HTC’s One X is the company’s new flagship Android phone and arguably the current top Android handset. It could even be the best smartphone on the market full stop.
On paper smartphones don’t come any better than this. HTC’s One X has a great screen, powerful processor, a better than average camera and some decent software.
The HTC One X is a good phone, but not perfect. The phone is let down by battery life and software weak spots. Despite this, it remains the phone every other maker will try to beat this season.
Here are my first impressions:
HTC’s One X gorgeous big screen is unmissable the moment you open the box. Although large, the display doesn’t get in the way because the phone is slimmer and lighter than alternatives. The screen is 4.7 inches or around 120mm, but the phone is just 8.9mm thick and weighs just 130g.
In practice it takes up about as much pocket or bag room as any other smartphone.
The screen isn’t just large; it has 720 by 1280 pixels which means 312 dots per inch. That is marginally lower resolution than the Retina display on Apple iPhones, but for my money this is a far better arrangement. It makes for beautiful still or video images and crystal clear text.
While the HTC One X display beats everything else on paper, the proof is in the pudding: I’ve yet to see a better smartphone display. The contrast is fantastic and this is the first phone where working on word processor or spreadsheet documents is anything other than a chore. It is particularly good for reading.
HTC includes front and back cameras. The 8MP rear camera has a high quality lens which makes for better low-light pictures and can handle HD video recording. Video chat is also practical on this phone.
Having a handsome screen would count for nothing if the phone’s processor wasn’t up to the job of driving all those pixels. There’s a 1.5GHz quad-core processor which provides all the power needed to run the graphics, in fact it can handle multi-tasking.
The performance is close to the best on any smartphone anywhere, however, there is a high price to pay for the grunty processor and the peacock graphics: battery life is dismal. I’ve yet to get through an entire day without needing a recharge – and keep in mind this is a review phone, when I leave the house I take my normal smartphone with me as well.
Update: Telecom is selling the HTC One X for NZ$900 outright at the moment, but says the official price is $1000. That’s a lot of money for a phone, but you get a lot of phone in return.