It’s been a hard year for HTC. The Taiwan-based phone manufacturer had a great beginning in the Android world, but it’s been struggling to keep up appearances and convince the public to buy its handsets. Some analysts believe that the HTC brand is in trouble and that the company’s struggles stem partly from the public not really recognizing it as the maker of the Android handset to buy. Not anymore, at least.
Now that Samsung is in the top spot, HTC has a lot of ground to make up. The company’s CEO, Peter Chou, famously said that he will step down if the One doesn’t succeed, but the phone hasn’t exactly had the best start: it has suffered manufacturing snafus caused by a component shortage, which came about partly because HTC is no longer considered a “tier-one customer” in manufacturing land. But in spite of branding and supply chain problems, the HTC One is still a very solid Android handset.
Body, build, and display
Specs at a glance: HTC One
Screen 1920×1080 4.7-inch (468 ppi) Super LCD 3 with RGB Matrix
OS Android 4.1.2 with Sense 5
CPU Quad-core 1.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 600
GPU Qualcomm Adreno 320
Storage 16 or 32 GB NAND flash
Networking 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, DLNA, Wi-Fi Direct, wireless HDMI
Ports Micro-USB, headphones
Camera 4MP rear camera with “UltraPixel” image sensor, 2.1MP front camera
Size 5.41″ × 2.69″ × 0.37″ (137.4 × 68.2 × 9.3 mm)
Weight 5.0 oz. (143 g)
Battery 2300 mAh
Starting price $99 at Sprint, $199.99 at AT&T, $99.99 at T-Mobile
Sensor Accelerometer, gyroscope, digital compass, proximity sensor, ambient light sensor
Other perks Infrared
At 5.41 × 2.69 × 0.37 inches, the HTC One is only a bit bigger than the Samsung Galaxy S 4. Its smooth aluminum backside somewhat resembles the finish on Apple’s MacBook Pro, and it features white accents around the edges, with a few stripes continuing on the back and ending abruptly at the camera lens. It’s an interesting design, one that HTC says is made through “zero-gap” construction, a term that refers to the phone being carved out of a piece of aluminum (you’ll find an image of the chassis design in our gallery below).
The One feels sturdy and well-built—more so than any of the plastic body phones I’ve used before. It’s also a testament to HTC’s marketing strategy: rather than dial it back to cut on costs, HTC has gone full-force by showing that its design capabilities mirror that of top-tier handset makers like Apple. What we have here is a fashionable and sturdy device; its aluminum chassis and matte white trim makes it look unlike any other Android handset on the market right now.
Inside, the HTC One features a 1.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor, 2GB of RAM, and 32 or 64 gigabytes of storage. Unfortunately, there is no microSD expansion slot, nor is there a removable backing. The micro-SIM slot sits on the left-hand side of the phone, with the volume rocker and power button on the right and top sides of the device, respectively. There is also a micro-USB slot on the bottom, though it’s placed on the right side rather than in the middle as it is on most other handsets. One benefit to this minor design decision is that you can actually use the phone to type horizontally while it’s charging without bumping the cord.
Full Story: HTC One review: It’s now or never again | Ars Technica.