HTC One

HTC returns with a sleek aluminum design, re-imagined software and a bold new camera experience

We’re all out of poetic ways to describe HTC’s current situation. A frustrating 2012 saw some of the year’s best mobile hardware being met with declining sales and market presence for the Taiwanese manufacturer. Once the leader of the Android pack,  HTC is increasingly seen as an also-ran.

That, in part, was down to the confused marketing strategy around last year’s HTC One series. The One X and One S were soon joined by Ones V, VX, XL, XT, XC, SU, SV, SC, and X+, further diluting the value of an already watery brand.

In 2013, however, there is only one One. The new HTC One is, as the name suggests, the singular focus of HTC’s high-end efforts. The company’s best build quality, software, screen and optics are to be brought to bear in a “kitchen sink” product that aims to leave no holds barred.

It’s also a device that seeks to achieve differentiation at every point on the spec sheet. As other smartphones are increasingly faceless, monolithic black slabs, HTC sandwiches its screen between two bassy front-facing speakers. BoomSound. As competitors crank out 13-megapixel shooters, HTC bucks the trend with a much lower megapixel count, but larger pixels and improved optics. UltraPixels. Add to that a new way to shoot and share images and video. Zoe Share. Plus, a new home screen experience that brings the world to you. BlinkFeed.

And let’s not forget how rare it is to come across a decent aluminum smartphone these days.

If HTC is to recover, it’ll be through a combination of intelligent marketing and great products. We can’t review the former, but you can bet we’re going to get stuck into the latter. In fact, we’ll do it right after the break, in our definitive review of the new HTC One.


The Good

Stunning design, and some of the best build quality we’ve seen in an Android smartphone. Near-perfect screen with excellent colors and viewing angles. Incredibly speedy performance, completely lag-free interface and an attractive, streamlined Sense UI. Excellent audio quality from the front speakers (and bundled earbuds). The “UltraPixel” camera performs really well in low light ... 

The Bad

… but the the overall camera experience doesn't quite live up to HTC’s hype. Certain features like “Video Highlights” could be better implemented. The wonky button setup takes some getting used to. BlinkFeed is useful but underdeveloped.

Conclusion

The HTC One is an exquisite piece of design and engineering. From the hardware to the software, HTC’s new handset incorporates some of the very best design work in the industry. If there’s something to be disappointed about, it might be the much-vaunted “UltraPixel” camera. Which is not to say it’s bad per se -- in fact, it’s pretty good. But it’s a long way off being the silver bullet to cure all your mobile photography woes, and though its low-light performance is fantastic, it still lags behind the competition in some other areas.

In spite of this, is it HTC’s best phone yet? Without question. And on balance, is it the best Android phone you can buy? For the moment, absolutely.

Inside this review

More info

HTC One unboxing video​

More: HTC One video walkthrough

HTC One hardware review

There’s a certain futility about merely describing a device like the HTC One. We could fill paragraphs talking about each little nuance of its gorgeous brushed metal chassis, but to really understand and appreciate this phone you need to hold it in your hand. Neither renders nor photographs do it justice. What we’re trying to say here is that the HTC One is a very pretty piece of technology indeed.

The basic profile of the HTC One is a lot like the Droid DNA or its international cousin, the J Butterfly, but the feel is strikingly different. HTC’s recent history of polycarbonate designs makes way for a welcome return to the aluminum unibodies of old. This curved aluminum block is HTC’s most precisely-crafted phone yet. Reflective, diamond-cut chamfers adorn the edges of the casing, and the back has a subtle, ergonomic curve to it. (On the inside, HTC sandwiches the battery between the screen and PCB to achieve this look.) In the hand, it’s light yet substantial, and the feel of the brushed aluminum leaves you in no doubt that you’re holding a premium product.

HTC One

An injected matte plastic trim can be found around the edge and back of the HTC One, and this houses part of the phone’s antenna assembly (on an all-metal phone, it’s got to go somewhere). It also breaks up the exposed metal areas quite nicely -- on the silver version we’re reviewing it’s white; on the black version it’s black. It houses the microSIM tray on the left edge, and on the right side it’s punctuated by a metal volume rocker. Up top is the power button, and there’s a good reason for its being there -- it also doubles as an IR blaster for the Sense TV app.

HTC One
HTC One
HTC One

Thankfully, there’s no protruding One X-style camera hump this time around -- in fact, the camera is slightly recessed into the chassis itself. This way it doesn’t interfere with the flow of the curved back -- however, the lens may be more vulnerable to scratches when the the device is laid flat.

On the front sits a SuperLCD 3 panel at 1920x1080 resolution, and this has to be one of the best-looking screens we’ve ever seen. It uses the same display tech as the Droid DNA, but HTC’s condensed this 1080p panel into a 4.7-inch space, making it sharper than ever, at 468 pixels per inch. Its colors are bright and vivid without being overblown, and there’s no discoloration or wash-out when viewing at oblique angles. Being a modern LCD, the HTC One’s screen is expectedly excellent in outdoor performance.

The flattened business end of the HTC One is also home to its two front-facing speakers, forming part of HTC’s “BoomSound” system. This combination of larger speakers, more advanced membranes and Beats Audio results in the loudest and bassiest sound experience we’ve heard on any smartphone, without sacrificing clarity. For music and video content, that’s great. But on anything but the lowest volume setting, it’s almost too loud for regular notifications and ringtones. Powering on the HTC One for the first time, you’re assaulted by the full force of BoomSound in HTC jingle form. And the first phone call you receive on the device will be equally terrifying if it strikes you unprepared.

More: Hear a comparison of BoomSound against the Galaxy Note 2, Nexus 4 and HTC One X.

On the subject of audio, we should also mention the bundled HTC earphones. They’re not Beats-branded, but they’re about as good as the urBeats in-ear cans offered with some HTC handsets last year, and a significant step up from the truly awful HTC earbuds included with earlier devices. Kudos to HTC for not skimping in this area.

HTC One

Beneath the screen is the one seriously questionable design decision we almost don't have to point out -- HTC’s unique button setup. Unlike about every other Android phone on the planet, you’re limited to just a back and home key on the HTC One. No multitasking key, no menu key. To jump to the task-switcher, you have to double-tap the home button. Want Google Now? Long-press the home key. We adjusted to the new button setup pretty quickly, but it's one nasty holdover from HTC’s 2012 phones. Moreover, it takes the home button out of the easiest part of the phone to reach -- the center.

Apps that require the menu key -- including the bundled Twitter application -- reclaim a lower portion of the screen to make way for a virtual menu button. The dreaded black bar. Whether HTC or app developers are to blame is debatable, but regardless it’s an ugly way of handling legacy apps, and one that detracts from the otherwise slick software experience.

On the inside, the HTC One’s hardware credentials mirror its impressive exterior. It’s running the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 CPU -- a quad-core chip at 1.7GHz -- with 2GB of RAM and 32 or 64GB of storage. Qualcomm’s new chip is about as fast as it gets in the Android space right now, and that was reflected in our daily use of the HTC One, which has been a completely lag-free experience with no slow-down and lightning-fast app loading times.

HTC One HTC One

We’re using the European model here in the UK, which packs 32GB of internal storage; other territories, including some Asian countries, will get a 64GB option. Storage is arranged in a single partition for both apps and media, and the HTC One connects to PCs and Macs via MTP connection, in line with Google’s guidelines. There’s no removable storage option -- unless you count HTC Sense’s ability to connect USB thumb drives -- but with a minimum of 32GB on-board, we’re not going to make too much fuss over this.

The version we’ve got also supports European 4G LTE frequencies -- 800MHz, 1800MHz and 2600MHz -- which are the main three in use in the UK and mainland Europe. In addition, you’ve got quad-band HSPA at speeds of up to 42Mbps. The HTC One is also one of the first phones to boast 802.11ac Wifi compatibility, so that’s an added bonus for owners of the latest super-fast Wifi routers. Both Wifi and Bluetooth capabilities work as expected.

HTC One

And yes, it makes phone calls, too. HTC’s touting new software tweaks called “VoiceSense,” which automatically cranks up the call volume in loud environments. VoiceSense joins an array of other voice call features, including the ability to ring louder when the phone’s in a bag or pocket, and Sense’s automatic quieting of the ringer when the phone is picked up.

So all the requisite boxes are checked for a high-end Android smartphone in 2013. But as we’ll discover throughout this review, design is where the HTC One truly shines. As much as we’ve praised phones like the Nexus 4 in the past year -- and admired devices like the Windows Phone 8X from afar -- the HTC One is on another plane when it comes to build quality. That’s not hyperbole. With its latest handset, HTC leads everyone bar Apple in this area.

HTC One specs

HTC One software, UI and apps

The HTC One runs the new HTC Sense 5 atop Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean. That means you’re not quite running the latest version of Android, but on a non-stock phone there’s not a whole lot of user-facing stuff to miss.

In the latest version of its user interface, HTC has completely reinvented Sense, giving it its biggest makeover ever. The iconic flip clock has gone, swapped out for a new home screen dynamic based on the “BlinkFeed” news feed. And Sense’s cartoonish icons and menus are out, replaced by sleeker, more geometric graphics. A new, condensed Roboto-based font  is used in the menus and many of HTC’s apps, and this looks great on the HTC One’s super-high resolution screen.

Home screens

Sense 5 has also lost an awful lot of its visual noise, and that’s a good thing. The excessive embossing around the edge of buttons and menus is no more, instead you get clean lines and a curved gradient towards the notification shade. Further evidence of this design shift can be found in the new HTC wallpaper gallery, which is stocked with classy, minimalist backgrounds not a million miles away from Android’s own “Holo” design language.

It’s also fast as all hell. Sure, that’s helped out by the speedy Snapdragon 600 CPU and Android 4.1’s “Project Butter” performance tweaks and the 2GB of RAM, but HTC also deserves credit for making Sense 5 an entirely lag-free experience. Seriously. Not once did this thing stutter or stall.

