How has HTC's latest flagship fared after two months in the hands of an AC editor?

It’s been just over two months since I first got my hands on the HTC One -- first, a pre-production demo unit, then a final European retail model. For most of that time, HTC’s impressive 2013 flagship has been my daily driver -- the phone I use every day, and take with me just about everywhere I go. In that time it’s seen plenty of normal use, and ten days or so of not-so-normal use in New York City for our Galaxy S4 and #TM13 coverage

But the HTC One was in short supply when it first launched in Europe and it’s only recently hit the U.S. market, so we’re in a bit of a unique position to have used the phone for this long. With that in mind, now seems like the right moment to reflect on our time with the device.

Just as we did for the Nexus 4 in January, it’s time for our long-term, two-month retrospective feature on the HTC One. We’ve already brought you a full review of the phone, and a casual review of the Sprint version, of course. So consider this article a chance for us to share the kind of details that don’t come to light in the course of our normal review process, and an opportunity to let you know what to expect in the months ahead if you pick up an HTC One today.

Check past the break to learn how the HTC One has coped with 61 days in the hands of an Android Central editor.

The aluminum unibody is beautiful and sturdy, but not indestructible

Take a glance through our review and you’ll see that the HTC One’s build quality in general -- and its metal chassis in particular -- were among our favorite things about the device. The brushed aluminum looks fantastic, feels great in the hand and leaves you in no doubt that you’re holding a premium product. It’s the antithesis of most of the plastic slabs that make their way across our desks.

And my HTC One is mostly pristine after two months of regular use. Mostly.

No material is indestructible, and aluminum will scratch and dent if presented with the opportunity. So if you examine my handset very closely you’ll see it’s picked up a few scrapes here and there. The first two occurred relatively early on, and I have no idea what caused them. There are a couple of indentations around the top speaker -- one between two of the speaker holes, another further down. An advantage of having tiny dents here is that they’re almost impossible to see -- in fact, I didn’t even spot the second one until I took a macro shot of the area for this article.

Dings Dings

There’s also a slight ding in the side of the left side of the injected plastic trim -- the origin of that one is a mystery, too. (The phone hasn’t been dropped at all.) On the other hand, the trim itself hasn’t picked up any dirt or discoloration. Some slight wearing can be seen around the chamfers on the top and bottom of the device, too. These details are difficult to pick out, even on camera, but they’re there. Had I been using the black HTC One, chances are they'd stand out a good deal more.

Bottom line -- a metal phone can pick up signs of wear just like a plastic or glass gadget, so you’ll want to take care of it, as you would any other device. The HTC One sure looks better than most phones out there, but it’s not guaranteed to wear any better. (In fact, Samsung's Galaxy S3 probably fared better than the HTC One during the couple of months that I was using it last year.)

As an aside, if you do manage to put any serious dents in the corners of the HTC One, there’s one unique option open to you, as our own Phil Nickinson discovered. You can simply file down the affected area to make it less noticeable. (Do so at your own risk, of course.)

I’ve learned to live with HTC’s wonky button setup

I was no fan of HTC’s unorthodox two-button setup when I reviewed the HTC One, but I’ve quickly learned to live with it. Holding the phone in my right hand, both are easy to reach, and double-tapping to jump to the task switcher was a fairly simple adjustment to make. Would I prefer a multi-tasking button? Yes, and that’s the reason I still feel somewhat quicker multi-tasking on a phone like the Nexus 4.

HTC One buttons

I’ve never had to worry about storage space

The European HTC One I’ve been using comes with 32GB of storage. In some markets, there’s a 64GB version available. Coming from an 8GB Nexus 4, it’s refreshing for storage space to simply not be an issue. There’s 25GB and change available, and I’ve never had to ration my storage use in any way.

By contrast, the internal storage on my 16GB Galaxy S4, which has 9GB or so remaining for media, apps and other stuff, is already half full. That’s with music, photos and videos siphoned off onto a 32GB microSD card.

BoomSound has spoiled me

As we pointed out in our review, the One’s front-facing ‘BoomSound’ speakers are loud. Really loud. Sometimes too loud for regular notifications and ringtones. So we should mention that as of the 1.29 update, the lower volume levels for regular bleeps and bloops seems to have gotten quieter. That’s a good thing. (And don’t worry, things are just as bombastic at the higher volume levels.)

Combined with the official flip cover, which turns into a kickstand, the front speakers really comes into their own for portable music, movie and TV playback. Other phones’ speakers are plenty loud, but none offer the clarity and bass of HTC’s BoomSound.

HTC One flip case

It’s still the fastest Android phone around, and that’s down to the software

We’ve got to the stage where there are a few Snapdragon 600-powered phones on the market, and not all of them are as quick as the HTC One. The Galaxy S4, for example, falls victim to occasional bouts of lag, as we mentioned in our review. That would seem to suggest that the HTC One is so responsive because of the manufacturer’s software efforts.

Speaking of which, HTC Sense 5 is my new favorite Android “skin.” It’s as fast and as beautiful as vanilla Android, and it does a whole lot more than Google's base OS. I’m a big fan of HTC’s Calendar and Tasks apps, the latter being one of the only built-in apps on any Android phone that properly syncs with Google Tasks. Zoes and video highlights are also stand-out features.

I can take or leave HTC BlinkFeed, the phone's unique home screen reader. It’s a nice little distraction to have, and it works well with the services it hooks into. But while I’ll occasionally use it on the HTC One, it’s not something I miss when I switch to another phone. (And then there's some stuff you just don't want on your home screen.)

A few other things about Sense continue to bug me. After taking a screenshot there’s no way to immediately share them through Android sharing intents. There’s little consistency to the way sharing intents behave between apps -- in HTC apps you’ll get a completely different sharing menu. And I still think the way the dock is considered part of the app drawer is completely insane and counter-intuitive, as is the default 3x3 grid in the app drawer. There’s room for improvement, as always.

HTC One camera

A great camera for regular people, if not enthusiasts

The HTC One’s ‘Ultrapixel’ camera has been the subject of much discussion, not least in our forums, comparison articles and our review, where we concluded that it falls short of the promised revolution in image quality. The recent 1.29 update introduced some camera tweaks, improving HDR performance and adjusting exposure settings for improved dynamic range. And yet we still have a few nits to pick when it comes to the HTC One’s camera.

Its low megapixel count -- just 4MP -- means certain areas of daylight images are affected by visible artefacts. This, it seems, is due to HTC’s noise reduction and sharpening algorithms. When you only have four megapixels to work with, it’s easier for noise reduction and sharpening to produce these kinds of aberrations. That’s one of the reasons why the Galaxy S4’s 13-megapixel camera runs rings around the HTC One in daylight.

We’re not saying daylight images on the HTC One look terrible. Most of the time you’ll get decent-looking photos, but the competition has a much higher ceiling for image quality.

Now the other side of that equation. In low light, the HTC One annihilates every other Android smartphone camera out there, including the GS4. That’s part of what makes it a great camera for real people -- smartphone photographers who want clear, good-looking photos in all conditions, but not necessarily works of art they can display at full size on a 30-inch monitor.

What about Zoes, Zoe Share, Highlights and the mess of other gallery options?

The interplay between Zoes -- the little three-second video/photo hybrid things -- Zoe Share -- online sharing for images and/or videos and/or Zoes -- and Highlights -- videos made up of photos, videos and Zoes that can then be shared via Zoe Share -- can be slightly confusing. And we’re not alone in getting things a little muddled up. But after a couple of months with the HTC One, Highlights and Zoes are among my favorite Sense 5 features.

Take my recent jaunt to New York City to spearhead our GS4 coverage and spy on our editors recording #TM13. The gallery app dutifully prepared little highlight reels of each day, and sharing these was as simple as tapping an icon and using an Android sharing intent.

However, the method for manually creating these “events” is still a little cumbersome. For example, if you want one big event and one highlight reel for a week-long event, that’s way more work than it should be, and involves waiting while the phone juggles a bunch of files around on its internal storage. It's not a particularly elegant way to manage your memories.

But is it still the best Android phone you can buy?

For me, yes. I prefer HTC’s hardware and software to anything else out there right now. I can live with an older version of Android and a quirky 4-megapixel camera in exchange for superlative build quality, fast performance and well-designed software.

