HTC One X review
That aside, battery life was decent, with 60% of the 1,800mAh power pack left after our 24-hour rundown test. Just don’t expect such longevity when gaming: a 30-minute stint during a train commute saw the bar depleted by almost a third.
The One X comes with Android 4 onboard, partnered with the latest version of HTC’s Sense UI, which remains one of the most usable and least intrusive third-party overlays. It retains the ring-pull lockscreen with its four customisable app links that can also be used to directly open missed calls and received messages. HTC has ditched the curved graphics at the bottom of each home screen, replacing them with square icons, but it still looks and functions just as well, and widgets such as Friend Stream are as useful as ever.
Third-party apps include 7digital, SoundHound, TuneIn Radio and Polaris Office, and they’re well integrated. In HTC’s own Music app, for instance, a discreet button allows for track identification via SoundHound. HTC no longer bundles Beats-branded headphones with its devices, however, the Beats audio kit inside the One X serves up bass-heavy, good-quality sound. It’s easy to turn off if you’d prefer, with a range of presets available within the phone’s Music application.
It isn’t all good news, though. HTC has ditched the physical Menu button, replacing it with one dedicated to its new app-switching interface. It’s a side-scrolling 3D affair that suffers from irritating delays when opening the switcher and then loading apps. The Notification drawer has vanished, and virtually every app has a separate menu button that takes up a 96-pixel chunk across the bottom of the screen.
The new 8-megapixel camera goes some way to making up for software idiosyncrasies. Quality is excellent, with sharp detail and accurate colours, and a flash is included. Pictures are taken almost instantly, colour options include the typical range of retro effects, and there are impressive panorama and burst modes. The former overlays the screen with consecutive frames to help stitch together a convincing panorama; the latter takes a burst of up to 99 shots as quickly as possible, evaluates them for sharpness, clarity and colours, and picks out the best one to keep.
The camera shoots 1080p video and, again, we’ve little to fault: quality is excellent, and the phone’s auto-focus quickly adjusts – and, when it does, detail is extremely sharp.
It’s a fine all-round package, then, but it’s impossible to ignore the shadow of Samsung’s Galaxy S III, set to be unveiled on May 3. It’s also said to have a 4.7in, 720 x 1,280 screen, a 1.5GHz, quad-core processor, and Ice Cream Sandwich. If past standards are any indication, it may be the phone to beat.
For now, though, no other phone can match the HTC One X. It offers stupendous speed, a stunning screen, and a strong, attractive design, all of which combine to make it the best smartphone on the block. After something of a barren patch it’s good to see HTC back.
|Cheapest price on contract||Free|
|Contract monthly charge||£26.00|
|Contract period||24 months|
|Dimensions||70 x 134 x 8.9mm (WDH)|
|Camera megapixel rating||8.0mp|
|Resolution||720 x 1280|
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