HTC One X S720E: A Review

  • SumoMe

HTC-One-X-S720E

The Gem of a Phone

Since the dawn of smartphones, mobile-phone design was trapped in a box-shaped mold. Even the Samsung series of phones and Sony Experia S stayed away from trying something new. But finally, with HTC One X, the Taiwanese firm has announced the start of a brave new world.

HTC One X stands like an original Klimt in a sea of mediocrity. Its resemblance to the HTC HD 7 tries to promote false notoriety about this gem. But don’t believe your eyes.

The power of HTC One X’s best processor, HD Screen and sublimely thin chassis can only be felt by holding it. Read on to find out if the success of HTC Desire could be recreated.

Look and feel

Plastic is the new aluminum. In HTC’s brave new world, like in Nokia Lumia 900, sleek looks and strong feel are achieved through the use of a unibody polycarbonate body – out goes the typical metal chassis. Elegance is further emboldened by One X’s slight upward curve towards the edges of the design.

Compared to Galaxy Nexus’s dimensions (5.3 x 2.7 x 0.37), One X (5.2 x 2.8 x 0.36) is wider but slimmer. Moreover, its high-build quality makes it a much preferred smartphone.

Taking a leaf from Nokia Lumia 800, HTC has re-iterated the fact that a high-end feel can be achieved without relying on aluminum or glass. With its silken look and lightweight, One X definitely lies in the Unisex range of phones.

Design

HTC One X can boast about its color and form – quite subjective I think. And with its increased size, One X may be 16 grams heavier than the Samsung Galaxy S2 (114 grams) but lighter than the Galaxy S3. As for the rest, the design is  rather simple.

Unlike the Samsung Galaxy and the Nexus, One X has stayed away from the taking the “all software” route. Just three capacitive buttons- Back, Home and Recent Apps, at the bottom of the display screen makes this HTC useful.

Going clockwise on the edges, there’s a micro-USB port on the left, a power button at the top and a narrow volume rocker on the right.

The back side is adorned by a raised silver circle surrounding the 8-Megapixel camera and a silver HTC log. At the bottom lies a small speaker with the Beats Audio logo.

Five gold contacts have also been provided to accommodate the upcoming car dock system.

Within the plastic walls of the phone lies 32 GB memory, out of which 26 GB is available for the user. That’s not all, registered One-series devices also get an extra 25 GB of Dropbox space for free.

With its great-shape and high-end build, the phone feels great in hand. A lot of equipment design science has been put into making this spatially smart device which certainly tries to promote the idea of “popular” 4.7’ smartphone.

Screen

The One X provides a pure-visual delight with its 1280 x 720 pixel display and wide viewing angles. It’s very impressive 525 lux brightness reading, surpasses that of Nokia Lumia 999 (256 lux) and the smartphone average (311 lux), by few numbers. Even iPhone 4S is just a little bright at 549 lux. Its massive 4.7’ screen gets actual boost from its high-resolution.

The combo of 312 pixels per inch resolution and the large size definitely tries to give iPhone 4S run for its money. The reproduction of colors is very natural and compared to other AMOLED devices (like Galaxy Nexus), One X’s whites are whiter.

Interface

With the use of Android 4.0.4 aka Ice Cream Sandwich, HTC One X comes with a much improved interface. The new Robot font has made the menus and appearance much better.

Customization is the new requirement for success. Users want complete power over their smartphones and One X delivers it by “Flexible Interface”. Everything and anything goes in this HTC. One can customize every feature and option to make the phone truly “personalized”. Just a long press of the home screen and voila, you have the power to place the widget/shortcuts anywhere on the home screen. Even the tabs at the bottom of the display can be customized according to preference.

Just like other Android devices, the notification panel on the top shows all the notifications, one after the other, without sorting by category or priority.

By dragging the panel down, one can view the info like Network Provider’s name. The same panel also holds the buttons for directly accessing settings and clearing the notifications list. Even with this panel closed, notifications do stay and pop-up.

