Sunday, September 22, 2013

HTC One Guest Review

Here on BHT I'd love to get my hands on and review every single phone that comes out (yes even Apple ones lol), but thats just not feasible. Luckily I can reach out and rely on friends and family (and flexible return policies ;) lol). I recently helped out my friend Chris, Law and Journalism MA student at Miami U,  as he made the great exodus from the limited world of iOS to Android, grabbing one of my favorite devices of 2013, the HTC One. He was kind enough to provide his impressions of this top tier smartphone. Check out his quick review of the main features (with a few of my tips sprinkled in)! For full details check out HTC's site.


  • Size: 137.4 x 68.2 x 9.3mm
  • Weight: 143gDisplay
  • Display: 4.7 inch, Full HD 1080p, 468 PPI
  • CPU: Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 600, quad-core, 1.7GHz
  • Platform: Android with HTC Sense™ with HTC BlinkFeed™
  • SIM Card Type: micro SIM
  • Total storage : 32GB/64GB, available capacity varies
  • RAM : 2 GB DDR2
  • Network:  AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile (World Phone support)
  • GPS: Internal GPS antenna + GLONASS and Digital compass
  • Sensors: Gyro sensor, Accelerometer, Proximity sensor, Ambient light sensor
  • Connectivity: 3.5 mm stereo audio jack, NFC, Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/ac/b/g/n, DLNA® for wirelessly streaming media from the phone to a compatible TV or computer, HTC Connect, Support consumer infrared remote control, micro-USB 2.0 (5-pin) port with mobile high-definition video link (MHL) for USB or HDMI connection (Special cable required for HDMI connection.)
  • Sound Enhancement: HTC BoomSound™ Dual frontal stereo speakers with built-in amplifiers, Studio-quality sound with Beats Audio™


  • HTC UltraPixel Camera, BSI sensor
  • Pixel size 2.0 ┬Ám, Sensor size 1/3'
  • Dedicated HTC ImageChip 2, F2.0 aperture and 28 mm lens
  • Optical Image Stabilization (OIS)
  • Smart Flash: Five levels of flash automatically set by distance to subject
  • Front Camera: 2.1 MP, 880 wide angle lens with HDR capability
  • 1080p Full HD video recording with HDR Video
  • HTC Zoe™ with Sequence Shot, Always Smile and Object Removal
  • Gallery with Video Highlights and HTC Share
  • Continuous shooting and VideoPic
  • Slow motion video recording with variable speed playback 


  • Audio supported formats:
  • Playback: .aac, .amr, .ogg, .m4a, .mid, .mp3, .wav, .wma (Windows Media Audio 9)
  • Recording: .amr
  • Video supported formats:
  • Playback: .3gp, .3g2, .mp4, .wmv (Windows Media Video 9), .avi (MP4 ASP and MP3)
  • Recording: .mp4


  • Embedded rechargeable Li-polymer battery
  • Capacity : 2300 mAh
  • Talk time: Up to 18 hours for 3G
  • Standby time: Up to 500 hours for 3G

Best Buy exclusive blue HTC One


Sound = A+: 
Beats audio makes a big difference, especially in your car. It is clear and the bass is significantly louder. If you have noise cancelling headphones - even non-beats headphones - there is a noticeable difference with beats audio. Also, playing through the phone speaker with headphones unattached is loud and clear.

Music Player = B+: 
I absolutely hate that the Android music app does not let you sort songs by title once you are in a playlist. You have to search by artist, which really sucks because most people know the song name instead of the artist, and even once you find the artist you have to search for the song you want. If you have downloaded music (not bought), the artist may be saved under a different name so it can be frustrating. I feel that this is the worst part of the phone if you use your phone as a music player with multiple playlists.

Luckily I stumbled across the Power Amp app and it let me sort by title. It also allows you to manually adjust the tone, bass, and treble, and save your settings under preset settings, which is amazing. I have a setting for my car and one for my headphones. My car, 2012 Camaro, already has nice factory audio as is, but the beats audio plus power amp makes it sound AMAZING. It is a very noticeable difference.

One thing I love is how quickly the phone downloads album art that you don't already have, and you can even select the option to display the song lyrics as the song plays! Very sweet and seamless.

HTC Sync allows you to easily transport media from your computer or iTunes so if you like your old media player you can edit things there and then just launch HTC Sync and transfer it to your phone. Simple.

Messaging = B:
The autocorrect is not as smart as it was on iOS. If often puts accent marks when the letter "a" stands alone and it took a week for it to consistently capitalize "I". However, after about a week the phone became better at recognizing words, namely because I would manually select the word I want it to autocorrect (the phone gives you options) and it apparently recognized my typing style. Also, after calibrating my finger with the screen the phone became better at selecting the letter my finger landed on, resulting in less typos. If all else fails using your voice to text by holding the voice icon is very effective and the phone rarely misspelled words I said when spoken clearly.

(I'd add to this that the beauty of Android is that it lets you change your default keyboard (or any system app for that matter), I've been using Swiftkey for about a year now, and have never looked back since!)

Speed = A+:
Very fast, faster than my laptop, and it made no difference when launching classic or mobile sites.

Customization = A:

You can pick your news sources (e.g. ESPN, CNN, Huffington, IGN ... a bunch) that will quickly launch and refresh by simply pulling the screen down. You can pick your widgets and apps and easily select what screen they are on and where. However, I don't like the limited choices for text messaging letter colors. You can pick a background for your text messaging screen, but it's hard to read the messages with the colors they give you.

(Again, as you play with Android you'll find text messaging apps you like better, I rarely use manufacturers text apps. Its an adjustment from iOS, but anything you don't like you can replace with an app of your liking in the Play Store. I'd reccomend popular apps, Go SMS and Handcent SMS they're both super customizable!)

Button Placement = B:
If you are right handed, when messaging or generally holding the phone it is a good chance you will incidentally hit the volume up/down button with your right thumb because of its placement. It is also awkward that the power on button is at the top left of the phone instead of top right, because again you have to stretch your finger really far to power on/off.

Camera = B:
Very good effect options after taking pics. It has some pretty cool lighting options to dramatically change the pictures you take and download. Before snapping effects are decent, but not too exhaustive. You also lose quite a bit of clarity when you zoom in. The camera is good, not great.

Overall = A-:
Very solid phone. The pros significantly outweigh the cons on this phone. It looks good, feels good in your hand, it's smooth, fast, trendy, the LED display is large and beautiful. The beats audio is what really sets this phone apart. If you really utilize music on your phone it will likely be your favorite feature, and it gets even better with the Power Amp app ($3.99). There are things about this phone to dislike - awkward button placement and at times ineffective autocorrect - but I can't imagine too many phones on the market are better than the HTC One and it is hard to imagine a better phone will be released at least within the next year or two.

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