BlinkFeed and the new launcher d​ynamic

Similar to Flipboard, BlinkFeed lies at the heart of Sense 5’s home screen experience. It’s a flowing grid of social updates, news feeds, calendar appointments, task list entries, TV schedules and upcoming deals. It’s also customizable, to a degree, though you’re limited in the ways in which you can add new stuff. News, for example, has to be selected from a list of built-in sources (HTC says there’s more than 1,400). On the social site, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are supported, but not Google+. You can't currently add your own feeds. You can, however, add your favorite Android Central and Mobile Nations news. So there's that.

BlinkFeed
App drawer

For serious news junkies (and bloggers), BlinkFeed isn’t going to replace your RSS reader, nor is it meant to.  BlinkFeed is clearly designed for "normal" people -- civilian smartphone users. It’s a supposed to be a quick, easy way to “snack” on information.

How well it works for you will depend on how well its curated list of integrated services fits with your social and news habits. We suspect most smartphone users will find some use for it, even if it doesn’t become their default home screen. 

This is HTC’s first iteration of BlinkFeed, and it’s very good for a first shot at this sort of thing. But its usefulness is hampered by its closed nature, and we’d like to see it opened up in the same way DashClock Widget is. That’d let the development community pick up where HTC left off and add even more capabilities into this flagship feature. With some more customizations, BlinkFeed could be a real asset for power users.

There’s also no way to turn it off entirely -- though you don't have to use BlinkFeed if you don't want to. Swipe to the right and you’ve got a standard Android home screen arrangement -- a four-by-four grid of icons and a selection of surprisingly stylish Sense widgets with which to customize it. Up to five home screens can be added, and you can set any one as the default home screen.

The app drawer has been redesigned too. It’s a lot more customizable, which is good because the default arrangement isn’t particularly easy to navigate. HTC seems to expect many users to hop between BlinkFeed and the app drawer without using much of the traditional home, and so the app drawer can be re-arranged into folders. That’s not necessarily a bad idea, but it means you’ve got more hoops to jump through if you want to create app shortcuts on a home screen page. The process of moving stuff in and out of the app dock is a more convoluted than it needs to be.

More: BlinkFeed: Inside the HTC One's home screen reader

Task Switching

As we mentioned, you can access the task switcher on the HTC One by double-tapping the home key. This brings up a grid of the nine most recently used apps. That places a hard limit on the number of apps you can switch between, but we figure nine is probably enough for most people. You can see all nine immediately without scrolling, which is good. However, the lack of app icons on this page means it can take a little longer to spot the app you’re after. A good many of them look the same -- black text on a white background.

Like the old Sense task-switcher, you flick a card up to get rid of the app. Thankfully, we didn't notice any of the multi-tasking issues that some folks reported on devices like the One X.

We’re not sure whether we prefer it to the stock Android task-switcher, but it’s an improvement on the old Sense 4 implementation to be sure.

Task switcher

Get Started

First introduced in Sense 4+, HTC’s “Get Started” web service lets you take the first steps towards setting up your new device on your computer, before you even purchase it. Pre-loaded apps. There’s a limit to how much you’re able to set up in advance -- Google accounts, for example, are out of the question. But allowing new users to set up their own wallpapers, ringtones, ​BlinkFeed services and a few common apps should go a long way towards making the smartphone setup process less painful.

Settings are saved to your HTC account, then, once you’ve signed into the HTC One with that same account, all your customizations are pulled down from HTC’s servers.

Music, Gallery and Beats Audio

Music app Music app

As the branding on the back of the phone will remind you, the HTC One comes with Beats Audio software enhancements, and these can be enabled or disabled via the main settings menu. It’s possible we’re imagining this, but the Beats enhancements on the HTC One don’t seem to quite as overblown and excessively bassy as they’ve been in the past. Regardless, the effect is still noticeable -- there’s a welcome boost in volume and bass that’s clear whether you’re using headphones or the excellent front-facing BoomSound speakers.

The new HTC Sense music app is relatively spartan when it comes to visuals, but it’s just as full-featured as as ever. The music app comes with access to the Gracenote lyrics database, and these lyrics pop up on-screen when you enable the new visualizer effects. Similarly, artist images and album art are pulled down from Gracenote when you download or transfer a new album across to the HTC One. And there’s full DLNA support music app, too.

Naturally, DLNA support is also baked into the Gallery app. In addition to showing you your own photos -- and showing you animated previews of each event if you’ve been using Zoe mode. And as is becoming increasingly common, the Gallery apps hooks into Facebook, Flickr and LinkedIn to populate itself with photos from friends, too.

We’ll have more on the Gallery app in the camera section of this review.

TV and Movies

TV app

The HTC One is one of the many new Android devices shipping with an integrated IR blaster, allowing it to control TVs, sound systems and cable boxes. The phone’s TV capabilities are rooted in the Sense TV app, which is based on Peel. The setup procedure is pretty simple. Starting with your TV off, you’ll be asked to confirm a few details about your location and equipment branding, before calibrating the remote to work with your TV and assorted boxes.

IR remote appThe TV app shows you a grid of shows that are currently on, with a blue bar beneath indicating how long they’ve been running for. Tapping the show will trigger the TV app keys in the appropriate channel number. It’s a neat alternative to the traditional TV guide layout we’re all familiar with. What’s also useful is the ability to tell the TV app your favorite shows and have messages pop up in BlinkFeed when they’re showing. When you're using the TV app, you'll also get a notification widget allowing you easy access to the universal remote.

HTC Watch, the company’s own streaming service is also present, and the selection of movies and TV content available has been slowly expanding over the past year or so. We’re not sure you’ll find anything there that’s not on Netflix or Google Play, but having another source of streaming content certainly doesn’t hurt.

While other built-in apps include DLNA support, wireless streaming from the Watch app is reserved for HTC’s own Media Link HD peripheral.

HTC Sync Manager​

HTC’s own synchronization app is available for HTC One owners, and there’s a Mac and PC version that’ll help you transfer music

The latest version of the app seems to be a marked improvement on earlier builds. HTC Sync no longer chokes on larger music libraries, and it’s relatively easy to import albums or playlists from third-party players like iTunes.

Contacts and calendar appointments can be synced too if you’re still using PC-centric clients for these.

Other bits​

  • As before, the HTC Sense contacts app can draw in contacts from multiple sources, including Google accounts, Twitter, Facebook and Skype and unify them into a single location. It also has the ability to import high-resolution photos from social networks too, which is nice.
  • To expand notifications in Sense, you’ll need to pinch horizontally rather than dragging down. Unfortunately that’s not a particularly obvious gesture, nor is it easy to perform.
  • The data usage control panel -- the bar chart showing mobile data consumption -- is hidden Settings > Wireless and Networks > More > Usage in Sense 5. That’s a shame, as it’s one of Android’s most useful features.
  • HTC's stock keyboard is fast and responsive, and we were able to type pretty quickly on it thanks to its accurate auto-correction. If you're a fan of swipe-style keyboards, the "trace" option can be enabled in the keyboard settings.
  • There’s a variety of lock screen templates available, just like earlier versions of Sense. The Weather lock screen, with its assortment of 3D animations, has been culled, however.

HTC Sense HTC Sense HTC Sense HTC Sense HTC Sense

Considered alongside all HTC’s earlier software suites, Sense 5 is easily the fastest, the best designed and the easiest to use. If you weren’t a fan of Sense’s tendency towards 3D animations and pompous visual flair in the past, then you’ll welcome the refined look HTC’s brought to the table on the HTC One. Sense 5 also stacks up pretty well against vanilla Android. There’s still more going on in Sense, and it’s nowhere near as minimalist as what you’ll find on a Nexus, but it’s just as quick and just as stylish.

HTC One battery life

HTC One batteryThe HTC One is fitted with a 2300 mAh internal battery, which in numbers alone is about average for a high-end Android smartphone. There’s no way inside that aluminum unibody, so as you might’ve guessed, the battery is not removable.

We found the phone’s battery performance to be decent, but not outstanding. It’d easily last us a full day, just as the Sony Xperia Z and LG Nexus 4 have in the past. Some of that will depend on network connectivity, of course.

With moderate to heavy usage patterns consisting of browsing and social networking over LTE, HSPA and Wifi, music playback, photography and video recording, we clocked just under 14 hours of use before reaching the warning level of fifteen percent. With more conservative use, mostly restricted to Wifi, we reached the end of the day with around 30 percent left after 18 or so hours on battery. With all day spent on Wifi, we reached around 50 percent in the same timespan. We used the HTC One on DC-HSDPA on Three UK and LTE on EE, and we didn’t notice any significant additional battery drain when using 4G data services as opposed to good old HSPA. (That’s in line with other modern 4G devices we’ve reviewed, including the Xperia Z and Galaxy S3 LTE.)

Battery life Battery life

HTC Sense doesn’t allow users to measure screen-on time directly -- or battery used by the screen -- but we suspect that gorgeous 1080p display is a responsible for much of the phone’s battery consumption, particularly outside where auto-brightness cranks the backlight all the way up. In fact, on its automatic setting, the screen was consistently brighter than most other Android phones. So there might be some battery savings to be made by manually controlling this setting.

HTC One
HTC One

Another predictable battery-guzzler is the “UltraPixel” camera and associated software set. Though straight-up still shots didn’t seem to drain our battery too badly, video recording and Zoe shots took a greater toll. Because of the way Zoe shots work -- recording 20 separate JPEGs and one MP4 video file, having any automatic upload services enabled (e.g. Dropbox) will further cut into your battery life. (To say nothing of mucking up your folder with dozens and dozens of images.)

HTC includes a prominent Power Saver widget in the notification shade at all times, allowing users to switch to a low-power mode to conserve power. Power Saver mode can slow the CPU, dim the display or shut off the data connection when the screen’s off. This is similar to the “Stamina Mode” found on the Sony Xperia Z, though there’s no whitelist to allow apps through the bar on background data. In any case, we’d avoid using this unless we were limping along with very little juice remaining, which is why we’d welcome the ability to remove the widget from the notification area.

