The HTC One X was one of the most talked about announcements that came out of MWC back in February. And fortunately, we haven’t had to wait too long for it to show up state-side. The HTC One X has landed at AT&T, and it’s packing in support for LTE’s new high speed network to boot. So is this the Android phone you’ve been waiting for? Read on for our complete review.
The HTC One X sports a 4.7-inch display with a 1280 x 720 resolution with a 312 ppi. That means it can playback HD movies in all their 720p glory. This type of HD display is a perfect compliment to AT&T’s LTE network which is able to handle streaming 720p HD movies with aplomb. The display is also super sharp, it’s able to get very bright and produces rich vivid colors and great detail. It’s one of our favorite displays on a smartphone yet. Notably, the display is also made of a scratch-resistant glass.
The HTC One X’s design is described as minimalist. The device sports smoothly rounded piano-gloss sidewalls and a curved back that helps make it easier to grip. The device itself measures just 5.31 x 2.75 x 0.35 and weighs just 4.55 oz. The handset is very lightweight considering how big a display it packs in, it’s also very thin, as a matter of fact, most people reactions when picking it up for the first time is that they are surprised to discover how light the device is considering its proportions. We do however have a gripe with the One X’s design, and that is that it lacks a dedicated camera button, which is a real shame, considering what a great camera it offers. The One X also runs on a microSIM, instead of a full-size SIM, which seems to be the direction that more and more devices are headed to nowadays. There is also no removable battery or ability to expand the memory.
The HTC One X is running on a dual-core 1.5GHz Qualcomm MSM8960 processor that is complimented by 16GB of internal storage and 1GB of RAM. The processor is actually dual-core as compared to the global (non AT&T) model of the HTC One X which is a quad-core CPU. But don’t let the dual-core VS Quad-core CPU turn you off, because the CPU inside the One X is a scorcher. The HTC One X for AT&T earned a blazing fast benchmark score of 4988 in Quadrant and 7007 in AnTuTu, making it faster than the likes of the Samsung Galaxy Note.
Over the past few months we have seen many manufacturers talk it up about how great the new camera is in their smartphone, but most have failed to deliver. Fortunately, that is not the case with the HTC One X. The One X packs in an 8MP camera with a f/2.0 28mm lens and dual-LED flash, along with the ability to record 1080p HD video at 60fps. The camera, thanks to HTC Sense 4.0, comes packed with a ton of settings to tweak and refine. We’re talking about exposure, contrast, saturation sharpness, ISO up-to ISO 800, white balance, etc. It also features several shooting modes including HDR, Panorama, group portrait, landscape, close up, low light, and whiteboard. Plus, HTC Smart Flash promises not to wash out people and objects the way most smartphone flashes tend to do. The camera’s back illuminated sensor and f2.0 aperture also promises great results in in low-light conditions. We found pictures to be sharp, colorful and accurate, with minimal grain. And for once, the flash doesn’t actually wash out a subject the way they usually do in smartphones!
But not only is the camera capable of taking some great shots, it’s also crazy fast for a smartphone. To that effect, the camera has a continuous shooting mode which enables you to take 20 continuous shots. You’ll never miss a shot again! You have got to try this feature out for yourself to understand why this is so neat to have as a feature on a smartphone.
When it comes to recording video, the HTC One X has one very neat trick up its sleeve, and that is that it can snap a 5MP photo while recording video! The camera also has a video stabilization feature that is supposed to remove shaky motion, and it can even record slow motion video. The device also has a 1.3MP front-facing camera.
So far we have found the Battery life on the HTC One X to be very good, and above average for an Android smartphone. The device can last a full 24 hours with moderate use. Of course, turning on more widgets and connecting social media accounts etc, will cause more drain on the battery. Overall though, battery life does seem better than what we have seen with most other LTE smartphones.
Apps and HTC Sense 4.0
The HTC One X for AT&T comes preloaded with Amazon Kindle, AT&T Code Scanner, AT&T Family map, AT&T Navigator, AT&T Ready2Go, a Calculator app, Facebook, Google+HTC Hub, Live TV, Google Latitude, Placs, Navigation, Talk, and Maps MOG Music, a Movie Editor, my AT&T, Twitter, a Task Manager, and YPMobile.
The device is also running the latest version of HTC Sense, HTC Sense 4.0. HTC Sense 4.0 is the best version of HTC Sense yet. It brings many refinements to Android 4.0. This includes everything from threaded email conversations to an option that lets you save web sites in a stripped down text and images only view, which is great for offline reading. In general HTC Sense 4.0 feels more refined than ever, and it’s also very smooth with snappy performance. Fortunately, the same great HTC Sense widgets, like the weather /clock combo widget, and the social media update widgets, that we have come to know and love, are all still there.
The HTC One X packs in Beats Audio. Beats Audio promises an enhanced music listening experience. Beat Audio is able to automatically detect when headphones are plugged into the device, and it will then optimize for the best listening experience possible. We weren’t all that impressed with the Beats Audio feature when we tested it on Verizon’s HTC Rezound, however this time around we did notice an improved listening experience with Beats Audio turned on. The music player on the HTC One X for AT&T is also pretty neat. For starters, it lets you easily transform tracks into ringtones, right from within the player. It also offers SoundHound integration.
HTC is offering a special accessory for the HTC One X called the Media Link HD. This device lets you wirelessly stream HD content to a TV or other big external display. It essentially allows playback of the HTC One X on a big display, complete with apps, web browser and video playback. We got to check out this accessory in action and were impressed the quality that the device outputted from the HTC One X onto a bigger screen. It’s also pretty neat in the way the device is used – once it’s set up, all you have to do is swipe with three fingers to start streaming to a connected display. The phone is also designed to work with the HTC Car Kit, which is worth checking out if you plan on being on the road a lot with the One X.
The HTC One X also packs in every cutting edge smartphone feature you could dream of like built-in NFC, Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth with aptX, DLNA, and it can work as a portable hotspot.
The HTC One X is a beautifully designed and crafted smartphone. It packs in a blazing fast system, superb web surfing performance, an excellent display, and sports one of the best smartphone cameras ever, all of which is complimented by HTC Sense 4.0 running over Android 4.0. HTC is even throwing in 25 GB of Dropbox space free for two years with purchase. Overall, the HTC One X is sure to be a serious contender in the smartphone space for a while. It will however be interesting to see how the upcoming Galaxy S III compares to it when the device is announced soon.
The HTC One X with LTE support is available for $199 from AT&T with a 2 year contract. This is actually pretty good pricing, especially considering that T-Mobile’s HTC One S is also retailing for $199 on contract, and that the device sports not as good a display, or LTE support.
The Good: Excellent vivid display, HTC Sense 4.0 offers great refinements to Android 4.0, better than average battery life, camera is one of the best you can find on any smartphone, packs in support for AT&T’s LTE network, comes with 25 GB of Dropbox space free for two years
The Bad: Device size may not be suited for smaller hands, storage is not expandable, battery is not removable, no dedicated camera button