Comes with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
The HTC One X arrives running the latest Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich out of the box, which equips the phone with such functionality as Face Unlock and Android Beam. This comes skinned with the HTC Sense 4.0 user interface overlay, which the phone maker claims is far more 'streamlined' than previous iterations, although in our opinion it's far from Google's vanilla Android 4.0 installation.
While HTC has noticeably toned down the amount of pre-loaded bloatware, there are still a few apps onboard that we never gave a second look, and we found that personalising the handset often meant scrolling through page upon page of options.
That's not to say it's all bad though. On start-up, the first thing we noticed about Sense 4.0 was that HTC's usual clock-plus-weather widget remained in pride of place on the main home screen instantly making the handset feel familiar, while six more home screens lay dormant waiting for us to fill with apps and widgets. These widgets comprise the usual HTC Friendstream, Gallery and Google's new People application.
We also liked HTC's tweaked Recent Apps menu, which puts Google's self-styled alternative to shame. Upon opening, you'll find a WebOS-style 'deck of cards' list of recent applications, which can be closed with the stern flick of a finger.
We also liked the alterations that HTC made to the stock Android web browser, our favourite addition being the useful shortcuts menu towards the bottom of the screen, which appears simply by swiping downwards on the handset. Saying that, we didn't spend much time with the on board web browser, as Google's Chrome beta available free from Google Play far outdoes it.
The camera is, along with the processor, another feature that HTC has been heavily pushing, seen most predominantly in its free-falling fashion shoot UK promotion. The phone has an 8MP shooter with an f2.0 aperture, LED flash and backside illumination sensor, which allowed the camera to capture vibrant shots in poorly lit surroundings. With the ability to shoot four images a second, we found that the phone always managed to capture the perfect shot.
HTC's Imagesense software brings an Instagram feel to the handset, and meant we could add hipster-type filters to our nicely shot photos. Imagesense is also home to features such as HDR, Panorama and the ability to take photos while recording video.
Beats the competiton
The HTC One X packs integrated Beats Audio technology, although it lacks bundled Beats By Dr Dre so we were unable to notice any major sound improvements when playing tunes through the built-in speaker. Music lovers will also be pleased to hear that the phone has 32GB of internal storage, which makes HTC's decision not to include a microSD slot understandable. Thanks to the company's new partnership with Dropbox, owners will also get 25GB of free cloud storage.
HTC deserves success with the One X, which combines a fast processor with a gorgeous display and a very good camera. However, we can't ignore the fact that the phone has disappointing battery life, and HTC Sense is still too overpowering.
Quad-core CPU, screen is one of the best we've seen, fantastic camera.
HTC Sense 4.0 is far from the 'streamlined' skin that HTC has promised.
Terrible battery life.