecessor in CPU tests, and the upgraded Adreno 225 GPU smokes rivals such as the PowerVR SGX540.

More importantly, the One X feels faster than any Android device I’ve used to date. Even the Galaxy Nexus, which was designed to run Ice Cream Sandwich, stutters in places that the One X does not. There were times that I didn’t even realize an app was open because there were no loading times.

I try to judge devices both objectively, using benchmarks, and subjectively, by performing “regular” activities such as browsing, consuming media, playing games and typing. As you can see above, the benchmark results speak for themselves, though the GPU is not quite as fast as, say, the Mali-400 in the Galaxy S II. But when browsing over LTE using Chrome for Android or typing a long email using SwiftKey 3 Beta — both have been known to cause the Galaxy Nexus to stutter — there is not a moment’s hesitation.

The potent combination of Android 4.0 and a Snapdragon S4 SoC seems to be the key here. Sense 4.0, too, is less overbearing than its predecessor, but the hardware acceleration in ICS and the inherent computational prowess of Qualcomm’s new chipset are the real winners.

Camera

The excellent performance extends to the camera, too. HTC has embedded an 8MP backside illuminated sensor with a f/2.0 aperture lens, plus a dedicated processing chip dubbed ImageSense. This allows the phone to take shots at speeds of 4fps by holding down the virtual shutter button.

Photo quality is uniformly excellent in well-lit scenes, and mostly good in low-light scenarios. In a future post we’ll take you through comparisons with the iPhone 4S, Sony Xperia S, Galaxy Note and Lumia 900, but for now we’ll show you some sample photos.

If you saw the depth of field examples from the Hands-On, take comfort in the fact that the One X gives you a premiere photo experience. Not only is the shutter instantaenous but shots are generally in-focus and sharp, especially when you take the time to frame it.


There are a number of guides, modes and settings to help you achieve that perfect shot, too. While ‘Auto’ will attempt to figure out white balance, exposure and ISO on its own, specific features like ‘HDR’, ‘Landscape’, ‘Close Up’ and ‘Low Light’ are meant to enhance photos for specific scenes. Many of them attempt to manipulate lens sensitivity or exposure levels to provide optimal results, but I found that ‘Auto’ did the best job in most scenarios.

HTC has taken a cue from Instagram and PicPlz by bundling its own set of playful filters which can be applied in real time. Company mainstays like ‘Monochrome’ and ‘Vintage’ are present alongside more interesting additions like an adjustable ‘Depth of Field’ filter.

The camera UI has been largely overhauled to give you as much viewing area as possible for a given photo. There are no longer separate still photo and video modes; instead the recorder button is just below the main shutter, and can be activated at any time. When shooting 1080p video it is now possible to capture 5MP stills, something the Galaxy Nexus can boast of only at much lower quality.

The 1MP front-facing camera is good, but no better than the majority of its competition, while 1080p video is of high quality, but lacks effective image stabilization (despite the feature being present). There is plenty of detail in the video, and colours are deep and rich; the sensor also adjusts to light very quickly. But I found there to be a distinct shakiness to whatever I captured, exposing its smartphone roots. Samsung and Apple seem to have done a better job with image stabilization on the iPhone 4S and Galaxy S2 respectively, and I hope HTC figures out a way to improve it, since all the other aspects are there.

HTC has added the ability to auto-upload photos to Flickr or Facebook, alongside Dropbox’s native Camera Upload feature that is enabled by default. You can also sign into Microsoft’s Skydrive to access existing photos from the service, alongside mainstays like Facebook, Flickr, Dropbox, Picasa and Google+. The integration with the native Gallery app is seamless and fast, making it a standout feature against native Android Ice Cream Sandwich, which does not offer nearly the same number of integrated services.

Software

Sense 4.0 is, simply, a pared-down and de-bloated version of what HTC brought with the Sensation and Amaze. Its customizable dock, 2D floating widgets and vastly improved performance make the experience significantly better, and I have to commend them on creating one of the finest Android user experiences around.

Much of this fette is owed to Android 4.0, which is inherently more beautiful, intuitive and capable than Gingerbread. HTC has adopted the ICS method of creating folders and swiping away individual notifications, along with a horizontal app drawer and improved method of adding widgets to the home screen.

But there are areas within the operating system that they have either changed for change’s sake, or the improvements are so minute as to be inexplicable.

