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HTC One review

Ultrapixels, Zoes, Blinkfeed and more: HTC is going all out

Our Verdict

The Galaxy S4 is sleeker, the iPhone is, well, Apple-ier, and the Nexus 5 is cheaper. But for the overall package of smartphone design and functionality, the HTC One stands head and shoulders above the rest.

Product features

  • Rear Camera Resolution : 4 Megapixel
  • Screen Resolution : 1920 x 1080
  • Processor Core : Quad-core (4 Core)

View full specification

For

  • Great design
  • Sleek Sense
  • Innovative camera

Against

  • No memory card slot
  • Zoes fill up storage
  • Alarm too simple

HTC has finally bitten the bullet with the One and lost the HTC mapping software that bloated things so badly before. It's also dispensed with the services of Footprints too, which were cool in their own way (being able to give an account of places you've been pictorially) but were rarely used.

Instead, it's all about Google Maps here, and what a stunning experience it is. We won't go into huge detail on how the program works, as it's a delight for you to find, but there are a number of ways that the HTC One really uses its power to bring Google Maps into the light.

HTC One review

For starters, over Wi-Fi and 4G (and even decent 3G) the speed with which it can locate you and load up your surrounding area is impressive - and if you're in one of the larger cities you'll get 3D models of the buildings too.

A simple two finger swipe will change the perspective so you can see exactly what you're walking through when you're in a new city (with the ability to save maps offline too) and the HTC barely breaks sweat to bring you these mountainous images.

Then there's the sat-nav software - it's excellent, but you'll need to make sure you've got a decent data plan and a car charger handy, as it sucks both bytes and power down in a heartbeat as it brings live traffic information and route information.

HTC One review

But the bright and large screen of the HTC one makes the handset and excellent choice for dashboard mounting and ditching the TomTom.

So if you're looking at the HTC One as dedicated sat-nav, we can't recommend it highly enough - plus the car mode is one of the best out there, with large buttons, instant-on music and good voice transcription all part of the dedicated interface.

Apps

The HTC One comes with a host of extras to make it into a more fully-fledged phone, and of course you can supplement these with more from the bulging Google Play store. However, we'll take you through a few of the key ones on offer here.

Kid mode is one of the big changes from HTC, with the option to set the phone up with programs the kids will like without giving them the keys to buy stuff from the internet or send a picture of poo to your boss. The main interface is pre-loaded with a load of mind-numbing games and activities (can you tell we don't have kids?) but they all seem beautifully colourful and probably contain some educational message.

HTC One review

HTC One review

You can them add to this by choosing apps you've selected live in there as well, such as Google Maps so they can learn where Scotland is. It's not the simplest interface to learn, but then again, kids are managing to jailbreak iPads these days, so we're probably worried about nothing.

The only annoying thing is you have to enable Kid Mode, where on Windows Phone the service is accessible from the lock screen, which saves you from a child with sticky fingers nabbing your phone.

Evernote integration is also on offer from the HTC One, with the Notes function allowing you to sign into the service. You can also record voice and notes at the same time and see where the match up afterwards - this is an invaluable tool if you're big on transcription, although you'll have to hope you get pretty accurate with that onscreen keyboard.

HTC One review

Polaris office is on offer and will allow you to view and edit a whole host of document types. It's an irritating app in that when you download a PDF it won't let you read it - but then when you try to open it with Adobe Acrobat (which you have to download) you're presented with an option to open in Polaris, and it does it better than Adobe. Grrrr.

Beyond that, we're into the same territory as before, with the handy flashlight locked deep away in the menu, so make sure you turn it into an app shortcut if you live in darkness or like poking through stuff quietly.

The alarm on the phone is a bit poor, as the choice of ringtones is limited and none of them really scream 'let's wake you up softly', rather scaring you into consciousness. Compare that to the Samsung Galaxy range, which has pre-alarms and fairy mist or some odd business to wake you up with, or the LG Optimuseseses which make you type in a code to prove you're awake, and we think HTC has been a bit lazy here.

HTC One review

We know we're being a bit over the top with the criticism, but given most people now rely on their phone to wake them up in the morning, this is something that really can't be overlooked. Thankfully, again, there are loads of options on the Play Store to sort you out.

