Apart from elegant and very pleasant dimensions, the HTC One S delights with its speed above all else, which can be credited to Qualcomm’s MSM8260A Snapdragon processor with two Krait cores running at 1.5 GHz. It turns out that this chipset is significantly faster than the one in the older Snapdragon with Scorpion cores, and it can also hold its own against the quad Cortex-A9 processor rather well. Furthermore, One S comes with the Adreno 225 graphic chip.
After an hour or two of using it, it is clear to see that the HTC One S is in fact no slower than the more expensive HTC One X, regardless of whether we’re talking about the international, quad-core version of this smartphone or the dual-core one, intended for the U.S. market. After Samsung presented its Galaxy S III, it is evident that the One S is not the fastest smartphone in the world, but it comes second or third along with its brother model One X, depending on the process being performed.
This means that all tasks on this device can run smoothly, and the user can enjoy the speed at which they take place; from video playback to running demanding games, booting the device, or scrolling and zooming in on web sites.
The later action, however, starts stifling the device and creates some lag if the web site contains complex objects, like those created in Flash. Still, the One S is slightly faster than the One X when it comes to this issue because it does not have to deal with its sister model’s HD resolution, but it still clearly performs it with less elegance than the Galaxy S III which also has HD resolution. You should bear in mind that such a situation happens rarely and in general, HTC One S is an exceptionally fast smartphone with impressive performance.
All this is somewhat confirmed by the synthetic benchmarks. According to SunSpider, One S gives the score of 1720, while the quad-core One X gives 1752 (lower is better). Similarly, according to BrowserMark, which marks ‘higher is better’, the One S receives 98522 and the One X scores 96912. On the other hand, according to AnTuTu Benchmark, which states that higher is better, One X wins with 10850, and One S has 7201.
There is one issue that could be a deal-breaker for some purchasers — the One S is only available with 16GB of data storage and 1GB of RAM and this capacity is not expandable with memory cards. Those who take many photographs and want to use the option of recording video clips in Full HD resolution, as well as those who use a smartphone as an MP3 player will find this is not sufficient. Interestingly enough, the One S is marked with HTC’s Beats Audio logo on the back cover, but suitable headphones are not delivered with it.
As far as the software goes, the One S is identical to the One X: it comes with Android OS 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) enriched with the Sense 4.0 user interface. Compared to pure ICS, Sense 4.0 includes a dynamic lock-screen (it is possible to run an application by taking the wheel to its icon), up to seven home screens can be created, and the status bar has been polished etc. It also includes theme ‘scenes’ adjusted to certain types of users (business scene, gaming scene, social media scene…) and a whole line of other cosmetic alterations.
The likable task-manager is available at all times via a special capacitive key. Its processes, shown in a 3D, can be rotated and selected with a finger as well as turned off by being ‘pushed’ upward and off the display. Contacts, the dialer, music player and others offer similar functionality.
This smartphone boasts very powerful image and video software. The 8 megapixel camera can take photos with aperture of f/1.0 at the widest viewing angle of 22 mm expressed in units equivalent for a 35 mm film. Sense 4.0 enables simultaneous video recording and image taking, while HDR photographs, face detection, geotagging and continuous shooting are also supported.
The photographs taken with this handset are very sharp. The software does not touch them up too much, and thus they have unrealistically glaring, over-saturated colors, which creates noise at times. The same thing goes for video quality.
The battery has a cited capacity of 1650 mAh and offers above-average time between charges. With very heavy use, you will have to charge it every night. However, with a regular level of consumption, the battery will last roughly one-and-a-half or two days.