When HTC CEO Peter Chou stood at the podium at the Mobile World
Congress, his company's investors were expecting something that would
stop the downward spiral this Taiwanese manufacturer has seen in the
last few quarters. Chou gave them HTC One series smartphones, the
company's attempt to reclaim the Android smartphone throne from Samsung.
HTC One series, and specifically One X, brings several firsts to
HTC's portfolio like Ice Cream Sandwich and a quad core processor.
Launched in India at Rs. 37,899, one surely wonders whether it is really
worth this hefty price-tag. We will find out in this review.
One X is the company's flagship smartphone for this year and that is
clearly visible in the design and looks. It sports a beautiful unibody
design with a polycarbonate shell. Being made out of a single block of
matte plastic, it surely feels sturdy and durable. The company has
certainly stepped up its game with One X; it is better looking than any
of the company launches in 2011.
Coming to the specifics - while
the One X may remind you of the curved look of Galaxy Nexus, it isn't
really curved. It sports a 4.7 inch display, which is carefully covered
with one sheet of glass that also drapes the capacitive Android buttons.
In other physical characteristics, One X has smoothly rounded, glossy
sides, which are really clean apart from the presence of volume rocker
on the right, micro-USB port on the left side, microphone on the bottom
with another secondary microphone on the top, along with power bottom
and 3.5 mm headphone jack. The only omission is a dedicated camera
button. Considering HTC has been going gaga about the One X camera to
anyone who would care to listen (more on this later), we believe it
would have been a welcome addition.
As the battery is
non-user-replaceable, the micro-SIM slot is conveniently located at the
top. The rear camera is surrounded by an attractive matte silver ring,
which also saves it from scratches.
The only issue with our White
One X unit was its tendency to retain dirt marks very easily; although
some of them could be removed with a damp cloth, we still were left with
a few marks.
Overall, HTC One X is a gorgeous smartphone with
surprisingly thin and lightweight body, and make no mistake, it is not a
flimsy looking smartphone. Thanks to the curved sides, it fits well in
the hand compared to the Sony Xperia S, which comes with a rectangular body
and sharp edges.
This is one part we really loved
about HTC One X. Its 4.7 inch 1280 x 720 SLCD is one of the best
displays that you can get in the market right now. We won't call it
perfect, but it's certainly a great step in that direction - be the
near-perfect 180 degree viewing angles or the great colour reproduction.
It is bright and you won't have any issues under the sun. It offers sharp
and clear text and individual pixels are invisible.
of the HTC's press conference at the Mobile World Congress was centred
around the all new camera technology used in the One series smartphones.
With that in mind, we were extra excited to check out its camera and see
if it was all that HTC claims it to be.
Yes, it performs and
performs well! From the low light indoor shots to capturing Delhi after a
rainy evening, HTC One X came out trumps. Its 8MP rear camera provides a
holistic imaging experience. It may not be out to replace a point and
shoot, but for your day-to-day photography needs, you would not need to
carry two devices.
It comes with a wide f2.0 aperture, which helps
in capturing nice images even in low-light conditions, while the
dedicated Imagechip processor for the phone's camera needs, help it being the
quickest cameraphone available in the market. HTC has also included all
the new burst mode in One series of smartphones, which allows you to take 4
shots per second, reducing the chances of you missing 'The Decisive
Coming to the software part of the camera on One X, it
features Instagram like real-time filters, HDR, panorama and slow-motion
video, ability to take photos while recording a video and more. The
camera interface is a big improvement from earlier HTC phones and it
gives you a clean UI with direct on-screen buttons to capture an image
or record or video anytime you want, so no need to go and change the
mode etc. There is almost no shutter-lag while taking stills, but for
video recording One X still takes two-three seconds to start recording.
further sweeten the deal, it also comes with several manual settings
like ISO, white balance, exposure level that you can play with.
to Samsung's delays in launching Galaxy Nexus in the country, HTC One X
is actually the first smartphone with Ice Cream Sandwich on-board to
release in India. It comes with Android 4.0.3 along with company'
revamped Sense 4.0. Both of which are clearly a refreshing upgrade from
their previous versions, be it Gingerbread or bloated Sense 3.0/3.5.
about ICS first, as HTC has put its own skin on top, you won't really
get the Android 4.0 look, but all features are present - from Android
Beam to the Task Switcher, Resizable Widgets to Face Unlock. You can
read more about ICS features in our Galaxy Nexus review.
the major concerns with last year's HTC Android smartphones was the
presence of bloated Sense interface. While HTC hasn't removed it,
noticeable effort has been made to try and tone it down in the One
series of smartphones. So, instead of throwing Google's design
completely out of the window, as it had done in the past, the company
has created a pleasant mix of ICS and Sense in One X and it no longer
puts a burden on smartphone hardware in terms of performance.
of Sense bloatware has been removed from the One X, but you can still
find the reminiscences in Friend Stream and Task Manager. There are
still instances where you feel the Sensification of Android was totally
unnecessary - like the Gallery and HTC Task Switcher; both are way
better in the Stock version of Android 4.0.
HTC has partnered
with Dropbox to provide 25GB of cloud storage to One X users for the
duration of 2 years, which is certainly a nice addition and would
certainly help a lot of consumers. Although company calls it deeply
integrated in Sense, in our experience, the integration was more or less
like any other Android device.
In terms of pre-loaded apps, you
will find 7digital music store, Bollywood Hungama, eBuddy XMS, HTC's own
Locations, Movie Editor, Notes, Polaris Office, SoundHound, Stocks,
Teeter, TuneIN Radio and Voice Recorder. That's still a few too many for
our liking - we hope the company removes some of these in the next
version of Sense.
Overall, Sense 4.0 is a huge improvement over
the previous version and HTC has been able to make it lighter, while
retaining its unique identity.
Performance/ Battery Life
to the 1.5GHz NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad core processor and 1GB RAM inside HTC
One X, it performs exceptionally well in day-to-day tasks. There is no
lag whatsoever while browsing through apps, home-screens or playing
The stock browser also performs up to the mark and we
didn't notice any issues while going through image heavy webpages,
high-speed scrolling or even viewing the flash content. Any less would
certainly be unacceptable with One X.
Coming to the battery, you
pay for the awesome display and quad core processor with your phone's
battery life. Heavy users would just be able to pass a day with the 1800
mAh battery. As you can't replace it, any hopes for a bigger battery
are a no-go.
HTC was under a lot of pressure to
bring something unique to the Mobile World Congress this year and One X
has turned out to be that product. It combines the raw quad core power
with Android 4.0 goodness and the refreshing Sense UI. In one line, it
is one of best Android smartphones available right now in the market. It
might not have the simplicity of ICS stock interface, but Sense 4.0
helps it stand out. Thanks to the some top notch work by folks at HTC,
it looks stunning and is backed by some great real life performance.
The only part where we are left a little overwhelmed is the Rs 37,899
pricing, but we've never said quality comes cheap.
For more pictures of the HTC One X, please visit our picture gallery.
- Stunning Looks
- Gorgeous Display
- Tegra 3 Performance
- Non user-replaceable battery
Price: Rs 37,899
Battery Life: 3.5
Value for Money: 4