"The ONE to Rule Them All"5.0 starson by Davenport-Evo
Pros: Read pros & cons in summary
Cons: Read pros & cons in summary
Summary: What is there to say about this phone? If I just write about it, I'm just going to ramble on and on. So to save everyone some grief, here are bullet points (my direct comparisons are to the iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy S3 and Note 2, but mainly to the Galaxy S4):Edit:
1) THE SCREEN: If there was such a better screen on a phone, I have not yet seen it. The iPhone 5 is lauded for its excellent screen, but at its current resolution, it trails behind the One's screen by far. Everything just POPS out at you. Even in direct sunlight, everything is CLEAR and BRIGHT. I really loved the Droid DNA/HTC Butterfly's screen, but once again HTC has outdone itself and given us a true masterpiece in 4.7" 1080p(468ppi) form. This is THE BEST screen on the planet right now - WOW!!!
2) THE DESIGN/HARDWARE: Why do most reviewers laud the iPhone 5's aluminum construction so much, when it chips and nicks so easily?? If you want a true masterpiece in design and craftsmanship, look no further. The One feels THICK and TOUGH. I don't have to worry about carrying this around case-less(except from drops, which is a whole other case). I will not be worried about this phone nicking and scraping like the iPhone 5. Personally, it may not have the flair of some of the Sony and Nokia phone of the past, but in totality the One has the best combination of design and craftsmanship. It oozes style and sophistication(*cough*Samsung*ahem*).
3) THE DUAL FRONT-FACING SPEAKERS: We have all been desensitized to the modern smartphones nowadays with their crappy, tinny, mono speaker. I remember the days of the Nokia n95 and n84 with their stereo speakers - whatever happened to phones after that? Whoever agreed to a mono/solo speaker with all the smartphones thereafter?? FINALLY, someone has the senses to come back to reality - thank you, HTC!. Trust me, your ears will thank you and you will realize all phones should have been made like this. Especially when you use ringtones/alerts that were specifically created for this phone, the sound is loud, immersive, expansive, and POPs into your ears. It's simply a re-revolution.
4) THE CAMERA: I don't use my phone camera to make prints from photos, I have my dedicated cameras for that. So to me, the paramount function of phone cameras is the convenience/accessibility - it has to be able to capture what I want quickly and clearly, with decent enough quality to post online. Therefore, the 4MP size in the One's camera does not bother me at all. Who cares if the camera isn't THE BEST phone camera ever? Because it is not, but it is a GREAT low-light shooter, and to me that's more important than pixel count. The sensors in the camera are bigger than other phone cameras, therefore, it can capture a lot more light, which in laymen's terms it can give you better photos in more situations than other phone cameras can. Also, the touch spot focus is almost instantaneous - this camera is quick, quick, quick!
5) For a near 5-incher, it's quite svelte, at least at the girth. It's easier to hold in the hand than the Samsung Galaxy S3/S4, and for sure a heckuva lot better than the Note 2. It fits in your hands nicely and securely, with just the right combination of size, weight, and balance.
6) The UI and software design is now very minimal and simplistic. For better or for worse, if you are used to the old Sense UI's, you will need some readjusting. Personally, I like this new one better. If you're a casual news reader, then you'll like new default home screen which displays a gathering of news sources - some of its own partners, some for your Facebook and Twitter, etc. - to form a Flipboard style of news reader. Personally, I'm a huge Pulse news reader fan, so I only use that.
The Bad and Ugly:
1) The battery is only 2300mAh - I wish it was bigger because I'm one of those paranoid people who always needs my phone at fully charged, just in case, of you know, something. But so far it's been holding steady at about 40% at the end of the day(from 9am-6pm). I check emails, read the news, text, Facebook, etc. throughout the day - I would say that I'm a moderate to heavy user. Another bad thing that I've noticed is it charges slower than most other phones.
2) Comparing features with the Samsung S4, the One is lacking. It's not a deal breaker, but for those who like fancy functions, the One will not make you as happy. The HTC One is very simple in its feature set. The one feature I miss most from the new Samsung phones is Smart Stay, where the phone can sense that you're looking at the screen, and won't dim/turn off the screen - that was a HUGE convenience for when you're watching a movie or reading the news.
3) Like I wrote earlier, the size is both good and bad, and it's also heavier than most similar phones. It's taller than the S4, and with the power button up on top, it's almost impossible to do one-hand phone operations without shifting your hand up and down to accommodate both the screen gestures and buttons. The buttons(power and volume) don't protrude enough to make it easy to press them.
All in all, I feel the combination of the One's screen, design/craftsmanship, and audio experience trumps over the Samsung S4's fancy functions. The S4's screen is almost just as good - AMOLED screens are known for their deep blacks and saturation, while the One's is much better in direct light. The S4 has a higher MP camera, therefore able to take better photos in broad daylight, while the One's camera is more versatile and MUCH better in low light conditions. The One has a much better audio experience, while the S4 gives you better convenience with its features - userability goes to the S4 for sure.
But in the end, considering the totality of things, I feel the HTC One provides me the best TOTAL experience, and is the king of the smartphones right now.
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Hope this review is helpful.
Updated on Dec 27, 2013
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