HTC One X Review: A Smartphone Made For Business and Pleasure

Corvida Raven With HTC One X
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HTC isn’t in the news for ligitation, but the HTC One lineup of smartphones are spotlighted all over the web. The king of the lineup is the high-end HTC One X. It’s made for students, power users, and modern day “suits”. So, whether you want a smartphone for business or pleasure, HTC One X is a solid choice for both.

Quick Points:

The Good The Ugly
Great Performance Keyboard takes up too much space
Fast and responsive Yellow-tinged on white colors
Amazing display Can’t turn of 4G
Great camera Mediocre battery life

Ready For Business

The HTC One X is all business and very little nonsense. Sporting a matte white back mixed with a touch of gloss on the edge of the bold 4.7-inch display, the One X is reminiscment of a modern day “suit”. In this case it’s a sharp, lean, power suit running on Android 4.0 with 1GB of RAM.

A power button, headphone jack, and sim card slot sit on top of the phone. Large volume rockers are the only thing on the left side of the phone and a usb-mini charging port sits on the right. It’s topped off with a standard 1.3MP camera that can record up to 720p video.

All in all, the HTC One X holds a lot of classic appeal with a touch of attitude that ensures you won’t be bored by its design. Responsive and snappy, it won’t be easy getting the One X to slow down.

Start-up and Homescreens

Start up and shutdown times are around 13 seconds a piece for the HTC One X. Much faster than both the Samsung Galaxy SIII and my iPhone 4. After going through the typical smartphone setup, your first order of business is deleting the plethora of widgets and icons HTC has littered across five homescreens.

HTC provides an efficient way of handling the large variety of widgets that seem to come with every Android phone. Accessing new widgets, apps, and shortcuts is as simple as holding your finger on the homescreen. After a second or two, you’ll be presented with a list of widgets, apps, and shortcuts available for your homescreens. Just drag and drop a widget to your homescreen of choosing and you’re set!

My iPhone 4 sets the bar for what a smartphone should not do as a phone. So how does the HTC One X stack up against it?

  1. Are calls initiated within 5 seconds of dialing the number? Yes!
  2. Can it hold a call without accidentally calling someone else? Yes!
  3. Can it make a call without accidentally muting the person talking? Yes!

The only thing I’d improve in this area for the One X is call volume. Beyond my desire for loud sounds, the HTC One X works very well as a phone.

Web Browsing on AT&T’s 4G Network

Download Speed: 19.18 Mbps
Upload Speed: 9.84 Mbps
*SpeedTest.net results

If you’re new to 4G networks, welcome to the future! There are times when AT&T’s 4G network works better than the 3G network. In fact, streaming music from built-in apps like TuneIn Radio and Soundhound is a flawless experience over 4G. If there wasn’t a cap on mobile data, I could see myself streaming music from the HTC One X all day.

Media On Display

The HTC One X has one of the best viewing experiences on any mobile phone. Whether it’s directly in my face or lying on its back a few feet away,  I clearly see everything on the screen from just about every angle. The a 1.5GHz dual core processor, keeps videos and games playing without a hitch, but expect the One X to get noticeably warmer the longer you play with it.

The only drawback with the One X’s HD display is that the color white isn’t white enough. It has a faint, warm yellow tinge that never goes away. Anyone switching to this device from an iPhone will find this to be very annoying.

Feature Packed Camera

The HTC One X has an eye-catching nice 8-MP camera, with flash, that records HD video at up to 1080p. As soon as it opens, it’s ready to start snapping or recording and doesn’t disappoint. Picture quality on the HTC One X is excellent. Subjects in photos are clear and crisp. Colors look natural and true, unlike competitor photos that can feel over-saturated and over-processed. Occasionally I had to fiddle with the settings to eliminate a yellow tinge from indoor photos.

Need to take a picture and record a video? The One X’s VideoPic feature can do both at the same time! There’s also a continuous shooting feature activated by holding down the shutter button. There are  great camera “scenes” and live filters included in the camera app. I’m a fan of the close up and whiteboard scenes. The former is pretty obvious and the latter is a great option for students to use in classes with whiteboards.

Filters are a becoming more common in smartphone cameras, but there’s a lack of options for controlling filters. Not only does the HTC One X camera offer live filters (see results before you take a picture), there are options for tweaking filters like distortion, vignette, and depth of field.

HTC One X: Macro Camera Shot HTC One X: Filtered Camera Shot
(Left: Close up, Right: Vignette Filter)

Quite frankly, you won’t find a better camera with such an amazing set of options on another phone.

Average Battery Life

Charging times are pretty good for the HTC One X, but there are many things that drain the battery just as quickly. High screen brightness and 4G will have you running for a charger in a matter of hours. The display is readable even in direct sunlight with a low brightness setting. However, the HTC One X is another phone running on AT&T that does not have an option to turn 4G off. Instead, you’ll have to turn off the mobile network option, which turns off the 4G data connection and still allows calls to come through.

Overall, I was able to get a little over 4 hours of heavy usage on the One X, including watching a livestream of the Presidential Debate, on AT&T’s 4G network before the low battery notification kicked in. This isn’t too bad considering I was not using wifi and had my screen brightness at medium settings. With a little tweaking, I’m sure I could’ve gotten another two hours of battery life.

Rating – 7.5/10 Stars

I’ll admit that I didn’t initially like the design of the HTC One X. I was too infatuated with the Samsung Galaxy SIII. Now, the design of the HTC One X has grown on me. It feels sturdier than the Galaxy SIII and it is no stranger to compliments. It’s powerful, cutting edge and equipped with industry leading features like NFC.

There are two major drawbacks to the One X that factor heavily into my rating of 7.5 out of 10 stars. The yellow tinge that accompanies white colors is a big annoyance. Looking it at the display all day and knowing the whits should be whiter drives me crazy. The second drawback is the HTC keyboard. It feels like it’s made for old people who can’t see. The keys take up a lot of space and there’s a navigation bar along the bottom that you can’t remove. This is easily fixed by replacing the keyboard with the Ice Cream Sandwich Keyboard for free in the Google Play store.

Despite those two drawbacks, this phone is amazing. At only $99 with a new 2-year contract on AT&T the HTC One X is a solid choice for business professionals, students, and the new generation of young mobile workers that like both beauty and brains!

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