For example, the new multitasking menu, while seemingly more intuitive than the vertically-scrolling default ICS version, is ultimately finicky. Like on Windows Phone, the large 3D snapshots of your previously-used apps are arrayed in order of most- to least-recently used. You can flick upwards to end the process — the same as the horizontal motion in stock ICS — which is quite convenient. But the whole endeavour seems needlessly ostentatious, and is certainly no improvement over the very natural-feeling method in stock ICS. Even the One V, which is HTC’s low-end entry in the One Series, maintains the vertical multitasking menu in Sense 4.0.

The keyboard, too, has been embiggened, with endlessly tall letters and permanent directional arrows that seem to be of little use to the regular user. Depending on the app, the directional arrows will be present if there is no legacy menu button, though at other times they will show up even if the menu button is in use, as with the Facebook app. This results in the keyboard letters being disproportionately high on the screen.

As always, HTC’s built-in autocorrect is excellent, often more intuitive than Google’s own ICS keyboard. But whereas Google made the space bar wide enough to mitigate accidental presses of the buttons on either side, HTC’s keyboard is not quite as lucky. Options to remove the directional arrows or increase the width of the space bar should be present but aren’t, ensuring that many users will go as quickly as possible to Google Play for SwiftKey X or Smart Keyboard Pro. For those who prefer to “Swype,” HTC has included a Trace feature that works much like the aforementioned newly-acquired namesake, but comes off as less functional overall.

Beyond those two annoyances, I’ve found Sense 4.0 — at least running on the One X, we’ll see about the One S and One V — to be the second best Android experience I’ve had next to the Galaxy Nexus and stock Ice Cream Sandwich. Why doesn’t it quite match up to the fantastic precedent set by AOSP Android? Because there are too many inconsistencies within the various apps to be overlooked. While on stock Android you select, copy and paste text the same way throughout the OS, Sense 4.0 incorporates elements of its unique (and quite intuitive, I must say) Sense style of copying and pasting, only to fall back to the stock ICS method on certain occasions.

Some potential buyers of the One X are going to be put off by the now-standard 16GB of internal storage with no option to expand. Apple offers its iPhone in 16, 32 and 64GB versions, each $100 more than the last. But HTC has two models, a 16GB  LTE version for North America , and a 32GB HSPA+ model for the rest of the world. It’s difficult to understand why they chose to cut in half the user storage, but it leaves users with few options but to stream more media content, since there is just over 9GB usable SD storage space, alongside 2GB for apps. HTC tries to mitigate the problem somewhat by extending a user’s Dropbox storage to 25GB (from the default free 2GB), and while music can be streamed from the service, the same can’t be said for other forms of media.

To sum up the One X, its overall experience with existing Android apps, the ones I use most every day on my Galaxy Nexus, is fantastic. App load times, scrolling through lists, looking at photos and watching videos, browsing the web — basically anything you’d think of doing on a smartphone today — is demonstrably faster on the One X. Not only faster, but better. And as soon as developers figure out their issues with HTC’s legacy menu button, my other knock against the design of the One X will be made moot.

Included Apps

HTC has included a fair number of “stock” apps for your perusal, though few of them deserve more than a passing mention. As always, the Clock app, which opens when you touch the gorgeous new clock ticker widget on the main home screen, is a stunning piece of engineering. Now with a manipulable 3D globe looks fantastic on the high res screen, you can add up to 10 cities to your roster, and set alarms, a stopwatch and a timer. The Clock app, along with HTC Watch, is an example of an app that HTC put a lot of care and thought into.

Unfortunately the same can’t be said for the stock Notes, Tasks and Movie Editor which promise great things and greatly underdeliver.

HTC’s Car Mode app is extremely functional and attractive. With the optional car dock, the ability to hook into music, internet radio, navigation or to make a phone call, will be an often-used feature for most drivers.

As usual, Rogers includes its own melange of bloatware, but the One X has the advantage of being able to disable any app from within the App Manager. While this doesn’t actually uninstall the app (if it takes up space, it continues to do so) it does “disappear” the icon and all associated relationships with other apps. This is as good as you’re going to get in this day and age and something we appreciate HTC allowing users to do — we’ll see if Samsung follows suit.

Network Speeds, Audio Quality & Call Quality

The HTC One X boasts some of the fastest overall speeds from any phone we’ve ever used, be it zipping around homescreens or downloading large files. This is owed to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S4 processor with its integrated LTE baseband. As we showed you during the Hands-On, the One X is capable of some incredibly high speeds on the Rogers network, and it’s the first LTE device I’ve used where I felt like the CPU could finally keep up with the downloads.

