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HTC One X - Android 4.0 / HTC Sense Interface

By Edward Chester

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

9

Android 4.0 / HTC Sense Interface

The HTC One X runs Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) but HTC has heavily customised it.

Starting from the top, the lock screen has been augmented with the ability to jump straight into your choice of four apps – just drag the icon into the grey circle. Or you can just drag the circle offscreen to unlock to the homescreen.

Once on the homescreen you'll find seven screens various filled with widgets and apps, or left blank for you to add your own widgets. Sitting top dead centre is the HTC clock/calendar/weather widget which at a glance let's you see what's what. Tap it and you can get impressively detailed weather reports for the next few days.

Other widgets are the usual selection of mini media players, note takers, picture viewers, quick settings shortcuts and message readers. However, what isn't usual is the superb way you manage all this lot. Hold your finger down on a homscreen and you're taken to a view that shows your homescreens along the top as small thumbnails and widgets/apps/shortcuts along the bottom as large thumbnails. Swipe through them and it's easy to pick out the widgets you like the look of and place them just where you want.

One thing that HTC has changed that we're not overly keen on is removing the universal Google search bar. The latest version of Android had made its long running search bar a fixed feature at the top of every homescreen, meaning you don't have to faff about adding the widget on every page if you want it always to hand. HTC has relegated this back to just a widget, though.

Swipe down from the top of the screen and the notifications area doesn't contain any quick settings, but does have a link straight to the Settings. As part of the latest Android update, notifications can now be swiped offscreen individually like on iPhone.

Dive into the App Launcher/Main Menu and apps are presented in side scrolling pages, listed alphabetically, by date (oldest) or date (most recent). We're not a huge fan of this style, with a straight vertical list being our preference but at least it's better than the standard Android 4.0 style. There are further tabs along the button of the App Launcher to show your Frequent or Downloaded apps.

One change we're decidedly not keen on is the new interface for the quick app switcher. Tap the rightmost button below the screen and up pops a way to quickly switch between your open apps – a new feature in Android 4.0 – but rather than the default Android way, shown below, HTC has implemented its own style. It's simply less efficient – you can only see one app at once – and the scrolling action to move through the apps doesn't feel right, meaning you often overshoot the app you were aiming for.

HTC has also tweaked much of the styling of interface, with lots of shaded dark greys dominating the menus. It's a classy look and one that adds to a feeling of quality about the whole handset – it's a nice place to be.

The only real problem is again the screen size. Most of the time you'll be fine, but there are enough occasions where the stretch to reach buttons and icons along the top edge is too much to maintain a decent grip on the handset. It's the same with all big phones but simply worth noting that HTC hasn't managed to miraculously get round this.

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Ben Cove

February 27, 2012, 1:29 pm

spelling mistake last paragraph second line "al" to "all"
Great review :)

iain coghill

February 27, 2012, 3:55 pm

It is fortunate that these top-end phones are likely so expensive - you need to empty your pockets of cash in order to fit the damn things in!

colin

March 14, 2012, 2:26 pm

what a shame only made out of plastic should be the aluminium with mao finish for real premium feel and the extra strength to protect the high investment we would be making tech specs are impressive so lets hope the service providers don't mess up with their overlays as usually happens

Amir

April 3, 2012, 3:28 am

The review says the screen is "Stunning", however the Image Quality has been awarded 7/10... ?? I can't think of 3 greater adjectives above Stunning hehe...

Have the Design score and Image Quality score been confused?

Amir

April 3, 2012, 3:36 am

Also, if you were to review the White version, is it likely this would have received a Trusted Award?? To wait for the S3 or not :s

Ed

April 3, 2012, 1:54 pm

Our Image Quality score refers to the camera, not the screen.

Ed

April 3, 2012, 1:55 pm

Possibly, though there are a number of other issues.

phat-ant

April 3, 2012, 3:55 pm

Dang! I got the grey verion on order :( I hope its not too much of disapointment your suggesting the finish is! Cheers for the review. Fingers crossed my hands wont find the new clown-phone format too large!

betelgeus

April 3, 2012, 4:11 pm

you wouldnt think having to press the top button to get out of stand by woud be much of a deal breaker but ive honestly nearly smashed my old htc phone about a 100 times because of it,weird.

betelgeus

April 3, 2012, 4:19 pm

also you said it has the best camera on ANY smartphone then gave it a 7

Ed

April 3, 2012, 5:08 pm

Do I? Where? I certainly didn't mean to. It's an okay camera.

betelgeus

April 3, 2012, 6:18 pm

you waxed lyrical about the camera in the video review,among the best has to be taken as it is said.

betelgeus

April 3, 2012, 6:45 pm

to clarify...among the best i would expect a 9,then add in the HOST of extra features translates as hard to find better.although not THE best certainly more than a 7.

then again maybe your paid to wax lyrical.

Ed

April 4, 2012, 2:26 am

Ah yes, I see. In fairness, I say it's among the best out there, which it is. However, it's good because of its features, not image quality. I appreciate it's not entirely clear.