To summarize, we were more than happy with the battery performance of the HTC One. Its battery life was a marked improvement over both the (international) One X and One X+, which failed to impress us in this area. But if you’re coming from a phone with really great battery life or greater battery capacity -- or expecting super-long battery life from HTC’s latest -- you may come away disappointed.

HTC One 'UltraPixel' camera review

HTC One camera

As HTC is keen to tell anyone who’ll ask, the HTC One’s rear shooter is no ordinary smartphone camera. Eschewing the traditional megapixel race, the phone includes a 4-megapixel “UltraPixel” camera with much larger pixels -- 2 microns -- on the sensor itself. This, together with the f/2.0 aperture lens, is designed to make the device suited to low-light and indoor photography, where HTC believes smartphone photography goes on.

As well as an impressive set of optics, the HTC One includes a second-generation ImageSense chip. The successor to the chip that debuted in the One X last year is responsible for the HTC One’s fast capture speeds and general image-crunching duties.

So how do all those technical specs and buzzwords translate into real-world performance? It’s a mixed bag.

Camera app

The HTC One records still images at 2688x1520 resolution at 16:9 aspect ratio -- that’s the maximum resolution, and as such if you want to shoot in 4:3, the phone does so by chopping off the sides of the image. That means you get the full benefit of the camera’s wide-angle lens in widescreen shots, and a narrower view in 4:3 mode. Just like last year’s One X, the HTC One is incredibly quick to capture shots, and there’s a burst shooting mode that can be activated by long-pressing the shutter key.

The main camera view is made up of the photo and video shutter keys, zoom controls, filter options, a flash control and the Zoe toggle key (more on that later.) All other settings are accessed via a slightly cumbersome list of options, some of which are expandable. And as the HTC One doesn’t automatically flip into macro mode or backlight mode as required, you’ll have to deal with this menu more often than you might like. (That’s a point in favor of competitors like Sony, which has an excellent “Superior Auto” mode to switch between relevant scene settings.)

100 percent crop

HTC’s grand plan with its “UltraPixel” sensor is that the reduction in overall megapixels should be made up for by the overall increase in image quality. That’s true in many images, and especially noticeable in night photography, but it’s by no means the case across the board.

Let’s start off with strengths -- the HTC One is probably the best low-light smartphone camera we’ve tested. Indoors or at night, the benefits of the “UltraPixel” sensor and f/2.0 lens are clear to see. HTC’s camera produces sharper, clearer low-light images than other Android competitors. Even shots from Sony’s Xperia Z, which has pretty good low-light performance, appear a blurry, noisy mess by comparison.

Similarly, the HTC One is an excellent macro performer -- though you’ll need to enable macro mode manually under “Scenes.” The same goes for HDR mode, which can produce some stunning landscape shots when used correctly.

In daylight, though, things get a bit more complicated. In conditions where there’s plenty of light to go around, the HTC One’s low megapixel count becomes a bottleneck.

100 percent crop

Generally speaking, the HTC One is able to capture shots that look good when viewed on a laptop, tablet, monitor or TV with all the downsampling that that involves. But when blown up to full 4MP size it’s clear to see there’s some quite aggressive noise reduction and sharpening going on. Telltale signs like graininess and artifacting around dark areas in daylight images (e.g. branches of trees) demonstrate that even with this new sensor tech, photographic aberrations persist in full-sized images. That’s not true of every image, but it’s something you’ll notice if you inspect your photos close-up.

The HTC One’s dynamic range is pretty narrow, and the camera struggles in outdoor scenes with dark and very bright areas. This is aggravated further by the phone’s inability to automatically toggle into backlight mode where necessary. If you’re shooting landscapes or anything with bright sky in the background, this can quickly become a major bugbear, as you’re forced to navigate the sprawling camera menu and select either Backlight or HDR mode. To HTC’s credit, though, its HDR mode is among the best out there -- extremely quick and ghost-free, and capable of producing seriously impressive images.

HTC probably isn’t aiming this camera at people who’ll use their smartphone photos at full resolution. In fact, we wouldn’t even include ourselves in that group. If you share images to the web, chances are the image you end up seeing will be 1- to 2-megapixels anyway. But we can’t help feeling that the UltraPixel camera just doesn’t live up to all of the pre-release hype. In the right conditions it’s impressive for sure, but it’s not the holy grail of smartphone photography.

Nor is it the savior of smartphone video recording, even with Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) onboard. The HTC One’s video performance is generally decent -- and footage shot at 1080p looks good most of the time -- but there are too many niggling issues for our liking. The camera’s comparatively poor dynamic range takes a heavy toll on daylight footage in some instances, resulting in stuttering as it attempts to adjust to the changes in light level. There is an HDR video mode -- a feature we’ve seen before on the Sony Xperia Z -- though this falls victim to the same occasional frame rate reductions.

We are, of course, picking nits here. The phone’s video performance isn’t universally bad by any means, as you‘ll see in our sample reel. But we can’t avoid the fact that we’ve seen better daylight performance from the competition. The HTC One does excel in low light video, delivering near-unmatched clarity in night-time footage. It’s just a shame this isn’t the case across the board.

On the front-facing camera side, HTC brings to bear a 2-megapixel shooter with a BSI sensor and a wide angle lens. This means you can fit more people in each shot, and it holds up pretty well in low light too.

Zoes, Highlights and sharing

The HTC One debuts a new type of photo in HTC Zoe. Zoe mode, enabled by tapping the Zoe icon in the camera app, records 19 or 20 still frames at 4MP and three seconds of 1080p video at the same time, resulting in a “slice” of time being recorded rather than a single frame. At a practical level, this can help you catch time-sensitive shots, as each Zoe records five frames before the shutter is pressed, and 15 afterwards. And it’s also fun to view Vine-like snapshots of each photo.

But another main reason to shoot in Zoe mode is the phone’s automatic video highlight capability. The gallery app automatically arranges photos into events based on location and date, and the HTC One conjures up 30-second highlight reels for these events -- complete with background music and filters -- based on Zoes, videos and stills. Video highlights are generated on-the-fly, and there’s no way to disable this feature, though you can ignore it by viewing photos in a traditional folder arrangement.

Highlights Highlights

In each event, pictures, videos or Zoes can be tagged as “Highlights,” which is supposed to tell the app to use them in the reel. This feature wasn’t working correctly in the firmware version we were using, though, and the gallery app continued to pick out shots at random for highlight reels. HTC says it’s aware of this bug and is working on a fix.

Videos, stills, Zoes and highlights can be shared through HTC’s (somewhat confusingly-named) Zoe Share service, which is essentially a web-based sharing system tweaked to handle the HTC One’s unique imaging output. Using Zoe Share on the HTC One is quick and easy -- a few taps to select the content you want to upload, and you’re done. Zoe Share then gives you a URL you can share using Android sharing intents via email, social networks and so on.

The interplay between Zoes, Highlights and Zoe Share is probably the most unique and interesting part of HTC’s new photographic equation. The implementation isn’t quite perfect, but we can see how these features will be both enjoyable and useful to most smartphone photographers.

More: HTC One: Zoes and video highlights

In summary, HTC’s UltraPixel experiment shows promise, but on the HTC One it isn’t a resounding success. Nevertheless, at the very least we’d call the HTC One’s camera satisfactory, and there’s no denying that it excels in certain areas. What’s more, features like Zoes, highlights and Zoe Share are examples of real innovation in mobile imaging.

The bottom line

HTC One

To pull itself back from the brink, HTC knows it has to produce something special, and the HTC One is exactly that. It’s an exquisite piece of design and engineering -- from the hardware to the software, HTC’s new handset incorporates some of the very finest design work in the industry. It’s the best-looking, best-feeling phone we’ve used -- nothing beats the feel of HTC’s curved brushed aluminum chassis. The new Sense has been pared back, sped up and redesigned in ways that make it a huge improvement on earlier iterations.

The majority of HTC’s “buzzword” features also deliver. The BoomSound speakers offer unparalleled bass and clarity for smartphone speakers. Sense TV is a really useful app for dual-screen viewing. BlinkFeed isn’t perfect, but the implementation is good for a “version 1.0” feature.

HTC One HTC One

We’re not overly keen on HTC’s two-button setup, though we’ve learned to live with it over the past week. On a related note, we’d still like the on-screen menu bar that occasionally pops up to die in a fire, though not all the blame for this crime against user experience design lies with HTC.

If there’s something to be disappointed about, it might be the much-vaunted “UltraPixel” camera. Which is not to say it’s bad per se -- in fact, it’s pretty good. But it’s a long way off being the silver bullet to cure all your mobile photography woes, and though its low-light performance is fantastic, it lags behind the competition in some other areas.

In spite of this, is it HTC’s best phone yet? Without question. And on balance, is it the best Android phone you can buy? For the moment, absolutely.

 

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HTC One review

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Wow! Nice review!!! Too bad HTC is now struggling to actually get the phone out... I fear it'll be gobbled up by the S4. I, myself, am still trying to decide which one to choose if I was to replace my Note 2 :)

I just can't betray HTC... I have a strong brand loyalty, maybe because I've always been on Sprint and HTC stuff had been the best available there. I understand Samsung can end any argument about which one has it all, but I don't care. You know what would be cool -- If Sprint later adds a a bad ass Evo based on the HTC One but with 5" screen, SD card and kickstand and such... :-) Kinda like last year. Kinda doubtful about that possibility though.

The HTC EVO 4G LTE was a nice device. It fixed all the stuff that was wrong/bad about the One X (SD Card slot, kickstand) but the software was a nightmare. Everyone I know who had one complained. I love my OG EVO but I switched to the Galaxy S III and I love it. HTC makes great hardware but there's aserious issue with their software and they have made rooting and flashing a custom ROM a horrible experience.

I was in the same situation as you. My first Android phone was the Evo 4G and I loved it. I then upgraded to the Evo 4G LTE and had nothing but issues with it (I really tried hard to love that phone).