We were consistently able to get over 25Mbps both download and upload over the Rogers network, and when falling back to 4G in areas without LTE, the speeds were a very manageable 3-5Mbps down and 1-2Mbps up. As LTE expands across Canada, I’m excited for more Canadians to experience it — the difference is truly astounding, and you won’t want to go back.

As for call quality, the One X is definitely middle-of-the-road. Call volume was excellent from both the headpiece and the rear speaker, but there were times when those on the other end sounded hollow, almost like they were talking into a can. This wasn’t always the case — it depended on the connection and the recipient’s phone — but I’d love to see HTC take a more serious stance on this in future devices.

Reception also seemed to be an issue, especially in areas with weak LTE signals. The device would vacillate between one bar of LTE and five of HSPA+, but the handover disrupted downloads and caused web pages to stop loading. After a couple seconds, all activity would resume once again, but in certain pockets of the GTA I had to manually turn off LTE to keep the device from attempting to gain, and promptly lose, a signal.

I also found that the One X had trouble holding onto a LTE signal where the new iPad, my only other LTE-capable device on hand, had no issues maintaining two bars. This is likely due to the larger antenna system in the iPad, but also speaks to whether the One X baseband is optimized for the Rogers network.

The Beats Audio integration is very cool, but certainly more a marketing vehicle than a true revolution in sound. I’ve demoed the One X with the very expensive Beats Studio headphones, and I’ll be honest when saying it was one of the truly best listening experiences I’ve had on a mobile device. That’s because HTC has included equalizer settings for the majority of the Beats line-up to match each can’s particular aural signature.

But the sheen wears off quickly when you plug in your own likely cheaper pair of headphones to discover that, despite the ability to use Beats with any set and in any app, the improvements are only as good as the quality of the equipment. The default “Other headphones” setting tends to compress the dynamic range, increasing low-end frequencies such as bass while decreasing the harsh sibilant treble range. This has the effect of making rock and rap music sound louder and punchier, but for any other genre of music that isn’t already heavily compressed in that range it sounds muddy and dull. In short, bad headphones will sound bad.

The One X is Canada’s first smartphone with Beats integration, and for the likely thousands of young folks already with a pair of Beats headphones, the combination will be music nirvana. For everyone else, not so much.

Battery Life

For the first smartphone with integrated LTE, I had high hopes for the One X’s battery life, and for the most part it delivers. For the first few days, when I was heavily testing the One X, the battery lasted between seven and nine hours. On one day I turned off LTE and it lasted nearly 15 hours on a single charge.

With “regular” use the One X is going to be fine for battery life. That’s not to say integrated LTE negates the relatively higher battery drain but it certainly improves upon it. With battery tests certain things must be taken into account: the strength of the signal, the brightness of the screen, and most importantly how many things are updating in the background.

I’ve already related my dissatisfaction with battery life on most Android phones, but the key thing to remember is that many apps, such as Twitter, Facebook, RSS readers and more, update in the background by default. This is impossible behaviour on iOS and Windows Phone (with a few exceptions) but it requires the user to be prudent in monitoring which apps are updating in the background and adjusting their frequency accordingly.

That isn’t to say I was happy with the battery life of the One X. HTC assured me that the ultra-efficient 28nm Snapdragon S4 chip would have no trouble lasting an entire day, which I took to mean from the time I take the phone off the charger in the morning until I go to sleep. As much as I tried, with LTE enabled this doesn’t seem possible. Let’s say I take the phone off the charger before I leave for work at 8:30am. Nine hours of uptime, with “regular” use, would deplete the battery by 5:30pm. Disabling LTE would add an extra five or six hours to that tally, bringing us to 10:30 or 11:30pm, more than enough time to get home after a busy day and plug in the phone.

As I said earlier, if HTC adjusted the Automatic Brightness setting to be a bit more conservative, some juice could be saved that way.

In order to test the One X under the most trying of circumstances, I played a 1080p video on loop until the phone almost died. Sound was off, but LTE was left turned on. The phone lasted 5 hours 6 minutes before it finally shut off.

Summing it all up

The HTC One X is currently the best Android phone on the market, and its only competition hasn’t even been announced yet.

