Just before I left for a recent trip to Queensland a new HTC One X smartphone arrived in the office, which I promptly grabbed as I was keen to compare it to the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. So how did it stack up?
The shape of the phone is quite interesting especially as this smartphone comes with a 4.7-inch screen, which has a resolution of 1280×720 pixels.
When you first pick up the device the first thing you notice is that it fits snugly in the hand due to what appears to be a slightly curved base. The chassis is carved from a single piece of white polycarbonate which feels good in the hand.
Weighing 130 grams the 9mm thick HTC One X is lighter than the iPhone and similar offerings from Nokia and Sony. The 135mm x 70mm size is surprisingly easy to hold and should not put off women with smaller hands.
The high-contrast ‘borderless’ screen sits fractionally above the phone casing, resulting in the display appearing to be larger than life which is ideal when playing video or movies.
The biggest standout feature is the speed this device processes commands, compliments of a 1.5 GHz Tegra 3, processor that has four main processor cores and one ninja core that kicks in when the device doesn’t need much horsepower.
This results in the device being significantly faster that the HTC 4G Velocity, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and the iPhone 4S.
Another big benefit is the use of Android 4.0 OS. This, coupled with the new fast processor and applications like the Chrome Beta browser, makes this device an ideal smartphone as applications not only download quickly but run significantly faster.
Built into the device is 32GB internal storage, an 8 megapixels (MP) primary camera and a 1.3MP front camera.
The One X has a dedicated chip for image processing and a lens with aperture of just f2, which should help in low-light photography.
A Panorama mode lets you take 180-degree images.
There is also an SD card slot to boost the built-in storage. When compared with the Galaxy Nexus, the HTC One X comes out on top due to the 32GB of on-board memory compared to the Nexus’ 16GB.
The reason for my trip to Queensland was to visit my daughter who had just had a new baby so shooting images and video on the new phone was second nature.
What was interesting was that the images and video were as good a certain brand mirrorless which I took with me.
The camera which protrudes from the casing delivers excellent pictures along with 1080p video. Scrolling through the device is fast along with the rendering of images to the screen.
Games – even demanding ones – run smoothly and the phone plays videos in resolution up to 1080P in seconds.
If this phone had been launched as the first 4G smartphone in Australia it would have arguably been the best 4G phone in Australia. Instead HTC chose their Velocity model which has not lived up to its status.
HTC has also chosen to include their Sense 4 interface which, while smooth and easy to use, is really not necessary. What I would like to see is the option of loading Sense or ignoring it.
With the One X users are able to automatically link contact information from Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Google accounts and their SIM card. This makes it easy when changing phones.
The display screen on the One X is excellent both indoors and outdoors, delivering very sharp images and text. This is very noticeable when using the phone and accessing contacts.
Even in low light, the One X delivered usable pictures in situations where a lot of other smartphones failed.
What surprised me was the battery life of the One X.
While out of Sydney, I used GPS navigation in addition to the Internet and typical phone functionality. I half expected it suck juice pretty quickly but it didn’t.
Instead I was able to get a good 10 to 12 hours of solid battery life before I headed into recharge territory. With moderate to heavy use I suspect that this phone will last a good working day.
The headphone jack is on the top which is what I prefer after using the Samsung Galaxy Nexus for several weeks.
Last but not least this phone has Beats Audio technology built in which makes for better audio playback. By simply adding a pair of Beats headphones one has a music player that is as good as any iPod or iPhone.
Both Optus and Vodafone are offering the One X for free on their $59 plans. Online it’s available outright for $699.
For HTC the One X is a dramatic improvement and one which will help them to claw their way back to their Sensation glory days.
Is this one of the best smartphones available today the answer is yes, if not the best all round Smartphone. We are only days away from the new Samsung Galaxy S3; however, I suspect that this phone will hold its own up against the new Samsung model. It looks good, feels good and it delivers processor performance that no other smartphone can deliver. It has a great camera and the Beats Audio technology is just another reason to buy this smartphone.