Jun 16, 2012

Posted by in Featured, Mobile, Reviews | 32 Comments

HTC One X Review

The HTC One X is the first quad-core phone to hit the local market back in April and is the 2012 flagship model from HTC. Aside from the immense power this phone gets, HTC boasts of superb camera performance and Beats Audio from their HTC One line of Android smartphones.

htc one x 01

The question you would be asking yourself is, “do you need a quad-core phone?” And “will the HTC One X’s big screen suit your taste?” Let’s try to answer that with our review shall we?

Design

The HTC One X comes in black or white, but white is definitely the better-looking of the two. The thin white bezel gives a beautiful contrast to its deep black Gorilla glass front that tapers on all sides for that sleek, curved look.

htc one x 02 htc one x 03 htc one x 04

The front is void of any physical buttons. You’ll see the three Android capacitive touch buttons (Back, Home, Recent Apps) just below the 4.7-inch display. On top is a set of pinholes for the speaker beside the 1.3 megapixel front camera which is capable of 720p video chats.

htc one x 06 htc one x 05

The sides are almost bare as well. On top is the Power/Sleep button beside the 3.5mm audio jack. You can also see the slot for the microSIM on top near the back which can be accessed by poking the pinhole beside it.

htc one x 07 htc one x 08

On the left side is the MHL microUSB port you will use for data transfer, charging, and HDMI out provided you have an HDMI/microUSB cable (not included). On the right side is just the volume rocker. No physical shutter button which would be good for this phone considering its awesome camera, more on that later.

htc one x 09 htc one x 10

At the back you’ll appreciate the white, tough, unibody polycarbonate shell although you have to be careful of smudges. What’s not nice for the design is the protruding 8-megapixel camera which invites damage when it’s laid down but is required to accommodate a BSI (back-sensor illuminated) lens. The LED flash breaks the circular metal ring surrounding the camera. On the bottom right portion are contact points for a dock which is sold separately. Further at the bottom is the Beats Audio logo right above the speaker.

htc one x 11

As for handling, the HTC One X feels good on my average-sized hand. Even if it looks big, it doesn’t feel big at all thanks to its “just right” weight. It’s not too light to make it feel cheap but it’s surprisingly not heavy at all for its size. No doubt the craftsmasnship here feels premium.

Display and UI

The HTC One X has a 4.7-inch Super IPS LCD2 HD display with a 720 x 1280 resolution which is probably the most gorgeous display I’ve seen on a 4-inch+ phone. It’s bright, with vibrant colors and balanced contrast (not as deep as AMOLEDs though) and is very easy on the eyes. You really have to see it to appreciate it.

htc one x 12 htc one x 13 htc one x 14

This phone runs on Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich OS with a layer of HTC’s latest Sense UI v4, still one of the most beautiful Android UI around. If you haven’t used an HTC phone yet, you will love their nice-looking widgets (especially the weather) and the tight integration of your social network accounts to your contacts and calendar.

Performance

Powering the HTC One X is an NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core processor with 1.5GHz clock speed on each core, along with 1GB RAM. Granted that there’s not a lot, or if any apps at all, that can fully utilize such power, or if the need to use all four cores simultaneously, it certainly makes the phone ready for the future.

If you want numbers, based on a popular benchmarking tool, Quadrant, the HTC One X got a score of 4901. I would expect more considering the dual-core Samsung Galaxy Note is averaging a score of 3,500 in Quadrant.

htc one x quadrant

Anyway, in real-world usage, you will see transitions and animations fly by effortlessly with every swipe. Games would load properly and run smoothly. Videos that require hardware rendering load fast and play flawlessly. Loading of websites, including those with Flash objects, is smooth as well.

htc one x 15

A common problem to the HTC Sense UI is that there’s a bit of a lag when clicking on SMS messages, or viewing your contact list, and we see this on the HTC One V. Well you’ll be glad to know that on the HTC One X, this issue is almost non-existent. This phone is not just smooth and sleek on the outside but also on the inside.

