The HTC One X is HTC's latest attempt to take the top spot in the Android market. It sports a powerful quad-core processor, large 4.7 inch 720p high-def display, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system (OS) and a chic new machined polycarbonate design. Expected to be one of the top 5 Android smartphones of the year, the HTC One X certainly puts up some tough competition and while many think the Galaxy S III will be the phone to beat, the One X is certainly getting its fair share of attention while the competition is thin.
Stylistically, the One X is immediately recognisable as a premium device. The smooth polycarbonate casing is light-weight, but doesn't give the sometimes cheap appearance or feel that can be elicited by a plastic alternative. Polycarbonate also has the advantage of maintaining a uniformed colour tone the whole way through, so scratches won't discolour your device and thus will be less obvious.
The actual shape of the device is fantastic as well. Soft curves and a sleek profile match perfectly to deliver an undeniable appearance of quality. The thin profile also helps to counter some of the issues that may be caused by the sheer size of the One X. A narrow profiles allows for a less cumbersome experience when kept in a pocket and in larger phones can help increase comfort when held in the hand.
The 4.7 inch 720p display of the HTC One X is a real treat. Colours may not be as bright as one something like an AMOLED Plus display, but they were still quite vibrant. Blacks come out cleanly and whites are unusually crisp. The screen brightness was a bit much at times. Even with the default setting sitting somewhere around the 75% zone, it can be difficult to look straight at the screen in dimly lit areas. Turning the screen down to just under 50% alleviated these issues and no further problems were had, but it's certainly intriguing to wonder if there's actually anyone out there using the One X at 100% brightness.
The Sense 4.0 user interface (UI) by HTC is another win for HTC. The lock-screen offers the same 5 options users have come to know and love. If you're unfamiliar with the HTC lock-screen it offers 4 short-cuts to commonly-used applications. Email, Phone, Messaging and Camera can all be jumped to straight from the lock screen. The first 3 options also display the number of notifications that relate specifically to them. Of course users always have the 5th option, which is to simply unlock the phone.
Overall the interface is quite smooth, although there is the occasional bit of lag when hitting the Back button in-app. This lag was often in excess of a few seconds, something that became annoying, as it appeared as if the Back command had not registered and would require a second tap. However, once the phone did start registering again all the piled up Back commands would strike at once, causing the phone to go back too far.
There was also an issue with the very outer edge of the phone's display lacking touch sensitivity. This wasn't a huge problem with most apps, but some do require you to touch the absolute outside of the screen. It could be annoying at times but was ultimately manageable.
Battery life was surprisingly good. HTC doesn't have the best track record for battery life in its high-end smartphones. Add to that a large 720p screen and a quad-core CPU and you have some serious power requirements. Despite this the One X could last a full day at medium use, even with HTC's patented plethora of power-eating Home Screen widgets. Once the widgets had been removed battery life improved significantly, making the One X a real all-day phone that could easily compete with the other market leaders. This is a great thing to see from HTC and bodes well for the brand in the future.
Overall the HTC One X is a fantastic device. I'd put it one step above the Galaxy Nexus in both performance and quality of screen. Even though the Galaxy Nexus has a more impressive display on paper, in reality the One X outshone it convincingly. The new design was stylish and overall build quality was nothing short of impressive. If you're in the market to compare smartphones I highly suggest you take a look at the HTC One X.
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