Review: HTC One X

PAT PILCHER
Last updated 05:00 02/05/2012
HTC One X

HTC ONE X: Weighing at a cool 130grams with a 720 x 1280 LCD screen and 32GB of built-in memory.

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REVIEW: With new smartphones hitting the street on weekly basis and each sporting yet another new set of killer features, HTC's latest flagship smartphone needs to impress in order to foot it with other handsets from manufacturers like Samsung and Apple.

LOOK AND FEEL

Un-boxing the One X, the most immediately noticeable feature was its Gorilla Glass screen which goes all the way to the edges of the phone's curvy smooth polycarbonate chassis.

At 4.7 inches, the One X feels like it's all screen, yet thanks to its pocketable weight (130g) and svelte design (it's a mere 8.9mm thick), it felt pretty comfy in the hand.

This isn't to say that the One X is perfect, it has its share of small niggles; For a start its back isn't removable, which means you can't easily swap out the battery, which in turn limits the device's life expectancy.

Whilst the One X has 32GB of memory built-in (plenty for most purposes), a microSD card slot would also have been useful for power users or those with large media collections.

Powering it up saw its 720 x 1280 LCD screen sprint to life. On-screen colours were brilliantly vivid and images were pin-sharp and richly detailed.

It might not have the largest amount of pixels per square inch (especially compared to the iPhone 4S), but it's near enough. The result is an incredibly sharp display.

IN USE

The bulk of the hype surrounding the One X centres around its muscular fast quad core processor (which is said to be among the fastest powering any other smartphone on the market).

However I didn't notice any huge performance gains aside from the fact that the phone never lagged, stuttered or faltered.

What I did notice was it was silky smooth to drive and for an Android phone had a solid battery life, giving close to two days use from of a single charge.

Perhaps the best stand-out features for me was the excellent rear mounted 8 mega-pixel camera, which is easily on a par with just about any budget point and shoot digital camera I've reviewed.

Not only did it take some of the sharpest images I've seen from a phone camera, it also came with a bunch of nifty editing features.

Add to this the fact that HTC have also handily provided 25Gb of online storage via Dropbox, for free, for two years, and the One X could quickly become indispensable.

The One X is also the only smart phone available running Android 4.0 (AKA Ice Cream Sandwich).

HTC have also added a few of their own wrinkles in the form of the newly refreshed "Sense" custom interface.

From the attractive and intuitive unlock screen, the One X's custom interface sports some small but really useful tricks. Reject any incoming call and the One X can automatically send a text message saying 'I'll call you right back' (or whatever you tell it to say by default) and it'll also cleverly remind you so you won't forget about returning the call.

Other nice touches include the seemingly endless supply of widgets HTC have bundled in. Anything from managing contacts, to keeping an eye on social media or even cranking out basic documents are all present and accounted for in widget form and can be added to any one of the One X's seven home screens.

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The HTC One X's contacts interface also really stands out.

If you need to find a contact, simply start typing their name or number using the on screen keypad, which will then display a narrowed down the list.  Once a contact has been selected you can also check out their Facebook and Twitter feeds (assuming you've linked them up).

Calls made on the HTC One X deliver consistently good audio quality, even in loud environments such as shopping malls or a busy city street. One of the main reasons for this is the addition of a noise cancelling microphone to ensure your voice isn't drowned out by ambient background noises.

Audio from the One X's earpiece was also loud and clear.

Using it to surf the web was pretty close to perfect. With HSPA+, webpages flew onto its screen and were accurately rendered. The optional addition of Flash support also greatly helped the surfing experience.

Zooming in, panning around and generally interacting with a web content was also faultless, especially given the One X's stunning screen.

One killer feature that really stood out was the addition of a "Read button". Tap this and an easy to read, ad free version of whatever site you're on is loaded. Here's hoping other phone makers cotton onto this one sooner rather than later.

VERDICT

About the only feature missing from the HTC One X is the kitchen sink. Not only is its HD screen one of the nicest I've used on a smartphone, but the phone was also extremely smooth in use (thanks to its quad core processor) and its integrated camera.

Design-wise it is also a smart looking device. While it does have some shortcomings, none of these were deal breakers in real world, day-to-day use and as such it's easily one of the best Android smartphones on the market.

SPECIFICATIONS

RRP$ (varies depending on mobile plan)

Dimensions (mm): 134.36 x 69.9 x 9.29

Weight (g): 130

Screen:4.7" LCD, 320ppi, 1280 x 720

CPU: 1.5 GHz quad core

RAM: 1GB

Internal memory: Up to 28GB

OS: Android 4.0 (with HTC Sense 4.0)

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