I eventually swapped it for a SIII and have had zero problems with it. It's not perfect but it suits my needs very well.

The HTC One is a beautiful phone and if they can iron out some of the bugs then I'll definitely give them another look come upgrade time. I do fear though that Samsung may have just too much in terms of marketing muscle and a very nice phone of their own to make this device a raging success.

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I totally agree with this. I had the EVO 3D and it was great at first. After the ICS update, it was horrible. They didn't care to spend enough time on it so the bugs were running rampant. I wasn't up for an upgrade so I bought a Nexus S 4G and that is WAY better software wise. Has its limits hardware wise, but I rooted it in about 10 seconds and got CM 10 to help with the speed of things a little bit. The EVO 3D was so locked down I didn't have a chance of changing the ROM. I won't even consider the HTC One because the EVO 3D was such a bad experience. I'll patiently wait for the Galaxy S 4.

Writing off all HTC phones because of the Evo 3D is like writing off all meat because someone served you an undercooked burger. The Evo 3D was a piece of junk. The Evo 4G LTE was nice, and this phone is absolutely fantastic. This is the phone that's bringing me back from the Galaxy SIII to HTC.

I doubt that will happen. That has been HTC problem the last couple years. When someone sees your phone and ask, "hey what phone is that?". "It's the HTC EVO 4G LTE", when they go to AT&T and ask for that phone, no one knows what it is. Then they could end up buying another manufactures phone. But with one name, one design that problem goes away. When someone likes your phone, it doesn't matter what carrier you and they have, they can get it. Unless they have Verizon :p

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I honestly don't see how anyone (including the average consumer) could look at the GS4 and the One and actually walk out buying the GS4. The One destroys the GS4 in almost every facet. HTC really made a gorgeous looking device and it looks so much better than does the GS4 and it's shiny plastic build and very gimmicky software. The HTC One looks to be the premium Android device out right now and that surprises me as I literally have not recommended any skinned Android device for over 2 years since how well the Nexus devices have been.

Finally we see some quality hardware out of an Android OEM. I've always been a fan of HTC hardware (since getting my first Android device and still favorite the Nexus One) and they really have no competition between Android OEMs when it comes to hardware, but up until this device they was still way behind Apple and Nokia. The One changes that. Yes, they clearly 'borrowed' a bunch of hardware tweaks from Apple, but this still looks like it's own device. I really hope Verizon gets this phone as I will pick this phone up. I just don't see a better Android device coming out this year.

Now for the reality. No matter how nice this phone is I think it is too little too late for HTC (Sadly!) and Samsung's domination (and destruction) of Android will continue because of their huge marketing budget. I hate to say it, but HTC has a long way to go and even with the far better smartphone Samsung just has the mindshare right now no matter how bad they are for Android in the long term. Google needs to take note as Android is in trouble. I think we all know that Samsung will sometime in the future leave Android or simply code it out of existence besides maybe the core features (like Amazon did with the Fire), or they will simply leave for Tizen or some other OS. Let's just hope companies like HTC can build up some mindshare or Android will go down with HTC because of Samsung. Samsung isn't eating into Apple's marketshare they are eating into the Android marketshare that has already been there, but was shared and now is only on Samsung's side.

It might get gobbled up by the SGS4, but I wont be one of them. I have been a loyal sammy fan for 3 gens so far and it's time to switch. I feel that Sammy is turning into Apple. Releasing hardware that seems very little to no different than their last. And the big deal changer for me is the CPU in the S4. This is the second gen that Sammy has failed to bring it's Exynos to the US. I feel that they simply don't care about the US anymore and feed us oyster crackers when the rest of the world gets gold fish crackers.

I will wait for the HTC One to hit Sprint and I will be standing outside the door on launch day to ensure I get one(mainly because my contract is up, but I still want this phone!)

You DO know that the difference in processors is due to the US having to do things their own way and not keeping with the rest of the world's standards, right? If their bands were the same as other countries, the comm chips would be compatible and the Exynos processor would be in the US versions, too...

That being said, most quality developers are US based, so Qualcomm/NVidia processors get more love/support than the Exynos variant.

Agreed. I once bought a phone from the Dubai market on a vacation trip because my Sprint phone wouldn't work there. I realized that the US versions were better in performance than the ones supplied to the rest of the world. By the way I bought a used one so can that be the reason too?

What are you talking about?

http://www.71mobile.com/your-country-will-get-exynos-or-snapdragon-varia...

Just about all of the countries that have LTE rollouts already (western Europe, North America, Australia, etc.) are getting the i9505 Snapdragon version. This has nothing to do with US band compatibility, especially because GSM carriers in Europe and North America both use two bands each.

I'll admit that 3G standards were essentially non-existent in the US and Canada, but with LTE that applies to just about everywhere because there's really no global standard anymore.

Qualcomm got more developer support on the S4 largely because of poor Exynos developer support, and as in the link I posted, the Snapdragon models are sold in most large markets anyway.

They don't bring Exynos to the US due to LTE compatibility issues.

Not sure how you can complain about the CPU in the GS4 while praising HTC One, they have the exact same processor, the Snapdragon 600. Also it's benchmarked as fast if not faster than the Exynos variant (1.9ghz vs 1.6ghz)so it's a moot point outside of rumored but unofficial power savings.

We can safely assume the snapdragon 600 variant will suck compared to the Exynos 5, I don't know how you can say "Also it's benchmarked as fast if not faster than the Exynos variant (1.9ghz vs 1.6ghz)", there ARE NO benchmarks for the Exynos, not to mention it's a difference of 300MHz anyway, which makes a BIG difference.

I have an S3 and I was so looking forward to the S4 but I think they pulled an Apple and the S4 is really an S3S. The new 'features' were all underwhelming and most seemed to be software based. Then Samsung said a lot of that software will go to the S3 and Note and I figured what was the point of getting the S4 then!?

So after all that I started reading about the HTC One. I'm not a fan of the non-removable battery and non-expandable storage but everything else has me excited. HTC knows how to make a quality phone that feels like the money you paid for it. I do hope they can keep on track of keeping it updated because they have been known for slacking on that but I think this is going to be my new phone

I like both designs but I do think it's unfair to call the S4 an S3S when usually S model names are reserved for Apple phones that were in the same general physical body as the previous year. Samsung made it lighter and thinner.

indeed, and bumped up the display to 5 inches 1080P and the camera to 13mp and storage options, quadcore etc. The only thing Samsung did not do was change the physical design which most people will wrap in more plastic or rubber.

There are a lot of software innovations, but the hardware jump is big. Octa-core, better cameras, better display, bigger display, 64GB option, slimmer, bigger battery, etc. Even though it looks like an amazing phone, my S3 suits me just fine, and it's going to be awesome when ROM devs get their hands on these new features.

They never may, because of the closed nature of Exynos and Samsung's proprietary blobs. More and more developers are stopping making custom ROMs and kernels for Samsung. If you are really into custom ROMs / modding / tweaking, you should get a Nexus.

That's the same thing Apple saide about the last 3 devices the released. So I guess the pervious poster has a point with the S3S branding.....

@theonlymorgan - agreed. Apples "s" phones have typically been a small CPU boost and nothing more. Same body. Same OS or a new one that's pushed to past phones as well. Same screen. Same everything. The iPhone 4S was a laughable upgrade.

The S4 has a bigger more advanced screen and is Gorilla Glass 3, better camera, fastest CPU on the market, better forward facing camera, bigger battery, better build quality and tweaked design. Every single aspect of the entire phone was upgraded. If that's an S, then I guess that's your opinion. But you can't have an entirely redesigned phone from scratch every 12 months. I really don't think changing the building material or changing the phones shape results in a brand new experience. It's just another spec like any other.

My opinion is the S3 was great (I own one) and the S4 addressed almost every reservation I had about it plus a bunch more while adding some interesting new features.

My other opinion is this phone wasn't intended for every S3 owner out there to throw it in the garbage and upgrade. It was to make one of the best, most successful phones in the world even better to attract NEW customers and holdouts. And it worked. I have 2 friends with iPhones that are making the switch.

Well I think the One has the advantage in build quality because of the materials used, or at least a draw with the S4. But I suppose it's a matter of opinion.

But I have to agree with the last part of your comment. I think most S3 owners were probably intrigued but not blown away with the S4. It's the same form factor and same UI, so nothing to get overly excited about except some of the new features and spec bumps. As a SIII owner I certianly won't be breaking my contract or dropping close to a grand to pick this phone up.

I think that this phone will appeal to S2 owners just coming off their contracts and possibly some Iphone 4/4S customers curious about jumping ship to Android.

I'll be waiting for the S5, Note 3, X-phone,Nexus and whatever HTC has up their sleeve for next year.

Loads of morons are calling it an S3S, except the difference between the iPhone 4S and 4 - slightly better camera, Siri (gimmick, just as S Voice is a gimmick), and a slighty faster processor and GPU, display was the EXACT SAME, as was the design. S4 has a much faster processor (Exynos 5), much better camera (13MP f2.2), much better display (1080p Super AMOLED which effectively ends the PenTile 'problem'), way more sensors (some useful ones too), it's thinner and lighter.

With regards to the camera, I'd like to see the photos of the One, GS III/IV, iPhone 5 uploaded to Facebook, TwitPic, and Instagram. And then download the pictures off those sites and compare them after these sites have shruken them down. Frankly, that's where 95% of the pictures of phones will wind up if they EVER leave the phone anyway.

Downloading them manually and then doing a 100% zoom/crop on them is something that will virtually never happen. And I'd venture to guess that only about 0.1% of phone pictures are printed off.

That's a really good point @wicketr. I feel like in that scenario the HTC One would out perform. I would assume that compressing an image is about information in the form of pixel reduction. So if you're condensing a 13mp Galaxy S4 image you'd get far more loss than with a 4.7mp HTC One shot, which has better saturation and sensors.

But I'm not a photography expert.

Also this is one of those things that could be theorized when talking about HTC buzz words vs the competition but doesn't mean all that much. The real proof will be seeing some pictures.