The HTC One’s main rival is the Galaxy S4, a device we recently reviewed. That’s a fine phone too, with plenty going for it -- a bigger screen, lighter weight, better camera, a bunch of unique features -- and Samsung’s going to sell a ton of them in the months ahead.

But in my opinion HTC has the better phone this year, and I’d recommend it just as much after two months as I did after one week.

Fellow HTC One owners, how've you been finding the handset? Let us know in the comments!


Reader comments

HTC One, two months on ...


After owning it since the launch day I still think it's beautiful. But I also think the N4 is beautiful. - Much like the iPhone holding the ONE for long periods of time can be annoying. The edges at the bottom are sharp just like the iPhone..... Sometimes beauty comes with a price.

Don't know what iPhone you are referring to as the iPhone 5 is not sharp at all unlike the HTC One. Out of the S 4 and or One my favorite new Android phone is the LG Optimus G Pro. If only they would shorten the name.

There's only 1 reason which stops me from recommending the HTC...
Lack of Android OS update!
A Nexus device gets the lastest update pushed within a week or two (most cases), followed by Samsung within 3 to 5 months, followed by HTC in________.

It's crucial to keep flagship devices current, maybe it'll happen with the ONE, but I'm already expecting Android 4.2.2 with recent announcement from Samsung (Note2)...
We're already talking S4 4.2.2 vs ONE 4.1.2

Rooting fix, sure for me... But not my wife, or any average joe.

Wife and average joe won't care about the minor differences that are apparent between the two minor version updates.

It's not like 4.2.2 adds much, is it?

In reality, non Nexus devices don't see much change in incremental .1 updates. 4.2.1 has a ton of bugs while 4.1.2 is very stable. So by that logic, the One is on the better version of Android all around until the S4 gets the 4.2.2 update, which by that time, the One will probably get as well. Tell me if you're confused...

it is gorgeous, but I returned it after a week of use. Everything was nice and all, especially the flash player, but I could not deal with the no battery removal thing.

I returned mine after a day. Loved the build and was impressed with Sense 5 but it was the quirks like that app drawer (Hated that with a vengeance), that and the persistent menu (3 dots) at the bottom on certain apps.

I did not want to root and had been spoiled by the two other S4's in the household so jumped ship.

Having done that, only now can I appreciate how fast and smooth the HTC One was with no lags whatsoever not something I can say for my S4 which I feel I will be selling very soon after less than 2 weeks of ownership

Please forgive me N4, they meant nothing to me, it was always you. I love you N4

I have a few comments of my own about my experience with the htc one, most of which don't agree with the mouth watering preview of Dobie. Let me start by telling you I own both the htc one and the Samsung Galaxy S4.
From a consumer's perspective, all I agree with Dobie is: the htc one is a pretty phone to look at and has good set of front speakers and that's where all the advantages end.
And while we are at it, why is no htc review talking about the fact that the htc one is not installing premium apps from Google play store? And yet there are so many complaints on forums all over the Web? Secondly, most of the 32g models and especiallythe 64g models of the htc one currently on sale in the market are branded on boot or reboot to be developer models and not for sale? I think htc should look into this issue immediately as this could cost them all their sales in Africa where the buyers seem to be less tolerant of mediocre gadgets or gadgetry for lack of availability of funds or other constraints.

@Alex Dobie

Thanks for the post.

only outlook and camera(which is good for law light) doesn't mean everything. and 2013 is going on ...............wait n see.

Thanks in advance

I don't get why everyone thinks this phone is so damn "gorgeous". I think it looks clunky and unattractive. And the corners are too sharp for it to be comfortable in the hands for long periods. Don't get me wrong. It's an incredible device. But I just don't think it's enough to take HTC back to the top. Or even back to relevancy.

I've held both at the same time, and not only is the S4 much lighter, but it also feels better in my hand. I think if people hadn't been brainwashed into believing that aluminum is the 'premium' material (even though this guys phone is already scratched and dented to hell after 2 months of use), more folks might agree with me.

Exactly. Alex said he needed a micro shot to even seen the scratches. Unlike on my old S3 where they stuck out clear as day.

Keep in mind though, this is just 2 months in. Imagine the dents for regular folks on 2 year contracts where this phone is it for them; what will the device look like after a full year under its belt?

i have been having this phone for two months now too and i dont have any scratch at all,zero,so its relative to how you use it.

You're right; the feel and heft of the One are fantastic. I do agree with kennethbring about the sharp edges, though. They're visually appealing, but they feel really unpleasant, and they'll probably be the first part of the device to show wear.

I'd call staying on the front page of nearly every tech news site in one way or another for two straight months, not to mention G+ posts, forums, etc about as relevant as you can possible get in this day and age. I hardly see any comparisons of the S4 to iPhone 5 or any other handset in comparison, rather it's dominantly S4 to One. Press wise, I'd say HTC has beaten out the S4 for enthusiasm. Outside of the first few iPhones, I can't remember a bigger launch for anyone.

Staying on the front of tech sites is nice. But the average Joe & Joan aren't reading tech sites. They are watching tv and going into stores. Samsung is winning those people over. The One is going to suffer the same fate that the One X did last year.

As someone who works at Best Buy Mobile, I can tell you many locations around me, including my own, many consumers are very interested in the HTC One. They love the look of the device and know HTC. While the S4 has been selling rather well, the One is not too far behind it.

Ironically, I get a lot of customers looking for the HTC One for Verizon. Which is a real shame considering they do not carry the device.

I don't think that Verizon has been doing itself any favors with device selection lately. They seem to insist on too much control and they're too focused on exclusive devices, and I think that does more harm than good. A lot more people are annoyed that Verizon doesn't have the One than were really excited that they did have the DNA, for example. With the exception of the iPhone back in the day, carrier-exclusive devices just seem to prevent that device from achieving critical mass.

Actually I was around a lot of the "average Joes and Joans" and as soon as I whipped out my HTC One, everybody was like "is that the new One phone". I was like yep, and everybody wanted to see it. Trust me, the word has gotten out about the HTC One's true beauty.

Yes, I can agree. In the past week, I've seen 3 Ones in public places and a single GS4. A lot of people surprised me when I got it on launch day and they knew about it because of the commercials. Even when I use it casually, I've had friends say stuff like "Wow, that's a sexy phone!!" Then I show them Boomsound and Blinkfeed and the low light camera and most say "I want this phone, what's it called?" Over 3 weeks in and people are still getting impressed. HTC is doing it right this time around. Just keep this up for the rest of 2013 and we've got us a winner!

I will say that I have owned many, many smart phones since 2003. I have never had so many strangers walk up to me and ask "Hey, is that a XXXX?" HTC has a great phone and has done a great job marketing it.

I don't think it's gorgeous either, but I don't think it's ugly. It's a nice looking device, but the amount of space on the front that's not screen ruins an otherwise really great looking phone IMO.

I think it is because sound is less visible than images. You need to listen to the device to understand there is an amount of space that is not screen!

To most people, front facing speakers make more sense than backfacing. Sound is not mufflued because of covering the speaker with your hand or putting your device on your bed. I guaranteed you, the space used for the speakers is not wasted!

Once you have heard it, there is no going back to another phone.

I don't think he's talking about the space used for the speakers. I think he sees the same think I do. Why does the bezel of the HTC One look so big? It looks like a much older phone when so many are going with thinner bezels. It reminds me of the BlackBerry Z10 (which looks like it was made in 2010 BTW). The One is a nice looking device to me, but, like the One X, it seems like it’s almost “The One”.

Ive had the one since day one. ITS BY FAR THE BESTLOOKING PHONE ON THE MARKET. ASfar as sharp corners i have no clue what your talking about the corners are rounded. Think your talking about different phone.

It has certainly stymied the fall, but I don't think you can say that HTC is "back on top" when they're still running on half the revenue that had from the same month last year. That said, I'm definitely glad to see HTC doing better.

I owned the original EVO 4G and the Evo 3D and liked both phones a lot, but HTC got *bad* about the updates. Largely, I think, because they started trying to put out too many different models of phone and over-extended themselves. Here's hoping a little bit sharper focus will help pull them back up into running as one of the great Android OEM's.

Whether you like the phone or not its pretty obvious it is selling well. Personally I think it deserves it more than the S 4.

