Let me just start off by saying WOW.  Just a plain and straightforward WOW.  From the first moment that I held the phone, I felt that my hands were too aggressive for the sleek and beautiful feel of this amazing device. The HTC One is without a shadow of a doubt the premium device Android fans were waiting for. Going against great competition like the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the Apple iPhone 5, how does the HTC One fair?

Hardware
Easily the sleekest phone that you’ve probably ever seen since the iPhone 5, this unibody aluminum casing gives the phone a super sexy look.  Measuring at 9.3mm, it’ll feel thinner than most phones out there in the market.  It just feels so right in your hand with the curved backside and you just don’t want to ever put it down.  But don’t take its thin beauty for any laughing matter as this phone is a beast.  Going from the 1.7 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 Quad Core processor to the 2gbs of RAM, its fair to say that this is a monster to be reckoned with.  The IR blaster as the sleep/on or off button on the top left with a standard 3.5 mm stereo audio jack on the top; along with the microSIM slot on the left and microUSB port on the bottom side of the phone.  The phone also hosts the new HTC UltraPixel Camera (4mp) on the back and the 2.1mp front facing camera.  Dual front facing speakers with built in amps, HTC BoomSound is featured along with Beats Audio to complete the phone.

HTC One Product Shot

Display
HTC has always been known for putting out the most respectable gorgeous displays on their devices.  Going from the HTC One X to the HTC DNA, these displays have always been talked about in high praise.  The HTC One is no slouch in this race.  Sporting a 4.7 inch 1080p Full HD S-LCD3 with a pixel density of 468 ppi guarded by Gorilla Glass 2, this is one of the best displays on the market.  It handles blacks very well and no colors come out flat in my opinion.  Reading my kindle books and looking at the phone from all angles never gave me a hassle either.  Watching YouTube videos and movies never felt so good.  I did run into some trouble when I was in the sunlight; at maximum brightness I had a bit of trouble seeing the screen though its a manageable situation.

Software
Running Android 4.1.2 with Sense 5, this is basic iteration of what HTC has to offer.  Coming from the iPhone 5, this Android UI felt fresh.  Customizing the home screens never felt better and the widgets always felt welcoming.  Blinkfeed is an additional feature that comes along with the HTC One and it can/cannot be annoying depending on your own personal use.  Blinkfeed is not removable and this can become a pain for those who would rather use third-party apps.  I think Blinkfeed is useful but slightly disorganized.  It feels like it just serves the information however fast it receives it and bunches it all together on a nice screen.  Besides that, running with the Snapdragon 600, everything runs as smooth as butter.

Camera
Let me start by saying that HTC has highly commercialized its UltraPixel camera.  This has the ability to allow more light into the camera for better lowlight pictures, and boy does that perform very well.  Going against the Samsung Galaxy S4, it gave a clearer more vivid picture in low light situations.  So if you like going to parties or love taking pictures indoors, then this is most definitely the right camera for you.  As for daylight situations, I did a small comparison with the iPhone 5 and there were some issues.  The iPhone caught the colors very well as shown below but for the HTC One, some colors fell short.  The flower garden in particular shows its vulnerability in daylight situations and its somewhat disappointing, then again its 4mp.

The Zoe feature is a plus in this area and honestly I wish every single device I owned had it.  I find myself using the Zoe feature more than actually recording, not that there is a problem with the video capabilities.  What makes the phone even better is that the phone automatically creates a “highlight” video at the beginning of every album which is basically a short 30 second compilation of your pictures, Zoes, and videos.  I find it quiet useful especially showing others what I did on a particular day.  Video capturing has a variety of options like Full HD 1080p recording running at 30 fps or 720p recording at 60fps.  The camera does a great job as colors are crisp and vivid.

Battery Life
I know that this is a major concern with smartphones today.  The HTC One holds a 2,300mAh Li-Polymer (non-removable) battery that can manage your daily usage very well.  I put my phone through a very rigorous use on a daily basis trying the battery with and without the Power Save feature.  Running all kinds of apps like Facebook and Real Racing 3, I thought I would certainly kill the phones battery at a rapid pace.  Getting a full 9 hours of battery before my phone began to beg for juice, this is one of the best battery life spans that I’ve dealt with.

IMG_3588

Conclusion
All in all, the HTC One is by no means a perfect phone but its very close.  HTC has made a legitimate argument that they are here to stay and it doesn’t have to a be a Samsung dominated Android market.  I’m sure that if you choose this phone over the Samsung Galaxy S4 or the Apple iPhone 5, the HTC One will not disappoint.

Positive Highlights

  • HTC Boomsound is awesome.
  • HTC Zoe is a great feature (No really, you should try it)
  • The camera does amazing in lowlight, they weren’t lying.
  • Battery life gets my thumbs up
  • Did I mention the phone feels amazing?

Downfalls

  • Blinkfeed can feel unnecessary and you can’t remove it.
  • Charging this bad boy feels like it can take an eternity.
  • The HTC symbol at the bottom of the screen could been used as a button, but wasn’t.  (What a shame)

About The Author

JC Taveras
Managing Editor

A 24 year old city crawler with an ambition to try all gadgets and games. I do what I love and love what I do. Did I mention I'm a proud Audiophile? Follow me on twitter at @JC_Tav

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