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HTC One X review

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Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

9

User Score:

Pros

  • Stunning HD screen
  • Superfast quad core processor
  • Excellent 8MP camera
  • Android 4.0 is a great OS

Cons

  • Grey finish is a bit dull
  • Camera has no shutter button and is 'only' 8MP
  • A few silly ergonomics slip ups
  • No removable storage (microSD)

Key Features

  • 4.7in, 720 x 1280 pixel display
  • 32GB storage
  • Quad Core 1.5GHz CPU - Tegra 3
  • 8 megapixel camera
  • 25GB of dropbox storage for free
  • Manufacturer: HTC
  • Review Price: £459.00

Read the review of the HTC One M8

After a few years churning out a whole host of handsets, HTC has tightened-up its lineup, with just three Android models arriving in the coming few months. The first to arrive, and the top of the line, is the HTC One X, which packs in a 4.7in HD screen, 8-megapixel camera and quad core Nvidia Tegra 3 processor.

Available for pre-order now from most providers and hitting shop shelves on April 5, the HTC One X will you set you back £459 SIM free or can be had for free on £36 a month, 24-month contracts and upwards.

Design and Features

We were sent the grey version of the HTC One X for review and upon taking it out its box our first impression was one of slight disappointment. When we first saw HTC's handset, it was in its white livery and we thought it looked great, feeling it resembled an oversized Nokia Lumia 800 – the best looking phone currently on the market in our humble opinion. However, the look hasn't transferred well to this grey finish.

It falls down in two ways. The first is simply that grey isn't a particularly inspiring choice of colour, even given the nice matt finish used on most of the handset. The second is the shiny strip HTC have chosen to run round the edge. Without this the HTC One X could've passed as maybe having a sand blasted anodised metal finish, and looked a bit more premium because of it, but the shiny strip just screams "I'm plastic".

Let's be clear, the HTC One X isn't an ugly phone. The clean overall styling looks great and certainly surpasses the recent Sony Xperia S, but we just can't get past that grey back. Thankfully you should be able to opt for the white version instead, which carries off the look much better.

Style isn't, however, the only area where the HTC One X trips up. For a start, the back isn't removable so you can't easily swap the battery. Then there's the lack of expandable memory – you get 32GB built-in, which should be plenty, but some users will still want the option of adding in an microSD card to their HTC.

Another bugbear we have with the HTC One X, particularly on these larger phones (dimensions are 134.4 x 69.9 x 8.9 mm), is the continual use of a top-edge-mounted power button. It's simply too much of a stretch for comfortable one handed use. The Samsung Galaxy S2, for instance, got things spot on when it put this button on the right edge where it falls easily under your thumb/finger. At 130g it is at least surprisingly lightweight.

Fret not, though. While this may read like a catalogue of critical errors for the HTC One X, most are merely small niggles that simply leave the design door slightly ajar, ready for another upcoming phone – say the Samsung Galaxy S3 – to sneak in and become our top smartphone pick, assuming it gets the rest of the basics right. Currently, though, there's nothing else that can match what the HTC One X offers.

Connectivity

First though, let's finish looking round the HTC One X's exterior. On the left edge is the microUSB (MHL) socket used for charging, connecting to your computer, and with an appropriate cable it can connect to your TVs HDMI input. Meanwhile the right is home to the volume rocker, which is also glossy grey plastic, rather than the usual chrome we expect of HTC. As for the headphone jack, HTC have placed it up top, and the metal SIM slot – which takes microSIMs – pops out with the push of a paperclip just like the iPhone.

On the back, alongside the Beats Audio and HTC logo are a quintet of metal dots. These are contacts that are used for charging and data transfer when the phone is docked in the various compatible accessories. These include a simple desktop dock that holds the HTC One X horizontally and there's also a set of car accessories that includes a dash mounted dock, a screen-visor-mounted Bluetooth mic/speaker and wireless receiver to plug into your stereo for playing back your music.

Under the HTC's screen are the three navigation buttons, which although touch sensitive, are not part of the main touchscreen. This breaks somewhat with Google's rules, as it wanted to promote moving to completely virtual touch buttons, but most manufacturers have implemented separate buttons. The ones on the HTC are responsive and easy to use.

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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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