- Display offers exceptional sharpness, resolution and colors
- Very speedy
- Device is well crafted
- No microSD card slot
- No exchangeable battery
- Poor location of the power button
- No special key for turning on the camera
The One X is the most impressive attempt by HTC yet to create the best smartphone with Android OS.
This model is first on the market with a number of features: its quad-core processor on a NVIDIA Tegra 3 chipset (which in fact offers four plus one cores), its 4.7-inch second-generation Super IPS LCD screen with HD resolution, Sense 4.0 user interface upgrade for Google’s Android OS 4.0, and its 8 megapixel back-facing camera which takes photographs with aperture of f/2.0 and the widest shooting angle of 22 mm.
In reality, HTC One X is an impressive smartphone and even after just a few minutes of using it, one can clearly see that this is the most powerful model with Android OS currently available. The difference compared to HTC’s previous top models (above all, I am talking about the Sensation series), is evident from the way it lies in ones hand, the more convincing and modern-looking body (finally) and especially the screen imaging. Still, the One X has certain shortcomings.
This review is of the international (European) version of the One X. The upcoming U.S. version adds support for 4G LTE but lacks a quad-core processor.
Build & Design
The HTC One X has a polycarbonate shell, and is available in white or black (that’s actually a very dark grey). Compared to its predecessors this makes it more elegant, solid, modern and convincing. Gorilla Glass with convex edges covers it practically from edge to edge and adds to the impression of exceptional firmness.
On the other hand, the device has no exchangeable battery or a microSD card slot which could be used for expanding the 32GB data storage. And its button distribution is awkward, given its dimensions and casing. For example, it’s possible to switch from stand-by mode by pressing the power button, located along the upper right edge, and then rotating a wheel on the lock-screen, but the handset is so large that right-handed people with an average-sized palm will most likely have trouble performing this operation without having to move the phone in their hand between these two steps.
With its dimensions of 134 x 70 x 8.9 mm, the phone is not that much bigger than Samsung’s Galaxy S II which has a 4.3-inch screen and is just somewhat heavier, weighing 130 grams. Still, Samsung’s device can be snapped from stand-by mode by pressing a physical key below the display, something the One X does not have. However, because of the slim design and small mass, the One X feels lighter than it looks, even lighter than Galaxy S II.
Imaging on a 4.7-inch Super IPS LCD2 screen is immaculate – craftsmanship for this technology is provided by LG. A 720 x 1280 pixel resolution on this diagonal gives the One X a 312 ppi pixel density, which is not the maximum seen on smartphones (Sony Xperia S, for instance, has a 342 ppi density), but this is surely one of the best smartphone screens available on the market at the moment.
Large size, supreme imaging sharpness, exceptionally wide viewing angles, color vividness, and excellent contrast that’s not lost even in direct sunlight makes it a great pleasure using this phone. It is as if this was a smaller tablet and not a smartphone.
Of course, HTC has prepared several themes and wallpapers with very warm and expressive colors that additionally show off the screen’s characteristics. If the smoothness and light absorbtion of the Gorilla Glass’ surface is considered, it’s clear to see that the bar has been raised with this display, even compared to Samsung’s Super AMOLED Plus.
Other Buttons and Ports
The front of the One X holds the proximity and ambient light sensors, just above the display, as well as a speaker perforation. There is also a user-facing camera for video calls with a 720p resolution, and a tiny LED indicator.
There are three capacitive keys below the screen, still covered with Gorilla Glass (Back, Home and Tasks). According to Google specifications, devices with the Android OS 4.0 should not have any keys, but HTC’s user interface upgrade Sense 4.0 requires this. The keys are very responsive and actually more practical to use than what ICS has by default.
The left edge of the smartphone only includes a micro-USB hub, which serves for data transfer, battery charging and connecting with a TV set, thanks to MHL technology support. The right side has just a slim volume control switch. The phone’s upper edge includes a standard 3.5-mm slot for headphones, the microphone for video calls and a slot for microSIM cards. This is opened after a key that comes with the device is inserted into a very slim slot (just like the iPhone), which is rather unpractical. Nokia’s Lumia 800, for instance, also uses microSIM, but opening its drawer is so much easier and practical.