The top bar of the display keeps the user informed about Network Time while the mini icons filling up the Wi-Fi section provide latest device activity.

Email and Messaging

The “old” modes of contact – SMS, MMS, and Email – are handled capably by the Android and HTC One X combo. For the new-age Social Networking ways, several apps and widgets are available. Apart from Gtalk, there are apps like Ovi Chat which connects you to other compatible networks

Access to email is covered by two default apps – traditional Gmail App and the generic HTC mail app. While the generic app gives the user one converged view of all its mailboxes the Gmail app has the trademark conversation style view and can manage multiple Gmail accounts.

Batch operations are supported too, in case you need to handle email messages in bulk.

The generic HTC mail app tries to imitate Gmail’s client threaded view through its “Conversation View”, a feature missing in the generic inbox. Emails in a thread are grouped, email count is generated and a down arrow appears. You just need to tap the  arrow to show/hide the messages in that group.

Multiple accounts from multiple services can be added. They can be viewed either individually or in a combined inbox. For the easy access, each account is color coded, giving faster access to relevant emails.

Internet

HTC has continued its tradition of providing pleasurable Internet Browsing experience with HTC One X. With the whopping 4.7’ inch, the browser playground has become bigger and more satisfying. The upgraded Android OS and high-end specs create a Mobile Internet Browsing environment which can be best defined as “Neat.” One X’s quad-core processor has made all device operations, including Internet Browsing, much faster.

It also comes with good news for advert Reading fans. The “Reader” mode not only increases the browsing speed by opening a website with minimal graphics and images, but also provides a fine reading experience in landscape view.

Of course the browsing speed is good, but it would be a stretch to call it stellar. Under our testing conditions, the overall loading speed of most websites was around a couple of seconds quicker than usual. But it’s nothing one doesn’t expect from a Tegra 3 processor.

Camera

On the camera front, HTC One X keeps up with the best current trends – 8MP back camera and 1.3MP front camera. Where it stands out from the rest is its camera features like Multiple Shots, various capturing effects, etc. In comparison, similar price-band phones surely fall short.

Did you miss the photo of your baby’s first step or blossoming of a flower? Not with this smartphone. Of course it has a rapid-fire continuous shooting, but its camera also starts in less than a second. And with the introduction of VideoPic, you can capture both the video and the picture at the same time. This device also deals with conditions of low light, no light and back light with impeccable efficiency. One definitely gets hassle-free with this device.

Video

Video Recording is another feature in which the HTC One X excels, with its 1080p rear sensor and 720p HD front camera recording. It also comes with many nifty video recording features like slow motion capture, and picture taking capability while recording a Full HD 30 frame per second video. This is where the device displays its genius capability – simultaneous videos and photographs.

Playing videos files (like Avi, MP4, Mkv) is smooth in general, except for few performance issues with old XviD AVI videos. Codec support on the video front is excellent and all popular video codecs run at up to 1080p resolutions easily. But you wont appreciate the audio because like other similar devices, AAC or DTS coded files do not play on this one.

Music

The Android Music app serves a lot of shortcuts – music library on the phone, Sound Hound tracker recoginition, Tune In Radio and 7digital. Further into the “music library” menu, a drop-down menu lets the users browse the music by artist, albums, playlist or genre. The ease of access is further enhanced by the Search Tool. The inbuilt Beats Audio surely enhances the sonic experience for the One X audience.

FM Radio

A simple FM Radio is also been available in the HTC One X. It scans airwaves for available stations automatically and the stations can be marked as favorites as well. Loudspeaker playback and support for RDS is also provided.

Battery life

HTC One X’s 1800mAh battery is sealed within the phone chassis, making the spare battery a benign solution – no battery swapping in case of total phone-power-outage. We gave the One X a power user test to start: we downloaded two movies from HTC, played some of Tegra 3 compatible games, watched movies and went for a run with the GPS turned on – plus messed around with most of the features.

