The HTC One S features the same camera as the HTC
One X, which is an 8MP model with a single LED flash. It’s not a
record-breaker in terms of overall image quality, with HTC still seeming
to be slightly behind the curve when it comes image processing, but the
app is great. HTC has put both the shutter and record buttons right on
the main screen, so you don’t have to switch modes. In fact, you can
even take snaps while recording video and shoot loads of frames in a row
at the touch of a button, so you can pick out the best shot. There are
also a host of effective and fun filters, such as Sepia, Dots and
Vintage, and a number of useful extra shooting modes, including a
slightly iffy HDR one and a rather more impressive panorama one.
As ever, it’s in low light that image quality is really shown up, with a
lack of colour and a lot of obvious graininess. Again, this seems
largely to be down to the processing HTC applies. A powerful LED helps
considerably make up for these shortcomings within a range of two or
three metres, though.
On a bright day colours are reasonably vivid though shadow detail is lost.
On a dull day the phone really struggles to pull and colour from the scene.
The panorama mode is useful and effective.
Despite the dull outdoor lighting, the HTC One S does a decent job of bringing these flowers to life.
can be recorded in up to 1080p resolution and the quality is pretty
decent. Much the same rules apply as for stills when it comes to
shooting in dark conditions but the LED helps out again at short range
(its effect range is actually slightly less, at around one to two
metres). Overall, particularly when viewed on a smaller screen you get a
very acceptable picture. What’s more you can apply a number of the
colourising filters in real time. And did we mention you can take
pictures while filming!
also an included Movie Editor. This lets you easily put together a
themed video from your video clips and pictures. It works rather well
though there are only three themes to choose from, which limits its
The HTC One S
uses a 1650mAh battery that’s not user replaceable. This is slightly
larger than the average battery of last year’s top Android phones, and
combined with more cunning power management on the part of the phone’s
processor, battery life is noticeably better. We’re still talking lights
out after a couple of days (i.e. charge every other night) but at least
you won’t be forced to top up every evening.
HTC One S is a really difficult phone to judge. On the one hand its
plasma-etched and super-slim design, fast processor, decent screen and
good camera all add up to make this a major improvement over top phones
of last year and certainly competitive with many current handsets. But,
on the other hand, that plasma finish may not be as tough as first
thought, it only packs 16GB of storage and the AMOLED screen is far from
Ultimately, the only compelling reason to get this
phone rather than the HTC One X (more storage, much better screen) is
the slightly smaller screen on this handset. The One X’s 4.7in frame is
pretty large so the 4.3in One S is noticeably easier to grasp. But, it’s
not like the One S is exactly small anyway, so we’d still go for the
bigger of the two.
Score in detail
Screen Quality 8