TAIWANESE PHONE MAKER HTC is excited about its One range of smartphones, and after having had a play with its flagship One X handset, so are we.
The One X has a 4.7in behemoth of a display that might intimidate some users, but the thin design and lightweight nature of the handset make it comfortable to hold and the screen size is great for web browsing and viewing multimedia content.
HTC has set the screen at 1280x720 resolution and a pixel-per-inch density of 312ppi, putting it up there with other high-end devices such as the Iphone 4S.
Under the hood is the Nvidia quad-core Tegra 3 processor clocked at 1.5GHz and supported by 1GB of RAM. We found the performance of the device to be very smooth, with no latency detected. This was impressive considering that the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system runs the resource hungry HTC Sense overlay on top.
The camera performance appears to have been greatly increased and it is good to see that HTC has finally addressed a feature that let down the performance of previous devices. The 8MP camera loads up in the blink of an eye and the f2.0 lens and a BSI sensor should make the One X handset a great camera, even in low-light environments.
HTC has added a number of features to its Sense 4 interface as well. When the applications menu is opened, there are options to search for an app, enter the Android Market or activate the menu. This is particularly useful for users who have dozens of apps spread over a number of pages.
HTC has chosen to keep three capacitive buttons below the screen as they found that users would still like these to complement the onscreen controls on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. The buttons are used to go 'back', 'home' or bring up most recently used apps.
The recent apps feature has been given the Sense treatment and is displayed differently than on stock Android handsets. Instead of appearing in a list form in the left hand column, active applications are each given a large icon and users move between them horizontally as opposed to vertically. A flick upwards on an app will also shut it down.
The only area where we are slightly disappointed is storage. There is no microSD card support and although HTC will ship the device with 32GB of internal storage, this is likely to make it expensive. Users might be attracted by the 25GB of free storage from Dropbox for two years, though.
The One X will come with near field communications (NFC) capabilities, so it will be ready to use the infrastructure that's slowly being rolled out in the UK and beyond. Digital living network alliance (DLNA) technology is also included as standard, so images and video can be transmitted to larger HD displays.
From the looks of it, the One X is shaping up to be HTC's best handset to date, and could be a serious challenger to other high-end smartphones on the market. µ