HTC One X Review: Mister Mobility’s take

I have to say that until a series of unfortunate and unexpected events put the HTC One X in my hands, I had absolutely no interest in the device. I am no great fan of Android. Neither have I been a great fan of HTC themselves.

However, the One X did get into my hands, and after using it for a while, I must say that I consider it a superb piece of software and hardware engineering.

HTC One X Review
For those interested in the summary of the HTC One X, here it is:

Table of Contents

HTC One X Review: Pros

1. Beautiful polycarbonate unibody
2. Superb UI customisation and OS modifications
3. Good battery life
4. Good camera with continous capture

HTC One X Review: Cons

1. Power and volume buttons too tiny
2. Audio reproduction not stellar
3. A bit large for one-handed usage
4. The usual Android weaknesses – data and power hogging

Hardware
HTC One X rear
If there is one word to describe how the One X looks and feels, it is “beautiful.” I have the white version, and it is stunning. The second polycarbonate phone that has come our way, the One X is just beautiful to look at and to hold.

The One X does not have a microSD card slot, so all you have is the 32GB built-in memory, 26GB of which is available for your use. This sounds adequate for most people.

The One X also supports only microSIMs. I had no problem with this, as my main SIM was cut down to microSIM size many months ago when the Nokia N9 arrived.

There’s a microUSB slot on the left for both charging and PC connectivity. There’s a 3.5mm audio jack slot at the top, alongside the slim power button. The volume buttons are on the right, but are almost too slim that many times I struggle to feel them.

Display
The 4.7-inch display is huge and makes one-handed use next to impossible for all but those with large hands.

Is the display lovely? It depends. It looks good standing alone, but its colour reproduction next to Samsung’s SuperAMOLED, for example, pales. Reds are redder, blues are bluer and black is blacker on the Samsung Galaxy S II and Note than on the One X. Beside that point that it loses, the One X’s display is brighter than the Galaxy S II’s.

Software
HTC One X Settings

The HTC One X runs Android 4.0.3 with Sense 4.0 baked on top – and in a splendid way.

HTC have implemented this such that you interact with Sense everywhere. There is almost no hint of the presence of Android on this device. I love it. The One X and Kindle Fire are the only two indepth cases of Android customisation that rank this high.

Sense UI on the One X is a fresh of breath air, as I find stock Andoid to be ugly and clunky. Admittedly, I haven’t played with stock ICS yet, but the limited customisation that Samsung has on the Galaxy S II don’t quite come close to what HTC has done with Sense 4.0.

Some stock Android apps have been fully customized too. The built-in email app is an example.

Sense email
Of course, running Android here means there is access to the Google PlayStore, with thousands of apps – free and commercial – available.

Media
The One X plays back both audio and video well. Audio reproduction is good, but not at the stunning levels that I desire for my music. Codec support for video playback isn’t as wide as on some other devices. You do get MP4, WMV and H.263/264 support.

The 8 megapixel camera with LED lens is good too, but not at the levels of the masters in that class. The camera’s Continous Shooting option is nice and works well. A series of shots can be taken by just holding down the onscreen shutter, and you can pick the best or even save every single one of them.

There’s also a HDR shot mode, which I found nice for producing great shots. As a matter of fact, for most situations, be they low-light or well lit, the HDR mode produced better pictures.

I haven’t had the chance to try out video recording on the One X. Again, there is no physical shutter button. Someone, give me a physical button please!

Cloud Services
HTC Sense Cloud services

HTC has both DropBox and SkyDrive baked into Sense 4.0, which is nice. When you launch Polaris Office, for example, it prompts you to open files from the device or from one of those services.

Performance
The One X runs on a 1.5 GHz quad-core processor. The question is: how does this impact on everyday use of the device? The device works really smoothly and I am not sure that I have run into hitches with CPU-related performance. But there have been other issues.

I have had numerous occasions in which apps freeze and crash. The camera once froze completely and I had to resort to restarting the device to get it functioning again. I don’t think that these occurrences had to do with the processor though. Probably the implementation of those apps.

Battery
The 1800 mAh battery does a good job of keeping the One X going. I get a full day out of the One X, though I must note that most of my mobile computing tasks occur on my BlackBerry 9810. The One X handles the occassional email, the occasional WordPress management, some Google+ activity, some music and web browsing, as well as ALL my picture taking. I doubt that I will get a full day out of it if I dump my main mobile computing activities on it. These include: web browsing, email, Twitter, Gtalk, and WhatsApp.

HTC One X Review: Conclusions

Do I like the HTC One X? Yes; and you should be able to tell by now. It is the best Android experience that I have had till date on any mobile device.

I really, really, really dig HTC Sense 4.0. It is a marvellous job! The HTC One X is a well-rounded device. It ticks all the boxes and then throws in some more. I wish I could keep it. I am sad that it has to go.

Award-winning Content creator, Digital marketing consultant, Trainer, Conference speaker, and Nigeria's pioneer and foremost mobile phone reviewer. Legend.

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