I have only had mine for 3 days, but I have to say I'm loving it. The black I have personally looks so much nicer to and (fingers crossed) won't show up marks. The button arrangement, well I quickly got used to that, I will add I'm not the biggest user of the multi task button anyway. The only one I don't like is the power button, I mainly use my phone in one hand my right so the power button is a stretch and really just to far away. But if I'm honest that won't bother me to much, it's such a great phone I will forgive HTC for that. I just hope next year they look at putting it on the side (i know they won't but it's worth asking). This is now the only phone I will recommend, to techies and none techies a like.

I think my HTC One is a super bit of kit, I agree entirely about the camera in daytime use, its hit and miss is best way to sum it up. My only other reservation is the battery, it "just" gets me from 7am to 9pm with heavy use (above 4hrs screen time) but moderate use it easily gets me to 11pm which is good. The screen, speed and speakers are the standout features, Zoe is a really useful feature unlike most of the gimmicky stuff in the S4. Would I buy again? Yes but will definitely be looking for a mophie juice pack or equivalent battery case. Best phone I have owned, former iphone 4, Xperia S, S3 and Note 2 owner

as an T-mobile employee i also switch phones often. I've been a long time htc user up to when the galaxy s3 was released. the Htc one s just wasn't a big enough upgrade for me coming from an htc amaze. the last device i used before the htc one was the galaxy note 2 & i must say i do not miss samsung at all. The htc one has by far the best battery life for any android phone ived own. The galaxy s4 does have more features and a bigger screen. but from being a T-mobile rep from some time now almost all customers do not use or know how to use the features. IN conclusion im happy HTC IS finally back to making great devices.

By no means is the Ones battery OUTSTANDING, but it certainly gets the job done. I last from 7am to 11pm with moderate to heavy use and medium brightness with a constant LTE connection. Most days with around 3 hours of on screen time. The Note II is made for business users, so I can't see an actual need for a 2 day battery for anyone else.

Read the comment you are coming on. Than any android phone "he has owned". So amusing to watch android fanboys rage at each other instead of the iPhone for once.

I really want to like the One. It is really a good looking device. That said, it is just not comfortable to use, The curved back is nice but with the sides not conforming to that curve(just killing the curve with sharp corners) and the power button on the top left makes it seem like a chore just to use the thing. It's just not a device that I enjoy holding in my hand like the S3/4, iPhone 5, and even the gigantic Note 2.
Then on top of that, i've had 3 HTC One's. All have had gaps between the speaker grills and polycarbonate, dead pixels, small scratches on the back right out of the box, and this last one i've received even has a small hair/fuzzy under the screen right next to a dead pixel. The quality of this supposed high quality device is frustrating. And similar to the OP, mine has been getting mysterious scratches on the chamfers and grills despite being extremely careful with it and never dropping it or even setting it on hard surfaces.

It's a cool device but I can not wait to get rid of it.

As much as I've loved all of my HTC devices over the years, I don't know what it is about them and the ease of dirt/dust sneaking under the glass over the months of owning them. In contrast, my Lucid 2 is built like a champ from a hardware standpoint, even given the cheap plastic materials it uses.

Sounds like you've had some bad luck there, that is just not good enough really.
Not going to pour me of getting a one though...

Same exact sentiment here. I've had two HTC Ones, and both have had their own defects. One had very sharp corners that would catch on my pockets, and both had very inconsistent button quality. On one, Power/volume rockers were too recessed that made them tough to push, especially with a case on. The other phone had great button height, that clicked reassuringly when you pressed them, but that one had the sharp corners where the aluminum overlapped the plastic part of the case... almost sharp enough to cut a finger. When I read the article last week that the One didn't support the Snapdragon 600 quick charge feature... well, that was it for me.

Big bummer, because I'm a huge HTC fan, and as I suffered through the pains (and occasional joy) of the One X shortcomings (saved by CyanogenMod, thankfully), I was really looking forward to the One. The camera was very nice on the One, especially for taking food pics at dimly lit restaurants. The Boom Sound speakers were simply incredible... going to miss those. Sense 5 really was silky smooth too. I've had my 32GB ATT S4 for three days now, my first Samsung ever... and after some TouchWiz tweaking (Google + search S4 Tips and Tricks), I'm totally in love with this phone! Sure going to miss boom sound... but 100% happier with every other aspect of the S4 over the One. The fit and finish is light years ahead of the One, even if the One's materials seem more premium. However, I've not played with any other S4's, just the one I bought.

HTC... you're so close to hitting it out of the park! The One is a fine device... should keep them out of bankruptcy, just not quite there yet. Love the competition these days... now let's see what Motorola can do with some fresh creative blood from Google.

A little annoyance I have is the placement of the mic. I'm right-handed and tend to accidentally cover the mic sometimes when I'm talking.

"In low light, the HTC One annihilates every other smartphone camera out there"

False. Check out the Nokia's Windows Phone lineup, especially the Lumia 920 and Lumia 928.

Still a gorgeous phone nonetheless. I'd buy this in a heartbeat if I wasn't so tied to Microsoft's services.

Thing is.....once you de-bloat or install custom ROM on S4 it becomes a sick (no lag), feature rich, and almost zero useless carrier or TouchWiz crap. PS. S4 speaker is loud too....and how often do you really use your phone as boombox ? As far as button setup, no stupid "settings bar" and the fact that you can turn off backlight on softkeys making phone look nice and clean like N4 is really nice on S4. For me One looks too "busy" in front, speaker, htc logo + black navigation keys + that black software settings bar in some apps = waste of space

To the boombox comment, every day. I wouldn't do it with any other phone because no other phone compares. All the hardware and software features compliment each other perfectly on this phone. The S3+ is a bunch of random software thrown together with relevant hardware specs and polycarbonate plastic. I've played with both phones and the S4 still looks and feels like a phone from last year...wait, it IS a phone from last year.

lol, i would rather have 2-piece polycarbonate plastic then bunch of aluminum pieces cheaply glued together. i thought One was supposed to be from solid AL block not 5 + plastic between. i also prefer to carry phone without case, and as you can see in this review and many others AL will just scratch and dent to hell, God forbid it hits the ground...dents, scratches, speaker grills un-glue (already confirmed)...etc.

Look, I don't own either phone. But the GS4 is a cheaply made and cheap feeling phone. Don't kid yourself into the GS4 is better made. You sound like you're trying to convince yourself. It's cool if you prefer the GS4. But don't come around here saying it's a better made phone. It's not and that is fact...not an opinion. Ask any engineer you know. You will get the same answer from 100% of them. And it IS an aluminum unibody phone. So you also aren't even posting facts in your post which makes you have zero credibility. You would have been better served not posting anything.

I stated one fact. That was the only point I was trying to make. I'm not debating off any opinions.

Cheaply made means that it costs less to make. And it does. It's not an insult. It's a fact. Don't get all bent out of shape.

Unfortunately this is where you are wrong. Fact #1, HTC One is NOT unibody, the only thing that's (maybe) unibody is the back panel. Fact #2 if you Google HTC One quality issues or One drop test, you will see for your self that its cheaply made. So it all comes down to fact #3 :) S4 is made from cheaper materials but with better quality and by NO means it feels cheap, however it DOES feel more reliable.

The HTC One is almost impossible to repair (per iFixit and other web sites). The S4 gets an 8 out of 10 for ease of repair. I'm sure many don't care. But, having replaced the screen on an Atrix and the camera in a Captivate that's something that I appreciate.

It definitely feels 'cheap'...and it definitely does not 'feel more reliable'. These are facts...and the absolute, top of the list, number one complaint about the S4 from even the most ardent Galaxy fans. Sorry---the Facts are simple. The One, design-wise....cosmetically, aesthetically and visually is a more appealing, better feeling, more solid example of phone engineering. That truly is the only fact...this isn't even subjective. Who in the world prefers plastic to aluminum? Seems silly...oh well. Some will continue to argue til the cows come home...or Samsung finally gets it! And steps up their manufacturing prowess.


LOL...Okay. You need to check out what unibody is. I can't even comment on that part of this. 99.9% of people don't care about drop tests. HTC gives the consumer more for less money on the hardware side and this is the thanks they get? Wow! Talk about blind followers, fanboys, or whatever.

