TODO alt text

HTC One X review

New flagship brings quad core power – but is that enough to boost the brand?

Our Verdict

The One X is one of HTC's best handsets to date, and sets a very high bar for 2012.

Product features

  • Built-in Memory : 32 GB
  • Rear Camera Resolution : 8 Megapixel
  • Screen Resolution : 1280 x 720

View full specification

For

  • Great screen
  • Stunning design
  • Powerful processor
  • Quality camera

Against

  • Iffy battery life
  • No microSD slot
  • Video grainy

Update: We've now got our hands on an HTC One X complete with Android 4.0.4 and Sense 4.1 - read on to see if it really makes that much of a difference.

The HTC One X brings the best processor, an HD screen and a sublimely thin chassis as the Taiwanese firm looks to recreate the success of the original Desire.

The One X is a phone that's had us intrigued for a while – running a quad core CPU (Nvidia's Tegra 3) plus one of the largest screens on any HTC… and that's without being given a gargantuan name like the Titan.

It's clear from the outset what HTC is trying to do with the One X: shake off the slight doom and gloom surrounding the brand's fall in profits, and bring out a slick, powerful and, more importantly, useable handset that has now fallen to the palatable price of around £30 per month on contract.

Check out the HTC One X video below to find out the main features it's packing in that slim body.

With Ice Cream Sandwich running from the outset (now boosted to Android 4.0.4 and Sense 4.1), this is the phone that really takes HTC to the next level – but is it a case of too much, too soon for a brand that's still really just over a decade old?

Design

HTC's phones have been slowly moving towards sleeker design ever since the purchase of One & Co (which may have had more than a little to do with the new naming strategy) and the release of the HTC Legend.

HTC One X review

Since then, unibody designs and smooth lines have been a feature of its devices, and that principle has been evolved with the HTC One X.

However, before you read any further, a note of caution: if you're not willing to accept a pretty large mobile, then you're better off waiting for the likes of the HTC One S – the One X is a large piece of phone estate in your hand.

But it's that large 4.7-inch screen that is such a stunning feature of the One X – it's a 720p HD display packed into a chassis that's only 8.9mm thick. Plus it's also using the Super IPS LCD 2 technology that, while it lacks the vivid colour reproduction of Samsung's Super AMOLED range, really brings games and movies to life.

HTC One X review

We're not going to get into the pros and cons of OLED vs LCD – suffice to say, it's a matter of choice whether you prefer improved contrast ratios or a more true to life colour reproduction. In our opinion, both are excellent and the One X will certainly not disappoint.

Like the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, it's got a pixel density (screen sharpness) that rivals the iPhone 4S, but does it on a screen that's over an inch larger. It's one of those devices that you have to see to really believe, but there's a good chance you'll confuse it with a shop model with a static image Sellotaped onto the front.

HTC One X review

The rest of the phone design is, again, pretty subjective. For the large size, it's very light indeed at 130g. That's quite a bit heavier than the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S2 (14g, in fact) but lighter than the Galaxy S3 but in reality you'll consider it to be almost impossible to feel in the pocket.

The rest of the phone is pretty minimal in design. Unlike the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, we're offered some physical (well, touch sensitive) keys on the front of the HTC One X, meaning the display won't need to jump up and down to show the contextual versions.

HTC One X review

There's an expected volume rocker switch on the right-hand side, a power button on the top (accompanied by a 3.5mm headphone jack) and a microUSB slot on the left-hand side – which also doubles a Mobile High-Definition Link to hook up to a TV.

It's a very sparse offering on a phone that's so expansive in its design, and leads to a very minimalist feel, which will likely appeal to many.

HTC One X review

That effect is compounded by the microSIM slot on the back of the phone, which requires an Apple-esque device to open it up – and there's no microSD support to be found here either, with the battery locked into the unibody design.

While the smaller SIM will be a slight annoyance to those upgrading from the full-size version, the lack of a microSD slot will be a big worry for many, especially as HD movies and large games will play very well on a phone like this.

There is 32GB of onboard storage, but that's not going to be enough for the ilk of smartphone user that wouldn't buy an iPhone until capacity was raised to 64GB.

HTC One X review

The rear of the phone features the 8MP camera, which protrudes quite a lot from the handset, but thanks to the slightly curved nature of the chassis, doesn't affect the phone too much when resting on a table.

The power button on the top of the phone can be quite hard to hit with the phone resting in the palm if you've not got the largest hands in the world, although the travel is such you'll hit it pretty accurately most of the time, which is something some phones fail to manage.

The size is the main design issue we can see for most people – this sleek-looking, lightweight phone will appeal to both men and women, but those with smaller hands will struggle to use the HTC One X effectively without doubling down on their digits.

HTC One X review

We reviewed the white version of the One X, and it's worth noting that in a few hours it was quite dirty with fingerprint smudges and the like, so be warned you might want to fork out for a case too.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen
TouchscreenYes
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
USBYes
Contract TypeSIM-free
Built-in Memory32 GB
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotNo
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyGPRS, EDGE, HSUPA, HSDPA
SAR Value0.68 W/kg
GPS ReceiverYes
Multi-SIM SupportedNo
Near Field CommunicationYes
Integrated TV TunerNo
Product FamilyOne X
Cellular Generation3G
Cellular Network SupportedWCDMA 850, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 1900, WCDMA 2100, GSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Rear Camera Resolution8 Megapixel
Number of SIM Card Supported1
Front CameraYes
Phone StyleBar
ColourWhite
Operating SystemAndroid
Brand NameHTC
Screen Size11.9 cm (4.7")
Screen Resolution1280 x 720
Touchscreen TypeCapacitive
Weight (Approximate)130 g
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Processor ManufacturerNVIDIA
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 Density312 ppi
Height134.4 mm
Width69.9 mm
Depth8.9 mm
Radio TunerYes
ManufacturerHigh Tech Computer Corp
Product NameOne X
Processor Speed1.50 GHz
Processor TypeTegra 3
Product LineOne X
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeGyro Sensor, Ambient Light Sensor, G-sensor, Accelerometer, Proximity Sensor, Digital Compass
Manufacturer Part Number99HRL001-00
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.europe.htc.com
Marketing Information

Camera Never miss a shot. A speedy one second start-up, rapid-fire continuous shooting, simultaneous 1080HD video and imaging, and an 8MP camera. And with HTC ImageChip get great shots regardless of lighting and movement.

Sound The HTC One series all come with Beats Audio™ so everything you hear on your phone-from music and videos to games and YouTube-is rich and authentic.

Design The 4.7-inch Gorilla Glass screen is both durable and scratch-resistant. And the minimalist design includes curved glass, a piano gloss sidewall, and an iconic camera ring on the back.

Limited Warranty1 Year