In my hands since nearly a week now, the HTC One has truly no reason to disappoint anyone, at least not me. I know that this post is going to be a bit long but I will try to share my experience through a “brief” review of the smartphone while trying to spare you those same pictures and details that have been copied from the net.
Don’t worry, you won’t get bored! We will do it the yashvinblogs‘ way! 😉
Why a new phone?
Ever since I purchased my first Android device, the HTC Chacha, I was pretty happy with the device despite its few limitations but its physical qwerty keyboard along with an above-average camera helped me a lot while blogging and shooting pictures for social networking. I must also say that the choice was made after much thoughts, advice and suggestions by my blog readers in this blog post (Read here).
Moreover, some months later, I purchased the Nexus 7 to fill in the gaps (for example, processing power and memory capacity) created by the HTC Chacha. But when my Nexus 7 suddenly died a few weeks ago, I (again) felt the need to go for a newer model.
Note : The HTC Chacha will soon be on sale 🙂
Making a choice
Personally, the most painful process is the part where you need to make a choice between the most tempting devices within your budget and available on the market.
While Nexus 5 was my fav device until the last moment, I changed my decision when I realized how I was disappointed with my Nexus 7 tablet, which died less than a year after I acquired it. Additionally, it was hard to get your hands on a Nexus 5 since it was already out of stock within the first few hours and the first devices on eBay were too much overpriced by at least +$100! Then, I seriously started considering other alternatives like the Samsung S4, the Moto X and Huawei’s Ascend P6. This went on for several weeks, during which I constantly checked for reviews and even annoyed carrotmadman6 with my questions.
Hard to believe, but the Infotech fancy fair changed everything!
Among the various sales during this commercial event, Orange was offering the 32GB HTC One for Rs26, 999, including a free HTC Desire C, a cover, 2 new starter packs and a free monthly package of 1GB internet during 3 months. Some meters away from Orange’s stand, Maurisystems (HTC’s official distributor) was selling the same HTC One for Rs 1, 000 less. And both came with 2 years of warranty!
So, I made my choice early on the next day and I drove to Infotech for the second time!
I went directly for Orange’s most expensive offer (in some way) and 3 days later, I sold the HTC Desire C for Rs4500. So, the price of the HTC One dropped to Rs 22, 500, probably even less than if I purchased the same thing from eBay!
The HTC One, in a “few” words
You simply can’t help falling in love with the One!
Rated as the best smartphone of the year 2013, the HTC One truly deserves this title. Made of a uni-body aluminium frame, this HTC’s flagship smartphone stands out of the crowd! Unlike Samsung’s devices, I have personally found that HTC came up with a differently look and concept as compared to its previous products.
With dual-front stereo speakers, the gorgeous HTC One has a generous 4.7 inches Gorilla Glass 2, Super LCD 3 1920×1080p screen, offering a pixel density of 468p. That’s even more than the latest Nexus 5! Under the hood, you can feel the power of a Snapdragon 600 turning its quad-core processors at 1.7GHz along with 2GB of RAM.
To spare you from the additional technical details, I think that this short list of specs alone should give you an idea of the capabilities of the device which is powered by Android 4.2 (soon Android Kit Kat hopefully) along with HTC Sense 5.
And on top of that, HTC dared to do something different : a 4 megapixels camera!
Look and feel
I must say that the pretty slim device amazes me in every way and every single day.
With the custom aluminium body, the device feels like a solid piece of stuff which nicely fits in my large hands. If you have smaller hands, you might feel a bit weird when handling it, especially to reach for the power button for switching on/off or unlocking your device. The notification led is found beneath the top speaker grill openings just some millimeters away from the proximity and ambient light sensors.
When switching on the device, you are warmly welcomed by HTC’s BlinkFeed which gorgeously displays the latest information about your social networks and pre-selected news feed. Pretty interesting feature at which I glance frequently.
Unlike most Android devices, HTC has reviewed the soft-keys as well as their positions on the HTC One. Surprisingly, only two soft keys on the device along with the usual power and volume buttons. Something which makes The One different is the position of the “Home” key to the right side, the “Back” to the left while the HTC brand name displayed right in between both.
While the back button does it job like it should, a short press of the “Home” key brings on the home panel or the list of applications and an upwards swipe action shows Google Now. To display the list of applications currently running, you need to double tap on the same “Home” key.
On the back of the device, the large camera lens imposes itself with its remarkable size. Besides it, you can find the LED flash light while the NFC (Near Field Communicator) is positioned just above the camera lens. I will come to it later on but briefly, the NFC technology allows you to share data or communicate within two NFC-enabled devices.
The next thing which strikes you with the phone is the front stereo dual-speakers, one on top of the screen while the other one is at the bottom side. HTC did a remarkably good job here too, something which it renamed to HTC’s BoomSound. Additionally, any music played through the device is processed by Beats Audio, proudly printed on the back on the phone as well through an icon displayed in the notification bar while the music is on!
