Android Central

In the process of reviewing the HTC One X, CNET UK flagged up a potential build quality issue. On four different review units, they reported that pushing down on the edges of the screen caused it to flex and produce a series of discoloured pixels on the display. Going back to the Creative Director at One & Co, HTC’s design consultancy, they received the response, “we would never let that ship.”

So that would mean retail units shouldn’t be affected, yes? Well, no. See, I purchased a shiny new HTC One X on Three UK, and should I press down on the edges of the screen, I see exactly the same as CNET reported. HTC haven’t confirmed anything either way, but based on my retail unit alone I’d say that there’s little point in denying it.

A more important question should be, should you worry? Is this a reason to not buy the phone?

Any kind of design flaw is not exactly welcome, especially in such a high end, expensive device as the One X. But you have to press -- really press -- on the sides of the screen to replicate this yourselves. How many of us do that in general day-to-day use? Apart from this one time, in the name of research, I am pretty much sure that I won’t be doing it again. Neither will you guys most probably. The HTC One X is exceptionally well made, so much so that perhaps some have been looking for reasons to score it down. After all, how many of us have done something like this whilst trying out a new phone for the first time?

This is really a non-issue. If you’ve already bought a One X, or are planning on doing so, don't worry and enjoy it. I know I’m enjoying mine a whole lot, and that’s all that matters. Oh, and don't forget to check out our extensive review as well, just in case you need a little help deciding. 

Source: CNET UK


Reader comments

HTC One X screen flex 'flaw' -- should we worry about it?


Honestly, has there ever been a device that shipped without an issue or three in some of the devices that made it to consumers?

The iphone 4 had to redesign the antenna after selling millions... I guess thats not a flaw? Signal and holding your phone "right" is something you deal with every day. This is not an everyday issue.

I would have to guess NOVA Launcher? But I can't be 100% certain as there are multiple launchers out there (ADWlauncher) with ICS themes.

The fact that there are only 7 icons there when 8 will fit, causing it to not be perfectly symmetrical, is making me MENTAL! /analretentive

It's an LCD. That's what they do. Try it on your old school T.I. calculator. The larger the gap between the LCD and the glass, the less this happens. My understanding of this sweet ass display is that the air gap is almost non-existent and that's why things look like they pop!

no. it's not what they do! my nexus s 4g and xperia x10 don't do it. It's a design flaw, and honestly, I'm glad someone finally found one. Maybe that'll knock all you HTC snobs of your high-horses! Call me crazy, but a device is only as good as its screen, and this does NOT look good!

Ok, you're crazy.

On previous phones, there's the digitizer/glass, a gap, and then the actual screen. So yea, when this doesn't happen on older phones, it's because the air gap prevents pressure being placed on the outer glass from transferring directly to the screen. On these newer devices, that air gap has been reduced or eliminated to improve the quality of the display. The trade-off is that pressure placed on the outer glass can be transferred to the screen which, anyone should know, will temporarily cause the colors displayed to shift around the point of pressure.

It is NOT a flaw. It's a trade off, and yet another example of how people simply can't be pleased these days: Improve the screen by removing the air gap and they'll complain that the colors distort when they press on the glass hard enough to bend it.

And let me repeat that last sentence: when they press on the GLASS HARD ENOUGH to BEND IT!!

Am I really the only one who thought it was common knowledge that BENDING GLASS isn't generally considered a good idea in most situations?

You must not have actually read what I posted. If you did then you didn't understand any of it. That discoloration is what LCD panels do when you press on them. It's the LC in LCD. Liquid Crystal. It's not a flaw. It's the technology. Your Nexus S doesn't have it, but your Sony does (TFT, to be more accurate). So did my OG EVO and my EVO 3D. If you could put your finger on them, they would all do the same thing. But you're not actually touching the display. It's buried beneath the glass and a digitizer and separated by an air gap. The thinner that gap, the more you can actually manipulate the LCD panel itself. But the thinner the air gap, the clearer the display.

I think it's typical of LCD's as well...hence why it's an acronym for "Liquid Crystal Display". If you push on liquid, it moves around. They apparently made the protective layer of glass on top thin enough that it flexes when you push it. If you took the glass off other phones and pushed on the LCD, it'd do the same thing...

AFAIK, AMOLED doesn't do this because it's organic light emitting material, but it does have a half life where brightness drops...

I don't care if the flaw is minor. It's there. When I pay 600 plus bucks for a phone I expect it to be flawless. I could live with it if it were to low end device I pay say 2 bills for. Plus when you say you only see it if you try to see it does not fly with me. I know it exist so psychologically it will always now bother me. It's a shame seeing I was aiming to plop the money down for it once it came to the states. Oh well.

When I run over my phone with my truck, it stops working. WTF??? I paid good money for this thing and clearly it suffers from a pretty big design flaw... I'm so tired of these GD manufacturers cutting corners, shipping inferior products with major design flaw, and then denying it.

Anyone want to join in on a class action law suit? I mean, for a phone to not be able to survive a little run-over by a 3,000 lb vehicle is BS!!