Wow! One of those rare "this is what makes sense.." comments. 100% crop comparisons between smartphone cameras are about as relevant as top speed comparisons between family saloons - There's almost NEVER a use case for it.
I'd say 99%, instead of 95%, of smartphone photos end up at those places, if they ever leave the phone. If it looks good on FB, Instagram etc., that's a massive majority of your target audience sorted.

Great review!!

Seriously disappointing that the camera isn't just incredibly solid all the way around. I'm not looking to replace Cannon Point and Shoot but geez, you can tell they just hosed it on the software side in certain areas. Almost like they went 110% on the low light stuff but 80% on everything else unfortunately. This where the Apple guys really have a point that their core-functions are always fully baked (while Steve was still around at least).

I could really careless about the S4's gimmicks to be honest. I was imagining the One's camera (an actual practical improvement) to be really good all the way around. Do i really still have to manually switch scenes?? WTF this is 2013, I'm supposed to be in a flying car and have fully baked software in my 650$ phone.

Anyways, I guess this is how it goes. Here's hoping the X Phone or Nexus 5 really come to the table with something supremely solid.

Oh yeah and battery. Hell they have a good sized phone and went cheap on the battery. That is F^&%^ BS especially since it isn't removable. They should have been able to cram a larger on in there for sure! 14hrs of moderate/heavy use isn't enough.

I'm up at 7, home 5:30 and go to sleep at 10:30.

Now I don't want my phone to be on its last leg at 9pm (14hrs). Lets say I go grab a drink with some ladies at 9 and need my navigation to get to the bar. I take a couple of pics with friends. Now I need to navigate home or call a cab but now my damn phone is dead around 10:30 and I screwed.

Now that won't happen all the time but the reality is if I'm in a spotty signal location it will chew this up quicker so I need a buffer to account for this.

Its a unibody design, that should mean they have more opportunity to place a larger batter in there right? How the hell did the razer maxx get 3300MH while this only has 2300. I would say this is basically "decent" or average battery life in a headlining phone. Not exactly what I was hoping for...

I see what you mean; and I completely agree that HTC could have used a bigger battery. I'm hoping that Google releases a new GSM unlocked Maxx variant in the near future.

In your hypothetical scenario you described with these so called ladies, why don't you just put your phone on your car charger when you are driving to the bar? Ohh right... you wouldn't look cool to the ladies with your phone on a charger.

Well actually the 14 hours constitutes moderate/heavy usage for the entire 14 hours. There should be a 9 or so hour period where your phone usage should be fairly light, and if you are consistently browsing, social networking, taking photos and recording videos at work then I feel bad for your employer. You're phone may very well be at around 70% by 5 o' clock if you're actually working =)

So that should be plenty of juice left in the evening for you to take some pics and make your way home from the bar.

Also you failed to acknowledge that after more conservative usage he had 30% battery left after 18 hours of use. If that isn't enough of a buffer, how about having 50% left after 18 hours if you use it very lightly and have WiFi at work. I think the battery life is fine and you are overreacting.

He needs to plug the phone in at work before he leaves. What's wrong with that? If I know I'm not going to be home until almost midnight, I charge my phone while at work, and carry a spare charger (just in case) while I'm out. It's small and lightweight, and it's never failed me. I only use it on vacation and for the rare times I'm out all day.

Man, drives me crazy when I read all these comments about how someone should do this and that to keep their phone from dying. Some people can't charge their phone at work. Some people have terrible signal certain places they go where their battery dies quicker. Some people don't drive and/or don't always want to think about charging their phone the second they get in the car. Some people use bluetooth all day and some people just want to watch videos and play games on their phone all day. Whatever the reason for needing more battery life, I feel like most people I talk to (regardless of the phone) say battery life is their primary complaint. Most of my friends/family couldn't give a crap if their phone was better resolution or if the processor is a tad better, but they get pissed off like crazy when their battery dies on them and they're stuck without a phone at a bad time.

If Motorola can cram a huge battery into a relatively small size then I don't see why other manufacturers can't. Even the S4 has a smaller battery than I'd like, but at least it's better than the HTC One.

Oh no, not a bigger battery uglying an amazing device up with a fat ass body. It´s good to put the phone down sometimes and let it rest. Battery last longer then. Try doing som IRL, it is always nice!

14 hours is not bad at all.
I have a car charger and spare charger on my desk. it's no big deal to plug your phone in while you are sitting at work and working.
This phone is beautiful and I can't wait to play around with it some!

After getting used to 24 hours on my Rezound + Extended battery, no, 14 hours is not long enough. Non-removable batteries are awful choices, and HTC should feel bad.

I can't just complain. 100% impressed that Sense is finally fast. Its design is really nice and cohesive and the apps (email, dialer etc) are all very well done. its always been about speed and now its there. No need for AOSP to an extent. Nova Launcher and away we go.

Also, this is completely objective. I haven't always felt that way in the past. Well done!

pretty sure you can setup hold back button as the menu button, just like on the sense 4+ phones did with hold multitasking button. just have to set it up in settings. at least i thought i saw it in another sense 5 video

People still moaning about phones not having removable storage and removable batteries do make me laugh. It reminds me of when people used to moan about phones not having physical buttons and keypads. Get used to it people it's the present and will be the future.

You have to get over it sir. It's a matter of preference. If non-removable battery is so present, then shouldn't htc sell more than Samsung? And why would Samsung stick with removable battery?

I would admit non-removable battery might be the future, but right now, no companies can make a cell phone without removable battery last long enough that most of people would expect it to. Except for moto, they did make a phone with super big battery.

So yeah get used to it, the tech is not there yet for everyone to enjoy non-removable battery.

I used EVO, EVO 3D, and now EVO 4G LTE. I still love the option to swap the battery. Now every time I go home, I got a little anxious without plugging the charging cable to my 4G LTE.

I'm sorry but, you are an idiot...

"If non-removable battery is so present, then shouldn't htc sell more than Samsung? And why would Samsung stick with removable battery?"

Then why does Apple still sell more than the S3?

Get over it just like the person you replied to said, people outside the forums don't give a $h!t about this stuff.

Wow, now we are comparing apples to oranges? You are an idiot too sir. ios is different from android. Even though HTC is different from Samsung too but the difference is much smaller than apple to samsung.

Ignorant people like you would always say that since you don't need it, other people don't need it too. So electric car is the future, now you should buy any car that uses gas. That is a very stupid argument.

Come on, can't you see it was a stupid comparison? That Samsungs success over HTC's in recent years should be due to the fact that they have removable batteries and SD slots is ridiculous.

First of all: Samsung already began to steal HTC's thunder when the Galaxy S was released. By the release of the S2, they were the biggest Android brand. And didn't practically all android phones have removable batteries back then? Including HTC? Yes would be the correct answer here.

Second: Samsungs marketing budget is over the top compared to HTC's.

Third: Releasing seven phones a year is incredibly confusing for the consumers. It's way easier to just pick Samsung's latest flagship device, because you know what you'll get.

IOS, Android, it doesn't matter. What I did was tell you how stupid it sounds when someone says that Samsung sells more because of a removable battery and an SD slot.

Here is exactly what you stated again.

"If non-removable battery is so present, then shouldn't htc sell more than Samsung? And why would Samsung stick with removable battery?"

LOL! The number of Android phones with SD and removable batteries > number of iOS phones with no SD and non-removable batteries. That means SD and removable batteries are desirable and good.

Statistics are fun.

They made those power charge cases that you plug in the wall and slip it over you phone and when your phone is running low, you can just turn the button on the case and its charging. Hopefully someone will get one out for the HTC One

People who moan about people who want removable storage and removable batteries makes me laugh. Not sure why its anyone's business telling people who want options that they are using their device wrong. Viva la options, we don't all want to live in an apple world where someone else tells is how to use their device.

I totally agree. Some people act like options are a bad thing. I have the Razr Maxx right now. I did not want a non removable battery but after all the reviews I was cool with it. The only and I mean only way I will buy a phone with a non removable battery is if it's as big as the Maxx. HTC has always skimped on the battery. I loved my original EVO but the battery was terrible. My buddy has the DNA and wished he would of got the HD Maxx because of battery life. How is it Motorola can squeeze in a huge battery and make it thin but HTC can't? Maybe because they don't care. They always skimp on the battery. That is one thing you can always count on with HTC.

Plus why not embrace the MicroSD card. For one it's cheaper. I can get a 64gig for $45 on Amazon. They have sales all the time. Plus I can move all my stuff over real easy when I get a new phone.

Unfortunately there are many in the android world who don't agree, and have a remarkably apple point of view that if they don't need something, then nobody else should. Remember back when android was about options and not being locked in? These days all I see are people arguing about vanilla vs sense vs touchwiz, and being dismissive of anyone else's point of view or needs. When did android fans become like apple fanboys?

Impressive review Alex. Well done... Definitely thorough and well written.

I'm not in the market for a phone right now but reading up on the latest and greatest is always enjoyable. I think it will be interesting to see where HTC goes from here. The streamlining of branding I feel was necessary. Although there are some areas that need polished, HTC seems to have raised the bar for not only themselves, but others as well. I hope a few of my friends use their upgrade for this phone so I can have a go.

Again, great review Mr. Dobie.

I can't wait for this phone!! Love the built and the gutsy innovation that HTC employed into their phone...I feel and believe this will be there comeback year for sure...fingers crossed!!! :)

Nice review! My particular interest is in the One's optical stabilization and have not seen very much on this topic from the tech community reviewers. I tend to get a few blurred shots from pressing the screen too hard when taking a picture and was hoping OIS would solve that problem. Any comments?

The external 2 stage focus/shutter release button on the HTC EVO 4G LTE helped me stabilize my photos. I'm now concerned about lack of dynamic range. Perhaps HTC is still refining their ImageSense software.

My disappointment with the camera, the feature I was most excited about has me cooling my jets to immediately upgrade. Now I'm going to have to do some in store and maybe returnable after 15 days intensive hands on.