I am a Nexus 4 owner. If I was in the market, I wouldn't touch the Samsung phone with that beautiful HTC One sitting next to it. You would have to be crazy. The good news is that the general public doesn't come on these blog sites listening to fanboys. They are more like me and can evaluate the hardware and software on their own. HTC will succeed with this phone because it's just a better phone than the GS4. That's not to say they will sell more Ones than the GS4 because they don't have the marketing budget of a giant like Samsung. And again, I'm cool with people that choose the GS4 over the One if they have a preference for better daylight photos or prefer the overbloated Touchwiz or prefer the toy feeling that shiny plastic gives you. That's a personal preference thing. But overall, it's just a cheaply made plastic phone that they charge more for than the HTC One.

I'd rather people come in here and say, "I chose a GS4 because of this..." without caring what other people think. I'm an outsider looking in as I don't own either phone so I feel the need to comment on this silly Samsung nut swinging banter. :-)

I had Nexus One, Galaxy Nexus, and Nexus 4.....while I do agree that N4 is very nice phone, I still picked and bought GS4....I could obviously buy One but I just dont like it. PS. as far as plastic vs metal.....Hyundai is metal, Ferrari is plastic....:) Also its been said already that GS4 is more expensive to make then iPhone 5.....that says something too.

Well of course it's more expensive to make. The iP 5 is tiny, thin, has a small, non HD screen, a small battery, only an 8mp camera, the list goes on. You don't need much of anything to make a phone like that. I'm not saying the iPhone 5 sucks, but most high end Android phones have more expensive parts, and more of them.

Ummm... anytime I hear someone assure me 100%of anyone would agree with them, I know they're full of it. You couldn't even get 100% Of people (or engineers) to agree on the color of the sun.

Look, I'm not even talking a size on this, but using the logic that an aluminum body means the device as a whole has better build quality is simplistic. Does am aluminum body make the electronics better? Is the aluminum body why the camera operates the way it does?

By your logic, my old palm lifedrive is the best device in history (lots of aluminum, stylus, giant screen).

Aluminum is clearly better for your needs / desires (more likely the latter). That doesn't mean that your needs, desires, or tastes have any bearing on what works for anyone else.

I'm sorry, but you're wrong. I'm in computer science and have many engineering friends. Every single one of them said that more time, effort, and money was put into producing the One. Every single one of them. Anyone who has any sort of engineering degree or has any experience in manufacturing will tell you this. Metal vs. plastic? Come on. You guys prefer the S4. I get it. But don't come around here saying that Samsung gave you more than HTC did hardware-wise. That's obscene. Or you're blind. One or the other...

True, you shouldn't have to, but they do. Especially a stock ROM. Removing custom skins, apps, services and bloatware from any device will make it noticeably faster. There's no getting around it with any new phone unless you get a Nexus.

I'm a music lover and I use my One to play music through the speakers pretty much daily while at work, doing chores around the house, sitting on the porch, etc. I agree with Alex that Boomsound has really spoiled me, even if it is a stupid name :)

I NEVER used a phone as a boombox....

Until I got an HTC One! I use it for music while I am in the shower. Awesome.

Snap. Exactly the same here, the speakers change the way you use the phone. I have to say that the phone itself is very nice. But then I stuck Launcher8 on it so it looks and feels a lot like WinPho8, which is by far the most user friendly GUI on a phone, in my opinion. WinPho8 GUI with Android as OS? Brilliant.

Wow, you raise such excellent points. So all I need to do to the s4 is root it, invalidate the warranty, install a custom Rom and de bloat it to make it comparable to the HTC? I strongly suspect that it would still be jerking and stuttering away too. My s3 still stuttered after I installed custom roms on it. The s4 is a great phone but no thanks, I'll stick with my HTC order cheers

hey kolyan2k, what custom ROM are you talking about? I'm thinking of switching from iPhone 5 to Android and torn between the One and GS4 and tuff to decide. one of the main concerns for me is the lag on the GS4. Hope you can help me decide. thanks

Well yeah, it's hard to get any better than "zero lag", which has been a part of high end android for quite some time.

I have a note 2 and tried a HTC one at costco,phone was as fast as I think android can get,I mean apps flew open with wreckless abandon lol

Still the best phone I've ever used. Smoother than the iPhone and faster than the gs3. Almost perfect.

This is the thing. HTC did something different, so they deserve the attention and adulation they have gotten. I'm all for innovation. However, what's going to happen when the 3rd manufacturer makes an aluminum phone, the 4th? Don't kid yourself, the reason this is big because other than the iPhone, is primarily because no manufacturer has put aluminum on their flagship phone. So now we two rectangular, silver, minimalistic, metal phones that everyone thinks is beautiful...could it possibly be because it is uncommon. Frankly,I think the value is increased because it is different than what most people are used to that don't use iOS. I am glad the One exists, more options is a good thing. I just remember when Android was first gaining steam. Android used to be about practicality, customization and flexibility but since the iPhone's come out, everyone, including some Android users treat their phones as if they are an accessory,a piece of jewelry. This isn't a bad thing, just an observation.

'but since the iPhone's come out, everyone, including some Android users treat their phones as if they are an accessory,a piece of jewelry. This isn't a bad thing, just an observation.'

I disagree with you... I think it's a bad thing :P Mainly because it encourages manufacturers to focus more on looks than anything else. Looks should NOT be the priority when it comes to inanimate objects.

It's not that looks are THE priority with the HTC One. They ARE, however, A priority, and it's good that HTC recognizes this is important. One of the biggest reasons for Apple's success with the iPod, iPhone, and iPad, is that they understand customers want their purchases to look good! This is especially important when they cost enough to be considered a significant expenditure. If looks weren't important we'd all be driving square boxes around town.

"I disagree with you... I think it's a bad thing :P Mainly because it encourages manufacturers to focus more on looks than anything else. Looks should NOT be the priority when it comes to inanimate objects."

The two manufacturers that HAVE done this, gone this direction with their external design....have backed it up with excellent 'internal' engineering as well. Both the iPhone 5 (now 6 months old---held many benchmark records until this year's Android releases as far as their SoCs) and now the HTC 1--in this review, again stated 'zero' lag which is still prevalent on the S4 because of T/Wiz....Sense/HTC has done their homework...and like Apple, has spent not only the time and dedication to release a nice external/aesthetic design...but their 'internal' homework and engineering as well...taking the time to match their software up with the hardware to produce a seamless non 'laggy' performing phone.

It may be a 'bad thing' if this becomes common-place...but so far, the manufacturers doing this aluminum design facade have backed it up with 'guts' to match. That's objective...not an opinion if you look solely at the performance of either platform and the reviews/folks using them in the 'real world'


Its way faster i own the one and have used the Nexus i hate stock android to be honest missing a lot of stuff that sense gives you Im running a coustom rom and kernel the htc logo in the middle works on my phone as a menu button hackers fix the stuff you don't like.

Perfect example of opinion. “i hate stock android to be honest” … don’t hear that often. Meanwhile I’ve been flashing custom ROMs for years to get away from Sense and TouchWiz. That’s what’s so great about Android. You make it what you want it to be.

Alex, is the s4 lag annoying? Like some serious lag making the whole experience unpleasant or just some very minor stutter? One more thing, is it still present even after the AT&T update, in other words is it just lack of optimization or there to stay? :o Thanks in advance. :)

Can't speak for AT&T, but my Euro version gets occasional, very minor stutters, as well as delays in loading certain apps. It's not horribly laggy by any means, but I've never experienced anything like it using the HTC One.

is it lagging after the update??? samsung fixed the lag issue. you dont mind HTC using 4.1 which is a year old but give samsung flack for trying something new with launching with the latest software. Yall need to stick to one thing. on the podcast yall claimed that no one is using 4.2 and how it is a shame yet you are giving htc credit.

Zero lag on T-Mobile if you know how to use the phone. Out of box, yes there is some lag, but perhaps that was already fixed with recent update from Samsung....i wouldnt know this because 15 minutes after i got my phone it was rooted and de-bloated.

A user should not have to root, rom or debloat a brand new $600 phone right out of the box to eliminate lag. It should be lag free on its own. Period.

Of course he shouldn't.....but this is where Sammy dropped the ball. Its better to be a software issues then hardware. Like I said, they already released some update.....even Nexus 4 had some software issues on 4.2.2, I am so glad this WiFi bug is not present on S4.

Nexus devices are for betas. Your 4.2.1 experience should have made you well aware.

