For the past week and a half our own Brian Klug has been hard at work on his review of HTC’s new flagship smartphone, the One. These things take time and Brian’s review, at least what I’ve seen of it, is nothing short of the reference piece we’ve come to expect from him.

In the same period of time I’ve been playing around with a retail HTC One and felt compelled to share my thoughts on the device. It’s rare that I’m so moved by a device to chime in outside of the official review, but the One is a definite exception. By no means is this a full review, and I defer to Brian for the complete story on the One - something we should be getting here in the not too distant future.

I’m not a financial analyst, but HTC hasn’t been doing all that well over the past few quarters. There’s a general feeling that the aptly named One is HTC’s last chance at survival. Good product doesn’t always translate into market dominance, but it’s a necessary component when you’re an underdog. Luckily for HTC, the One is great.


Over the past two years HTC has really come into its own as far as design is concerned. The difference between the HTC One X and the plethora of flagships that came before it was remarkable. Moving to the One, the difference is just as striking.

I don’t seem to mind plastic phones as much as everyone else, but the One is in an appreciably different league compared to its peers. It’s the type of device that you just want to look at and touch. Given how much you do end up looking at and touching your smartphone, HTC’s efforts here seem well placed.

The One looks and feels great. The proportions are a little awkward in my hands, but I fully concede that’s going to vary from person to person. Despite the heavy use of aluminum, I don't feel overly worried about scratching/damaging the finish.

The challenge with any smartphone is to build something that looks distinct in a sea of black rectangles on a wall in a store. With the One (and arguably the One X before it), HTC does a good job of balancing the need to be seen with the need to be subtle. Elegant is the right word here.

While I’m sure there will be comparisons to the iPhone, the fact of the matter is that the design cycle on these smartphones falls somewhere in the 12 - 24 month range. With something as sophisticated as the One, you’re looking at the longer end of that spectrum. For what it’s worth, if I had to estimate I’d say design work on the One probably started before the iPhone 4S came out.

Smartphone Spec Comparison
  Apple iPhone 5 HTC One Samsung Galaxy S 3 Samsung Galaxy S 4
SoC Apple A6 1.3GHz Snapdragon 600 1.7GHz Snapdragon S4 1.5GHz Exynos 5 Octa (1.6/1.2GHz) or Snapdragon 600 1.9GHz
DRAM/NAND/Expansion 1GB LPDDR2, 16/32/64GB NAND 2GB LPDDR2, 32/64GB NAND 2GB LPDDR2, 16/32GB NAND, microSD 2GB LPDDR3, 16/32/64GB NAND, microSD
Display 4.0-inch 1136 x 640 LCD 4.7-inch SLCD3 1080p, 468 ppi 4.8-inch Super AMOLED 720p, 306 ppi 5-inch Super AMOLED 1080p, 441 ppi
Network 2G / 3G / 4G LTE Cat 3 2G / 3G / 4G LTE Cat 3 2G / 3G / 4G LTE Cat 3 2G / 3G / 4G LTE Cat 3 (depending on region)
Dimensions 123.8mm x 58.6mm x 7.6mm 137.4mm x 68.2mm x 4mm - 9.3mm 136.6mm x 70.6mm 8.6mm 136.6mm x 69.8mm x 7.9mm
Weight 112g 143g 133g 130g
Rear Camera 8MP 4MP w/ 2µm pixels 8MP 13MP
Front Camera 1.2MP 2.1MP 1.9MP 2MP
Battery Internal 5.45 Wh Internal 8.74 Wh Removable 7.98 Wh Removable 9.88 Wh
OS iOS 6.1.2 Android 4.1.2 Android 4.1.2 Android 4.2.2
Connectivity 802.11a/b/g/n, BT 4.0, USB 2.0, GPS/GNSS 802.11ac/a/b/g/n + BT 4.0, USB2.0, GPS/GNSS, IR LED, MHL, DLNA, NFC 802.11a/b/g/n, BT 4.0, USB 2.0, NFC, GPS/GNSS, MHL 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (HT80) + BT 4.0, USB 2.0 NFC, GPS/GNSS, IR LED, MHL 2.0