Multimedia

Having a quad-core processor and a gorgeously big HD display, the HTC One X performs admirably when playing HD videos, even those 4GB files, so you can enjoy watching it on a bigger screen via MHL.

htc one x 16

Audio is powered by Beats which essentially just gives your music extra oomph and a louder output, but requires you to plug in your headphones.

Speaking of apps, this phone has TuneIn Radio pre-installed which I find really useful. Problem with FM Radio on phones is that you need to plug in a headphone to actually use it. With TuneIn Radio, you can listen to your favorite local radio stations on its speaker, provided you’re connected to the internet.

tunein tunein2

Soundhound, if you’re not familiar with it, is an app that gives you information on any music it hears. Let your phone hear a portion of a song and it will show you the artist, song title and other info about it. With the HTC One series, this app is integrated on other music-related apps, like TuneIn Radio for instance.

Gaming, especially those that have onscreen controls, is excellent on the HTC One X and its big screen. I played GTA III and there was no frame stuttering, even in action-heavy scenes like car chases. The game loaded quite fast too.

Perhaps the only drawback you will get out of this phone, if you’re going to use it heavily for multimedia, is the 32GB built-in storage without any microSD slot. You’ll be wanting to put HD videos, your whole MP3 collection, and big games here that can eat up that 32GB quickly.

Camera

HTC has always been lagging in the camera department before but the HTC One series has changed that. The HTC One X boasts of an 8-megapixel camera with back sensor-illuminated (BSI) f/2.0 lens making it one of the fastest (if not the fastest) cameraphone in the market. It’s not only quick to take photos (4 per second) but it’s quick to focus as well.

htc one x 17

Just like previous HTC phones, the camera on the HTC One X is loaded with built-in features for creativity. You can apply filters such as fisheye, vignette, etc. while taking the shot or afterwards.

Here are a few sample photos taken with the HTC One X.

[nggallery id=43]

Photo quality is excellent thanks to the lens and HTC’s ImageSense chip. Photos are sharp and crisp, well-balanced, with good saturation and white balance. Indoor shots are acceptable too. It can definitely go head to head with the iPhone 4/4S. They’re like Canon and Nikon. Both brands take equally good photos and it’s just a matter of color output preference.

The HTC One X can also record up to Full HD 1080p videos, with the capability to take stills at the same time. Here’s a sample video taken in a poorly-lit event which the HTC One X handled well.

Battery Life

Battery life on a smartphone with a huge, bright screen, and powerful processor is not usually long and the HTC One X is no different. This phone has a 1800mAh non-user-replaceable battery which can net you a day and half worth of juice on moderate use. However, playing games or watching videos extensively on it won’t last you the end of the day without reaching for that charger. Very much expected from this phone and something you can get used to eventually.

Verdict

There are four things the HTC One X can freely boast – its design quality, quad-core processor, display, and camera. That’s probably what most people are after for on a smartphone! If there’s a drawback that people will often complain about, it’s the lack of expandable storage. Let me tell you this though, unless you will use your phone as your primary multimedia device, 32GB is more than enough for your needs.

htc one x 18

With that being said, the HTC One X is truly a remarkable phone that blends great design with amazing performance. Returning the review unit was a sad day for us. As such, the HTC One X is our first-ever Pinoy Tech Blog Editor’s Pick Award recipient. Well done HTC.

HTC One X Editors Pick

The HTC One X has a retail price of Php32,990 when it was announced back in April, However, it is now being sold for Php27,600 at official HTC stores already which is surprisingly cheap for a flagship model released just over two months ago.