And finally, the HTC Weather widget. How we love you. How very, very much. While Sense 5 has stripped away the temperature graph of old (boooo) and replaced it with a list of temperatures for each hour, it's still light years ahead of the competition, which push you onto a mobile site to just see how cold or hot it's going to be later that day. Again, a small feature, but again, a key one for a lot of people.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen
TouchscreenYes
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
USBYes
Contract TypeSIM-free
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotNo
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyEDGE, GPRS, HSPA+
GPS ReceiverYes
Multi-SIM SupportedNo
Near Field CommunicationYes
Integrated TV TunerNo
Product FamilyOne
Cellular Generation4G
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 850, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 1900, WCDMA 2100, LTE 800, LTE 1800, LTE 2600
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Rear Camera Resolution4 Megapixel
Number of SIM Card Supported1
Front CameraYes
Phone StyleBar
ColourBlack
Operating SystemAndroid
Brand NameHTC
Screen Size11.9 cm (4.7")
Screen Resolution1920 x 1080
Touchscreen TypeCapacitive
Weight (Approximate)143 g
Processor CoreQuad-core (4 Core)
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Processor ManufacturerQualcomm
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
Operating System VersionAndroid 4.1.2 Jelly Bean
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), Instant Messaging, Email, MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service)
RealtoneYes
Radio Tuner TypeFM
Call FeaturesCall Log, Call Waiting, Call Holding, Call Timer, Caller ID, Conference Call
Pixel Density468 ppi
Height137.4 mm
Width68.2 mm
Depth9.3 mm
Radio TunerYes
ManufacturerHigh Tech Computer Corp
Product NameOne Smartphone
Processor Speed1.70 GHz
Processor TypeSnapdragon
Product LineOne
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeAccelerometer, Gyro Sensor, Ambient Light Sensor, Digital Compass, Proximity Sensor
Manufacturer Part Number99HTT009-00
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.europe.htc.com
Marketing InformationWith a sleek aluminum body, a live home screen that streams all of your favorite content, a photo gallery that comes to life, and dual frontal stereo speakers, the New HTC One is ready to reshape your smartphone experience.

HTC Zoe™ Your photo gallery brought to life.
Capturing a moment takes more than one image. That's why the new HTC One includes the HTC UltraPixel Camera. Press the shutter and the HTC One automatically captures up to 20 photos and a 3-second video-a picture that's alive. So your entire photo album becomes a living, breathing gallery.

HTC BoomSound™ Sharper, richer, louder.
On the average smartphone, sharing music or a video with friends is a frustrating experience. A tiny speaker will tame even the most ferocious track. But the new HTC One's BoomSound™ changes all that. Dual frontal stereo speakers powered by built-in amplifiers deliver bigger sound with less distortion and more detail.

HTC BlinkFeed™ Your live home screen.
With HTC BlinkFeed™, simply pick the social networks, news and feeds you want to stay updated on and they'll all stream live to your home screen. The pulse of your world is in the palm of your hand.

Refined design. Rugged build. Inspired results.
Full metal body. Zero gap construction. And tapered edges that offer a slim but satisfying grip. The new HTC One is phone design that doesn't compromise.

Your interactive TV guide.
Tired of remotes taking up valuable couch space? The new HTC One is ready to help you channel surf. With Sense TV, all it takes is a few simple steps and you'll be able to select TV channels, access program guides, adjust audio and more with your HTC One. Find your favorite shows, and it will notify you when they're on. Take control of your TV experience with your phone.

Sense Voice: Call clarity-even in a crowd.
The world doesn't include a volume knob. So talking on the phone in any loud, crowded environment can be a challenge. The new HTC One solves that problem with Sense Voice. It includes dual built-in microphones that detect loud ambient noise and will then dynamically boost the in-call voice to compensate. Hurrah for clarity.

Get 25 GB of Dropbox space free for two years*
With Dropbox integrated into HTC Sense, you can automatically save all your photos and videos to Dropbox - and access and share all your pictures directly from the Gallery. Dropbox also makes it easy to edit and share files while you are on the go, so you never have to email yourself a document again. To discover all that Dropbox can do, sign-up or log-in to Dropbox on your HTC phone and receive 25 GB of Dropbox space free for two years.
Limited Warranty1 Year