HTC One S Review: Ultramodern Design, Alarming Camera
The all-around adaptation of the HTC One S ($200 with a new two-year arrangement from T-Mobile; aggregate as of April 18, 2012) afflicted me at Mobile World Congress aback in February, so I was afraid to see if the T-Mobile adaptation was appropriately awesome. Spoiler alert: It is. The One S packs a high-end camera, the latest adaptation of Android, and a able dual-core processor in a swank, superslim design. Among its few drawbacks is the absence of a microSD slot; in addition, we had some issues with the alarm affection in San Francisco.
Design and Display
The models in HTC's One band of phones accept three accepted features: a high-quality camera with HTC ImageSense, congenital Beats Audio, and a exceptional design. We've consistently accepted HTC phones for actuality both accessible on the eyes and well-constructed, but the One S takes buzz architecture a footfall above that, with a archetypal aluminum unibody architecture that incorporates allegory slate and blue-gray panels.
The closed array awning of the HTC One S.The aluminum anatomy has been accustomed a "micro-arc agitation treatment," which is allegedly the aforementioned analysis that NASA uses on satellites. Besides authoritative the One S supertough, it gives the buzz a affected look. According to HTC, the One S is so boxy that you won't charge a careful case, but I'm activity to adverse that. You consistently charge a careful case for your phone, no aggregate how boxy the architect claims it is. Furthermore, that accessory aluminum is glace and difficult to get a anchor on aback you're captivation it in mural mode. Several times while I was application it to breeze photos, I acquainted as admitting it was about to blooper out of my grasp.
The camera lens has a ablaze dejected arena about it, a beautiful blow that makes the One S angle out. And aback you abolish the SIM agenda awning cover, you'll see added of that dejected central the phone. Little architecture touches like this are what accomplish HTC phones angle out from the legions of all-black ellipsoidal smartphones.
One downside to the architecture is that the array awning is absolutely sealed. As with the iPhone 4S, you can't abolish the HTC One S' battery. Let's achievement that your array stays complete throughout your two-year contract, because replacing it ability be a big pain.
The HTC One S is ultra-thin. According to T-Mobile, this is the carrier's thinnest buzz yet. The One S measures 5.1 by 2.5 by 0.31 inches. The One S is appropriately hardly thicker than the Motorola Droid Razr Maxx (0.28 inches) but a bit thinner than the Apple iPhone 4S (0.36 inches). HTC's minimalist architecture leaves no bare or balance space. The Gorilla Glass, which protects the display, goes about to the bend of the phone's chassis, with a baby amplitude for the phone's speaker. Below the display, you'll acquisition the three accepted Ice Cream Sandwich touch-sensitive buttons: Back, Home, and Recent Apps.
Screenshot of the blush calibration analysis on the HTC One S. The 4.3-inch qHD affectation (540 by 960 pixels) has the aforementioned resolution as the HTC Sensation 4G, additionally on T-Mobile. This resolution is lower than 720-by-1280-pixel Super IPS LCD 2 affectation on the top dog of the One line, the HTC One X. The Super AMOLED technology makes colors attending adventurous and capacity sharp, for the best part.
In our blush bar test, I detected a fair aggregate of oversaturation. Colors bled into one another, and it was adamantine to analyze one blush adumbration from the abutting (see the archetype images). Super AMOLED fares bigger than LCD displays in sunlight, but it was still adamantine to see the One S's display.
Ice Cream Sandwich With Sense 4.0
HTC Sense 4.0 widgets Love it or abhorrence it, HTC Sense--the manufacturer's user interface over Android--is actuality to stay. Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) has, by far, the best-looking interface of any adaptation of Android. I accept why manufacturers slapped on overlays in the aboriginal canicule of Android: The basal interfaces were ugly. And HTC Sense is acutely pretty. But those animations and bright widgets accept a addiction to bog bottomward the operating system.
Perhaps my abstraction that manufacturers ability leave Android 4.0 abandoned and aloof add a few customized widgets was aloof ambitious thinking. To HTC's credit, Sense 4.0 is abundant subtler than antecedent versions of the interface. The aggregation has austere out a lot of accidental icons and argument that chaotic beforehand versions of Sense. You can still compression the awning to see all seven of your homescreens, and you get that accessible customizable lock awning that we saw with Sense 3.0.
Still, Android purists ability booty breach to a few changes. The Recent Apps UI has been tweaked in archetypal Sense fashion. Rather than announcement your apps or websites as a account with thumbnails, it displays them as pages that casting as you flick through them. The Sense widgets are a bit too active and blatant for my liking, but you can calmly abolish them.
HTC puts a agglomeration of added software on the One S, which is unsurprising accustomed that bloatware--er, added software--seems to be the barometer these canicule for smartphones. I could attenuate best of the alien apps, but not all of them.
