HTC has just unleashed its new flagship smartphone, the HTC One, which boasts slick design and an impressive spec sheet. HTC has obviously put a massive amount of time and effort into honing the device, but has all its hard work paid off? We put the HTC One’s key features the test to see if it’s got what it takes to become the best selling HTC smartphone ever…
Design and display
The HTC One takes style cues from its predecessor, the HTC One X, but the design has been refined and the handset features a metal unibody chassis that looks and feels premium. The curved rear panel and rounded edges also make the mobile really effortless to hold and operate with one hand.
One of the main highlights of the HTC One is its stunning 4.7-inch full 1080p HD display, which is one of the best screens ever seen on an Android device. The display offers images that have an incredible clarity and crispness, and the contrast between the vibrant colours and the deep blacks produced creates a remarkable visual experience.
Instead of having a standard Android homescreen with customisable apps and widgets, the HTC One has BlinkFeed. It’s an alternative user interface for your homescreen, and works in a similar way to the Live Tiles sported by devices running Windows Phone 7 and 8. BlinkFeed pulls through live feeds from news sources, online photo galleries and social networks, and presents them in boxes on the homescreen. Users can choose which sources they want to see updates from, and options include Facebook, Twitter and more.
BlinkFeed sounds pretty impressive on paper, but it left us decidedly underwhelmed. Having previously used Flipboard, an aggregation app that has a similar magazine-style format, we found BlinkFeed slightly unreliable in comparison, and there’s less sources to select feeds from. However, if you’re not taken with BlinkFeed you can switch back to the standard Android homescreen.
UltraPixel camera and HTC Zoe
The UltraPixel camera sported by the HTC One works in a different way to other smartphone cameras with high megapixel counts. It clocks in at around 4 megapixels, but don’t let that put you off. It has an UltraPixel sensor that can capture 300% more light that rival smartphone cameras, and photos produced by the camera are made up of UltraPixels that are up to three times larger than standard megapixels. This combination of extra light and larger pixels means photos produced by the HTC One are highly detailed with accurate colour saturation, even when snaps are taken in low-light conditions.
Alongside the innovative HTC UltraPixel camera is HTC Zoe, a cool camera feature that records a 3 second mini-video instead of a still image when the user presses the shutter button. Users are then able to scroll through the 20 frames in the mini-video and select which ones they want to save as static images. This is especially handy for when you’re trying to capture something in motion, such as a dog running to fetch a ball or people playing sports.
We have been very impressed by some of the key features of the HTC One, but is the handset the best smartphone HTC has produced? In terms of camera capabilities, design and display – we’d say so. If you’re looking to invest in an Android handset that can take some pretty amazing pictures, the HTC One wouldn’t be a bad choice. To see the HTC One in action for yourself, check out our video review.
This guest post was written by Abbi Cox of Phones 4u