HTC One Review (Sprint) – Does this Phone Meet Divas Standards?
I’m sure that you’ve heard of the HTC One android smartphone by now. We of course had to review the latest handset from HTC to see what the craze was all about. We had a hands on with it back at the launch in February, where we gave you our initial impressions.
After spending a couple of weeks with it, what did we think? Is this really the phone to bring HTC back in the spotlight and put them up against other leading android handsets? Let’s do this HTC One review Divas and Dorks style!
HTC One Review – Looks
One of the first things that you notice is the shiny body of the HTC One. it’s been a while since we’ve seen an aluminum silver Android phone. It will catch your eye from a distance (hopefully it will prompt you to go over and check it out). When you pick it up you will be glad to know that your eyes didn’t deceive you, the HTC One is as nice to hold as it is to look at. It has a sturdy, luxurious feel to it. It gives you a feeling of security in your investment, like it’s worth the money.
If you’re not a fan of the silver model, it also comes in black and silver. As you know I am a fan of cases, due to my clumsiness and butter fingers, but this might make me go on the lookout for a clear case. It’s just that stunning.
When looking at it, you notice that the screen is rather large even though the device itself isn’t. It has a very slim profile. You can use it with one hand most of the time.
You will also notice speaker grilles above AND below the screen. It adds to the design flair, but also function (more on that later). It has an LED notification light on the left side of the top grille. On the right side of the top grille is the wide angle lens 2.1 megapixel front facing camera. Above the bottom the speaker grille, there are only two buttons. From left to right is the back button and the home button, separated by the HTC logo. It took me a while to get used to the HTC One’s two button layout, you might find yourself searching for the missing menu button.
HTC One Review – Specs
Display: 4.7 inch / 1,920 x 1,080 resolution
Processor / RAM: Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 quad-core 1.7 Ghz Processor / 2 GB RAM
Memory: 32 GB – No SD expansion slot
Cameras: 4 “UltraPixel” rear facing camera / 2.1 megapixel wide-angle lens front facing camera
Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.0 / Wi-Fi a/b/g/n / NFC / GPS /
Battery: 2,300mAh Li-Polymer (non-removable) battery
As you can see from the specifications list, the HTC One is beautiful on the inside also. They didn’t skimp on the internals, promising you great interaction and performance on paper. Some Android users might not like the lack of expandable memory. Nope, there is no Micro SD expansion slot.
HTC One Review- Explaining the UltraPixel Camera
Another spec that might stick out is the 4 “UltraPixel” camera. First you might think, what’s an UltraPixel? And why is the number so low? Why 4? Well like I explained back at the initial launch, the UltraPixel isn’t necessarily different than megapixel. It’s just a word that HTC is using.
“It’s not megapixel. It’s not pixel count, but pixel size. Bigger pixels let in more light. It’s pure science.” – Scott Croyle HTC Vice President of Design
With less megapixels in the camera, the pixel size is bigger. The UltraPixels take up more space on the sensor, and they also allow more light into the picture. HTC says that this allows for brighter, crispier pictures. Another good thing is that since it’s a low megapixel count, the picture files are smaller. That helps since you don’t have expandable memory.
Find out more about the HTC UltraPixel HERE
HTC One – Camera
Well now that you understand why they decided to go with the 4 megapixel excuse me I mean UltraPixel camera, I’ll get more into it. It’s very rare that I print out pictures from my smartphone gallery. That being said, taking pics and uploading to my fave social networks (right now it’s Instagram and Mobli), the HTC One camera is more than fine!
In normal to medium lighting the camera takes great pictures. My fave feature is that the front facing camera is wide-angled and 2.1 megapixels. You might recall that I was upset that the HTC One X+ didn’t have a wide-angled front facing camera when the HTC 8X windows phone did. I am constantly out exploring New York, and taking selfies with a front facing camera is easy, but with the wide-angled lens, you get a great shot of yourself with the background you want. Pictures of 3 or 4 people come out really nice as well. It’s not too close in your face. The front facing camera even has live filters for fun. Sometimes, in low lighting the pictures had a red tint to them.
I am not a professional photographer, and I barely find myself having to zoom in for get large prints of a photo. The four UltraPixel camera is not a breaker for me.
The HTC One Experience
Using the HTC One was just great. It’s been while since I could use a phone comfortably with one hand. I mean, a phone with such a large screen.