Stop this! I haven't even gotten mine and you're already showing it off. You're just making me drool even more. It's like you're doing doughnuts in the car I always wanted. This is excruciating! Hehehe!

I have my HTC One since April 19, I had the SGS3. and since that day the HTC One my daily phone and the SGS3 as a spare phone.

Best phone - Galaxy Note 2 :P
HTC One would be great with bigger screen and 8mp camera (with ultra pixel) that would be perfect

One thing I've been impressed with is the battery life -- probably the first LTE phone I've had that doesn't need a top-up to get through the day.

This just in:

A flagship phone came out by a big name company and some love it, some don't prefer it. Stay tuned for the 6 month review where we talk about how (insert phone name here) is both loved and hated by the community.

I think saying there "was" a supply issue is incorrect. Here in the UK there still is if you go through the Official HTC Store (Expansys are responsible for it). I placed an order a week and a half ago and still haven't got it. I also have no idea when I will get it as their customer service is atrocious. If it wasn't for the fact I REALLY want this phone I would have cancelled the order and gone with the S4. Couldn't bring myself to do that though!

Looks fabulous, I almost purchased it, but no MicroSD killed It. I insist on removable storage. it's the only way to hold on to your data. If the device craps out, my MicroSD is still accessible. The device's onboard memory data is almost always lost.

Sammy's S4 was not released yet, so I went for a Sony Experia ZL instead. I've had minor quibbles about it, but other than that, I'm happy as clam.

So if anyone at HTC reads this: External Storage is a MUST. I can live with a cheaper camera, but I can't accept losing all my pictures if I drop my phone.

What about using all the cloud storage apps that are available and free? I must agree that I prefer expandable storage tho

Your reasoning for using SD is flawed.

If you're trying to make sure you don't lose your photos, use a backup. Hell, the HTC One comes with free 25GB of Dropbox storage that's perfect for photos. There's plenty of ways your SD card could get lost, damaged, or stolen. But if they were on Dropbox or another service, you'd never have to worry about it.

I don't think I've ever heard a good excuse for SD cards, and this is included.

External storage is effectively dead. It is not supported in stock Android, Google killed it off. It requires hacky solutions from phone manufacturers, and apps have no need to support them.

Here's the easiest argument, clouds aren't as reliable, in terms of always having network access, and especially to those who have data caps, I don't, but others do and I travel a lot and I don't want to not have access to my music and other multimedia because I'm out of range, what about during storms and being inside of buildings? Cloud doesn't help, and I have a 64gb card with over 4000 songs installed and room for plenty of videos and pictures, and don't tell me i don't need that amount of music, if I want it then I should have the option to have it, I shouldn't change my lifestyle for a phone, it should enhance mine, having options is what's important. While to some external storage is irrelevant, to others it's very important, everybody's different

external storage dead ? Far from it­. I My 64Gb card is almost full and I dont want to rely on a cloud service when there is no WiFi.

Lol, what if the SD card gets corrupted? Because that's just as likely as a phone dying. And whatever happened to backup and the cloud?

Then, consider yourself lucky. SD cards die, from time to time. He's not full of it, for pointing out a fact. Just because it has not happened to you yet, doesn't mean that it won't happen to you or anyone else, somewhere down the line.

Can't say I agree that the One is the better phone between it and the S4. Each phone has their weaknesses, but the One has some you just cannot fix. As beautiful as the One is, it has some very odd design cues that, depending on the user, can be extremely annoying. The power button placement/too flush position, the lack of responsiveness in the capacitive buttons, the layout of said capacitive buttons...these are things you cannot change. As great as the camera is, 4MP can be limiting. Another thing you cannot change.

Comparatively, the S4's main flaws come from Touchwiz. Although the tech community at large aren't fans, the consumers seem to be. Regardless of your stance on Touchwiz, it can be changed with a custom launcher. On a phone that puts functionality ahead of aesthetics, this can be customized by any user without rooting and can generally eliminate any stutters (even though this latest update has done that for what seems to be the majority of users).

Both phones are incredible and we're lucky to be able to choose. I just think if you look at both phones objectively, devoid of any personal preference, the S4 brings more to the table to a broader range of customers.

Just my two cents.

Love the design, but I've never had a phone with worse battery and charging problems. Battery would run down even when on the charger!
Sometimes it would even stop thinking it was on the charger (no charging symbol on the battery indicator). Not to mention even with all syncing turned off, battery saving options on, the battery ran down way too fast.
Returned it after 2 weeks for a Note 2. Maybe I got a lemon, but never had such problems with an android phone before.

I suspect you had a lemon. Mine has stellar battery life compared to your experience, that said I am considering buying a battery case for those days when I kane it and need a full 24hr capability,that said I have kaned it and made it from 7am to 9pm with 15% left. But I want more damn it

I have to agree I have both the Galaxy S4 and HTC One but I still use the HTC One as my daily runner and it to has picked up a few scratches, only seen when really looking for them tho.

The One gets me stopped in the elevator at the office for people to look at throughout the day. It's refreshing, and pleasing to look at. The S4 goes unnoticed because it's too similar looking to the S3 and doesn't have as iconic of a design like the One (and sadly that Apple phone).

Can't recommend the phone enough.

Functionality and ease of use are of more importance to me than aesthetics. I don't purchase mobile phones as accessories or jewelry. They are productivity tools. If the HTC One had a better overall camera, less angled sides, quicker charging, a power button on the side and a wake up button at the bottom of the screen, I'd have one. Or two. I'll never compromise pretty for comfort. My brother just bought a Dodge Charger that looks hot but drives like it's running on the rims. But it gets attention from women so he's gonna put up with the jarring ride.

I like how you recommend the phone Alex even after saying about the S4 -
" That’s a fine phone too, with plenty going for it -- a bigger screen, lighter weight, better camera, a bunch of unique features --"
So you don't recommend the better phone?

Better speakers, better low-light camera, feels better in the hand, lots of unique features, less bloat, OS doesn't take up half the storage on the 16gb model...
I wouldn't buy either phone (Nexus or bust) but I think he recommended the better phone.

As Alex said, "in his opinion" he'd recommend the HTC One above other devices. Though I respect his opinion and opinions of anyone else that is respectfully offered, I must say my own personal opinion is of utmost importance to me.
The HTC One checks off more boxes for Alex than any other device at the moment. He's one person out of millions who will purchase mobile phones in the next few months. His opinion and choice doesn't devalue your own opinion and choice if it differs.
Take Alex off the high pedestal you have him perched on and stand him where he belongs: standing on level ground with you. Then you won't have such a visceral reaction when his choice in mobile device doesn't jive with yours.

I cant care less for speakers and low light photography. For anything else, the SGS4 wipes the floor with the HTC One.

Best features are dependant on the user. They don't necessarily make the better phone. I.e. I don't really worry too much about screen size, I have a tablet for the things I want a bigger screen for. Oh, and why is it all the people who complain about wanting a lighter phone also complain about battery life? I for one wouldn't mind having a heavier phone if the battery life was better but the manufacturers seem to be scared of adding too much weight so we're stuck with poor battery life, on pretty much all phones if we are honest. I love all the comments on various articles about how Samsung is better because the battery can be swapped out. But I thought the battery was better in the Samsung?
There is no such thing as the perfect handset. Every user is different. Accept it and appreciate each phone for it's best features and decide which is right for you, then accept that other people will not feel the same! :)

The Samsung does have a higher capacity battery, so you thought right. Where you took a wrong turn is the reason for the removable battery issue.
1. Should you have both the One and S4 and the battery drains out on both, you can conveniently throw a spare battery in the S4. You'd have to look for a power source for the One to plug it in.
2. A year down the road the One's battery might malfunction. What are your options? Buy a new phone? S4 only requires removal of battery cover and insertion of new battery.
Those are the arguments removable battery proponents make.

Why in a review about having a phone after 2 months is there no mention about battery life, especially when battery life is such an important issue on a phone with no removable battery?

The One is a great product as a whole but all this talk about "feeling premium" is a joke. The aluminum is not that great. It feels cheap compared to an iPhone 5.

"In low light, the HTC One annihilates every other smartphone camera out there" This is simply untrue. The Nokia 920 obviously is better in low light by a HUGE margin. Best low light Android phone? Yes. Smartphone? Nope.

