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HTC One S review

A top of the range cameraphone with an emphasis on pictures, music and connectivity. Is the One S the One to have?

Maps

HTC has never been one to scrimp on the apps it includes and we're glad that it continues to be so generous. We're not talking bloatware like some other makers here but genuinely useful and fun bits.

As standard, you'll get all the Google offerings. And that includes the excellent Google Maps which looks amazing on the HTC One S screen. We'd expect no less on an Android phone but Google Maps on Android really does look so much better when compared side by side to an iPhone.

HTC One S review

Although third party navigation apps are available (we have Co-Pilot loaded just in case), the seamless combination of Google Maps and Google Navigation is really a lesson in how it should be done.

It's not flawless though – for example, sometimes listings are off as we found out last week when trying to navigate to our local Town Hall and ended up going around in circles – but on the whole it is excellent and providing you have a data signal, you'll reap the benefits especially with real time traffic data on the go.

However, have an offline maps app (such as HTC Locations) for when abroad as it guzzles that data like Nan with the sherry at Christmas. GPS is quick to lock on. It's not as fast as the Samsung Galaxy S2 which really did awe us when we tried it out for the first time – but only takes an extra second or two to get a fix.

HTC Locations is another ball game altogether and one that you probably won't be using all that often. It's mostly a sat-nav service, but one that's far more in-depth than the Google maps Navigation offering that most will use.

There's access to more in-depth traffic reports, speed cameras and voice guidance from a range of characters. It's also got wide-ranging information on cash machines, petrol stations and more – and you can download the maps to enable offline viewing of practically anywhere in the world.

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The only real downside is the fact you've got to pay for most of it – we highly doubt many will fork out £4 a month to get access to most of the features on offer here. It's a good service, but one that's mostly out-flanked by Google Maps.

Apps

The HTC One S links all the mapping elements above very nicely with the Car app. You can fire this up manually or set it up so that when your phone connects to the car via Bluetooth, it kicks in all by itself.

On the display, you have a clock in the centre with four key shortcuts: Phone, Google Maps Navigation, Music and Internet Radio (courtesy of TuneIn). We tried all four and they worked brilliantly. It's a very competent effort.

HTC One S review

Aside from that, there's a multitude of widgets available on the One S (although most of the clocks we have seen before as they've been around years), Mirror (for when you want to use the VGA camera to check you still look hot), the rather addictive Teeter game and YouTube for browsing tap dancing cats and discovering the new Rebecca Black.

Gaming is actually rather decent on the HTC One S, with an Adreno 225 GPU helping things along nicely. It's not going to win any graphical grunt contests, but it's definitely a decent effort, as our video shows:

All these apps are presented in the standard 5x4 HTC configuration in the app drawer and you can choose to browse them by those you've downloaded specifically, those you've used the most or just look at everything together.

We would like the option of hiding some apps (things like keyboards are not really apps so heaven knows why they appear in the app drawer) but you can't do this unless you download a third party launcher. And if you do that, you lose some of the top HTC widgets. Bah!

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen
TouchscreenYes
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
USBYes
Contract TypeSIM-free
Built-in Memory16 GB
Built-in FlashNo
Memory Card SlotNo
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyGPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA
GPS ReceiverYes
Multi-SIM SupportedNo
Near Field CommunicationNo
Integrated TV TunerNo
Product FamilyOne S
Cellular Generation3G
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 850, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 2100
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Rear Camera Resolution8 Megapixel
Number of SIM Card Supported1
Front CameraNo
Phone StyleBar
ColourGrey
Operating SystemAndroid
Brand NameHTC
Screen Size10.9 cm (4.3")
Screen Resolution540 x 960
Touchscreen TypeCapacitive
Weight (Approximate)119.5 g
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Processor ManufacturerQualcomm
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 4.0
Operating System VersionAndroid 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging
USB StandardUSB 2.0
Pixel Density256 ppi
Height130.9 mm
Width65 mm
Depth7.8 mm
Radio TunerYes
ManufacturerHigh Tech Computer Corp
Product NameOne S
Processor Speed1.50 GHz
Processor TypeSnapdragon
Product LineOne S
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeG-sensor, Gyro Sensor, Accelerometer, Digital Compass, Proximity Sensor, Ambient Light Sensor
Manufacturer Part Number99HRE011-00
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.europe.htc.com
Marketing Information

Amazing camera

With this camera you never miss a shot. Capture every moment with a camera that starts-up in less than a second, and has rapid-fire continuous shooting. You'll never again have to choose between capturing a video or a picture-with Video Pic you can get both at the same time. And you'll get the best images even under the worst conditions: low light, no light and back light... None are a problem.

Limited Warranty1 Year