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Smartphone review: HTC One

Last updated on: April 10, 2013 15:21 IST

Smartphone review: HTC One

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Beautiful design, specced-up hardware, a camera that captures shots in ultrapixels instead of megapixels and almost 300 new software tweaks makes HTC One a top-notch smartphone, says Gourav Jain

For starters, HTC One comes with more than 300 new features. It will take a lot of time if I start writing about all. So I promise to keep it short. Based on the short duration we spent with HTC One, here's a hands on experience report.

Courtesy: HomeForGeeks.com


Image: HTC One


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Build and design

HTC One has a beautiful metallic unibody design. It has stepped away from the polycarbonate design they used on HTC One X and HTC Droid DNA, for a more premium aluminum experience with matte finish. Unlike the iPhone, that comes with an aluminum back too, the HTC One has rounded edges that gives better grip when using the smartphone.

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Display

Pixel density on HTC One is top of the range. At 468ppi, the phone has one of the best displays we have ever seen. Not only does the phone offer a HD display, it offers a display where pixels cannot be noticed, even when zooming in on a webpage.

Comparing it to the HTC Droid DNA, the previous smartphone the Taiwanese company developed for Verizon, we see a small jump in how gorgeous the display is.

Viewing angles on the smartphone are excellent and colour reproduction is close to perfect. Text is incredibly crisp and the display does not suffer from any past issues that PenTile AMOLED screens had.

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Performance

HTC One has a little boost of speed, due to Qualcomm's all new quad-core Snapdragon 600 processor, clocked at 1.7GHz. This comes with Adreno 320 graphics and 2GB of RAM.

Performance on the smartphone is incredibly fast, loading speeds are done in under a second most of the time and games run smoothly with hardly any lag. The experience just works almost all the time, and HTC has worked to make the smartphone simple and run light, making the most of the impressive processing speeds and oodles of RAM available.

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Operating system and user interface

For big Android lovers, the Sense 5 UI brings out more of the Android experience, but it is still layered under what HTC believes to be an all-round better user interface. Whether that is true is for you to decide, but multitasking and Google Now is now a large button hold away.

Most of the Sense 5 design is just layered down, flat, and simple. HTC have tried to make this a simple and almost minimalist user experience, but the generalisation between minimalism and Android is still quite a mile away; with customisation and widgets still being the centre of user experience.

Starting HTC One instantly introduces you to BlinkFeed, HTC's new news-cum-content aggregator that has a Flipboard and Metro (Modern UI) combined like user interface. What happens on BlinkFeed is you get a bunch of different links to news articles, which you can read.

HTC has taken a few cues from Android in terms of text and app/widgets design, with text font mostly Android-native Roboto and Holo stock apps. When using the HTC One, you feel like everything you need is only a few clicks away, because everything is sorted and designed so simply.

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Tags: HTC , BlinkFeed , Roboto , Holo , UI

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Camera

HTC has added a new camera feature and is declaring that the megapixel number will never be a true way to identify how to rate a camera. Ultrapixels are what the HTC One will have, 4UP, if you will.

Ultrapixels, according to HTC, are pixels that capture a lot more light in dark areas and are overwhelmingly better than megapixels for photo concentration and colour differentiation.

We clicked images from HTC One, Galaxy Note 2, Lumia 920, Galaxy S3 and iPhone 5 in low light environment. In our tests, HTC One did do a better job than most for getting light on dark images. Images clicked with HTC One were vivid and brighter than others.

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Tags: HTC , Lumia

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Top features

1. Zoe

HTC has developed a new three-second video capture service, a lot like Vine. You can take three second recordings on Zoe and then post them to various social networks. Zoe worked very well in our early tests and we really enjoyed using the service, although going up against Vine, it has some problems coming to user experience.

On Zoe, for instance, you cannot take a one-second clip, wait half an hour, then go back and record three more seconds of video.

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Tags: HTC , Zoe

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2. Boomsound

Ah, if HTC's naming process was not already bad enough, now their new amplifier and speaker setup is called Boomsound. This is a direct collaboration with Beats, a company HTC owns. Sound quality on HTC One is incredible, much better than Samsung Galaxy S3 and Lumia 920.

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3. IR Blaster

This allows you to connect the HTC One to a TV or other service and acts as a remote. You use the Sense TV software to control the entertainment system, and when we tested the IR Blaster out it worked pretty well in directing and playing TV.

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Tags: HTC , IR Blaster

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4. Sense Voice

This is one of the features that I badly need today. Its next to impossible for me to make a phone call when I'm travelling in a local train or buses or even at a party when there's lot of noise around. HTC one have dual built in microphones and a kind of sensor which detects loud ambient noise and accordingly boost the in-call voice.

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Verdict

The overall experience with HTC one was damn good. And I bet that its one of the finest phone from HTC till date. Its premium, stylish and can address all my possible needs as a smartphone. I won't even doubt to say that the phone can give tough competition to the best smartphones in the market and also to the ones launching soon.

HTC One is on top of my wishlist but let's see how long it can stay up there.

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Tags: HTC

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