This is a tremendously powerful, intuitive and functional smartphone. Forget that it’s Android for a moment. Look at it from a user experience perspective: this is one of few smartphones that you can just pick up and use without having to fiddle with settings, widgets and apps. The out-of-the-box usability is better than any other Android phone in recent memory. Add the fact that the Android app ecosystem is strengthening every day — no app vendor can ignore the 300+ million devices out there — and you have an extremely viable content consumption device. From Google Play (apps, books, movies) to HTC Watch to Rdio to 7Digital to Netflix, the choices are varied and welcome.

Its problems are minor, and its potential huge. As soon as HTC allows users to unlock the device’s bootloader, thousands of developers are going to go crazy over the prospect of building custom ROMs for the One X. Throughout my time with the device I experienced no app crashes, minimal slowdown and, despite the eyesore legacy menu button, it rarely got in its own way.

While its size may be too much for some users, the One X has the screen, the speed and the network to justify its cost. As long as HTC doesn’t linger too long in updating the device to the next version of Android, this could be the first Android device in a long time I’d gladly sign a three-year term for.

  • JL

    It’s the best phone on the market by far. The S3 has a lot to live to.

    • l forgot my meds

      No Retina.
      No good.

    • Jimmy Key

      RIM?

    • stylinred

      you realize “retina” is just a term apple uses to relate a High PPI screen right? and its a term they use very loosely considering they used it for the new ipad

      not only that the iphone4s and the oneX have virtually the same PPI so if the OneX was an Apple product it would be called a Retina display…

    • Duane Ward

      RIM?

  • Peter

    Listen RIM, this is how you come back from a slump. As soon as HTC realized the house was burning, they immediately focused on making the highest quality phone on the market.

  • guy fawkes

    Auto Screen is much too high on this device, you can get away with less than 30% and it is still readable in sunlight, and in indoor its totally fine. With that I go through an entire day with over 4hrs of screen on time. International can’t do this though, only the s4 based one xl

  • lol

    lol beats audio and beats headphone are such crap cant believe u use those things

  • Tom

    “At the time of writing this review for the One X, it’s currently Canada’s most powerful Android device.”

    Isn’t it the most powerful smartphone of any OS, anywhere?

    • Nate

      nope. we have the dual core not quad core

    • stylinred

      wouldn’t the Meizu MX be the most powerful?

  • W

    WIND mobile user here. It’s too bad, ’cause I really wanted this phone as my next. Guess I’ll have to wait and see if the Galaxy 3 has pentaband support for us AWS HSPA+ users..sigh…

  • trev

    Dammit now I want this phone. Have had not thing but Samsung android phones would like to try HTC.

  • lol

    this phone really is crazy, mine lasts 4hours of screen on time everyday! i love it, the s3 really has a lot to live up to to impress me now.

  • dreamchaserjc

    I’m a one X owner and I must say its an awesome device. Battery life & storage are the biggest drawback for the device, but they are not a disaster. I manage to get well over a day on standby with LTE on.

    But what I would really like to know is why would HTC release such a gorgeous device without having a case or holder available at the same time for purchase.

  • leobg

    The wind user up there, this phone has AWS and will work just fine with AWS providers.

    • Michael

      Actually, those bands are blocked. There is no AWS.

  • Nino

    I owned HTC Legend. It was such a good phone for about a year and then problems began to surface. Battery life down, the battery bar on the notification bar would never go to full, unless you reboot the phone, the digitizer screen malfunctioned and I had to replace it, The GPS would not lock on anymore! I don’t know if I would want to go back to HTC again. I got the Samsung Focus from rogers. I know it’s more than a year and a half old, but I have to tell you, I’ve never owned such a stable and fast phone. It almost never freezes or slows down, and battery life for the past 5 months been great.

    • Ida

      They are all android but are ovailerd with different skins’.Most of the Droids have MotoBlurMost HTC Phones have HTC sense (tht big clock)Samsung phones have TouchWizAnd LG mostly has stock android

  • jon_d0e1

    how is this the best phone when it doesn’t even have quad core??? LOL

  • Kostas Kritsilas

    “On paper the device has it all, both outside and in”

    Sorry, no it doesn’t; not even close. A small list of things that are missing:

    -uSD slot
    -Removable battery
    -Quad core CPU.
    -16GB of storage on a phone that seems to have been optimized for camera/video use.

