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HTC One XL review

We examine whether HTC's first 4G phone is worth the premium price
Tue Nov 13 2012, 17:26

TAWIANESE PHONE MAKER HTC's One XL handset is the first LTE phone from HTC to launch in the UK, which means that buyers of the handset can expect download speeds five times faster than those on a 3G connection, according to mobile carrier EE.

However, with the handset struggling to produce speeds twice as fast as those on our 3G handset and barely matching the HTC One X in terms of specifications, is the One XL really worth the high price?

4G connectivity
One of the major selling points of the HTC One XL is the fact that it's the first HTC phone to arrive in the UK with LTE connectivity, launching on EE's 4G network. 

We tested the phone in our office and were met with some pretty impressive results, seeing 16.61Mbit/s upload and 20.08Mbit/s download speeds. Despite claims that 4G LTE would be much faster when used outdoors we saw fairly similar speeds when we tested the phone while out and about in Soho, London - 16.88Mbit/s download and 24.88Mbit/s upload.

Impressive these speeds might be, but it's worth noting that they aren't "five times faster than 3G" like EE promised. We ran the same speed test with an Iphone 5 on Vodafone's 3G network and saw a download speed of 9.67Mbit/s, for example. 

Still, with 4G connectivity onboard, using the web on the One XL is a real pleasure. We loaded The INQUIRER website using the stock Android web browser on the HTC handset and were impressed to see it loaded in less than one second. Loading a funny cat video using the Youtube app was just as impressive, with the whole video clip loading in around three seconds and playing back without any buffering.

HTC One XL LTE Youtube

It's worth noting, however, that this super-fast connectivity comes at a price. Over on the EE website, the HTC One XL costs £149.99 on a 24 month £36 contract, although this gets you only 1GB of data. For 8GB of data you'll have to hand over £29.99 for the One XL handset while signing up to a pricey £56 a month tariff.

Check out our full EE 4G review.

Next: Design and build, screen


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