HTC One X Specs:
Nvidia Tegra 3 Quad-core 1.5 GHz processor
ULP GeForce GPU
Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
4.7-inch capacitive Super LCD IPS Gorilla Glass display (720 x 1280)
HTC Sense UI
1GB RAM, 32GB internal storage (no microSD)
HSDPA, 21 Mbps; HSUPA, 5.76 Mbps
Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP. EDR
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, DLNA, Wi-Fi hotspot
8 MP autofocus camera with LED flash, ImageSense,
Video recording at 1080p @ 30fps
1.3 megapixel front cam 720p
134.4 x 69.9 x 8.9 mm
130 g
Li-Ion 1800 mAh battery
SRP: Php32,990


  1. I noticed that the benchmark screenshot you posted, “Your device: 4901″ is greater than the HTC One X…but you’re reviewing the HTC One X, right? Just pointing it out in case you haven’t noticed. Otherwise, great review!

    • the other HTC One X is a benchmark result from Quadrant’s database. It’s not always exactly 4901 every time, it’s just that a lower score was saved on Quadrant’s database.

    • JmBalicano says:

      There was a firmware update that was released a while back for the HTC One X that was supposed to boost performance and battery life. It’s possible the default scores for the HTC One X on Quadrant are based on pre-firmware update tests.

    • just a guess but maybe it was htc one x with the dual core s4 chip?

  2. Great review as always, I just don’t like the Editor’s pick logo, it is like some kind of label for ice cream or bottled pickles. No offense. =)

  3. ooooh… so this one or Samsung Galaxy Note or Samsung S3? :D Or should I wait for Iphone5? :D

    • hmmm the s3 has amazing specs and that microSD, but if you value the looks more i would go for the one X. the note is also nice if you can often utilize the big screen and the pen. lalaki kasi ako kaya gusto ko pocketable. cant comment on the iphone5, puro rumors. hehehe.

      • Andrei Lim says:

        Lalaki din naman ako ah. Haha. Pocketable naman yung Note ko. Kasyang kasya sa jeans ko. Hehe. Mahirap pa dukutan ng magnanakaw. wahaha.

  4. Is this the same phone they use in NCIS Los Angeles?

  5. Griswold says:

    very nice review sir calvin. parang eto na siguro next phone ko. hindi ako impressed sa s3 in terms of design.

    • ang masasabi ko lang is hindi ka magsisisi if you get the one x. :D

      • This phone is the WORST compared to the Samsung Galaxy S3, or LG 4X HD!

        WHY……..?

        1)HTC ONE X got the LOWEST BENCHMARK RESULT SCORE among the THREE LATEST ANDROID SMARTPHONES!
        2) this Phone HAS NO MEMORY CARD SLOT !
        3) the BATTERY is NOT REMOVABLE!
        4) The BATTERY IS VERY WEAK!

        SADLY……… Sorry…….. BUT TRUE!

        • Griswold says:

          it may be the least compared to others spec-wise but for some people those things don’t matter much, well except for battery life. but if a smartphone can go on for 1 day then that’s good enough already.

          would you agree that the iphone is one of the most successful phones year after year? does it have a removable battery? a strong battery? a memory slot?

  6. Hi sir calvin, do you have an idea if htc one x will be available in globe or is it exclusive with smart? thanks

  7. Jeraldo says:

    not a big fan of the back side’s design. other than that it looks gorgeous! for the software.. not a fan also of sense ui. i think sony’s timescape and samsung’s touchwiz are better. this phone needs to get rooted with stock jelly bean IMO.

  8. maryke marie says:

    Nung una ko to mkita super nagustuhan ko xa.:)..upon checking reviews,battery lng cguro ako magkakproblema..

    sna maging available xa sa globe..:),any advise ng phone aside from htc one x?

  9. Sir Calvin,

    Tanong ko lng sa normal use ba ng htc one x nakakatagal nmn ba xa ng atleast 12 hours of usage? How about kpg heavy usage na? Im planning to buy this phone.

    • havent tried it for a long time eh sorry. siguro it’s enough to last you pag alis mo ng bahay until pag uwi mo immediately after work.

      • Thanks :) and sir asked q na din actually kasama din sa choices ko ung htc one s, i just want to know ung original ba na gradient blue na htc one s anong type ng chipset nun? S3 ba or S4? medyo naguguluhan lng ako sir calvin kc dalawang klase pla ang htc one s. :)

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