The HTC One X is the latest HTC super phone. It is from the same line as the international versions, as opposed to Verizon that decided to have the HTC Droid Incredible 4G LTE with lower specs. The One X from AT&T is a 4.7” Android phone with HTC’s Sense UI. It is being offered for $199 on contract at AT&T. This handset includes the newest version of HTC Sense 4 built on top of Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich). At the time of phone’s release on May 6th, Ice Cream Sandwich was the latest Android OS; it is now outdated just by a minor visual upgrade in Jelly Bean. HTC has confirmed that the One X is on the slate to receive the upgrade at some point.
At $199 on a 2-year contract, this phone is a high-end phone competing on the same level as the Samsung Galaxy S III. The HTC Sense 4 UI is quite different from stock Android and the TouchWiz Nature UX on the Samsung Galaxy S III line. It is very customized away from the Android brand and more aligning with typical HTC phones. If you have seen a HTC phone before, you’d be familiar with this phone.
Like other high-end phones of today, the One X has an HD screen, LTE (if it is available in your service area), HPSA+, dual-core processor, and front and back cameras. Some noticeable features missing on the phone are removable batteries and storage, which make the phone thinner and sleeker. If you can live without the removable media and battery, this phone feels light and easy to hold because of the design. Check it out.
Android OS (Ice Cream Sandwich) with HTC Sense
4.7” HD 720p super LCD2 Display (1280 x 720)
1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor
16GB eMMC internal memory
1GB DDR2 RAM
LTE/HSPA+/HSPA/GSM radios for AT&T
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n
1800 mAh Li-Ion battery (embedded)
The screen on this device is brilliant and much more vivid than my daily driver the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. The LCD2 technology is better in bright sunlight than Samsung’s preferred AMOLED technology. The case of this phone also feels easy to handle with its curved back; it feels more natural than my Galaxy Nexus with the hump in the lower portion of the phone. The only odd design feature I see is the protruding eye of a camera on the back.
The phone has Beats Audio technology, but does not come pre-packaged with the Beats headphones. I think that is fine at this price point and I noticed improvements in sound and bass on my non-Beats headphones.
HTC also boasts about the camera specs, which include an 8MP rear sensor, f/2.0, 28mm wide-angle lens, smart LED flash, BSI sensor, autofocus, and 1080p HD video recording. Basically, this means you have a pretty good camera for a phone that does better in lower light situations than most phones. It still is no replacement for a stand-alone camera. The camera app also includes some Instagram-like filters to edit images and add neat effects.
Why might you consider this device?
You want one of the top Android phones on the market today. The Samsung Galaxy S III is definitely a contender with this phone with more RAM. The One X is heavily skinned with Sense, where it is almost a different operating system than other Android phones.
If you have liked HTC Sense phones in the past, you’d probably like this one. It is very responsive with the dual-core processor, where I never saw a hiccup with the UI. The keyboard is unique to HTC, which I find slightly easier to use than stock Android. However, I do not like the added arrow keys on the keyboard; they take up too much space.
The phone is lightweight with the polycarbonate unibody design, weighing in at 130 grams (4.59 ounces). The screen is plenty large enough for viewing videos and playing games while still fitting easily in to your pants pockets.
Why you might not consider this device?
Although I commend HTC for having the HTCdev site to unlock bootloaders on some devices, the HTC One X for AT&T is not supported by this program; blame AT&T. This would be an awesome feature for developers and support of the device for power users. There are still trickier ways to unlock the bootloaders on phones, but the fact that it isn’t easy does not help with community support of the device.
This device includes LTE for AT&T, which is nice to have, but may not matter if you service territory doesn’t have it.
I have already mentioned that this device doesn’t have a removable battery or a removable SD card. Some power users will care about these things, but most people don’t carry around extra batteries for their phones while on weekend trips to New York (this writer does that with his phones!).
Some of the HTC Sense effects seem a bit intrusive and unnecessary, sometimes seeming as though designers tried to create a 3D effect for any transition. It gets distracting from the basic OS operation, but some find it to be pleasant to look at.
This is one of the top phones on the market with a great user experience. The phone comes in White or Grey color on the back unibody, so you can be stylish and have people notice the white phone, as was the case with my review unit.
I would recommend anyone in the market for an AT&T smartphone these days to look at the HTC One X and compare it to the Apple iPhone 4S and the Samsung Galaxy S III. Those are the top three phones out today.
HTC has made the HTC One X available to me for a period of time to evaluate the device. The views within this review remain my own.