HTC One S, a tale of two versions
When the HTC One S was announced last February, it looked like it can be the bang-for-the-buck mid-range phone that we’ll have this year. A 4.3-inch Super AMOLED screen, tough coating on a slim chassis, and a powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor completes this package for those not wanting the best but still wants a beautiful and powerful handset. I was among the ones who are sold on this phone.
However, HTC One S suffered delays. It was announced along with the HTC One X and the HTC One V but it came a few months later, although HTC said it’s because they don’t want it to compete with the One X. I’m starting to think it really has something to do with shortage on the Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 SoC.
Well HTC decided to bring out another version of the HTC One S for Asia. It’s different in a couple of big ways so you might want to know this before you get one.
HTC One S on Qualcomm Snapdragon S4
The original version which was announced over at MWC has the matte black color. It’s shell underwent a process called microarc oxidation (MAO) which makes it harder than anodised aluminum. However, there are reports (and HTC is already aware of this) that miniature chippings occur as you use the phone despite not banging or dropping it. Something to do with the coating not being as flexible as the aluminum underneath.
However, this is the only version with the Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor which is what you’re really gunning for when you get this phone. This version also won’t be available in official HTC stores here in our country according to HTC Philippines.
HTC One S on Qualcomm Snapdragon S3
Now the version released in Asia has the gray/blue gradient shell which looks nice if you’re tired of black. It uses anodised aluminum for its unibody shell without the MAO process, but still durable and scratch-resistant like other premium HTC phones in the past. And it doesn’t chip off easily.
The big catch here is that it uses an old Snapdragon S3 chip (MSM8260) overclocked at 1.7GHz. It’s the same SoC as that of the HTC Sensation, Sensation XE, Sony Xperia S, and Huawei Mediapad. This is a real downer and buyers should know this especially if the S3-version is being priced at the S4-version’s level.
Fortunately, now you know if the HTC One S uses a Snapdragon S3 or a Snapdragon S4, just check the color.
There are S4 versions being sold in the grey market but you still have to deal with the chipping issue on its coating. Other phones that use the Snapdragon S4 SoC include the Samsung Galaxy S3 (LTE version), Asus Padfone, HTC One X (LTE version), and Sony Xperia GX/SX. An elite group indeed that the Asian-version of HTC One S missed out on.