The HTC nut-grabbing is getting out of hand.

The ONE is an amazing phone and I sell more of them at my store then the S4 easily since not one rep that had the S3 feels the need to buy the S4. Every rep can easily show customers both phones and more often the not the HTC ONE sells itself.

I'm interested in knowing where your store is because in the Baltimore/DC/Richmond area the stores routinely have HTC One stock available yet are always out of Samsung S4s.
At my son's Sprint Store in DC he says on any given shipment of devices there will be maybe 4 HTC Ones on the truck and at least 20 S4s. By the end of the week there are still one or two Ones still in stock.

Same here in Philly. In fact, the SGS4 went out of stock so quickly that by the time I got there, they had already gone through three stocks. Amazing.

The one thing that continues to amaze me on sealed battery phones is the size of the battery. The Motorola Razr Maxx and Razr Maxx HD are the ONLY phones to get this right. It is a pain in the a** to have a phone that you have to baby all day (use Juice Defender, turn things off, etc) just to get a full days use out of it. I do carry an external battery pack with my S3 if I know (or think) I'm going to have an exceptionally long day BUT that is very rarely. While HTC makes amazing looking phones they still have problems with battery life. They should start the design with the idea that (like the Razr HD (2500 mAh) and HD Maxx (3200 mAh)) that we are going to have OUTSTANDING battery life. Among all the high end smartphones the Motorola phones (despite their shortcomings, especially the camera) have by far the best battery life in the industry and they aren't especially thick or bulky. At least the S4 has 2600 mAh. Finally, while the looks matter at first (when you're buying the phone) after a short time I don't care whether it looks great or other people like the way it looks what matters is how it works and my S3 still looks great (the battery cover has some wear marks on it - that can be replaced cheaply and easily) and the operation - easily accessible power button, big hardware power button, etc. is very good and fast. Just battery life alone would put me off the HTC One.

Couldn't have said it better myself, when TF are manufacturers going to see that guaranteed all day battery with all services on at max screen brightness with no user management required should be the MINIMUM guaranteed battery performance, and if that means a phone greater than 10mm depth so be it.

I have been using my HTC One for over 3 weeks now and let me be very definitive.. The battery on this phone is downright awesome. I have Bluetooth, 3 mail accounts syncing every 30 minutes, run Pandora constantly over Bluetooth headphones, always surfing, texting, and basically interacting with my phone. I'm not in 4g in my area but am mostly connected to wifi networks. The battery life under my heavy use is damn amazing! I get so tired of hearing people talk shit about a removable vs non removable battery that it's ludicrous. And, many of you have not even used the One and you're passing judgment on its battery life. How can you pass judgment on something you know nothing about? Let me say this officially...with my heavy use I drain my battery down to 20% after about 8 hours! That's the best I've had in any smartphone ever! If the majority of you Galaxy users can say you're getting better than that then I think you're just lieing. There are no issues with this phone or the build quality. Using this phone is a top notch experience from software to hardware! Every phone has hiccups, the One included, but mine has been nothing short of amazing. I've never felt the need to reboot my phone to stop the lag! I have over 130 apps, i use BlinkFeed, Zoes, highlights, BoomSound with beats and this bad boy still gives me a "phoner!" The HTC One is a man among boys! It is simple yet complex, stylish, elegant, classy, and extremely efficient!

Have you used an HTC One with a fully conditioned battery(several weeks of charging cycles)? I'm willing to bet you have not, yet here you are making a judgments based on numbers alone. Is it possible that a phone could be very effcicent at how it mangages it's battery life? I'm a power user and i have everything toggled on and I can tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt that the One is among the best for extended use and battery management. You're one of those that has no idea what you are talking about as you have not personally used the phone. You've been reading about the phone either because you want one bad, but you're loyal to some other brand or you're just envious and looking for a way to pick the phone apart! Also, your final statement is not are completely put off by the phone, because for every positive take you have on it you contradict it. You're a Samsung fanboy...why are you even responding if you love your phone?! The article is about the HTC One...plain and simple..if you don't like the hype don't respond or read! But, Samsung is the big bully on the block and it's users even feel the need to bully their way into every single HTC One comment section that exists! Are your egos really that fragile and dependent on a phone?? If so, then just buy the best ph"One" and let your ego rest in knowing you have no peers. Otherwise, keep on being that insecure bully that likes to throw his weight around, lest we all know what eventually happens to bullies...Some little guy is gonna stand up for himself and knock the bullies' teeth down his throat!!!

I've always preferred the HTC One, everything about it, is amazing and blushing. On the other hand the S4 is also amazing, but it doesn't appeal to me even though I have acknowledged that the phone itself is a monster.

The two speakers on the front are simplicity's bliss at its best.

Though I'm still rocking my Nexus 4 with no regrets.

How on earth did you get the 1.29 update? It came out weeks ago, and I've been dutifully waiting for it since then, but nothing has happened. Very frustrating, especially since I'm on Three who usually push their updates faster than every on else.

I can say with complete confidence that the One is BY FAR the best smart phone I've ever had. After having a Palm Pré, HTC Evo 3D, HTC EVO 4G LTE, Galaxy Note 2 and a Galaxy S3, the One is my favorite by a country mile.

Just switched to Android (for the second time), and bought the Xperia Z instead of the HTC One.
Camera (in daylight) is really important to me and on-screen buttons are awesome! I'm very nitpicky, so I would have hated the button setup on the One.
I'm absolutely in love with the Xperia Z. The screen is beautiful (except for viewing angles, but I don't care about that), it's blazing fast and mine is running Android 4.2.2 thanks to CyanogenMod. It's absolutely lag free, and looks great with vanilla-ish android.

Thanks Alex, these two-months-later posts are awesome, and so valuable for making a purchase decision. Well done Android Central.

The htc one speaker grills look so stupid I could never own it. Not to mention the stupid button setup and complete lack of the menu button. And apparently the superior build quality isn't really all that great since he has scuffs and dents all over it and he doesn't even know how it happened. But that's just me I don't really care what any of you decide to buy.

You need to hold hands with the immature dude who made the Fisher Price comment and skip off together somewhere. Come back when you've located some maturity.

I'm never going back to HTC - I've learnt my lesson the hard way. I got an HTC One X last year when several websites (including this one) were pretty much saying the same things they are now about the One Vs The S4 when they were referring to the battle between the One X Vs S3. I took a chance and went with the little guy. What surprises me, is that not a single review talked about the HIDEOUS number of problems the One X got after a few weeks of use: The wi-fi signal is erratic, the phone keeps dropping calls & random reboots/crashes. In addition, Sense does not play well AT ALL with other 3rd party launchers - my phone became damn near unusable with Nova Launcher installed. Lets not also forget the ridiculously long wait for the software update (I use Vodafone and only got mine back in february). Funnily enough - the problems have doubled since the update as well. Nexus line products only for me from here on out.

I'm simply stating that my experience prevents me from choosing the One as my next android phone. For the following reasons:

1. I'm treating the fanfare and positivity with the One with extreme caution because similar things were being said last year about the OneX - and the fact that not a single review I read across several sites mentioned the wi-fi, call dropping and buggy issues.
2. HTC being late to provide software updates and when they eventually do - it virtually bricks the device.

Getting sucked into an 18 month contract with such problems is a mistake I'm not willing to make!

Thats odd because I've had the One X since launch and since a very early update I haven't encountered any of these problems you mention (can't comment on the launchers as I haven't tried them due to Sense being joy to use), I'm not saying they aren't afflicting you but what I am saying is that you may not be a majority case and should have had it exchanged under warranty as that is clearly not the case for the entire production run.

Maybe even just a wipe and reinstall your apps carefully as it may be an errant one causing some of the software problems.

All in all its patently idiotic to bad mouth an entire companies range of products purely due to one bad experience.

I would be willing to accept that my handset was an exception, except that I know 3 other users who are experiencing the same issues with their One X. 2 of them bought theirs SIM-free and the last was also on Vodafone. Also, yes - a factory wipe and re-install was exactly what I have tried already - TWICE! Oh, and by the way, the phone was not replaced by Vodafone as because after they "analysed" it at the repair centre - they claimed there was no fault with the device.