8-Megapixel Camera with ImageSense
Outdoors shotAs I mentioned earlier, HTC emphasizes camera technology in its One smartphone line. All One phones accept the HTC ImageChip, which supports an f2.0 breach and a scattering of altered cutting modes, including High Dynamic Range (HDR), Macro, and Panorama. HTC additionally claims that One cameras accept an about no-lag bang speed. In my hands-on tests, I begin the no-lag affirmation to be Indoor analysis attempt prettyMacro analysis attempt abundant true. My photos taken in automated approach looked excellent, with acceptable colors and brittle details. Best of the cutting modes formed absolutely well, too, abnormally the marco approach (see archetype photos).
HDR analysis shot
HDR fabricated my photos attending a bit funky--I adopt the HDR approach on the iPhone 4S's camera. You can additionally add Instagram-like filters to your photos, but I don't anticipate they attending actual good. A bigger bet would be to add a third-party app like, well, Instagram or Pixlr, which has alike added filters.
Overall, HTC has done a abundant job with the One S's still camera. It could absolutely ample in for a stand-alone camera. The video camera looked aloof okay. My analysis video looked a bit shakey and it has a bit of a aphotic cast.
Before you alpha loading music, apps, videos, and added agreeable assimilate your One S, apperceive this: You're capped at 16GB of centralized memory. That closed aback agency you accept no admission to a microSD slot. Expandable anamnesis is article that best Android phones accept over the iPhone and Windows Phones, in agreement of hardware. So aback an Android buzz maker decides not to accommodate a microSD slot, I accept to admiration why. My suspicion is that HTC capital to accumulate the One S as abbreviate as possible, and that abacus a microSD aperture would accept added some bulk.
If you can't assignment with a 16GB limit, there is some acceptable news: One S owners get 25GB of Dropbox storage, which is chargeless for two years (the breadth of the carrier contract). Dropbox is chip throughout the phone's user interface in apps such as the photo gallery; so, for instance, you can breeze a photo and afresh upload it anon to Dropbox. As addition who uses Dropbox for about everything—from affective music about to administration documents—this is a big accord for me.
All HTC One phones accept Beats audio congenital in. Beats audio automatically turns on aback you comedy music, but you can opt to about-face it off. I could absolutely apprehend a absolute change in music quality, abnormally with bedrock and metal music, aback Beats was running. Bass articulate richer and the vocals articulate fuller. Beats audio additionally bliss in aback you comedy a YouTube video. Video not alone looked abundant on the One S's display, but it ran calmly too.
In my hands-on tests, the HTC One S absolutely comatose and restarted. The blast occurred aback I was aperture an adapter and demography a screenshot of it. As anon as my buzz restarted, I got a bulletin in the notifications window allegorical me that the buzz had beatific an absurdity address to HTC. I wasn't able to copy the error, however, and I never had any added instances area the buzz comatose or froze--so hopefully this was aloof a ancient thing.
I additionally activated the One S application two altered benchmarking apps. On Qualcomm's own Vellamo benchmarking app, the One S denticulate 2365, putting it advanced of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, our astral phone. On the third-party benchmarking app Quadrant, the HTC One S denticulate a 3451, afresh advanced of the Galaxy Nexus.
To analysis gaming performance, we acclimated both the Egypt adaptation and the Pro adaptation of GLBenchmark 2.1. We ran the tests aboriginal with antialiasing on and after with antialiasing off, repeating both tests three times and averaging the after-effects to aftermath four altered scores, abstinent in frames per second. The HTC One S angry in boilerplate anatomy ante of 60 frames per additional with antialiasing off and 59.6 fps with antialiasing on. By comparison, the Galaxy Nexus had boilerplate anatomy ante of 42.5 fps with antialiasing off and 23.4 fps with antialiasing on. In my hands-on tests of graphics-heavy amateur like Anomaly Warzone HD, World of Goo, and Osmos, the One S ran flawlessly. This is a superb gaming phone.
Using the FCC-approved Ookla Speedtest.net app, I activated T-Mobile's HSPA+ 42 arrangement in assorted genitalia of San Francisco. On those tests, the HTC One S delivered decidedly apathetic abstracts rates: an boilerplate of 4.27 megabits per additional for downloads and 2.48 mbps for uploads. According to T-Mobile, the analysis assemblage we accustomed was not configured for the HSPA+ 42 arrangement and "these are not the speeds consumers will experience."
Call affection was hit-or-miss. One of my accompany appear that my articulation articulate "digital" while addition said that I articulate actual distant. A few of my accompany noticed that my articulation was "breaking up" a bit on a few calls. On my end of the line, my accompany articulate okay, but I could apprehend some changeless in the background.
We accept not yet completed our academic array tests, but we will amend this analysis already we access the results. In my hands-on use, the absolutely answerable array captivated up over an absolute day of moderate-to-heavy use.
The HTC One S is the best buzz on T-Mobile and one of the top Android phones all-embracing for any of the four big carriers. Both AT&T and Sprint are absolution versions of the HTC One X, which has a bigger, higher-resolution affectation and LTE connectivity. Hopefully the alarm affection issues I accomplished with my analysis HTC One S are an abandoned incident. Phones can do a lot added these canicule than artlessly accomplish calls, but alarm affection charcoal an important aspect to accede aback affairs a smartphone