We're not going to beat around the bush — Verizon is late to the game picking up the HTC One. A full six months after it was announced, and a few months after Verizon indicated that it would get the device eventually, you can finally walk down to your local store and pick one up.
Everyone is pretty familiar with the hardware and software experience on the One at this point, but there are a few differences between this version and the others on sale out there today. Stick with us after the break and see our first impressions of the HTC One on Verizon.
In terms of hardware, we're thankfully looking at that wonderful aluminum shell without any cosmetic changes aside from two small bits of Verizon branding on the back. "Verizon" and "4G LTE" are found on the back plate above the Beats Audio logo, and unlike the Beats logo they seem to be actually engraved into the metal. Luckily Verizon has kept its mitts off of the front of the device — no branding to be found here.
One thing that Verizon customers are getting for their wait is Android 4.2.2 pre-installed on their One, which is an update ahead of what you'll get on any other model in the U.S. right now. We've given an extensive look at the 4.2.2 update, which has made its way to international versions, and we're happy to report that Verizon's variant is nearly identical in terms of software to the others.
What's new in the HTC One Android 4.2 update
When comparing to the international HTC One on 4.2.2, you're primarily going to see slight changes in wording and positioning of the new quick setting screen in the notifications, and changes in the ordering of the main phone settings. For example Verizon puts the "Data usage" function in the main settings view, and rearranges the settings categories into Wireless & Networking, Device, Personal and System.
Across the entire settings menu you'll see more small changes in wording and a few settings either missing or moved to a new location — luckily nothing major to report here. The biggest change will be the number of pre-installed apps — by our count you'll have 21 from Verizon. Luckily you've got 32GB of storage to work with, so you can simply disable them all and move on with your life.
In terms of performance, this is the One we all know. Everything is snappy and responsive, the screen looks fantastic and the camera performs just as well. Verizon-specific performance in terms of call quality and data speeds were right on par with our other Verizon devices as well.
It's been a long time coming, but Verizon customers now have the HTC One and it's every bit the device you can get on the other carriers today. If you choose to pick up the HTC One at this point from Verizon, you're going to get a phone that is six months old but still worth the $199 on-contract price, just as it was the day it was announced. This is one device that has aged extremely gracefully, and there's no reason why Verizon customers shouldn't give it a look.