Thank you for the exhaustive and objective evaluative review, Alex.

I haven't noticed it helping all that much. Or maybe it is and I just can't tell. Think part of my problem is I'm used to the ridiculously good OIS on my video camera. Obviously OIS on the HTC One won't be as good.

The black menu bar was easily the biggest mistake of the One X. Now instead of learning from their mistakes they have one less button and an obnoxious logo that does nothing? Poor choice.

With the camera seemingly not really any better than the old one, I see little of value for this

I will probably switch to another manufacturer because of this. One less button and forcing the black bar? No thanks HTC! They should have just taken general design of the EVO LTE and updated the specs.

The 64 gb would be enough storage to overcome the sd card missing but that battery wouldn't get me through 14hours.

I know I am not a typical user but the size of that thing is small.

I guess I am skipping the first half of this year we will see in the second half or next year.

Can't wait to pop the sgs4 battery into my sgs3...hope it fits... Lol

The DNA, with a smaller battery, gets me easily through 16 hours on LTE. I could extend that by popping on wifi while I am at work all day but it's great not having to.

Beats Audio on a cellphone is not "garbage" because it's nothing more than an equalizer preset. If you don't like it, (I don't, FWIW) turn it off and set it how YOU prefer it. But why complain about it?
Complaining about that is like complaining about a stock wallpaper a device ships with.

The word is Beats is an equalizer preset, not just bass boost. With the new HTC One's dual amplification of each frontal speaker, the equalization preset has been modified to optimize their sound.

Of course we all know individual taste with equalizer settings is more personally subjective than the way people set color saturation and contrast on their TV's - generally overdone. Hence why some prefer SAMOLED high contrast cartoonish over saturation.

May I digress.

It's optional.

Well put jimbo. I guess it is a preference thing. I agree with you. I don't understand the appeal for high contrast ultra-vivid blacks and whites. I don't see the world around me in those vivid colors, so I don't expect them on my phone. Heck, maybe it's because I'm over 40 and I'm use to seeing photograhs in KodaChrome 110 film lol. I prefer the watercolor like satuartions of HTC's LCD screens.

I can't believe I keep hearing this BS. As the guy above me said, you can turn the flipping thing off quite easily! Also, I like the extra bass in most of my music. I turn it off for the country and leave it on for the EDM and hip-hop. If you want to leave it off all the time, go right ahead.

Ehhh... Need to wait for the full S4 review, but so far, I'm thinking I might be waiting for the X phone or maybe Nexus 5. Little depressing.

Alex, does this phone suffer from the delayed push notifications on WIFI bug that the One X and One X+ suffer from?

I was really considering getting this phone but I need a phone where the camera takes great pictures all of the time and not just on a hit or miss whim. I also keep hearing how amazing the screen is and the I heard the same on the HTC One X and HTC Evo LTE however on these phones the blacks always looked washed out and white and the whites never looked very white and from all of the videos I have seen on the One this has not been fixed.

I can not use a phone where the blacks look washed out and white, my OG Evo had this issue and it drove me crazy, that and the battery life. I don't think I can go through that again. If on the next model they can fix this and put in a larger battery, and can show me they are going to update their devices than I will give them a try.

HotinEER... you're a perfect candidate for a high contrast SAmoled display. Not a SuperLCD with truer colors and true grey scale.

Some people's visual preferences are just that - preferences.

Just wondering (no offense intended) do you wear colored lens sun glasses on a regular basis? I'm just inquisitive as to why some prefer highly saturated high contrast visuals.

Taking risks with new technologies actually stick to coming trends(minus the niche evo 3d)is what HTC always does best. Aluminum phones are the future while plastic will remain the go to for shoppers at Walmart. (I know I know Samsung remains selling like crazy but let's face the reality, thanks primarily to billions poured into marketing ) This phone is perfection and if I wasn't tied down mid way on my Evo LTE, I wouldn't hesitate to pick this one up. I think the choice is easier this year since this phone visually and spec wise is flaw free... The whole package.

I also want to applaud the review because it didn't include removal battery or sd card expansion on the list of cons. Lmao please Noone but the most awkward of awkward nerds care to be cool and show people all the porn and movies they have readily available at any moment.

I agree. Not having a SDcard slot is not a big deal when you can get a 32gb or 64gb of internal storage. I listen to my music through Google Play where you can store 20,000+ songs for free and stream Pandora, Jango, and SiriusXM for all of my music fix.

Do people really carry that much music on their phone anymore? I'd rather have it on my hard drive at home or in the cloud so I can stream my music on my phone, my tablet, my pc or where ever I have internet access.

Also, with Jelly Bean you can't even store apps on your SDcard anymore.

Well, in many countries, only the 16GB version will be sold. And due to LTE differences, you cannot just buy a 64GB version in another market/country.

16 is way too little... fulld HD videos, tv series, movies, 1500 photos? Not a chance.. I*m crying

If you really have such major storage needs and don't want to be bothered to actively manage your library while on WiFi, USB OTG will meet most of your needs and really isn't that major of an inconvenience compared to swapping a MicroSD. Complaining about this when there is a solution available (and the 64GB version will be available in most countries with such a need anyway) seems to be a bit of a stretch.

Not sure why anyone would want such a huge media library on a smartphone rather than a 7" or 10" tablet.

The One is coming in 32 and 64gb versions - there is NO 16gb version, think you are confusing it with the Galaxy S4 - that phone will have a 16gb version.

If you believe the external SD card is about making room for porn...well, you totally deserve the cloud. Today you may be puzzled or annoyed by my remark, but mark my words, my friend, mark my words. The ones that will be watching live porn will be the ones controlling the cloud. Why porn? Because they'll fxxx you up as they want, when they want.
As for the removable battery it gets even more funny. Not as in ha-ha.

Nice review! Very balanced.

I can't help but think maybe HTC set themselves up for failure by overhyping the camera somewhat, setting unreasonable expectations and causing reviewers to nit-pick the hell out of the pictures. I think most of the samples you put up were more than adequate for the target demographic and typical phone-camera usage.

HTC fixed the evil black menu bar in Sense 4+; I can't believe they allowed it back in Sense 5. Easy fix would be to have a remap option in settings to allow you to call up the menu with, say, a long-press of the back button.

The One would easily be my first choice if I was in the market for a new phone. I'm perfectly happy to ride out my contract on my EVO 4G LTE (I still feel weird typing that whole name out) though and will wait to see what HTC brings to the table for 2014 (One II?, Two?, One Two?...). I won't even consider Samsung until they can up their game in the design department and get over their fascination with CRAPOLED displays.

I am not in the market for new phones at the moment, and I am extremely happy with the OneX.
1) Learn to live with battery life with no replaceable battery. OneX battery is not good but it is not a deal killer as I am office bound most days thus its easy to plug in to any usb port/hub for a quick charge.
2) No SD extension... in my usage I have yet to fill up my current 32GB space. May be I do not have ears to differentiate between FLAC and 320k MP3 and I use USB stick to watch movies. Again, this is not a deal breaker.

My only gripe is that HTC have S-On on their devices and with quality of One X I have to wait until 1 yr (warranty ends) before putting custom ROM on the phone.

Thus in conclusion I am looking forward to HTC One+/One Advance/ One Ultimate at the end of the year to buy my next phone. My wish:
1) More optimisation on battery life
2) Camera improvement
3) As news junkies I'm looking forward for new iteration of Blinkfeed as an able replacement for google reader

Ahhhhh spirit bring lte to Ohio and I will buy!!! Love my evo 3D still but this looks like a nice solid phone :)

Nice review ...I cannot wait to get the phone . 14 hrs of battery life is plenty for me. I also have a car charger if the one charge doesn't get it , oh & a outlet at the office. I also have money to buy one of those portable juice packs. Camera seems great imo . This is like the 100th review I've read about the camera and im impressed by all the test shots i had seen. I put the camera under that Nokia 808 camera aLL THE KIDS on the internet talk about . Never seen one in real life but they say it's great.

Boom sound seems epic & was my biggest complaints about most phones.(my note 2 is pretty loud though)I love Sense (including the bloated animation) but I do love the minimalist approach HTC took this time around. I like the refined look. HTC Sense skin has always been more refined imo. Touchwiz is cool but it's a little cluttered imo. I don't mind it not shipping with 4.2 since I consider it a "Stock Tablet" update. I think it brings "Photosphere", Multiple user login, new pull down notification toggle , new camera inter-face , & lockscreen widgets . Basically things Stock needs but not "Sense 5". I'm excited for the new phone

You mean themes? If so, then no, it doesn't. If you're talking about scenes in camera, then yes, it does.

BoomSound+BoomAudio plus the low light performance did it for me (Along with the futuristic design), the best Android device right now for me.

They changed the way you expand notifications? I think this would drive me crazy as I am a serial sim swapper.

From AC's HTC One Review
"If there’s something to be disappointed about, it might be the much-vaunted “UltraPixel” camera."
"We found the phone’s battery performance to be decent, but not outstanding."

Looks like it will be the SGS4 for me. Nicely written review Alex, comprehensive yet very direct and honest. Battery and camera are far more important to me than a solid aluminum body and "Blinkfeed". HTC can't seem to get it together when it comes to their cameras and their battery performance. The One's pictures are soft and highly compressed, producing average to slightly below average pictures at best. The Verge has a good story comparing the cameras of the HTC One, the Lumia 920, the iPhone 5 and the Nexus 4. After the comparisons in all types of lighting conditions and settings, the One just doesn't compete well at all. With a removable/replaceable battery I'll be better able to leverage the SGS4 for the life of my carrier contract. Its a nice piece of kit, but doesn't meet my needs.

Judging from that article and those comparisons, the iPhone 5 and the Lumia 920 cameras beat the One hands down, with the possible exception of the low light test with regards to the iPhone 5. The One beats all other competitors from those samples. The One has a good camera, but not great. It lacks dynamic range, color accuracy, and produces a highly compressed soft focus picture lacking in clarity. For me, the One's camera is one of several showstoppers. I'm getting the SGS4.

