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HTC One review

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

When it comes to the contacts system on any HTC phone, we've been impressed for years, and the HTC One continues in that tradition. Whether it's simply knowing which contacts you want to join with which social network profiles, or just making sure that new and relevant information falls into the contact card, the HTC One manages it all with aplomb.

One of the big changes some users will note is that, unlike the Samsung Galaxy S4 the HTC One can pull in high resolution pictures from Facebook, which is a big plus.

HTC One review

While the others can do so from Google+, they eschew the same thing when it comes to other social networks, which is really annoying when you want the more popular profile pic of your friend to pop up when they call, but don't want it to be hideously blurry.

And to offset the times when there is no high resolution picture on offer, HTC has come up with a fun dotted picture that brings a stylised view to the picture, rather than just showing you a bunch of mashed together pixels.

It's a nice touch that adds to the premium feel - and we like the fact HTC calls them 'big pictures' in the settings menu, where you can select whether these are downloaded over Wi-Fi or mobile data too.

If you want to change the pic on offer, a simple tap on it in the contact menu will yield a little folder icon in the corner which will allow you to shoot a new one using the camera, head to the gallery to choose another or go from another social network if you're a fan of the blurry.

We're making a big deal about this for a reason - when people call you, seeing a big, sharp picture really improves the overall impression of the device, and anything that achieves that should be highlighted.

The contacts system is pretty much as simple as you want it to be, which is a big plus in our eyes. The tab on the right-hand side of the screen is easy to grab so you can scroll up and down the list to find the letter group you're after, and then all the names and pictures are laid out with the new, clean interface on offer from Sense 5.

Diving into the contact itself, and again it's easy to get the information you want, be it a history of all the ways you've interacted with the person over email, calling or texting, and details on their birthday if the information is there on Facebook too.

On top of that you can view their social networking updates in the same neat BlinkFeed interface HTC has developed, which means some natty pictures at times to punctuate the sea of white words on grey background. HTC is one of the few brands to still integrate picture albums drawn from Facebook into the contact profile as well, and while it might be a slightly unused feature, it's still a great tool to have.

HTC One review

The contacts system is simple enough to use, but if you've got multiple accounts on the go then you'll find it a little tricky to filter them all out at times - if you're not careful you'll end up with lists including Twitter, Google+, Facebook and more in your normally neat phonebook, so make sure you tag 'only those with phone numbers' in the settings menu.

Smart dialling, such a key function of any phone in our opinion, is on offer again in the HTC One, making it so much easier to quickly call up the profile and number of the person you want to get hold of simply by typing in the letters that correspond to their name using the T9 predictive text input method.

Each option comes up quickly, although we would like to see the One being a little more intuitive when it comes to deciding which person to show when there are multiple options for the same combination of numbers - if someone is in our 'favourites' list then it should be top here.

But we still love the contacts section of HTC phones, and the HTC One is an excellent way of organising your life that doesn't make it all a large hassle. Well done.

Calling

HTC One review

The calling on the HTC One is superb - we'll get that out the way early on. From the clever noise reduction to the fact you can boost the earpiece volume way over the necessary level you'd need it in most situations, we never struggled to talk to our friends on the go.

We tested walking past roadworks with drills a-go-go, and only when right next to them did things become inaudible for the person on the other end - impressively, we could still hear them.

The inbuilt amp helps with this, but more important is the fact the HTC One has incredible connection quality given its encased in an aluminium body.

We often found a bar or two more of signal on offer than other phones, and this translated to actual connection as well, with data popping down with no issues.

There's very little you can do when it comes to in call options, such as not being able to control noise reduction on the fly, but the things you need are there, such as activating the speaker and switching between a Bluetooth headset if you so wish.

It's nice, it's functional, and we didn't drop a single call during our tests. That's a win right there for a device that is still a phone at its heart, after all.

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
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 4.0
Operating System VersionAndroid 4.1.2 Jelly Bean
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), Instant Messaging, Email, MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service)
USB StandardUSB 2.0
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