Introducing the HTC One – will this be your next smartphone?

by , Technology Researcher MWC 19/02/2013
The HTC One features a 1.7GHz processor.

HTC One – what is it?

The HTC One is the new flagship phone in HTC’s range – its answer to the iPhone 5, the Samsung Galaxy S3 and the rivals that are bound to launch at next week’s Mobile World Congress (MWC) trade show – read more about what to expect from MWC 2013.

With a 4.7-inch screen that’s sharper than the iPhone’s, some clever (sounding) new camera tech and a revamped interface, HTC hopes to wrestle back the hearts and minds of Android fans everywhere from the near-dominant Samsung.

Is it successful? Read our first impressions to find out.

HTC One – what are the key features?

The HTC One features a new social news stream called Blink Feed

  1. It’s seriously fast
    It’s the first phone to use a brand-new processor that’s bound to find its way into many of the latest phones this year. The upshot, unsurprisingly, is that it’s an exceedingly fast phone – faster even than the current top-of-the-range smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S3. How it will compare with the latest phones from rivals, however, remains to be seen.
  2. Social news updates in Sense 5.0
    Sense is HTC’s unique interface that’s been on most HTC phones for a long time, and it’s been completely revamped for the HTC One. The most eye-catching new feature is called Blink Feed. Rather like Windows Phone’s Live Tiles, it draws in news from over 1,500 sources so you can read the stories, Facebook and Twitter updates that are relevant to you, whenever is most convenient. If you’re after the stock Android experience, however, you’ve come to the wrong place.
  3. It has fewer megapixels…but that’s a good thing!
    At least, that’s what HTC claims. HTC has done away with megapixels as a measure for cameras, instead coining the term ‘ultrapixels’. So… while in megapixels the HTC One only has a lowly-sounding 4MP camera, its larger ‘ultrapixels’ will (so says HTC) improve brightness and sharpness, especially in tricky low-light photos, compared to rivals with loftier sounding numbers.

Which? expert first impressions – is it the real deal?

Robert Leedham
The HTC One’s launch was a strange old event. The presentation consisted purely of hyperbolic statements like ‘from smart to alive’, followed by a barrage of specs. Like a TV ad, it has was big on bombast and short on substance.

The reason for all this is obvious – HTC has a great new phone on its hands but it needs to show it’s dramatically different to the one you already own and its rivals.

I’m not convinced it is, yet.

Despite several pleasing innovations, like the Blink Feed and the ‘ultrapixel’ camera – the camera could be the tipping point between greatness and mere ‘goodness’ – HTC has mainly assimilated all the great specs and features from other popular smartphones into one well-designed package. For instance, like the iPhone the HTC One’s antenna is integrated into its alluring aluminium casing.

All the same, on first impressions the HTC One is a very impressive Android smartphone. It may even be the best Android phone available when it launches in March. But until the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S4 (due in March) show their hands, it’s hard to know exactly how impressive.

If you want to know the answer, I recommend you tune into our coverage of the MWC 2013 trade show next week, where we’ll be previewing what the likes of LG, Sony and Samsung have to show this year. Read more about MWC 2013 to find out how.

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7 comments

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Mark

A UI that looks like Windows Phone on hardware that looks like an iPhone 5, but actually it’s an Android. Something for everyone :)

Ha! You’re quite right Mark. On reflection, the HTC One is a really solid smartphone. Just not a particularly distinct one.

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Andrew Scott

Given this is an article about a MOBILE phone and “everything” is MOBILE, I’m disappointed and surprised that the video is “not optimised for MOBILE”.

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Mrehorst

It looks good but it’s fragile, it’s supposed to have gorilla glass but I put my bag down with my phone in it’s protective casing very softly. And the screen cracked, it costs £150.- to repair. I thought I was being clumsy until my friend had the same problem, it seems this is a design flaw.

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Leona

I obtained a HTC One as part of my upgrade – I had been using an iPhone since 2009 and planned to wait for the new one to be released, but I decided to give another brand a chance.
On the face of it, the One seemed to be a good choice. Yes, it has front facing speakers, yes, it is faster, yes, camera takes clear pictures. HOWEVER, after 4 days, I’ve decided to return the phone.
I couldn’t type, the keys were so sensitive so sending any type of message was difficult; I found the phone to be very slippery, which possibly contributed to the poor typing experience. When making any type of changes I found that I had to complete the process at least twice for the changes to take effect. It would only push certain emails to my phone – the whole point of having a smartphone is that you don’t have to turn to your iPad or laptop to complete certain tasks, but I had to use them to have access to certain emails. The headset (handsfree) made my ears feel as though they were blocked, but I don’t think that it is something that HTC designed themselves. You can only store a certain amount of apps on the menu, which meant I had to group the apps to be able to download more.

Anyway, I’m going to hang on for the next iPhone, this one is in the post back to where it came from. I’m relieved that I had a seven day cooling off period.

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adele bailey

I bought this 4 months ago, and i spent nearly £60 on a good cover for it. Ive dropped it probably once a week and its still intact!
I love the speed of this phone, the camera, the 4g. But oh i wish i could have a proper keyboard!

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John

I just think they’re getting too big. The larger the screen the weaker the screen. They also use a lot of battery to keep going for a day. I will not be upgrading my phone again until someone comes out with a top spec 4″ phone. I must say out of the new ones I looked at the HTC One strikes the right balance of features vs size.

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