Technology

HTC One X review

HTC One X

At the HTC One launch yesterday I finally got my hands on an HTC One X, the much acclaimed next-generation Android smartphone. Among the features being touted on are its next-generation quad-core Tegra 3 processor, an amazing 8MP camera, and Beats by Dr. Dre audio. While these features are certainly amazing, we believe that its major value lies in two areas, display and build. These are two important aspects to consider when purchasing your next top-of-the-line smartphone, which is what we will highlight in this article.

Display

Upon seeing it the first thing most people will noticed is the size. It is, in a word, ginormous. And why not? With its 4.7 inch Super LCD screen, the HTC One X has the biggest display currently available in the market alongside the HTC Sensation XL (thanks gadgetfreak) and its Windows phone cousin, the HTC Titan II. This gives the HTC One X a significantly larger display than its biggest competitor, the Samsung Galaxy S II which comes in at 4.3″.

Aside from being physically bigger, the projection is also visibly more defined. By displaying 1280×720 the resulting pixel density of 315ppi is much higher than that of the HTC Sensation XL (199ppi) and the Samsung Galaxy SII (215ppi) but slightly lower than the iPhone 4S (326ppi) and LG Optimus LTE (326ppi). A display resolution of 1280×720 equates to a 16:9 aspect ratio, allowing it to support 720p widescreen HD natively. This means that the aspect ratio will be kept on most 720p and 1080i blu-ray rips resulting in zero picture distortion.

At full brightness the Super LCD display is tack-sharp. Individual pixels are less discernible, and at night it is very bright and vibrant. In daylight it is supposed to be visible as well, but the launch was done at night so we were unable to personally test this out.

HTC One

Super LCD vs Super Amoled Plus

Technically the blacks on the Super LCD display are not supposed to be as deep as that of Super Amoled Plus. However in actual usage it might not even be that big of a factor. Unless you are used to LED or have discerning eyes, the only time you really notice any difference is in lowlight situations and at night.

Build

How many smartphones out there can you comfortably drop or throw without suffering major damage? The HTC One X is one solid device. With its screen protected with a Gorilla glass layer and its body housed in polycarbonate material, the HTC One X can be dropped at a decent height and stay intact without any visible scratches. The whole package stays intact, which simply shows how solid the construction is.

Of course the stury build quality has a tradeoff. First, the HTC One X comes with a non-removable battery. Second, it only takes in micro sim card. Third, there is no memory expansion slot. We believe these are important points that need to be into account when considering this phone.

Nowadays high-end smartphones tend to be very expensive yet easily damaged. The Samsung Galaxy S II suffers scratches and breaks apart when dropped, while the iPhone 4S barely survives. Just for fun we included the iPhone 4S vs Samsung Galaxy S II drop test video below.

This is a huge plus for the device, especially for rough users. At the very least, very careful users who like to keep their gadgets like new all the time by using full body protectors can relax and enjoy the device in the nude, the way it was meant to be used.

The HTC One X feels a tad heavy at 130 grams (with battery) compared to the Samsung Galaxy S II, which weighs only 116 grams. The difference might be unnoticeable to most, however we certainly felt it. That might be due to the fact that the Samsung Galaxy S II is made plastic.

HTC One

Another plus factor that we believe worth mentioning is the feel of the casing. With a matte finish it is not too smooth, which makes the body less prone to smudging. The screen however takes on a fair amount of smudges. No biggie as it easily comes off with a single wipe of a cloth. The phone comes in two flavors, white and black.

Performance

With its quad-core Tegra 3 processor and 1GB internal memory the HTC One X is now the fastest Android smartphone on the market. While regular users might not enjoy its full benefits, heavy users will definitely notice the difference, especially in gaming and multitasking. It ships with Android 4.0 (ice cream sandwich), the latest and greatest version of the Android operating system by Google.

It comes with the trademark HTC Sense 4 user interface which enhances the vanilla Android operating system, providing a richer user experience. On the quad-core driven HTC One X the HTC Sense UI feels snappy and very responsive with no sluggishness at all.

The HTC One X does not come with a memory expansion slot. It does come with 32GB internal storage, which is already a lot for the moderate to heavy users. For super heavy users however there can never be enough memory. With memory cards being so cheap we are slightly disappointed by HTC’s decision not to include an expansion slot in the device.

Camera

Even in lowlight situation the 8MP camera takes very nice pictures. Rapid-fire continuous shooting allows you to take multiple shots and select the best one out of the batch, which is a really nice feature.

What sets the camera apart from the rest is the Video Pic feature. Supposedly it allows you to capture photo and video at the same time. Although we were unable to personally test this function we are hoping that it is as good as it sounds.

Audio

The HTC One X proudly carries the Beats brand. According to HTC, Beats Audio is used to enhance the sound quality. Unfortunately HTC did not include a Monster Beats headset in the package.

We were also unable to test this function, feel free to share your experience in the comments area.

Size

HTC One X comes in at 134.36 x 69.9 x 8.9 mm, which is slightly larger than the Samsung Galaxy S II at 125.3 x 66.1 x 8.5 mm. In paper the difference may appear minor, but in actuality it is fairly noticeable.

Some of those we have asked find the HTC One X to be a little too large for a mobile phone that’s supposed to fit in your pocket. Touchscreen smartphones have allowed manufacturers to maximize surface area for display real estate. We would like to think of it as a tradeoff for having 4.7″ display.

HTC One

The question now here is: when will smartphones be “big enough”? Perhaps in the future, a smartphone of this size wouldn’t be so big at all.

Final verdict

Retailing at P32,990 the HTC One X is surely the best smartphone that money can buy. Early adopters would certainly find value in its crystal-clear, true wide screen HD display. Most of all, its build quality ensures longevity for such a sensitive device.

HTC continues to show maturity through quality craftsmanship which in the long run may become a big factor in choosing their products over competitors.

Can’t wait to get your hands on this baby? Check out the HTC One X unboxing video by Phonedog below!

Special thanks to our friends Jenny Roxas, Jayson Biadog, and Rei Magpayo of Ardent.

HTC One Series (photos)

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