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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?

Messaging is where the HTC One S really comes into its own. There are more messaging options available than you probably have things to say. And of course, this is Android which means you add loads and loads more depending on your needs.

On initial setup, you're invited to sign into a number of services from the obvious Google to the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Exchange. Then off you go.

HTC One S review

Bog standard messages are easy enough and look pretty. Everything is laid out nicely as it always has been with contact pictures and speech bubbles and the like.

You can even resize the text size from within the app by simply pinching to zoom - a neat touch that saves a load of faffery.

We like being able to search the text of messages from the very top of the application and there are loads of options including being able to back your SMS up to email which is really helpful.

We used a third party app to do this before so we had the sentimental ones safely saved but this brings it all in house. And don't forget the rather excellent contacts integration which lets you see how you've communicated with a particular person from the phone section itself too.

New messages and various other IM alerts are brought to your attention by the notification bar which you can swipe down and then tap to go to each relevant app.

GTalk is particularly well-integrated, with each person gaining a little green dot to let you know they're online... it's like a BBM for Android users, but is criminally underused.

However, if you've got loads of text messages, the One S can be slow to catch up with who they're from if you scroll far back in time... and the problem gets worse the earlier you look. It does get there eventually, but can be annoying for the archivist.

As for email, if you're a Gmailer, you're spoilt for choice. You have the new Gmail app (complete with widget) which really looks great and adds a lot more functionality (we've covered that in depth in our Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich review) or the HTC Mail app which also does a stellar job, and looks after your IMAP and Exchange accounts

The only thing we don't like about HTC is the way its phones handle HTML messages.

Firstly, they don't download images automatically (yes, we know there can be security risks but for regular senders, you should be allowed to set up a preference at least) and when they do, they're not formatted for the screen.

Apple has nailed this since day one with the whole email laid out nicely whereas the HTC One S (and other Android handsets) zooms in on the top left and then leaves you to pan around with your fingers all over the place. It's all very odd.

HTC One S review

As for the keyboard, we're sad to say that HTC has lost it a little bit. We always loved the HTC keyboard on older devices but it doesn't seem to have the same flair here. We couldn't quite put our finger on what it was but text input was not as easy or as fluid as in days gone by.

And one thing that really irritated us was the fact that we kept hitting the wrong button and deleting characters. We tried recalibrating the keyboard which did provide temporary respite but then it started acting up again.

One saving grace of the keyboard is that, like the Sony Xperia S, HTC has made the One S' keyboard double up as a Swype-style affair too which means you can zip along at higher speeds.

There is a slight issue in that it's very easy to change the language with a tap at the bottom left-hand side of the letters - this means your auto-prediction or even the letter arrangement can change and you'll have no idea why.

You can also download a gazillion different third party versions and we can recommend others like Smart Keyboard Pro or Swiftkey without hesitation.

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