Martin Daler

April 4, 2012, 2:07 pm

Maybe review samples get more abuse (?), but even so that sticky-out camera seems vulnerable. Picture #3 seems to show quite a few abrasions around the edge of the 'spout', which seems to be soft aluminium, and the marks carry on to the lens cover, which I guess isn't Gorilla Glass? Since those marks will scatter parasitic light into the lens it will be more than just a cosmetic issue, although I suspect that on a £450 phone the cosmetic damage will be the greater issue to most owners.

Evan

April 5, 2012, 9:10 pm

Looking forward to seeing how this squares up to the Samsung Galaxy S3.

Lyndon Gray

April 6, 2012, 9:31 pm

Just received my htc one x. First impressions seem positive, the only software issue I've come across is that there seems to be some graphics banding on the left edge of the screen when scrolling to the right in google maps. It would be interesting to see if any other user or trusted reviews have this problem. I can't seem to recreate it anywhere else, though I haven't played any games on it as yet.

Dejan

April 7, 2012, 8:36 am

Today, all phones on the market are the garbage. Where is that future? Around the corner or what? Until when?
We need flexi screens, lighter phones with long lasting batteries, more sofisticaded phones...
The future is now! Not tomorrow, not for decade. NOW!
To all manufacture companies: Go back to the drawing boards. Now.
Simple question: What I get better from the ex-generation? Simply put, NOTHING.
@TrustedReviews
9/10, compare to what? Nokia 3210?
Evaluate again your criteria, from scratch.

androidrocks

April 9, 2012, 11:57 am

nokia lumia 800 is a "better looking phone"...WTH?
lumia 710 looks far better than 800...800 looks like a rectangular box!
man, u must be joking...and what do you mean by "A few silly ergonomics slip ups???"
i read your reviews for one reason,to have a good laugh!
you guys complain over every thing...remember,no phone is perfect!
image quality 7/10? and just underneath it you have mentioned "Excellent 8MP camera" and "Stunning HD screen"...based on what criteria have you given the rating? think before publishing a review about a product...this is not the first time i have seem trusted reviews post such silly reviews

betelgeus

April 10, 2012, 3:42 pm

although,the biggest joke is £459 dosn't surprise anyone.

guess we will never learn when it comes to smartphones.

bobsta

April 11, 2012, 9:26 pm

I had a play with this handset in the local O2 shop and came away underwhelmed. Poor build quality and an average screen. I'll keep my HTC Desire thanks until the Galaxy S3 comes out.

Bugblatter

April 19, 2012, 5:10 am

I happened across a thread saying that A2DP quality on the One X is pretty dire: http://forum.xda-developers.co...

This would matter quite a bit to me for music, and no doubt it would also matter to many people for hands-free calls in the car.

phat-ant

May 8, 2012, 3:31 pm

OK I have been using the One-x for a month now, and I can say on the whole its great. I will however say this, the screen coating scratches VERY easily, I now have many scratches on it with just normal in pocket use, no keys or other sharp objects. Very disapointed about this as the Desire it has replaced has lasted over 2 years with only a couple of very minor scratches. Not a fan of screen protectors as these things should be build to take this sort of thing! or whats the point in making it so thin to only bulk it back up with some naff looking protector.
Any how rant over, the rest of it is great.

SpiderJacek

May 13, 2012, 2:30 am

Got mine today and absolutely love it! Huge, huge upgrade over my 2,5 year old Nokia 5800.

Pros? Everything :) Screen is fantastic, sharp and more lifelike than AMOLED screens found in other top-end mobiles. Camera takes very good pictures. Android 4/Sense 4 combo much better than previous versions.

Cons? Speaker is not loud enough and it lacks oomph (compared to Nokia 5800's stereo speakers). Metal ring around camera lens sticks out and is prone to scratches. And I'll miss couple of games that are availible for Nokia at Ovi Store but are unavailible at Google Play (Bejeweled Twist, Gears).

Martin Daler

May 13, 2012, 1:56 pm

"only made out of plastic"?

Your perceptions of "quality" of metal over plastic are of course subjective (and shared by many). However, when you look at fitness for purpose, polycarbonate has many advantages over metal:

1) polycarbonate will absorb impacts without damage where metal metal will absorb the impact by denting
2) polycarbonate is thru-coloured so scratches are not so visible, metal usually has a surface finish which scratces through to reveal shiny metal underneath.
3) polycarbonate allows RF signals to pass, metal does not
4) polycarbonate is lighter than metal

Overall, polycarbonate would be my choice of material for a premium phone. Metal might have the shop-window benefit of 'perceived' quality, especially on day one when it is all shiny new, but polycarbonate is the better performer and will hold its looks better over time. I think the whole 'metal = quality' (and "heavy = quality") thing is a hangover from the days of literally 'cheap' poor quality plastic devices, but as high-end engineering polycarbonates start making their presence felt in premium products those associations hopefully will change.

If you want a dramatic example of polycarbonate's superior toughness and strength compared to metal, just go to the local vehicle scrapyard and see some crash damaged cars - the front end metal work will be all bent and twisted, but chances are the (polycarbonate) headlamps are still intact, even if they are hanging out by their wires.

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