HTC One S Review
Positive:Android Ice-Cream Sandwich, Sense 4, and at the almost perfect screen size of 4.3-inches
Negative:The lack of Near Field Communications (NFC), and a Micro SD card slot for memory expansion. Beats Headphones not included in the box with all network providers.
HTC has one been one of the leading phone manufacturers for a very long time and have had considerable success on the Android scene. In fact, the first Android smartphone was an HTC.
HTC has one been one of the leading phone manufacturers for a very long time and have had considerable success on the Android scene. In fact, the first Android smartphone was an HTC. So when see the HTC brand, you expect high quality. The real question is, when you encounter the HTC ONE S, does it live up to the HTC brand? Lets find out
In the box
Well I can certainly say the box really is less than pleasing to the eye, but that’s certainly not a deal breaker, after all, its just a box. However the disappointment seems to continue as you continue to dig into the box because the edition I was sent contained no beats headphones due to it’s exclusivity.
In the box you get;
- The HTC ONE S
- A Branded Micro USB Cable
- A branded wall charger to use with your Micro USB cable
- The leaflets and manuals
- And the HTC branded earphones
The HTC One S comes packed with;
- 1,5Ghz Dual Core Processor
- 1GB RAM
- 16GB On-board storage + 25 GB Cloud storage through DropBox
- Uses a Micro SIM Card
- Running Android Ice-Cream Sandwich 4.0.3
- Also running HTC Sense 4.0
- Sensors include Gyro Sensor, G Sensor, Digital Sensor, Proximity Sensor as well as an Ambient light Sensor
- Bluetooth 4.0
- Wi-Fi: IEEE 802. 11 b/g/n
- DLNA for wireless streaming
- Beats Audio Technology
- 3.5mm Headphone jack
- A 1650mAh Battery
- 8 Megapixel Camera
- A VGA Front facing Camera
Now that we have all that out of the way, I think its time we get to the questions that really matter, like, how it all works and what difference it makes for you and I as the end users.
Operating System (OS) and User Interface (UI)
It comes fully loaded with the all-impressive Android 4.0.3 Ice-Cream OS, which in my opinion the best Android, released to date and is really worthy of a review of it own.
It has REAL multi-tasking, which genuinely seems to work almost flawlessly without slowing the device down at all. Switching between different apps and closing unused apps is only one (capacitive) button press and a swipe away. And with HTC packing in the very useful 1.5gHz Dual Core Processor, handling multiple tasks at a go is like a hot knife through butter for the HTC One S.
Packed in the HTC One S is arguably the best overlay or UI that has ever been put over Android. HTC Sense, for lack of better words, really just makes Sense. It’s smoothly integrated into Ice-Cream Sandwich without imposing, fully integrating all you contacts with you associated contacts from your social networks, as well as their profile picture, statuses and even adds their birthday to you calendar. These are just a few of the many, very well thought-out integrations HTC has graced Android with.
Loaded with features and the all-beautiful widgets HTC bring, they all seem to seamlessly integrate into the way average consumers use their phones. This UI also is worthy of its own review. In my opinion HTC Sense is the best UI on any Smartphone to date (note: I said ‘UI’ and not OS. Yeah, I said it!)
The battery life on the One S is really more than impassive. It lasted from morning to evening even with a lot of browsing and a healthy dose of Angry Birds Space, and the odd phone call here and there. The call quality was really good to with the phone managing to keep reception where some previous phones have not. The large 1650mAh Battery is a very welcomed hardware to the modern day smartphone indeed.
Camera, Display and Design
Now, for things that pertain almost uniquely to this device, which unfortunately also happens to be where things start to go down hill.
The rear facing 8 megapixel camera on this device is more than impressive with that F2.0 wide angle lens that seems to perform so well in really low light, a fast burst mode, continuous focus, zero shutter lag and the ability to take pictures while shooting HD videos, this camera is packed with features that are sure to keep you busy.
However, the display that you use to view these pictures is really disappointing! So disappointing that you tend to avoid opening the picture and video galleries. Having come into contact with displays as beautiful as the ones found on the iPhone 4S, the HTC ONE X and the Sony Xperia X, the display on the HTC ONE S is simply unacceptable.
Although it has a 540 x 960 resolution display, which is higher than the resolution found on your average 4.3-inch screen, the PenTile pixel arrangement is so inaccurate that the colours leak into each other, leaving a very pixilated image that simply cannot be ignored.
I can’t help but feel that HTC intentionally chose to put an inferior display in the ONE S to its rivals so that they could point customers to the HTC One X that comes with a bigger screen, faster processor and a bag full of accessories, which calculates to more money in the bank for them! They intentionally put a less desirable display on this device. If they had put a much better display on this device, it would have become their flagship device leaving customers wanting it more that the ONE X simply because is a smaller, more manageable size for the average consumer.
Although the design of the phone is thin and sleek, with its micro arc oxidised aluminium unibody, it’s simply not enough to carry the device as a viable option.
To sum it up, the HTC One S could have been a really great device with it running Android Ice-Cream Sandwich, Sense 4, and at the almost perfect screen size of 4.3-inches, however, seems to always seem to leave you wanting more.
The lack of Near Field Communications (NFC), and a Micro SD card slot for memory expansion only adds to the sour taste in your mouth. Even though it comes with 25GB of DropBox memory, DropBox seems to be a more cumbersome way of handling your smartphone media. Then the fact that it has Beats audio Technology, yet doesn’t have an option to buy with Beats Headphones included in the box genuinely leaves me puzzled.
Finally, the fact that the price of the ONE S is not far from other high-end smart phones (including the HTC ONE X) that seem to offer better specs, it simply does not feel like good value for money!
HTC One S Gallery
[flagallery gid=21 name="HTC One S"]
Where to buy
The HTC One S is available from Three from £20 per month