Oh yeah, The Verge's smartphone camera comparisons are still better than TB's.

Leo Zapata says:
"The Verge hardly even did a comparison."

This video is nothing but comparing smartphone cameras -- http://bit.ly/16vpmce.

You can try to spin this anyway you want, but the HTC One camera is middle of the road with decent low light shots. Nothing more. Pocket Now ran a comparison between the One and the Galaxy Note II. The Note II beats the One in every comparison shot except low light. Get over it, UltraPixel is nothing more than a marketing gimmick.
http://pocketnow.com/2013/03/18/htc-one-vs-samsung-galaxy-note-ii-camera

Nice review but I hope we can get a bit more details on some of the following;

Screen on time...install gsam or some other 3rd party monitoring app
reception/radio strength..it is a phone after all and I've see many times that not all are equal in that arena, GPS lock on..(does it work as it should)
And lastly..most phone cams and especially HTCs tend to have fairly aggressive sharpening.can you turn this down from the default one or two notches and see how the pics turn out then?

Thx!

I agree! And and also did he mention anything about the ear peace sound quality how clear and loud is it ,does it has a static noise in the back like some HTC one s owners complane about , ?

What do you mean? Words like beautifull and ugly are entirely subjective, so the same thing you think beautifull may be ugly to me, don't you agree? To me it looks ugly and I'm just expressing an opinion here.

He doesn't need to explain why, it just is to him. I feel that about the iPhone, its repulsive, the proportions are all wrong. Apart from the back I think the S4 is better looking than the One. FYI I have a One, was delivered last Friday.

As others said I also like to see some comparison pictures taken with other phones to see the differences to make this other than good review complete.
Also is it just me but the speaker sounds sample compared to HTC one x gallaxy note I think the louder was the gallaxy note ,but I do understand the HTC one has to be louder because it has two speakers on front but I was not blown away by the volume as was stated there.
I think the battery life is fine if you take it to consideration its powering a 1080p screen and its 4.7 " wide,
I was dissapointed in the camera I think they should just have go with the 8 mp one instead , or I may change my mind after I test it my self.

Before we all get nuts about this phone remember it's an HTC! And they forget about phones as fast as they make them. IMO they are the worst OEM when it comes to software upgrades. This is coming from a guy who has the HTC Rezound and is still running 4.0.1. Hell the galaxy S2 is getting 4.1.2. That's 3 upgrades for a phone that's almost 2 years old. I'm going to try another company and see what life is like without sense on my phone. I've had the DINC and the Thunderbolt now the Rezound and the software support just isn't there from HTC. This phone looks great don't get me wrong, but it will be old hat when they come out with another one and this one will be out of here like last year!!

I guess I was used to sense and the whole HTC experience. Now I think there are other options that I would like to tryout before going with HTC again. And back when the DINC and Thunderbolt were released they were the best phones on Verizon.

"And on balance, is it the best Android phone you can buy?"

No, because I can't buy it! All bad jokes aside, I'm excited for this phone. HTC just needs to hurry up and get it onto the US market already!

Hey Alex or Phil, great review like always man.
Does HTC One let you assign a key to app menu in order to get rid of 3 dots on the black bar?

How good HTC One low-light shot compared to Lumia 920?

I really want to know which one is the winner. Lumia 920 low-light shot is very impressive.

A new article about this topic should be very interesting. :)

HTC returns with a sleek aluminum design, re-imagined software, a bold new camera experience, and a battery from last year's high end phones.

Very good review. It was well balanced.

Well I accept BlinkFeed it is not for everyone. I think it is a good feature for me.
I'm often in a situation where I've got 5 ~ 10 minutes to burn and I just want to quickly check the news & social networks feeds.
In saying that, I still think HTC should give the user the option to disable BlinkFeed.

With regards to the camera. I only ever take photos on a spontaneous spur-of-the-moment thing. And funny enough, most of those occasions tends to be at night or indoors where lighting isn't that great.

Thank´s for a great review Alex! Regarding the camera performance I find it a bit strange that I see different results in different reviews. For example I find the camera doing better in Engadgets review than in yours.
http://www.engadget.com/2013/03/12/htc-one-review/
How can that be? Can the review units have different firmwares? Can HTC pack hardware parts from different manufacturers in different issues of the same phone?

Because people with more experiance with smartphone camera's know what settings to use to get the best pics. While others just take pics with the settings on default which may/maynot be the most ideal setting depending on where you are taking the pic.

I also think it was the right move by HTC to really focus on the design & build quality when they developed the HTC ONE.
This is what is going to differentiate the HTC ONE from the multitude of other Android devices out there in the market. More importantly, this is what is going to differentiate an HTC from the ubiquitous Samsung.

Lets face it. If HTC made a phone that was on par or even slightly better than a Samsung phone in terms of specs. The Samsung phone will still easily outsell the HTC phone by a factor of 10 times.
You only need to look at the last generation of flagship phones (HTC One X vs Samsung S3) for confirmation of that fact.

What's really interesting, and something no one mentions, is that the band around the sides of the One is actually plastic, and rather poor plastic at that. Its not totally aluminium and glass.

Dude go take a seat already. WE know you hate HTC and have nothing good to say. But noone wants to hear your BS made up stories. You are worse than richard yarrell.

Go look at one if you think im wrong. I actually HAVE an HTC One, you apparently do not.
If I hate HTC SO much, why have I had 4 of their phones, and guess what I LIKE the HTC One, but its not the cutting edge design its made out to be. LOOK at the sides, its semi-translucent uncoloured plastic, I assume raw Polycarbonate. Its not even all that well machined around the ports!

Sorry HTC, just can't bring myself to get your devices anymore. Non removeable battery, allowing the carriers to lock bootloaders, the bloatware you call sense, and that whole carrier IQ debacle. You will have to work to get a customer like me back.

You notice AC did not list any of that in their "the bad" section. This is why I cannot take their reviews seriously.

Great review of great phone.
Camera looks great for me. And one thing ppl forget to mention this phone have 32gb storage. Good luck getting 32gb of s4 on contract.
No idea why samsung is stuck with 16gb they put more and more pixel cameras but storage is same.
And those speakers hmm amazing. (S4 have what small one speaker on the back of phone which is crap, I hate that on my s2)
Only thing that will stop me getting this phone is screen size. Is too small:P
S4 or note that is size for me. but That means Im gonna be stuck with samsung again

At this thickness, aluminum is easy to dent and scratch. No thanks. Not sure why everyone considers it a premium material. It's good for engine blocks and airplanes, but I wouldn't want it in my phone. I would rather have plastic. Then again, I'm not prone to using the baseless "it feels cheap" argument.

The argument that the plastic feels cheap is not baseless at all, it's preference. Many people don't want a phone that feels the same as a childs toy and prefer something that feels more like an engine block.

Except that the Aluminium marks easily and besides, the sides ARE plastic on the One. cheaper plastic than the S3 or 4 in fact, go look at the high res images, its not even that well machined!

Talk to me when you hold one in your hand, not just pictures.

My cheap plastic Galaxy Nexus has it's fair share of dings too.

Why don't you cut the crap you stupid assssss!
Are you 10. Everybody saying it has a fantastic built quality and you come here with this low quality plastic bullshit talk!
Get a fuckan life!

Great review Alex. I know I am jumping in here way too late and may need to take my question to the forum, but I have a concern with the legacy black menu bar. HTC pushed an update to the EVO LTE last fall that gave the user the option to go into setting and set long press on the task switcher to bring up app menu. This got rid of that balck bar. Did they abandon this method?

Requiring the unlocked bootloader and a voided warranty (although id like to see HTC trying to refuse warranty in the UK..)

Ugh, that's a horrible oversite. It works like a charm on the Evo LTE. I wonder if that was a Sprint requirement. Thanks for the reply.

So the speakers are in front of the phone with the screen. Thats great and all if you just have the phone lying down somewhere like your desk, coffee table, etc. BUT what about when its riding on your pant/jean pocket like my does most of the time?? Do I risk cracking the screen to hear the damn phone ring?!?! No thanks!

Great review. This is clearly the best smartphone announced so far in 2013 and that includes the S4 IMO.

One question though--I'd read in a few places that HTC says the white material around the edges and on the back is not plastic, but metal painted white. It's hard to tell sometimes, but is that true?

Great review, but too much emphasis is place on the camera. I buy a smartphone to use as a smartphone, not to take pictures. I don't care how many megapixels you cram into a phone it's never going to be capable of taking great pictures - the sensor is just too small and physics can't be overcome. Plus the small sensor is going to introduce a lot of noise. The photos may look fine for Facebook posting, but that's about it.

So, forgetting the camera, this phone delivers in the areas it needs to deliver. It's a big phone, relatively speaking, and I like the fact that HTC has narrowed it a bit and tapered the back so that it fits in your hand and feels like a smaller phone. The Samsung Galaxy phones feel big and are uncomfortable to hold for any lengthy conversations. Hopefully HTC has hit a home run with this one.

AC's reviews always irritate me, because lack of SD and no removable battery is not listed as "the bad". They are as clueless as HTC. I am looking forward to HTC's bankruptcy. Maybe the company that replaces them in the market will have a clue.

hey Alex!

the HTC logo is a real button! it can be programmed as a normal button!

HTC just doesn't use it. Y? good question.

expect mods for 3 button setup soon....

Man i love that design....and the only issue I have ever had with htc phones, is the battery life.

I have been a loyal HTC supporter for the since the T-mobile Dash ( still one of my all time favs)and i haven't used another brand since (HTC Diamond 1 & 2, G1 & G2, my touch, Evo and Sensation). I think they manufacture the best phones in regards to build, design, sleek and contemporary look and this phone is no different so in the regard i'm not so much impressed with the build of the One as i almost expected it to follow suit. My Gripe with HTC has been two things, the water down the value of their brand with so many low end, and what i like to call, bargain phones. I tried to keep up with all the variations of the HTC One series but i couldn't and i don't think i ever will catch up. Second, They've stopped from being markert poachers, innovators of the better technology to becoming market reactors and that's never good businesswise (ask windows phone).

