Today's the day many of us have been waiting for -- the HTC One is finally available. Folks in the UK and a couple other countries have had it for a week or two now, and even a few in the U.S. sneaked one out over the past few days. But today it's official. Three U.S. operators and others worldwide are now selling the phone that many believe is a must-win for HTC.
We've been using the HTC One for more than a month now -- be sure to read our full HTC One review -- and it's safe to say that this is a lot of phone. The hardware is certainly is something to crow about -- the display is gorgeous, the phone is fast and the new front-facing speakers have to be heard to be believed. The new camera has some excellent features and is capable of taking excellent photos. And HTC got some interesting new software features.
So if you're just getting started with the HTC One, or if you're just now looking at getting one, strap it. We'll explain it all for you.
Who's carrying the HTC One?
If you're looking to get one in the United States, you've got a few options.
- AT&T has the 32-gigabyte HTC One for $199, and the 64GB version for $299
- Sprint is selling it for $199 on contract, or $99 if you're a new customer who ports over a number.
- T-Mobile's going to have the HTC One in a few days, on April 24. You can pick it up online starting today. It'll run you $99 down on a two-year plan.
- No plans for Verizon to carry the HTC One. But remember that Verizon didn't get last year's HTC One X and instead got something better later in the year with the Droid DNA.
HTC is also selling a 32GB SIM -unlocked version, and a 64GB "developer edition" with an unlockable bootloader. (At the time of this publication, those versions have been delayed a bit.)
Is there a difference between one HTC One and another?
Not really. AT&T's got a 64-gigabyte option. (And HTC is selling a 64GB "Developer Edition" directly.) You'll get some software variations between the phones -- AT&T has put more custom apps on its phone than Sprint -- but that's about it.
Hardware-wise, save for radio stuff that differs from carrier to carrier, the phones exactly the same.
What's in the box?
As you'll recall from our HTC One unboxing, expect the usual fare. Charger, earbuds and a microUSB cable.
Will I need a new SIM card?
Possibly. If you're getting an HTC One on Sprint, you'll most likely get a new one with the phone. Very likely on T-Mobile as well. If you're coming from an LTE device on AT&T, it's possible you'll keep the same SIM card.
The HTC One uses a micro SIM.
What do I need to do first with my HTC One?
HTC has done a really good job with the setup process. It walks you through adding your various accounts, and you can even import information from your old phone. Don't just skip over all this.
You also can do some setup of your phone online at HTC's Get Started website. It won't take care of everything, but it's worth a look.
What happened to the home screens?
HTC has changed things up in Sense 5 -- its customizations on top of Android. At the far left is "BlinkFeed," a neat way to quickly bring news and social features to the forefront. You can add news feeds, Facebook, Twitter, calendar items and more.
If you don't want to use BlinkFeed, you don't have to, and it won't be in the way. But if you do use it, be sure to add the Android Central feed!
- BlinkFeed: Inside the HTC One's home screen reader
- The HTC Sense 5 app drawer: Making simple complicated
What's all this about a special camera?
Explore the hell out of the camera. There's a lot going on there. You need to know about Zoes and you need to know about Video Highlights. (Here's a great explainer.) Those are the two biggest features, and they may take a little getting used to. Zoes are little 3-second video clips that also give you 20 or so still images. Zoes, in turn, will be used in Video Highlights, which the HTC One makes automatically, in real time.
Be sure to check out our HTC One Camera Tips post as well. Lots of good stuff in there.
You've also entered the world of the "Ultra Pixel." That HTC One technically has a 4-megapixel sensor, meaning images are shot at a maximum 2688 by 1520 resolution. For most folks, that's plenty big. The reason for the lower megapixel count is because the individual pixels on the sensor are larger, letting in more light. (Also remember that the phone is rendering Video Highlights in real time, so file size is of consideration.)
Just take a bunch of photos. And be sure to dive through the settings and editing features as well.
Holy crap this thing is loud! Those speakers!
Yep. That's called "Boom Sound," and it's a combination of those front-facing stereo speakers and software on the phone, including Beats Audio.
The HTC One often is too loud. Be sure to lower the ringer at night.
What about HTC One accessories?
We've already taken a look at a few of the more popular cases for the HTC One, including:
- The Otterbox Commuter Case for the HTC One
- The official HTC One flip case
- The HTC One official double-dip hard shell case
For more HTC One cases, check out the fine folks at ShopAndroid.com.
Jeez, that's a lot - anything else I need to know?
Yep. You can watch TV while using your HTC One as a remote control. It's pretty cool. Take a second and try it out.
There's also an included Kid Mode, for those times your kids are screaming to play with your phone and you finally give in and let them have it.
And, by the way, this may be the best-designed Android smartphone we've used.
What if I still need more help?
This answer's easy. Our HTC One forums are full of folks looking to help. Chances are someone has the same questions you do. We'll get 'em answered.
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