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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?

Our Verdict

The HTC One S is a beautiful handset blessed with beautiful capabilities and is already available at very palatable price points.

Product features

  • Built-in Memory : 16 GB
  • Rear Camera Resolution : 8 Megapixel
  • Screen Resolution : 540 x 960

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  • Slim, svelte and beautiful
  • Built for Ice Cream Sandwich
  • Loads of widgets
  • Excellent battery life


  • Limited memory, no SD slot
  • MicroSIM is a pain for some
  • Keyboard has seen better days
  • Call quality can be slightly tinny:


You can tell HTC has decided it really needs to concentrate on its camera efforts. A recent study showed that the camera is the main selling point now for people when they buy a mobile and HTC must have figured this out.

HTC One S review

It's been offering up decent cameras for a while now (though we do wince to remember the truly awful snappers on the likes of the HTC Magic!) but HTC has obviously decided to keep on ploughing ahead.

The HTC One S comes with a powerful 8MP snapper on board. It's a real belter here and we'd say it definitely gives the Samsung Galaxy S2 a run for its money.

HTC has made a real point of stressing how quickly it can take photos and we can verify this is not all marketing speak. You can fire this phone up from standby and have a photograph snapped in less than two seconds.

And that includes going through the unlock procedure. It really is amazing. There is a downside in that it obviously doesn't have time to automatically focus so quickly but you can do this manually by tapping on the screen. For very quick, spontaneous pics, it'll serve you well - and even if you do want to get a bit focussy, the speed with which clarity is achieved is impressive.

Whatsmore, when you take the photo, there's no fancy animation of the photo slipping into the gallery before you take another picture business. It is ready to go immediately. If you're somebody who takes photos in quick bursts, this really is a phone for you.

The only thing we're sad to see missing is a dedicated camera shutter button which would have been the icing on the cake.

The HTC One S also has a very nifty, and very bright, LED flash. We found it achieved some pretty cool results when we used it in low light conditions...even if it did make everyone in sight squint.

HTC has given us a ton of cool filters and these – plus the treasure trove of settings – are all available easily enough from the shooter screen.

We're not talking the basic ones you get on every phone but never use but some really impressive Instagram-esque effects that you can apply whilst taking the photo – things like Vignette, Depth of Field and Vintage.

Unfortunately, there's no ability to apply these same effects after you've taken the photo so, for example, we couldn't apply a tilt-shift to a picture which is a bit limiting.

You do get other features that you can add for post production but they're nowhere near as exciting, although you can download the likes of Instagram to help that out.

If you indulge in this as well, you'll be able to do some serious fun damage to your snaps.

Uploading is very well integrated, as you'll get a massive list of options to get things out there into the big wide web... and if you install the likes of Twidroyd or Instagram.

There's also the front camera – that snaps at VGA resolution. But unless you're particularly vain, we can't see that being a problem.

HTC One S review
Even in good light, despite boasting of fast shutter speeds, quality can be poor

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HTC One S review
For a VGA snapper, the front camera is quite good

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HTC One S review
In strong artificial light, pictures come out well

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HTC One S review

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HTC One S review
Bringing the flash in on duller lights makes a world of difference

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HTC One S review

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HTC One S review
There are a range of effects on the HTC One S

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HTC One S review

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Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen
Wireless LANYes
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
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
Operating System VersionAndroid 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging
Radio Tuner TypeFM
Call FeaturesCall Log
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 Address
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