It has already been six months since its launch and there doesn’t seem to be any other smartphone to map up to this beast. Not even close. And when the experts are asked, “What does HTC ONE have, that it prides its apex position without anyone close enough to defeat the ONE”, all they have to say revolves around some master specifications with the amazing values and numbers. Is that it? Was really there no equivalent competition? Let us investigate this very question which stands tall and unanswered. Here’s a detailed review of what you really want to know, of what really matters, from the user whose HTC One has been faithful to him for over four months now. And I forgot to mention, you may have a sudden anxiety to buy the HTC One or atleast check it out once, if at all you were confused over which mobile to buy. Beware!
The sleek design of the HTC One with a full metal body and tapered edges offer a slim and satisfying grip. With no compromise in the design, HTC One took home the award for Best European Advanced Smartphone. It even ranked at the number one spot in our earlier article viz. Five Best Mobile Phones in the World. This phone has also been consistently ranked as the best smartphone by a number of expert review websites as well as events. Some reports also show that it has accounted for as much as half of HTC’s sales.
Coming to day of its release date- around the period from March-April this year, HTC One, formerly known as the HTC M7 sported a unibody design constructed of aluminum. It showcased a 4.7 inch FHD display and the screen brings an industry leading pixel density of 468ppi along with the HTC UltraPixel camera on the back. Boasting a quad-core 1.7 GHz Qualcomm processor, the competitors could only amaze in all silence. Previously, HTC had already come up with three excellent phones: the One X, the One X+, and the Droid DNA. This year, HTC came back with the dominant HTC One with an audacious strategy to focus on one device that could span across many carriers.
Let us dig deeper into this and check out what makes this beauty- a Beast – for any tech fanatic!
Design and Build
Offering a near-perfect performance, the HTC One having round edges is like a bigger version of iPhone 5 or a Sony Xperia Z. It has an all metal, aluminium construction and the only part of the shell that is not made of lightweight metal is the Gorilla Glass screen and the slim plasticky band that runs around the edge.Talking about the weight, the HTC One is quite heavier than the iPhone 5. The HTC One is like the BlackBerry Z10, only it feels like a much more desirable object.
What makes the design more striking are the thin edges on the sides of the screen. Above and below the screen, there are speaker grates to give the actual stereo sound. The up-most portion of the phone is graced by the 88-degree wide angle front-facing camera, which facilitates video-chatting.
HTC preferred to include two capacitive buttons- Home and Back and the micro USB port on the bottom of the phone doubles as an HDMI port for connecting directly to a TV. The phone can be wirelessly connected to the TV Miracast. Furthermore, the power button on top of the phone doubles as a IR blast, so that it can be used as a remote control.
You may check out minor details like placement of buttons, placement of flashlight, sensors and 3.5mm jack, battery details from the images alongside and specification sheet in the link at the end of this HTC One review.
Firstly, let’s talk about the two most common questions:
1. What is Benchmarking?
A. It is the process of accessing the execution of a device by running several programs or processes and the final results are tabulated and a performance graph is made for comparison and scrutiny.
2. Why Benchmark the mobile phone?
A. Modern handsets are multi-functional minicomputers with faster processors and are also enabled with 3D graphics rendering capability, high quality image and video processing. So, the benchmark test is to check the efficiency of the phone’s hardware.
I carried out numerous benchmark tests using Antutu, smartbench and other softwares. One thing I observed was that the phone did heat up considerably. The results however made me let go the bit of heating issue. Seriously! Check the following images and don’t disregard the feeling of supreme power that comes along with the phone. Prepare to be left in awe.
The Antutu test did show that Galaxy S4 ranked higher, but user performance wise I find both to be of the same status!
So, the results of the benchmark tests on the HTC One gives just one conclusion: If you were searching for the ONE smartphone that could answer all your queries and suit all your needs, this is the One, HTC One.
The HTC One features the Android 4.2.2 software update, which has brought a flock of new features and it has been redesigning Sense 5, which is another step forward in the Android overlay story. The 2GB RAM and a staggering 1.7 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro Processor are things you cannot stop talking about.
Opening and closing apps or browsing multiple tabs on the internet, there’s nothing that can slow down the HTC One. The interface on the HTC One is uncomplicated and displays the time and weather information.
It has a screen resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels, 4.7 inches that is enough to leave you stunned. Apart from the stunning looks, the touch is also good enough. This Full HD 1080p display jam-packs 468 pixels into every inch and that statistic is fabulous, which shows it is crisp and sharp. It has feather touch buttons that add to the appeal and the screen looks lively with a good contrast ratio. Its razor sharp but not quite colourful as the SuperAMOLED displays sported by the Samsung handsets, but is brilliant at rendering details in images and videos with no natural light. Even the viewing angles are good, which means a couple of people can easily watch a movie together. Moreover, the touchscreen of the HTC One is very responsive that adds to the efficiency.
The HTC One is accentuated with an array of connectivity options and covers umpteen network frequencies. It features quad-band GSM, quad-band 3G and market-dependent LTE support. The local wireless connectivity has Wi-Fi and DLNA support and stereo Bluetooth 4.0. It also features an internal GPS antenna, GLONASS and a digital compass along with a gyro sensor, accelerometer, proximity sensor and ambient light sensor.
HTC has a smartly designed special options screen, when you connect the One with a computer. The listing of options includes Portable Wi-Fi hotspot settings, USB and Bluetooth tethering along with NFC connectivity with Android Beam.The browsing experience is nothing short of a marvel. Amazingly smooth interface and no despair to those impatient like myself!
The HTC One primary camera has a smaller sensor but comes with larger pixels to allow in more light, therefore more data, to make the images look much better. The smartphone has a 4-megapixel camera and a 28mm equivalent lens with a fast maximum aperture of f/2 and optical image stabilizer for enhanced picture quality. HTC’s UltraPixel camera features a backside-illuminated sensor with a pixel size of 2.0 µm and sensor size of 1/3-inch. It also has the innovative Zoe shooting mode that can surprisingly take up to 20 shots and a 30-second video to create a living photo that can also be shared with friends. With the HTC One, HTC redefined the smartphone camera and made a very bold move by trying to get away from the megapixels race and focus on larger pixels in order to allow greater light absorption. I’ve taken pictures of some really non-interesting stuff and trust me, the pictures have an entirely new story to talk about. Really, look alongside. Kudos here!
The faster the sensors means the shots can be captured quickly making it more efficient for a smartphone user. And other better options also include changing exposure and contrast, tweaking ISO levels, adjusting sharpness, the HDR mode etc which I am sure you are already very familiar with. No need to talk about them.
One of the things that HTC phones are known for is gaming. Most of the Android games run smoothly on the HTC One. I ran a hundred games and the phone performace never disappointed me.
To sum it all up
The Samsung Galaxy S4 is not far behind at all with the stunning screen and rich detailing. What separates HTC One from the other similar gadgets in this category are features like HTC Zoe which captures an HD video every time a photo is clicked by grabbing an image 0.6 seconds before the shutter button is pressed, and then capturing info for three seconds afterwards; the images and videos from a given event are then stitched together on the fly in order to create an up to 30-second video which can be exported as a MPEG4. Also, with the Ultrapixel camera that extends the range of photos that can be taken or simply the improved speakers bolted on the front, the HTC One is the best smartphone in the market. It has more a premium feel than other great handsets such as the Sony Xperia Z and the Samsung Galaxy S4; the HTC One looks and feels like something high-priced and luxuriant.