I'm happy to hear you're having a fantastic experience with your handset. Sadly, that is not the case with me and my friends. Just to clarify - I am not bad-mouthing an ENTIRE RANGE OF PRODUCTS - I am simply stating that my experience with HTC precludes me from ever using theirs again. Oh and by the way - a quick trip to several Google + forums will inform you that I was NOT in the minority with the One X problems after the recent update to 4.1.1 - take the loss of wallpaper scrolling as a minor example - 2 months down the line, and still no fix from HTC. Frankly, such a wide range of problems with the product should tell you there IS a problem with the One X.

All in all, yes.... its really IDIOTIC to refuse to go back to a company because you had a bad experience. Really idiotic.

Thanks for the review. I really love the look of this phone and today I finally got a chance to hold it. Was only a non working demo model but I really like the way it feels in my hand. Never owned an HTC bot before and this one will be my first! Should be arriving this Wednesday! Unlocked with 64 glorious GB of storage space! Android FTW!!!

Its so comical to sit and watch the same old arguments over and over and over again. I'm a long time Apple user, Mac's kick PC's butt. LOL, bet you can think of 100's of reasons to argue that; Mac's are overpriced, Mac's don't have as much software, Mac's don't do yadda yadda yadda. I've also been a IPhone person for ever, OMG what did I do with no exchangeable battery and no. gasp, sd card!!! Well, it never was even a factor, I always had some form of charge available and between cloud and home-rolled remote storage, never had an issue. So, que up the person who needs 100's of 128g sd cards with them at all times and a vest full of charged batteries complaining about my choice, OK, good for you! Why do you even need a smartphone, sounds like you just need a laptop and a flip phone, like this you have it all with you.
When I take "keeper" pictures I roll my DSLR, it will always be better then any phone camera. When I listen to music, I turn on my home stereo that I've put together over 30+ years. My One sounds excellent, for a phone with decent speakers. I switched because I was sick of Apple's walled garden and before the One, most of the other Android phones looked cheap and compared to the IPhone, were laggy and the screens were just not that good. I was tempted to get the Nexus 4 and probably would of, until I saw the One. Plastic ages kind of crappy, whites start yellowing, black just gets dull. Aluminum, while picks up some dings, ages well, especially when in a case. I also have 5 people on my plan and can get the newest and best phone when it comes out and if Apple can't do better, I think I will stick with the One for awhile.
Enjoy your phones, whatever you like, for me I love the One!
Oh yeah, I came back in to add this; I love Blinkfeed, little bits of relevant information at my fingertips during the day? What a win! I jailbroke must of my IPhones and see no need to root, seems like Android has pretty much everything I could want. Now remember, once you jailbreak at a particular version, you usually cant update to the newest version until the team finds a new exploit and sometimes they took months! So, if I'm a . version behind, I could care less. No functionality in 4.2 matters to me.

I love my HTC one but I wish it were more repairable. I bought the otterbox defender because I was so afraid of dropping it. I was spoiled with the iPhone and how easy it was to get good repair parts and instructions.

I love my HTC One! The camera is fantastic, it flies through every app I throw at it and the battery life has been more than adequate for my needs. The HTC One is the phone that finally made me switch to Android after five years with iOS. I am so happy I switched, I don't see myself ever going back.

My htc one's battery won't last a day! I keep the 4g mobile data turned on, i don't take pictures and videos only surf the net and facebook once in a while but how come 100% battery at 9am in the morning but plunges to around 14% at 3 or 4 in the afternoon! Any advices pls? I already turned off all data sync from google to fb, everything.

I keep everything on (data, bluetooth, wifi, data sync, etc.) at all times and surf once in a while. Mine easily last a whole day. Yours must be defective.

Your phone battery is either defective, or you have an app that's burning your juice, or your phone isn't old enough yet. I had a similar issue, but discovered it was my Kaiten email app. I just needed to reboot the phone and Kaiten stopped the drain. That was a week ago and the battery has been sailing ever since!

Thank you for the honest review. I love my HTC One! I'm sure the GS4 is a good phone, but I think it is clear that the One is an overall better phone. All the facts and professional opinions are there to back it up. I don't see the big deal with that either. Samsung fans should be happy that an android phone is doing so well. This year the One won! :) no need to get mad about it GS4 users :)

Lol living in a fantasy world there bro?

Anyway Alex did you put a case on your One? If the phone is like that after 2 months... Imagine it after a year. But I guess a case would diminish the design...

I Keep hearing about the button setup over and over from the podcasts. I use this phone all day (having come from A Droid Charge) and I simply don't understand what you mean. The back button is on the left right where one would expect to find it and the home button is on the other side. This setup is very similar to the last two android phones I've owned and very comfortable and natural to use in the hand.

The phones that don't make sense to me are the ones that put the back button on the right side. Back has always been a lefthand function as long as I have used computers and phones. Am I living life backwards?

Why has my comment been marked as spam?

I completely understand. It's all what you're used to.

Coming from an Evo line, I was very confused when I first got my GS4.
It all just takes getting used to. It's probably tough for the reviewers on this website to probably get used to one device as they use so many devices.

Backspace on a keyboard is on the top right hand corner. Just an observation =P
If it was on the left hand size of the QWERTY keyboard, then maybe we'd all be better off. We would never know.

To futher comment...I completley agree with you about the soft button "issue," but there has been plenty of commentary on the hard button issue as well..I happen to find the flush buttons a joy to use as they rarely get pushed accidentally. I'm able to turn my phone volume up and down when I intend to do as well as power it off and on when i intend. I had the HTC EVO before and can't tell you how many times I pressed buttons when i didn't intend to do so. It was annoying. I thought my ringer was on and come to find out my phone was on silent. I don't miss the accidental pressing of physical buttons. Flush is so much better and well thought out. The power button might be awkward, but I like the fact that it's in a position where you won't/can't press it unless you intend do so. It's a great design and very efficient

S4... nice phone. I almost convinced my friend, coming from an iPhone 4S, to get an HTC One... That was until the damn Att rep had her at hello (" The S4 has a 13 megapixel cam, while the HTC One has an 8 megapixel...") Wtf????
For everyone bitching about removable batteries... I dunno, think having a spare charger is better as you don't have to wait till the phone is completely dead to swap. Even if you don't wait for full drainage, the swap does involve rebooting right? Micro SD card? Doesn't the internal capacity transfer faster? Oh, and a note on boom sound- while I don't cosign loud ass speakers to annoy the shit out of people with your notifications and/or your choice of music, I think it serves well when you'll no longer have to say STFU when trying to listen to your navigation's voice directions.
Sorry for the rant, but as you may have already guessed it, both the wife and I will be making it rain at Att while simultaneously chucking up deuces/and half a peace sign to Verizon for not getting this gem...

the camera is the only reason I went for the S4. I use it a lot and after seeing the resoloution and noise I had to go S4.

I originally went with the "one" and had it for 13 days. I loved it. Fast, smooth, sturdy, but it wasn't without its issues. The build quality was ok but it could have been better, such as the screen not being flush. Anywho, the only reason I returned it for the S4 was Bluetooth connectivity. It paired great with all BT, including my Pioneer AVH-X3500BHS which was a plus. But trying to use a mono BT headset with the "one" left a lot to be desired. Stock out of the box doesn't work. Not sure if it's HTC or Google but removing the update to voice search made voice commands usable again. With that said...everyone, and I mean everyone, said I sounded like crap and they, to me, sounded like they were in a tin room. I tried my friends "one" with same results. Sorry, until HTC gets this right, another manufacturer will get my mullah because I have to use BT for job purposes.

I love the phone but hate the button setup at the bottom. The on screen buttons are often not responsive and I miss menu button.

Well written article, Alex.

I could go on and on about what i love about the phone.

What i don't like... the capacitive buttons. They should have stayed with, back, home, and recent apps. And the sensitivity is very low (hopefully fixed in an update to the kernal). That said, they still aren't hindering that much. I miss physical buttons but those do wear out.

My friend asked what phone he should get. I told him to get the S4 so I could play with both (he he) and they are both great phones... now I feel bad cause i didnt have him get the best One :-)

Being on Verizon I wouldn't know what its like to own a HTC One. Nor do I know what it is like to own a Galaxy S4, even though I do have the S4 on pre-order. When switching carriers just isn't an option, you simply gotta go with the best alternative. I don't care very much about the build materials as long as it is a solidly built phone. I am just going to slap on a TPU case anyway. I am looking forward to having my time with the S4 as is and then rooting it when I feel like there is a nice custom ROM available. I think that running a vanilla build of android 4.2 or 4.3? on the S4 is going to awesome. It will certainly fix the occasional lagginess.

