HTC One S Review
2012 is a year of big releases in the smartphone world; Samsung has released their new Galaxy S3, Sony has developed a new range of Xperia handsets and LG are introducing more devices in their Optimus series. Not one to be left out, HTC has laid their cards on the table with three phones in the new One series: HTC One V, HTC One X and HTC One S. While the One X is the flagship phone of the three, designed to go up against the Samsung Galaxy S3, the HTC One S is designed to rival the likes of the Galaxy S2, Motorola RAZR, and LG Optimus 2X in the Android market. Does this phone have what it takes to top the pile of the second tier phones? Let’s find out…
HTC has a reputation for manufacturing phones that all look the same, so it is no surprise to see that the HTC One S look similar to the HTC Sensation in build. That being said, the Taiwanese company has made an effort in design innovation with the One series and the One S is more stylish and understated than previous phones. It has a micro arc oxidation finished aluminium body, which (according to HTC) is five times harder than regular aluminium. The ceramic feel is nice in the hand and the phone feels comfortable and easy to grip.
Compared to older HTC handsets, this phone feels a lot tougher; this is despite it being the thinnest HTC phone ever made, at just 7.8mm. At 130.9 x 65mm and 119.5g, this build of this phone feels right in every way.
The HTC One S comes with a 4.3 inch Super AMOLED capacitive touch screen, which is very impressive in terms of size and looks. A resolution of 540 x 960p gives a pixel density of 256ppi, which may not be as spectacular as the iPhone 4S, Samsung Galaxy S3, or HTC One X, but is still notable. Colours are bright and vibrant and the reproduction is excellent. For watching videos, looking at photos and gaming, users will have no gripes with the quality of the display on this phone.
As is standard with newer smartphones, Corning Gorilla Glass is used to protect the screen.
With this phone playing second fiddle to the flagship One X, you would have been forgiven for expecting less quality from the primary camera, this is not the case, as HTC opt for the very same 8-MP unit used in the One S’s bigger brother. 1080p video recording is included for HD video capture and there is minimal shutter lag when taking snaps. What is most impressive about the rear-facing camera in the One S though is the fact that HTC has included the same features as seen in the One X. This means that it is possible to carry out simultaneous HD video and image recording, taking snaps as you record video and selecting your favourite stills from a video in “post-production”. There is also the ability to add various effects to pictures as you snap, including, sepia, vignette, distortion and a whole host of other Instagram-style features.
The front-facing camera in the One S is a VGA camera, which is not the most impressive but adequate enough for Skype and video calls.
There is no quad-core processor to be found in the One S, but the Quallcomm Snapdragon 1.5GHz dual-core chip provides great speed and dedicated graphics processing which is excellent news for gamers.
The processor is backed up with 1GB RAM which helps running and skipping between apps a breeze. This phone will be able to handle anything you throw at it with a minimum amount of fuss. Tests have also shown that it performs better than the Samsung Galaxy S2 and Galaxy Note, which are considered two of the One S’s biggest rivals.
A limited 16GB of internal storage and no micro SD card is a slight let down, as 16GB doesn’t go very far these days.
Like the other phones in the One series, the HTC One S is one of the first phones built for Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. This is by far and away the best version of Android to date and menus and lists are excellent for the user. The performance of ICS is helped by the HTC Sense, which is skimmed over the Android OS to provide an outstanding user-interface and one that is much better to use than similar UI’s by Sony and LG.
The One S features a sealed-in 1650mAh battery. This fact that the battery cannot be removed will frustrate some people, but it is a necessary step to take when trying to create a phone as thin as this one. In terms of battery life, the One S should give you a solid 9-10 hours of heavy use off one charge.
Beats Audio Technology by Dr. Dre is one of the most publicized features of the new One series and it does a damn fine job. Both the software and hardware sound is processed via Beats Audio which gives the phone incredible sounds on everything from listening to music to 3D gaming. Plug some of the included Beats headphones into your phone and take the audio to a whole new level.
The HTC One S is a beautiful, stylish, and powerful phone with a range of features and a camera that are enough to impress any smartphone fan. Yes, it does have its faults, non-removable battery, lack of internal storage, but overall, this is a very impressive phone and one of the best HTC has ever produced.