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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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|
|Li-Ion 1800 mAh battery|