When Using the HTC One you will have to deal with HTC Sense. We’re now up to sense 5.0. Yeah it’s been that long! I think HTC has done a great job at cutting down the unnecessary crap on their Android skin. The biggest feature that you’ll notice from Sense 5.0 is HTC Blinkfeed. It’s HTC’s way of bringing you all of your content without you “looking” or “searching” for it. Its right on one of your desktop pages. It will remind you of windows live tiles but with shortcomings.
I understand what HTC is trying to do here. They are trying to minimize searching and opening apps. Unlock your HTC One and BAM there’s all the info you’re looking for! I can’t get used to HTC BlinkFeed. It’s just not for me. I think it may be that I have too many sources or the setup is slightly limited. It’s okay, but I wouldn’t say it’s great. They should incorporate the ability to see SMS from certain contacts, may your favorites list or a specific group. You can’t remove BlinkFeed completely but you can make another page your home page, or just quickly swipe away from the BlinkFeed. It has grown on me a little, but I could do without it.
I like how clean the UI looks on the HTC One. It makes you want to keep it that way. It might be a bit too clean. The notification pull-down bar doesn’t have quick settings bar (to toggle Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Airplane Mode, etc). But you do have the option to add a quick settings widget to one of your pages.
Changing between apps and pages is quick. I never experienced lag time. I don’t mobile game like crazy on the phone, but graphics and animations were on point.
HTC One BoomSound
Well you know I had to talk about it! Everyone kept talking about the dual speakers (at the top and bottom of the front) on the HTC One. BoomSound is exactly what it is. You get great sound when listening to music with very little to no distortion! I personally don’t ever listen to music out loud on my phone. I use speakers or headphones 99% of the time. But wow, in comparison to other phone speakers, HTC BoomSound blows them away. I just hope people don’t become rude and start blasting music everywhere. It’s loud enough that you will hear it.
HTC One – Calls and Service
I am currently reviewing the HTC One on the Sprint network. One of the many benefits that Sprint offers is that their plans include unlimited data usage, without throttling when reaching certain points at an affordable price.
Unfortunately New York doesn’t have access to Sprint’s 4G LTE network. It’s obvious that they are working on it, since it picks up the 4G LTE signal in certain parts of the city. But since it’s not fully on the 4G LTE service isn’t steady.
Keeping that in mind, I got good speeds most of the time while in midtown Manhattan, the west village of Manhattan, nearly all of Queens. When the 4G LTE was steady, the speeds were great. It has made me more anxious for Sprint to officially finish working on their LTE signal and turn it on in New York!
You can check how Sprint coverage is in your area by clicking HERE: Sprint Coverage Map
You can check Sprint pricing for the HTC One by clicking HERE: Shop Sprint HTC One
You can check Sprint pricing for the HTC One by clicking HERE: Shop Sprint Unlimited Data Plans
HTC One Battery Life
You might have noticed on the spec list, that the battery is not removable. I think its the same thing to carry an extra battery as it is to carry a portable battery pack. The battery life on the HTC One isn’t the best at battery life. I expected more from some reason. Unplugging at 8 AM, I had to plug back in at 4 PM (the latest), and 2 PM the earliest. Some days are better than others. I guess all the power with the screen with my social media addiction is a recipe for trouble and dead phones.
HTC One As the One Phone You Own
So do I recommend the HTC One for your next upgrade? I’ll tell you that I have not always been a fan of HTC Sense. I love my microSD cards, so that might be the only deal-breaker for me. But I can’t say anything else, HTC did great in bringing together great hardware with minimal skin over Android.
But when most people use their smartphone cameras as a replacement for their point-and-shoot, HTC took a big risk in putting in a 4 megapixel camera. For those who are uninformed or willing to do the research, it might be a turnoff / deal-breaker for them. I’ve taken some great pics with the HTC One. I was pleasantly surprised.I am used to the menu button from Android, it’s one of their trademarks. It took me a while to learn to do without it. Some may not appreciate the learning curve.
If you’re okay with the following, I recommend the HTC One:
a person that doesn’t like to put cases on their phone, you might want to rock with the HTC One.
If you’re okay with not being able to add more memory
If you’re okay with a non-removable battery
If you’re okay with pictures that are mostly suitable for social media sharing and emailing
If you enjoy listening to music from your smartphones’ speakers.
Please share with us some pics you have taken, or your thoughts on the HTC One hardware, BoomSound speakers and 4 UltraPixel camera! We’d love to hear what you think! What did you find when doing your HTC One review?