HTC One

We're getting ever closer to the public release of the HTC One, with the all-new Sense 5, and we're putting this guy through its paces. There's quite a lot to go over, and we're getting a lot of the same questions from many of you folks on Twitter, Google+ and in our HTC One forums.

Our full review is coming in due time, of course. For now, let's tackle a few burning questions regarding the HTC One and Sense 5. (Chances are you'll see another installment at some point, so don't fret if we haven't answered your question just yet.)

Here we go!

1. Do I have to use BlinkFeed? Can I uninstall it?

You absolutely do not have to use it if you don't want to. Just don't add any feeds to it, and it won't do anything. You might be able to hack it out of there, but we wouldn't bother. Just thumb over to the home screen and pretend that BlinkFeed never happened.

(Though we'd recommend giving it a shot. It's not bad.)

2. Wait - there's only one home screen? Can I add more?

Sure! By default there's only one. (Most people don't use more than that anyway.) But you can add as many as five home screen panels. Get to the "Customize home screen" section -- either from the "Personalize" section of the settings or by long-pressing a blank area on a home screen -- and then hit the "add panel" button.

You can then choose which home screen panel to set as the default when you hit the home button, or you can remove unwanted panels.

3. That app drawer seems a little funny. What's up with it?

First off, you're probably not used to seeing a clock and weather widget stuck to the top of the app drawer. But there it is. Start thumbing down and it'll disappear. The next odd thing is that apps are in a large, 3-by-4 configuration. (It'll look like 3-by-3 until you scroll down and get the clock widget to disappear.)

Also: Folders! Just below the clock widget is a line of icons. On the far left is the app drawer view -- you have "Custom," "Alphabetical" or "Most recent." When in custom view, you can drop apps on one another to create folders. If something obvious appears to be missing, change to alphabetical view and find it that way. Also note that if an app is docked at the bottom of the screen, it won't appear in the app drawer.

This all takes a little getting used to.

4. What does the HTC button on the bottom of the phone do?

Not a damn thing, because it's just a logo. Not a button.

5. So how do I get to the list of recent apps? (aka multitasking)

Double-tap the home button and you'll get a 3-by-3 grid of apps that are open. To close an app, just flick it upward with your finger.

6. And what about Google Now?

Hold down the home button on the HTC One to get to Google Now.

7. I miss that iconic HTC clock widget. Can I get it back?

Yep! It's available as a home screen widget. It looks like you have to have the new, sleek widget everywhere else, though.

8. Is there a notification light?

Sure is. It's hidden in the bottom row, on the third hole from the left, in the top speaker.

9. Can I customize the lock screen?

Just like in previous versions of Sense, you can choose whether to have a wallpaper displayed, a "productivity" scheme with notifications and calendar reminders, a photo album view or music player, or you can opt to go with no lock screen at all.

The application shortcuts are slaved to whatever apps you have docked to the bottom of the screens.

10. Are the speakers that good?

For a smartphone, yeah. They're about as good as anything we've used. You'll need to have Beats Audio turned on (and it is by default) to get the full effect. It's not that it'll replace a proper external speaker, but neither will you be embarrassed to play audio out of your phone.