Review Price £449.99
Read the review of the HTC One M8
HTC's star has been on the wane for a while, but to be honest it's sort of difficult to see why. Certainly the drop in its sales isn’t down to it suddenly producing naff phones. In fact, the company is still churning out some cracking handsets. We loved the HTC One X when we reviewed it back in April 2012, with only its limited 16GB of storage really leaving us wanting, but after the Samsung Galaxy S3 launched, the One X rather unfairly found itself shut out of the lime light. Realising that all the One X needed to get competitive again was a small tweak, the company has returned with this tuned up version - the One X . Thankfully the results are rather good.
The original handset was no slouch in terms of its specification – after all it was one of the first quad core phones to reach the market – but this new version ups the ante, as it uses an even faster quad core chip that's clocked at 1.7Ghz, compared to the older model's 1.5Ghz. It's also got a massive 64GB of storage space built in (or 32GB on the cheaper model), a larger battery and it comes preloaded with the latest Jelly Bean (4.1) version of Android.
Externally little has changed from the previous model, but seeing as the original's design was bang on the money - assuming you like a large handset - we've got no complaints about this. The chassis feels a bit more robust and less plasticky than the Samsung Galaxy S3, for example, while the soft-touch rubberised finish on the rear aids grip and comfort. None of these large screen Android devices are that easy to use single handed simply due to their extreme width and height, but the One X is no worse than the competition in this regard.
The only concession to the previous point is that, like its predecessor, the power/screen unlock button is on the top edge rather than the side, making it even more difficult to reach without shuffling the phone around. Then again few phones have quite got this right yet with only the Sony Xperia T and Nokia Lumia 920 living up to our expectations.
Also on the top edge is the headphone jack while the volume rocker button is on the right edge and the microUSB port on the right. The latter supports MHL, so you can use it as an HDMI output if you buy an MHL adaptor (£5-£10). The phone's micro SIM slot sits at the top and you need to push in either the included tool or a paperclip to release it, much like the set-up on the iPhone. The case is completely sealed, so there's no removable battery and, as mentioned, the phone also lacks a microSD card. However, with 64GB of storage onboard, it's probably not needed.
The only real change from the older model is that the standard Android buttons sitting beneath the screen for back, home and multitasking functions are now coloured red, rather than white. They're still backlit, so they're easy to use in the dark. We're growing acustomed to the new Android style of using buttons incoporated into the touchscreen - leaving less wasted space below the screen - but we still found the One X easy to get on with.
The screen on the One X is absolutely top notch. It's very large, measuring 4.7inches across the diagonal, but crucially it's also got a high pixel count thanks to its resolution of 720x1280 pixels, giving it a pixel density of 312ppi. It uses a Super LCD2 panel, rather than the AMOLED technology that Samsung uses on the Galaxy S3, but while its black levels aren’t quite as deep as that display, its colours are arguably more natural and accurate looking. It's also covered in Gorilla Glass 2, so it should prove pretty tough over the life of the phone.
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