    I understand about the lack of quad core CPU with the current issue of the Tegra 3 and the LTE chip sets not getting along, but two things could have been done to address this, one on HTC’s side, one on Rogers side:

    a. Use some other quad core CPU (OMAP as an example)(HTC side). They re-designed the motherboard anyway, so they should have re-designed it for a differet quad core chipset.
    (HTC)

    b.Sell the international, non-LTE version of the One X as an alternative to the LTE One X. Most of the country still doesn’t have LTE, so the HSPA+ version would be fine for a lot of folks (Rogers).

    The unibody construction is nice, but for heavy users, a replaceable battery is much more useful. I don’t know why people think that a 4 hour screen on time is acceptable; it isn’t for people who are using the phone for a full day. While design aesthetics are important for the sales of the unit intially, what makes a phone great is day in and day out usability. In the case of most Android phones, this is still an issue due to battery time. 16GB of on board storage, of which about 10GB or so would be usable, is unacceptable on a phone that purports to be the “best” phone out there, especially in light of the unavailability of a uSD slot. I know about cloud storage, and how it can be used to store pictures and movies, but in a country where data is still fairly expensive, does anybody really think this is a viable alternative?

    The next phone that will become the “holy grail” will probably be the RAZR HD in Maxx form. If, and when that phone is released, I will make it my regular phone. Until such time, I will continue to use my iPhone 4S, which does give me full day usability, in addition to storage options up to 64GB.

    I wonder if Wind could get the international version of the One X? The quad core, and most likely lower power draw of the HSPA chip set, along with the 32GB of onboard flash would do very well, I would imagine.

    Kostas

    • Rio

      LMAO.

      USB SLOT AND removable battery?

      Get with the times man

    • Techie

      Really Dude LTE Devices on Rogers are backwards compatible for all radios EDGE/3G/HSPA+. Do some research.

  • Kostas Kritsilas

    I couldn’t go back and edit my previous email, so please change

    “A small list of things that are missing.” to “A small list of issues/problems”.

  • Milpool

    Why the hell are we so complacent on battery life? Struggles to last nine hours on a charge and you score it a 7?

    A score of “7” represents “decent”. There is nothing decent about that. That should score a 2 or 3. Battery tech needs to improve, and fast. A smartphone should be capable of moderate use for 80 to 90 hours before needing to be charged.

    • John Doh

      Comparatively.

  • chris

    yuuppppp ill wait for the one s same internal specs, i can live without the screen coming from an HTC wildfire s, and the storage is perfectly fine for me coming from 150mb of app storage having to delete facebook app once a week to make room for my score app whenever im following specific games, plus the battery life in the one s is amazing ive heard.

  • wewewi

    16gb storage and lack of microSD are deal-breakers. Sad.

    Gimme the EVO 4G LTE!!

  • bobo jones

    Hiding the pre installed apps is a feature of I C S , and has nothing to do with the maker of the phone , so all phones with I C S will be able to do it.

  • Zeake

    Battery score should be 3 at the highest. Terrible terrible terrible we shouldn’t have to stress over battery life, it’s like hiving to fill up on gas every day. wth!

  • Samiam

    @L Forgot My Meds

    The HTC screen is vastly superior to the retina display that Apple does not even make themselves…

    • trojjanhorse

      Guess who makes the retina display for Apple… Answer: Samsung!
      They even claimed that they don’t mind making displays for Apple, since they have AMOLED HD which is by far superior.

  • paul

    When it comes to benchmarks, I am surprised you only got 1900 ish on vellamo, mine easily reaches almost 2300. And battery with my regular use and LTE always on, I get 30hrs without a problem, with my previous phone and same usage barely got through the day..

  • Andy Warhol

    As much as I’d love to love the HTC One series, I can’t justify not having a 32GB option. If you’re going to “go the apple way” with regards to a closed design & internal battery, at least give the consumers a CHOICE. 16GB is great for a good number of people, but for those who need more (and use it on a daily basis), at least give them the option of paying more for a higher capacity device (and no, Dropbox doesn’t count).

    • Phil

      Naw, you’d just get one of those Y’ USB adapters and hook the power lead to a polatbre Li-ion battery that outputs at least 1A and it should provide enough power upstream.

  • Jesse

    I seriously would consider this, but I’ve already had Android leave a bad taste in my mouth before. As “awesome” as it may be, I’m certain after 30 days of use, you’ll start seeing the good ol force closes and slow-downs.