Till now, I have not yet really viewed any HD movies but I’m sure that the 1080p video combined with the Beats Audio™ experience should just be, wow.
There’s nothing comparable on the market with which we can compare the outcome of the speakers! And when you plug in the supplied ear phones which strangely look alike those of Dr Beats, listening to music becomes a pure bliss!
The non-removable battery of 2300mAh seems to deliver a satisfactory performance till now since I can easily get a whole day of regular use. For the moment, I’m trying out the built-in battery optimizer feature and from what I read on the net, you can save some juice by setting the optimizer on since it will run the processor at a slower speed and hence, consume less power. It can prove to be useful because you won’t need your phone to work at its full capacity unless you are running some powerful apps or games.
But the probability of running out of juice should not be ignored if you use the smartphone heavily. This said, it will take a few more days for me to give a verdict on the battery.
Now, let’s come to the camera!
When I first read about the HTC One and all the buzz around, I said WTF?
Only 4 megapixels?
But eventually, when I came across the Orange promo, I read more detailed reviews and critics about the camera. Surprisingly, it happened to be one of the best in the market right now. Instead of rushing for a camera with the highest number of megapixels like any other manufacturers, HTC played with the camera sensor itself with its “UltraPixel” technology and a built-in optical image stabilization. Do you still remember my post about the number of megapixels? If no, head over to this post over here!
Delivering pictures of up to 2688 x 1520 pixels only, the phone produces amazing results with its sensor capable of capturing even more light as compared to the competitors. On top of that, HTC included some pretty nice and interesting features like the “Zoe” camera mode and ability to apply effects while shooting.
If you wish to stay up to date with pictures I shoot, just follow me on Facebook 🙂
Now, I will briefly go through a few additional things which I found interesting in the HTC One:
Using your smartphone as a remote control
Though the built-in tv remote control application is not usable here since our country does not figure in the selection list, you can download applications to remotely control your TV, air conditionner or even DSLR Cameras!
The IR (infra-red) blaster located just at the power button on the top of device can emit IR rays to control devices but it can also “learn” new IR commands so that it can be programmed to emit back those new IR patterns to control any new devices or equipment. I surprised several colleagues at work and even Dhaneesha by pointing my mobile at the AC and home television set respectively to control them, like a boss 🙂
HTC offers a free DropBox subscription of a cloud storage of 25GB for 2 years. The Dropbox feature is highly integrated and reachable from practically anywhere in the phone.Though I have always been a Google fan but I will soon give a try at DropBox to compare both cloud storage services.
As described earlier, the One has NFC positioned just on top of the camera, hidden in beneath the cover. This NFC technology allows you to transfer or share data or communicate whenever two NFC devices come close together, usually, a few centimeters.
For example, you can share music files, photos and even use NFC tags to execute some predefined actions on your smartphone. Our friend Tushal should soon come up with his his guest post in which he will be giving us more details on NFC. You can read his first post here and the second one is over here.
What I would like to change?
Of course, the battery!
Who does not want a battery which lasts several days, just like those mobile phones we had a few years back? I still remember having to find where I kept my charger when I had to charge my mobile after several days!
Next, I’m really scared of dropping the phone, just like anybody else. The smooth back of the device does not provide a strong grip which could help to prevent the phone from slipping out of your hands.
Though I feel the power button would have been more reachable if it was better positioned than being at the top left side of the phone, I’m pretty much more comfortable with it after a few days of use.
The concept behind BlinkFeed can be made even better if it allowed users to enter their own favorite RSS feeds instead of having to choose among pre-defined ones.
If this becomes possible, I will probably stop having to use a separate rss feeds / news aggregator!
At this premium price, wireless charging would have been pretty much an additional bonus. Unfortunately, from what I read, the metal chassis would not allow this charging by induction. Too bad!
And to end, the price. All good things have a price unfortunately. But at Rs 22, 500, I think that I got one of the best deals available on the market! The price might eventually drop after a few months, so keep an eye for good deals if you are carving for this flagship device!
And before going to the conclusion, let me remind you that the One uses a micro-sim. So, if you still have the “normal” one, you need to go to Orange to either cut it into a micro-SIM format or swap your old SIM for a new one.
The HTC one is something you definitely need to see, feel and experience. There’s no arguing over this : it is definitely the best phone of the year 2013!
If this phone is within your budget, go for it! You won’t have any regrets!
Coming soon on yashvinblogs
Oh yes, before ending this post, let me show you something that I will review in a few days time hehe. As usual, keep tuned to the blog 🙂
The One has a new set of clothes today : The Genuine HTC Double Dip, purchased from eBay :