Under these conditions, the handset lasted until 7 hours before conking off completely – and the power saver mode for the last 15 percent worked pretty well to hold on.

Processors and Powers

The HTC One X also comes with a Tegra 3 quad core 1.5GHz processor. Nvidia’s Tegra 3 is the next generation, power packed mobile processor for smartphones. This CPU, backed by 1GB Ram, translates into a superbly slick performance under finger-tips. The potential of its Quad-core processor has been harnessed optimally by HTC One X.

But we don’t just rely on maker provided numbers. To access the functioning and performance of a device, we run test functions – the ones users, knowingly or unknowingly, would perform on a device. We try to run some heaving games, while many apps are running in the background of the device. In the case of HTC One X, device performance did come down. But that still doesn’t take away the fact that the One X is capable of handling some heavy loads.

Operating System

HTC One X wanted to recreate the success of HTCs’ Desire series. Hence, anything below the Android’s Ice Cream Sandwich would have tagged this device as “traditional” and “low quality.” With a beautiful interface and Android 4.0 OS, the One X takes a leaf from Desire’s pages and writes its own elegant story. There is a similarity between the two, but the new HTC device adds its own charms with homescreen customizations and application lists.

Connectivity

Being a modern device, HTC One X supports quad-band connectivity of GSM/GPRS/EDGE. 3G ability comes with HSDPA speeds up to 21Mbps and HSUPA speed of up to 5.76Mbps.

The local network access becomes powerful by the technology triad of WiFi b/g/n, full DLNA support (both client and server, for images, videos and music) and Bluetooth. Its Bluetooth 4.0 improves the oldest transfer technology, while its Near Field Communication works as the future of file sharing and transfer.

The old “death grip” problem on old HTC devices has been taken care of by its Taiwanese makers. The receptions, both Wi-Fi and Cell Signal, are strong in One X.

Apps and Maps

HTC One X comes with a healthy list of pre-loaded apps; many that would help a user get setup easily and quickly. But some memory and processor conscious users would want to remove some unnecessary apps. The apps list is spread over several pages, rather than one, inconvenient, big long list the HTC phones used to have.

As stated above, the App Bloatware might not impress many, but the power of HTC One X’s 1.5 GHz processor, 1GB RAM and 32 GB supported memory might prompt users to try Bloatware Apps. If one needs further confidence boost, think of the extra 25GB online Dropbox storage. But there are worthwhile apps that a user should take advantage of, like the Car Mode, Notes, Dropbox and many Google Apps.

Maps

The built-in GPS receiver is also impressive and was able to get a location lock in less than a minute, without even the A-GPS. The Cell-ID and Wi-Fi network lock is also very fast, if you just want your rough location (within 150 meters).

The native Android-supplied Google Maps exists, which most Android users are familiar with. Voice-guided Navigation support is available in certain countries and instructional lists for elsewhere. Users can plan routes, search nearby POI or explore the ever cool Street View.

Criticism

• This phone is more of a 4.5 starrer and not 5, because of only one reason – the lack of a memory card slot. The inbuilt 32GB storage is a welcome and does mitigate the unavailability of a Micro SD card option.

• Some doubts have been raised about HTC One X’s battery life, which obviously is not its bestselling point. But compared to other smartphones in the markets, this device still fairs well.

Conclusion

In a nutshell, HTC One X is a handsome, speedy handset with power and versatility. HTC loyalists and other upgrade seekers can be assured that by moving to HTC One X, they are not missing their iPhones or Samsung Galaxy S IIs.

This device combines design, power and elegance, and would certainly cater for those who like to see sexy-looking white-colored devices in their hands. We are totally impressed by the spruce and slim design, exceptional camera features, tidy video recording quality, appealing interface, neat front Camera and the latest Ice Cream Sandwich OS.

Abhay Nidhi

Image Source [http://www.macrotronics.net/images/htc-one-x-s720e.jpg]

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