Alex, even though your review was posted after the Galaxy S4 update you still cite S4 lag. The vast majority of S4 users on this site mentioned either they didn't have lag or the update fixed any minor lag they had. Perhaps you could update your article.

Great review. Thanks. I've had the HTC Rezound since launch (and before that, the original Incredible). Was torn between it and the Nexus 4, which really stole any thunder that HTC intended for the very-late-to-finally-be-released Rezound. Although not identical, the arguments being made for the Rezound pre-release had a similar tone (screen quality, camera performance, aesthetics) and a LOT of talk about being high on the list for regular updates. I have been happy with the phone itself (only with the extended battery, btw), but it was very quickly forgotten about by HTC. Didn't get ICS until right around the time Jelly Bean was released, and it's not even a contender for the JB update. Manufacturers never jumped on the accessory bandwagon, yet I see regular blog posts on new and unique accessories for the SG3, even now. I feel like I'm under the same HTC spell for the One that I was for the Rezound and am going to resist. In the end, phones marketed to the masses just get more attention and tlc. Additionally, the non-removable battery, although not a deal breaker, just leaves another way to be left vulnerable by HTC, should something go wrong or if over time the One's "very good" battery performance happens to wane prematurely. After all, even the best custom rom or 3rd party launcher can't replace a defective or deteriorating battery.There is a LOT drawing me to the HTC One, but if my Rezound experience taught me one thing - it was how to root my phone. I'll likely apply that skill to the SG4, make it the best it can be, and see if I fare any better with updates and support before yet another upgrade window rolls around.

I rarely post comments on articles here because it is always a back and forth between fan boys of one type or another, but after reading through the comments on this one I felt the need to. First all phones out there have pros and cons the secret is to find the phone where the pros fit YOUR needs and the cons are things that you could care less about. Me personally I got the One. I like the design and feel more than the S4 as well as I do a lot of work in my garage and on location and the sound is great. the one thing that I did want to address is the camera. As a working photographer I really dont understand why everyone is giving the camera such grief. I will argue that 98% of people out there that will actually make a print from the photos they take on their cell phone will NOT make a print any larger than an 8x10 and for that size 4MP is plenty where 13 is really over kill. As for displaying digitally the MP really makes no difference. The resolution of the photos of the one is 2688X1520 which is more than MOST people have their monitors set to (unless your have a 4K tv which at that point buy a real damn camera) so digitally the photos are going to be fine. Now im not saying that the images are perfect the color reproduction on the S4 is much better but if I am worrying about true color reproduction then I am going to use an actual camera not my phone. for quick snapshots of my kids its more about the memories than it is making sure that my sons red shirt looks like it is a little on the cool side.

What humours me is that HTC owners will commend The Samsung or the iPhone but when its the other way round all you get it slating of the HTC One , i think that says everything about owners of all three phones, the Samsung and iPhone users are so easily brainwashed as individuals and love to follow the crowd but the HTC One owners ,know what they have ,don't actually feel the need to protect their tech , and know the score through research and can make up their own minds without multi million pound advertising campaigns ,protecting something that they fear is human nature i suppose , HTC are well back in the game!

I've had a Nexus 4 since it released, and not that I'm getting rid of it, but I'm really tempted to get the One on one of T-Mobile's new plans. I'd really like to see HTC get back in the market as well.

Got my ONE about a week ago now and it's awesome. I went to get a new phone with an open mind about what I was going to get but once I actually had the ONE and the S4 side by side there was no comparison, decision made. Before I'd seen the S4 in the flesh I thought it might feel cheap and like a toy but wasn't as bad as I thought, it does look cheap though (IMO) and after about 5mins of playing around with some of the new software stuff just reminds me how rubbish touchwiz is and way too much bloatware, I got my wife an S3 a while back and think it everytime I mess around with that too. Moving on the ONE's hardware is great, looks amazing and feels quality. Nearly every time I've got it out so far in front of someone they've asked if they can have a look. The only problem is I know at some point I'm going to drop it or scratch it and I'm probably going to cry a little bit (not really, but almost). Think the only thing I'd change is the power button needs to be on the other side, I'm sure I'll get used to it but feels wrong at the mo. On the subject of that loving that it has IR remote control and with good software so had no probs at all setting it up to work for TV and Sky at home and my stereo at the workshop. The camera's great so far, low light pics really do come out well. Also Boomsound is good I use my phone a lot for music when I'm working at someone's house or sitting in the garden etc so this is perfect for that, haven't had it going for long enough in a day though to see how it drains the battery but I'm not too worried about that. As for the software SENSE 5.0 is more subtle I think than previous versions and think what it does add to stock android is mostly an improvement (music, notes etc), there's a bit of bloatware but nothing too bad. I wish you could delete stuff though that you don't want (stocks, twitter and talk) but afraid to say that list would've been sooo much longer for the S4. Then there's blinkfeed which so far I've pushed to one side a bit but I think I will use it. The idea is good but maybe it should be an app/widget that you can either download or remove if you want. I've been using WP8 for the last couple of months and quite like the live tiles so definitely a step in the right direction. A week on do I think I got the right phone??? Yep 100%

Still waiting for this phone to launch in India. Can't wait to get my hands on it. Can anyone give the launch date.

can you stop saying the speakers are really loud. the OPTIMUS G speaker is louder and just as clear, they claimed 93 dB, false advertising, the lumia 620 is way louder

I've had this phone for almost a month now and I love it. I don't miss the iPhone 5 at all. It's a good change of pace for people that are simply getting bored of iOS and want something different. This phone is great. I LOVE the sound from the dual speakers.

I've been happy with the One. Now, I should say that I got it for no initial out of pocket cost, except the $36 fee ($100 HTC Rebate, and $100 Instant rebate for porting my house to Sprint Home Connect).

Its a nice upgrade over my Photon 4G (that I've never been able to use 4G on)...and still can't on the One.

Anyway, its a great phone. I prefer Sense 5 over my wife's S3 skin, and its been rock solid. Nice design, camera is good, and Zoe is growing on me. Blinkfeed...meh...don't love it but get that some do.

If I'm honest, I wouldn't have bought it had it not been for the rebates as I was holding out to see what BB & WP8 looked like on Sprint. So...I'll check back in on them in 22 mos and see who's still standing.

I'm really tempted to trade in my Galaxy Note 2 for this phone. It would be hard getting used to a small screen again though, and I'd really miss the stylus as I use it quite a bit.

But the sexiness of the One hardware, the crisp screen, the no-lag, and blinkfeed makes me want to change things up.

I did exactly that, I did initially miss the screen size but now appreciate I can do most tasks one handed. The only real thing I miss though is the Note 2 outstanding battery life, if I Kane the one from 7 am, it will just get me to 7 pm with the battery just dipping under 10%, not bad but some degree of battery management needed, with moderate use it easily gets me to midnight with screen on time between 3 and 4 he's. In all honesty the Note 2 spoils you whereas the HTC One does a solid job with respect to battery, hope that was of some use to you :)

Excellent intelligent discussion thread. Pleasant change from the American Samsung fanboy idiot louts who usually plague the HTC One (subject) forums. And I'm an American who is woefully embarrassed by our declining level of education.

I'm a non-tech "average user" who reads tech columns out of causal interest, and has had this phone a couple of months. Based on my own pet issues:
Pros: The HTC One battery holds up, in practical experience, almost as well as my Droid Razr Maxx. Sound quality is important to me, and it's great. I do love the aesthetics; it feels finely-crafted, like a good watch.
Cons: Haven't seen anyone else complain about this, but touch controls seem wonky to me, reading taps as swipes or not registering them at all; Pinch-zoom is barely unsupported. I don't think the camera interface is getting the criticism it deserves; it's confused.

How much you can play video or do web browsing with it. I get like 5h of youtube video.

Everything off(Airplane mode)
Wifi enabled good signal
Youtube one (full movie)

I can't get more then 5 hour, do you have better result

My htc one is the best phone i ever had..
Quick and responsive and still as sexy as ever..
I just hope for the speedy update comes 4.3

Posted using HTC ONE via Android Central App