With that said i will say this, i believe the new One (not the old One)is a step in the right direction to recover the brand and regain marketshare, some of the features are obviously going to turn a few heads and thats what they need right now. I'm not quite sold on the One quite yet, However. Some of the missing features still isn't easy to over look for me. I'll miss out on this one, give Samsung a try to see what life is like in the Galaxy. One thing for certain though, the One is a sexi beast!!

Hundred million times better review than on TheVerge. Thank you for this. The One seems almost like a perfect phone but the battery size worries me, and would've hoped for the camera to be better. Still amazing looking phone, can't wait to do my own hands-on at the local electronic store.

Coming from Razr Maxx, I will not buy a phone with mid-tier battery life (i.e., battery has to be 3000 mAh or up). Period. I cannot go back to hooking up my phone to an outlet in the middle of the day or constantly checking for battery level. Too bad, it's a beautiful looking phone with enough internal memory of 32 gb.

I've been a fan of HTC for a very long time. While they fell off for a couple of years they seem to be back with a winner. This phone is one sexy piece of hardware. Unfortunately, they have lost my business to Samsung and the Note 2. I need a removable battery and SD card slot on my device. Without those, I wouldn't care if it spit gold. All he best HTC and maybe I'll see you in the future.

If by "menu key" you mean the Action Overflow button, putting it on a black bar by itself is incredibly idiotic. It ought to be on an app's action bar, but HTC really ought to have rallied around the Android flag, in instead of those little spare buttons bracketing the useless logo. It's 2013, HTC, stop designing like it's 2010.

I like this phone. Love how it looks and do not mind the way the buttons are mapped, as I would get used to it after a while. The camera is nice because I rarely if ever upload pictures that I need to look at after its cropped 100%, and I like it is better and low light images.

I am not getting the S4 because I don't need a phone that big. I hate how phones are getting bigger and bigger. 4' was just fine for me with the S2, I don't need something that I need 2 hands to operate easily. Just like how I can't stand how big the Note 2 is. I own a iPhone 4s now, just because I had an update and didn't want to get the S3.

The removable battery and lack of a SD card, is a moot point for me. I got a 4000mah backup battery that can do just as much if not more charging than a regular replaceable battery does, plus I just bring a cable to do wall charging if needed(or I could just get a charging case). Plus 14 hours is long enough for me, that like going from 5am to 7pm on a single charge while using it at work. On my 32gb iPhone I have 160 apps installed(42 games, 6 of them taking up 1gb each), 300 mp3's, and 6 1hr+ movies and still have 4gb's left on my phone, which only had 28gb available in the beginning.

You do know technically the HTC one is bigger than the s4 even though the s4 has a bigger screen so if the s4 is too big for you than so will the HTC one.

Oh man. What to do....I absolutely love the design of the phone. It's just phenomenally brilliant. BUT THAT CAMERA! Total deal breaker for me. As for the S4 alternative, it's hideous and sinfully gimmicky on a massive scale. Who wants to be waving in front of the phone like a crazy person? Not to mention the time it takes for the "hover" function to work based on the videos. You might as well just touch the screen. I have been waiting to come back to android for 2 years (iPhone user), but sadly, I fear neither device will suit my finicky nature! If HTC just put in a 13 megapixel camera in the One, I'd call it a done deal

The design and build on the phone looks good, but HTC burned me with the original Nexus One. The phone has a known design defect in the power switch that causes it to eventually fail. That was Google's first trip in to the cell phone market and as such I paid the full price for the device. The switch failed two weeks after the warranty ended and despite the multitude of posts on there forums and there own reps acking the issue they refused to fix the problem with out me forking out more cash for the repair. So, in short I'm not sad that HTC is doing so poorly.

Since the multitasking "problem" the One X and Evo 4G LTE had was actually working as designed, I assume this phone has that same problem despite having enough RAM to actually be use able. Right?

Or did they fix their mistake? Even if they or android central never admitted it was a mistake?

Nice review!

I am disappointed that the camera seems to not live up to it's hype. I remember some of the photo's I took with my HTC EVO 4G LTE & thinking how incredible they looked (for a phone that is...)

I'm still impressed with the stereo speaker design... with the landline being ditched in favor of a cell phone I think front facing speakers would be great for LD family calls, as well as all other practical uses.

The lack of a removable battery or SD card doesn't worry me at all, I generally have an office charger and a home charger, plus USB cables in the car, so charging whenever I need to is no issue.

Some of the SW quirks are a bit disappointing, but I assume as with anything a person adjusts. Maybe the HTC One isn't the one for me right now, but until I get one in my hands I really can't say. Maybe this is the year for a Nexus??? :-)

David...

No multitasking key, no menu key, no external SD card, no removable battery...NEXT! (or S4, to be specific)

...nice review, though.

WARNING!!! DO NOT BUY HTC PRODUCT!

They can't get the software right on anything. Every update breaks more than it fixes. Verizon finally got so fed up with sending us the same phone over and over (8 replacements in a year and a half) they finally said would you like a different phone after the last one they sent had the exact same problems as the one it was replacing. It was ridiculous. The phones (htc thunderbolts) were constantly rebooting during phone calls after the last update. I'm not talking about dropping calls, the phone would just reset in the middle of the call. 5 minutes later, you could call again, for 2 or 3 minutes then oops, reboot. One time my phone rebooted 5 times in a row just sitting on the night stand and woke me up at 2 am. No matter how awesome HTC specs look or how "great" the features are they will screw it up. I promise you the delays they are having with the One are software related, I've heard it a million times... Don't worry, the next update will fix that... (I will post this to every HTC Phone review I can find for awhile, if I can save one person from the misery I have endured I will be happy.)

Looks to me more like a carrier-related problem. I'm not away of those problems with the "normal", International version of the Thunderbolt.

Your post should instead be: "Warning!!! Do Not Buy Phones with Software Changed by Your Carrier"

Am i the only one who thinks the HTC ONE design is ugly and horrible? Sony Xperia Z for me! HTC should have put Droid DNA/Butterfly on the european market instead of developing and releasing HTC One. And then wonder why HTC lost their marketshare: bad strategy

@Alex Dobie The camera software was updated for the consumer model, please update the review because the phone is not yet available on stores...

There's a LOT of confusion about this. We reviewed the phone with the final, shipping retail firmware. There is no update.

some review sites are saying the galaxy s4 speaker is a lil bit louder than this phone. and yall are saying this is the loudest phone yall have ever heard by far. whats the deal?

I make $80/hour from working freelance on my laptop. Before this job i've been out of a job for 5 months but last month my payment with bonus was little over $15000 just for working on the laptop for about 5 hours a day. Here's the site to read more how you can do it too http:\\tinyurl.cℴm\cazmn2w

Has anyone heard if this phone is coming to Verizon? I keep getting tidbits of rumors but not much to go on.

Absolutely brilliant review for the HTC One --- left no stone unturned. You covered a few points about it that I was unsure of, including the camera. I felt that HTC may have put lipstick on a pig for the "special" camera that the HTC One is holstering, and that it would infact be a pretty bleak camera.

Still one of the best phones I have seen in a looooooooong time! Standing out so far as my preference over the Galaxy SIV.

Thanks for the info guys!

How does the One's camera compare to the Samsung Galaxy S3 especially in outdoor settings?

-Rich

I am in the UK and run 2 contract / phones. I usually go iPhone on one and an android for the othe. At present I have a note 2 which I really like. For the other I have flipped around between an iPhone 5 then tried a s3 and a one Xl. Always went back to the iphone because while not beig overly inspiring it works great. Oddly I love my note but really disliked the s3! Had the one for a week now after a eBay special and Ilove it. Battery life is great. It's mid night now and had it on since 8am and still at 50%. It looks great and it's surpassing the performance I had on my iPhone 5. Screen is lovely and the speakers are fab. Very pleased an I think looking at early s4 reviews, this is the more premium phone despite the Sammy software tweaks.

I'm a fairly new HTC One owner and I can't believe I used anything before this. Used to have Sony phones including the Xperia X1, most recent was my Desire HD which I loved. But the jump up is dramatic, the phone is snappy, responsive, very fast data transfer and searching.
A lot of reviewers are saying the camera isn't as sharp as other offerings taking the highest quality shots in bright daylight, realistically, apart from the occasional scenery shot (which still turns out fantastic), the majority of people take selfies or photos with their friends at night. In dark places. I've had some amazing shots come from this phone, even pro photographers are surprised I can grab the low-light shots I've done without additional equipment. And if you're that serious about getting the best shots daytime you're using a DSLR anyways!

Just got my HTC One today. Good news, has more features than I've ever seen anything have in my life. Bad news, the camera doesn't work right when the light source is right on the edge of the screen. When the light source is either directly in the shot or completely out of the shot, it works great.

I came to see if there was any information about the music program on my HTC. I am looking at getting a new cell this year and HTC is currently not on my list because of problems with my existing phone when traveling, and looking to update the music program gave me this article from the search.. The GPS stopped working properly 3 months after I got the phone and only works intermittently. The usability of the music program is terrible. I went and put a whole bunch of audios I wanted to listen to for a trip before leaving and I put them in the same folder before putting them on my phone card and there was no easy way to get them to play. There is 180 of them and it looks like I have to move them one at a time to a playlist, only they are showing up in individual albums so it seems about 10 steps to get each one on the playlist. And then, the phone so easily accidentally does something I do not want it to do with the music, like I usually want it to always shuffle my entire library. My preferred setting simply do not remain and I've had accidental touches that result in the same song being played over and over. My alarms come on over the music while driving creating a dangerous situation in terms of trying to get the thing turned off and there does not appear to be settings to adjust the alarm. The alarm is another problem, it snoozes when I try to get it out of a pocket to turn it off. There are many quirks that I dislike, or put me in danger to fix them because of my long drives on winter roads with many kilometers between safe places to pull out.