  • Jude Brown

    I just ordered 3 of these for myself and staff. Last phone was a Nexus S that was unbearable until ICS came on. Now the UI is good, but the phone is slow. After having tested a friends LG (dual core) that is well over a year old and still very fast I think it comes down to horsepower (at least in the Android world). If this doesn’t work out next year we will be moving to Windows Phone 8.

    • stylinred

      if its for your business you should be using symbian phones or even the N9 (harmattan/meego os)

      since android is very similar to those OS’ and at least with those phones your battery life will last you a couple work days of use since the OS’ are efficient enough to not need heavyduty CPUs/GPUs

      and things will be running smooth and secure

      it might be something to look into

  • Jer

    Decent but the low battery is a turn off, im waiting on S3 and possibly iphone 5.

  • David

    For those concerned about battery life, don’t be. Under real world circumstances, it will last all day and then some.

    I bought a One X on Thursday and the battery life is astounding. I’m currently at 19% remaining after 17h 41m 2s on battery, with regular use of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, a few calls, a ton of SMS, browsing, and Google Navigation. Granted, I don’t have much LTE reception around here, but I didn’t disable it. On my first day with it, using the phone like crazy, it lasted just over 9 hours.

    Also, I’m not sure why the review says “As soon as HTC allows users to unlock the device’s bootloader”, you already can! I unlocked mine the day I got it though HTC’s developer website.

  • Mathieu

    It would be the best smartphone if it was running Android 4.0 without HTC Sense.

    • paul

      you clearly havent tried sense 4. i also have a evo 3d, and sense was slow. this one x? i havent found anything slow about.
      honestly, i look at my asus transformer, and ICS looks dumb…

  • Vito

    Having bought the Galaxy S2, Galaxy Nexus and the One X, I’d like to share perspective on battery life. For my “regular” use, I get more than a full day out of all those phones.

    As a test, I did not charge my One X the other night. It lasted the full day and then until 9:30pm the next day – that was over 37hrs. As I have a job, I’m not surfing YouTube on my phone all day. I am checking emails, using Google Reader, Gtalk and taking some calls. I’d say about 1.5-2hrs of screen on time a day.

    Standby life is also pretty good, I lose less than 1% per hour (about 2% every 3hrs) with the screen off and Gmail/Gtalk running in the background.

    Yes, it “only” has 16GB of storage – of which only 10GB is user accessible. To put that in perspective, that’s over 2 hours of 1080p video recording on the phone (@9mbps). Since all of my music is in “the cloud”, I don’t need to store music on the device. The only thing I really need the storage for is pics and video – and it has more than enough for me. I would have willingly traded the microSD slot for 25GB of Dropbox space. Your mileage may vary.

    Daniel is definitely correct about default background apps running in the background. It seems the default apps HTC has syncing keep the phone awake and chew up battery. I suggest when first setting up your phone (or after a factory reset) to choose “No” when asked if you want to run background services. Then, after you’ve completed setup, you can go into accounts and just enable the apps you want to run in the background (i.e. Google services that use push notifications). Stay away from apps that poll (or “check”) every 15 minutes.

    As for the size of the device, I found it too big at first (I still the the GS2 is the perfect size) but I have gotten over it. Being right handed, the power button was a bit of a challenge to operate with one hand but I am getting pretty good at it – it has yet to slip out of my hand when I wake it from sleep but I an constantly aware there is a chance that may happen. I type with the same hand with which I hold the phone and I have no problem doing that. I didn’t hate the stock keyboard, but I installed SwiftKey X as the arrow keys along the bottom raise the whole keyboard up and it was difficult for me to get accustomed to.

    Lastly, I love this phone. It is currently my daily driver (at least until the GS3). I cannot describe how nice it feels in your hand. While the Galaxy S 2 still holds it’s own, this phone makes the Galaxy Nexus feel like a Nexus S – cheap and plasticky. The hardware is beautiful enough to slap an Apple logo on – and that’s probably the best compliment I can give it.

  • H(ilarious) T(otal) C(rap)

    Just more cheap plastic Android garbage, it probably won’t last a month before it has to be sent in for warranty work.

    • Lazed

      @H(ilarious) T(otal) C(rap): I think you’ve confused HTC for LG.

  • the wise one

    I really like this phone, but is it just me or does the green colour in the menus look worse than the stock ICS blue? Other than that small caveat, AMAZING PHONE. Need to replace an aging LG Dare.

