Wednesday, April 11, 2012

HTC One X first impressions

Is there a more exciting Android smartphone announced at MWC this year than the HTC One X? Not many people seem to think so. The HTC One X has been collecting plenty of accolades since its release last week, and it was about time it was put this under the stress of a review by yours truly.

HTC's press rendering of the One X doesn't do it much justice. The One X is simply gorgeous and is easily the most beautiful Android smartphone I have ever held. With a single unibody aluminium body, the HTC One X retains the now recognisable HTC design language but with subtile changes that makes it fresh. With a slightly curved 4.7" 720p HD display, the One X is begging to be fondled the moment you set your eyes on one.
It's not just beauty that sets the One X apart from its competitors. Beneath the sculptured beauty lies a Nvidia Tegra 3 SoC, also marketed comically as the '4-PLUS-1'. It features a quad core 1.4GHz ARM Cortex A9 CPU and ULP GeForce GPU. A generous amount of RAM, 1GB to be precise, helps the machine ticks along. I have not been impressed by Nvidia's previous Tegra 2, but the processor formerly known as Kal-El blazed through anything I threw at it. Yes there are some lags, but nothing too noticeable.

Like any HTC Android smartphones, the One X's Android OS is heavily customised with HTC Sense, in this case the newest Sense 4. HTC Sense UI hasn't been a favourite of mine and the Sense 4 doesn't change that fact. The UI is clearly designed to provide maximum eye candy with animations and all sorts of effects, which some might argue as over the top. Still you can't deny HTC's desire to differentiate from their competitors with Sense. After all Sense has always been, in the past at least, a reason to own a HTC phone. But with Google slowly improving the UX of Android, one can argue that OEM customisations like Sense are no longer needed. I am not against the inclusion of Sense, but wish there was a way to disable it.

Update: My review of the HTC One X's camera is now up.
The HTC One X is one of the larger smartphones I have ever tested. The only thing bigger were the HTC Sensation XL and Samsung Galaxy Note, but despite that the One X doesn't feel big at all. In fact the tapered back design, lightness and overall slimness, makes the One X feels perfect in my palms. It doesn't feel bigger than my previous Samsung Galaxy S II and in fact makes the new Sony Xperia S feels and looks bulky in comparison (despite only having a 4.3" display).

Will the HTC One X survived my initial positive impression? We will see. I will be putting the One X through some serious testing for the review. If you have any questions, please post a comment or ask on Twitter. In the meantime, enjoy the pictures of the One X.
Many thanks to Three UK for loaning the HTC One X. You can get yours here via Three UK on contract, or sim-free from Amazon UK.

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