The Camera
Comments Locked


View All Comments

  • CeriseCogburn - Monday, March 25, 2013 - link

    I'm not you, a stupid idiot who opens the piehole and loses.
    I have more than one very lucrative gravy job, gravy for my massive intellect, certainly difficult for someone like you, with propensity to completely ignore reality often, and spew untruths.
  • jayseeks - Tuesday, March 26, 2013 - link

    Stop lying, your only job is to troll for Samsung. And if you have any other job, it most certainly does not require a firm grasp of the English language. Loser.
  • othercents - Thursday, March 21, 2013 - link

    Thanks Anand, I really like the HTC One specifically for the camera, however the S4 has some features that I like also along with increased performance. However I do feel that when someone goes to the store and looks at the two devices, unless they just love the looks of the HTC One then they will get the S4 due to the fact that the replaceable battery and SD are easy sell points along with the larger screen and increased performance.
  • darwinosx - Friday, March 22, 2013 - link

    No they won't. Most people don't care and never use either.
  • jayseeks - Friday, March 22, 2013 - link

    This is true. I don't understand the over emphasis of removable battery and microSD as a "deal breaker." If the mainstream wanted microSD and removable battery half as much as certain people seem to suggest, the iPhone wouldn't have nearly the amount of success it has had.
    I've also never met anyone who actually cared enough about removable battery or SD storage that it was the deciding factor in choosing a smartphone. Most people not in the IT profession are not willing to shell out the extra $50 for another battery anyway. As for the SD storage, it's only real advantage is being cheaper. Again, who, besides IT professionals carries multiple microSD cards with them so that it might actually be useful?
  • CeriseCogburn - Friday, March 22, 2013 - link

    The 1st SD card is useful, for appletards that pay well over $50 more like $300 or $400 for the memory space a simple SD card slot provides for $50, only being INSANE explains it.

    Thanks for being so deliriously appletarded bang for the buck is like TOTALLY GONE from your brain.

    I mean is it even possible to lie to oneself at the level you have and be on a tech site ?
  • jayseeks - Friday, March 22, 2013 - link

    You are a paid shill, stop with your weak arguments. I don't care for Apple more than any other company. Except for Samsung which I have great disdain for because of their low brow, pathetic guerrilla marketing efforts which involved hiring sad people like you to troll these sites.
  • CeriseCogburn - Monday, March 25, 2013 - link

    LMAO - you lost again dummy. You don't like me because I point out how stupid you are, after you spew out your stupid lies and lines.

    Who cares what you the retard says, or how appleface you are, or what you personally buy, THE POINT IS THE SD CARD RAM SLOT MAKES MORE FOR LESS 100% ACCURATE PERIOD.

    Only tard tard tardy tards like you, being as stupid as you are, think the general public doesn't do the SD card.
    Like I said, they are bonkers about it. Crazy in love with it. They feel they have power and control over the phone then. They can remove their pictures and set them aside - fill up one card and get the next. This is what PEOPLE ACTUALLY DO YOU STUPID SACK OF CRAPOLA.
  • CeriseCogburn - Friday, March 22, 2013 - link

    and -BTW - people freaking LOVE sd cards.
    They love to buy them and fill them up - then keep them and use them for their picture frames and home PC's desktop screensavers - you must live in a Jobs cave.

    People go nutso over mem cards - they LOVE em.

    Everyone I know can replace a battery, which they do in hundreds of devices nowadays - only the appletard think it takes a TECH to replace a battery in a portable sound/mobile device.

    LOL - you people are crazy.
  • jayseeks - Friday, March 22, 2013 - link

    "They love to buy them and fill them up - then keep them and use them for their picture frames and home PC's desktop screensavers"

    No genius, there are USB drives for that.

    As for crazy, just read your comments.

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now