  • BB1983

    I bought this phone on Friday, and I get 30+ hours on a single charge with moderate use. When I had the Optimus LTE with the same usage I would have to charge twice. This S4 processor is amazing and this is the best phone I have had EVER. Even people who have the iPhone wanted to return theirs and get this phone. Believe me this phone is amazing and the battery is top notch. The storage is not even an issue as you get 25 gigs of dropbox or can get 5 of Google Drive.

    For all those people who are doubting and waiting for the Samsung Galaxy SIII, get over yourselves and get this amazing phone.

  • Kostas Kritsilas

    Vito:

    If the video is in any way to resemble HD1080p, there is no way 2 hours of it will fit in 2Gb. 2 hours of H.264 video is 8-12GB, and most video codecs won’t be able to fit any more than 2 hours of decent quality 1080p video in less than 8GB. If you want to run high compression ratios, it will fit, but will pretty much defeat the purpose of recording 1080p.

    Think of it another way: if you could fit 2 hours of 1090p video onto 2 GB of space, Bluray or HD Video would have not been needed. A DVD is 4.7GB (single sided/layer), so a 2 hour movie would have fit onto a regular DVD with lots of room left over. As things currently stand, it doesn’t and barely can be made to fit a dual layer DVD (9.4GB, and that is with fairly high compression ratios, again, compromising video quality.

    I think that a 32GB on board storage would have been a good comprimise for leaving the uSD slot out. At 16GB, 19GB usable, it is questionable. Put in some apps, some music, and the space is down to 6-7GB. Again, not an issue for folks who don’t shoot a lot of pictures or video. But this phone’s still and video features are being promoted pretty heavily, and in this case, can be expected to attract people who DO shoot stills and video. In this instance, 10GB, in my opinion is NOT sufficient without a uSD slot.

    The cloud storage argument is something that needs to be carefully evaluated. With cloud storage, every song that you play costs you money in terms of data transfer fees. You may be lucky to have a grandfathered in 6GB plan, if so, fine, no issue, no added cost. However, if you have the more common 500MB/1GB/2GB data plans, you really should ocnsider whether or not streaming music from cloud based storage is viable or not.

    Kostas

  • Kostas Kritsilas

    Hi,

    Sorry for the typos. I did mean 10GB usable, and I’m sorry for the other typos.

    Kostas

  • jimmyj

    I have a real nice pair of testicles.

  • allan

    Any one know if the international version of this phone would work with telus or any other carrier? if so what data speed can we expect ?

    • Duw

      4mbps / 2.5mbps on a good day.

      2.15 / 2.75 in downtown Calgary right now.

    • Ryan

      HSPA+ speeds

  • Corey

    Love it.

  • J

    HTC and Nokia are shaking things up this year! I’m actually excited for the new phones again for once. I’m loving my Lumia but I’m also going to snatch up a One X ASAP, just have to wait to see if the S3 will have some amazing feature above and beyond the One X, which I doubt. One X is by far the best feeling in the hand android device too. 2012 will be a bad year for my wallet.

  • ilikepizza

    @shopping How DUMB do you think we are?

    BTW, HTC One X. Pretty cool phone.

  • Kostas Kritsilas

    With the S III finally, it has almost all of the features that the
    One X left out. While it is unknown if the quad core will make its way over to NA, but even with an S4, speed shouldn’t be an issue. What it did do is add the uSD slot back, along with a removeable battery (with wireless charging as an option). It addresses the storage issues in a coupleof ways, both with the onboard storage (16/32/64GB), adn with the uSD slot. Typical Samsung plastic construction, which I am not a fan of. Don’t understand the move to blue color, what’s wrong with black all of a sudden?

    Everything is still very preliminary, but if the picture quality of the S III matches that of the One X, nobody will be looking at the One X by the time the S III rolls out in the summer.

    Kostas

  • Wild

    I got this phone a week ago on Rogers and it is nothing short of amazing. Like the reviewer said, I too experience in certain areas where LTE signal is not that great the mobile data does tend to hang to the point where I have to turn LTE off. Also, the phone does have its moments when a “Loading” notification appears, and seems to reset everything running in the background. Other than that, amazing phone which I highly recommend!

  • bStarMan

    Amazing review, I want it!

  • Fox in a Hole

    Two problems. HTC… and Rogers.

  • Lyndon

    The One x is amazing.