Totally stole my thunder and thank you for doing it. I was going to write "when I hit my evo 3d with a hammer I notice these spiderweb lines coming out from the spot where I hit it. Also, afterward when I try to use the touchscreen it feels uneven and cuts my hand. " this is the silliest "design flaw" I've ever heard of. It's ownership 101, don't turn your plasma tv on it's back, don't drive your car with the emergency break on and don't put too much pressure on your Liquid crystal display. It's not complicated people.

This reminds me of a commenter over on Good and Evo the other day. I'm paraphrasing, but he was serious and not trolling in any way.

"I'm not buying the HTC EVO 4G LTE because I'm on my 5th original EVO 4G. I keep breaking the screens. The screen shouldn't break when I drop the thing on concrete once. My last phone, my daughter had it in her pocket and sat down and it broke. My phone shouldn't break when I sit on it."

He said all these things in different comments throughout the page.

Its not there when you 'try to see it' but there when you JAM on the screen. That's a big difference.

I think it's pathetic, It's a great looking phone but IMO is lacking the things I demand in a high quality phone. Plenty of memory with sd-card. This phone lacks this. For a crumby few bucks they cheap out on very important stuff. They try to make phones too thin and they sacrifice rigidity. Great looking with great software, missing a few very important items IMO. Will never buy a phone without sd-card.

Can't be i thought android phones were built better than the iphone.Just goes to show you nothing is perfect.

My Inspire 4G (Desire HD) has been great for the 2 years I've had it. Only within the past couple of months has there been a "issue" with the screen where if you give some pressure in the corner of the screen it makes a "pop" and pushes in a small bit, only to come right back out. This wasn't a issue when I first got the phone, but it makes you wonder about the long term quality of these phones and if they'll survive your 2 year contract when your'll renew and get another new device.

At least with the iPhone 4's antenna issue, holding it as a lot of people would causes the issue. This is someone pressing very hard in a corner of a screen to make something happen -- not something that anyone would likely every do.

So when you take a platic bodied phone and flex the phone much harder than you would under any normal kind of circumstance the LCD sceen shows discoloring?
Isn't that normal for all LCD screens?

I am still getting the Sprint version the second I get my upgrade.

My EVO 3D had this same problem. I sent it back to HTC and they replaced the screen, but it was still doing it. I only noticed when the screen was dark and I pressed screen. It was a dot in middle of screen. The new screen is much less noticeable, but it's still there.

My prime does almost the same thing, but only when I start it up and the logo is on with really bright screen do I see a light on bottom left that contorted when I press screen.

I wanted to love the new evo, but with this problem seeming to be here again, and the non removable battery, the Galaxy nexus is looking so much better for me on Sprint. That and it will get all latest updates.

For now my EVO 3D is fine. Just wish they'd send through the freaking update to ics already! Ahem--same problem with all non-vanilla android phones.


Richard how did you get your One X to look like that??? Is it a launcher or a custom rom??? Please respond..

ENOUGH with people saying that HTC has the best build quality. There phones are garbage and built like crap. Every TBolt I saw had terrible light leakage and inconsistencies in gaps. My Rezound has the same light leakage issue and was replaced twice but they all have it.

When is HTC going to realize that until they make products with better fit and finish the will continue to slide.

These so called issues are serious design flaws and should never make it to a final production unit. Period!!

The fit and finish on the evo 4g is a joke. The light leakage and the battery door that seems like it was designed to fit a different phone essentially makes sure I'll steer away from htc. Non removable batteries just solidifies my stance.

IPhone had the signal bar problems, the antenna issue , the cheap glass screens that broke on a whim and we have what? A screen flex in which ill probably never see through everyday use? Who cares the HTC one is the true iPhone killer and they are done for and they know it with all the frivolous law suits.... I'm getting mine ASAP

Is this.... seriously a concern? I'm with the guy who posted about it breaking when being run over with a truck. This isn't THAT extreme, but the point is valid.

So, SERIOUSLY? When you do , it ? That's the "design flaw"?

Does my EVO 4G do this, or my wife's Optimus S, or any of the other Android devices among my friends and family? I HAVE NO IDEA BECAUSE NONE OF US WOULD PRESS ON THE EDGES OF OUR SCREENS LIKE CRAZY PEOPLE!


My 20-month old son just threw a squishy ball into my 55" LCD TV, AND FOR A BRIEF MOMENT THERE WAS A WEIRD DISTORTION.

I'm shipping this puppy back to Sony. I want my money back!


If I really bang my Toyota against a power pole it will dent. Should I blame Toyota?! I mean, really, why is this a concern. If it hadn't been posted on here that pressing on the screen could do this they 99% of of the people would never have known about it.

Htc is known for bad screens, i had the htc hero on sprint and i had return it twice because dust buildup under the screen, i had to return 3 evos 4g because loose screens on the bottom left corner and some wasn't even line up properly and good luck talking to htc customer service, i still like the looks of their phones except this evo 4g lte.

This is the stupidest article I have read in sometime. Seriously folks, you've lost you god damn minds. This is the equivalent of saying that its a design flaw that a phone breaks if you throw it at a concrete floor. My iPad makes all kinds of funny colors when I press a little to hard ANYWHERE on the screen, but I ha e never once called it a "flaw". This pisses me off and makes me sad to be a human.

Absolutely agree. This is a "witch-hunt" at best. If this same criteria was applied to any device, they would all have these glaring "flaws"!