  • MrPickleFicker

    How about a One S review? It’s only been out for a few weeks now…

  • Jeff

    Beats audio and “audio nirvana” should not be in the same sentence.

    The upcoming Galaxy S III with an updated Wolfson audio codec onboard, or even the older Galaxy S/Nexus S line all deliver superior audio quality than the software equalized garbage that Beats is, would be worthy of that praise. But Beats audio? Really?

    If you’re in it for a fashion accessory.. sure. If you want a real audio experience, real headphone brands like Sennheiser, Audio Technica, Grado, Denon, etc. are all far superior. Not even comparable.

  • Jordan

    I don’t see many comments about the issue people have with its multi-tasking memory management. From what I’ve learned apps have to reload each time you switch away from them and then back again. Anyone else have a problem with this?

  • Larry Carson

    Dan

    I sent you a email regarding Audio Quality between the OneX and SG-3. I saw your review on XDA( Galaxy S-3 ), it was fantastic. I hope you will take a look at the email I sent you. I have a Sensory Hearing Defect and the Audio Output of the device is really important to me. I am trying to decide between the HOX and the New GS-3 from Samsung. I currently have a Motorola Atrix2, which is a nighmare of problems, however the Audio and Display are not.
    I would be SO GRATEFUL to you if you could help me out.

  • Jeff Goebel

    I’m not actually liking mine in every day use. I think I preferred my ICS modded Sensation more, except for the 4.7″ great screen.

  • Dan.Giroux

    Recently picked up this phone and wont be turning back. Camera is great, video is crisp and colors are amazing. I tried out the Nokia Lumia 900 prior to this one and am so glad I switched it up. Although the extra RAM of the S3 would be nice I don’t notice any slow down at all with the One X and hopefully if/when Jelly Bean comes out the device will just rock. Nice to see HTC putting so much work and effort into the One series. Would highly recommend this device to anyone: Screen->A+, Sense 4.0->B+, Camera->A+, No Expandable Memory->C-

  • Colin

    Extra ram in GS3 is basically a marketing gimmick that will have almost no real impact on daily use for most users. I recently switched from a Galaxy Nexus to the One X after debating about potential upgrades. I almost never stick to stock Android so I was basically looking for the best hardware I could get. In the end I gave up the amazing developer community of the Nexus in favor of the hardware on the One X. I’ve used the S3 plenty, but what convinced me to buy the One X was its build quality and screen quality. AMOLED screens are insanely over-hyped, and putting a One X next to an S3 shows just how ridiculously good the HTC screen is. Might even be the best Android screen on the market. Otherwise, the S3 feels very cheap and flimsy comparatively. S3 isn’t a bad phone, but I think most of its ‘benefits’ come from its software, which meant little to me. Storage issues can be overcome with cloud options. For anyone interested in rooting and modding an Android phone with stellar hardware, it’s tough to beat the One X.

  • Dan

    I want the Saygus V Phone and tablet!

  • William

    Truly interesting, look frontward to visiting
    again.

  • Jalal

    Hey Daniel!
    You had a great review and I really liked the whole piece!
    I was wondering if you could post the wallpaper that is on the One X that is on the first picture of the review?

    Thanks!

  • Eluder

    OTA update for the Rogers version is out.
    Brings the phone software to v1.94.

    • meowww

      Yeah, this seems to have made multi-tasking a bit better too!

  • HayJay

    Love this phone! I’ve got it on 4g LTE (AT&T, in Austin) and love it. How come people rag on it? It’s not the best multi-tasker but good grief — how many things can you do at once? All I need is to download hairstyles, then get off. No time between hair appts. to worry more about getting more done.

  • nazir yousaf

    its prices inpakistan

  • nazir yousaf

    plz its rate send me in pakistan rupues

  • md Ahsankabir

    it is a very best fun htc One X

  • Andrewww

    HTC has the worst reception for a phone

  • EddieM

    Was just wondering where i can get that wallpaper from?

  • HillaryJAY

    I don’t understand why a phone like this doesn’t do better in the market. It does come with AT&T 4GLTE, it’s gotten great reviews and it looks great. What’s up? As a hair dresser (Dallas, BTW), i love the white color; my product stains don’t show up like they do on a black phone.

  • Wafa Younes

    I love it I wish I have one but I can’t afford it too bad :(

  • Wafa

    It’s my dream to have one but it’s too expensive for me I hope one day someone will give me a gift like that (:p) it’s a dream I know but some dreams come true.