HTC One – First Impression

HTC One – First Impression


HTC One – First Impression

The phone’s shape and size was the first thing I noticed when I got it out of the box. The curved back allows it to fit perfectly in the palm of your hand and the screen is just the right size for your thumb to touch the top and bottom of the screen.

The curved back does have its problems, when using the phone on its back it does tend to rock from side to side, it can be a tad annoying. The back is clean and crisp with only the ultra-pixel camera, flash and HTC logo being noticeable. You do notice straight away the dual speakers on the front of the phone, and they are extremely notable with Megadeth blaring out of them! They are a massive development from the tiny back speaker found on older models. They are one of the top selling points and allow you to listen to music or watch videos with no need to keep trying to increase the audio any more.

This phone feels light; it doesn’t feel like its housing the power that the specs show. But be aware it doesn’t feel like it’s going to float out of your hand. The first thing I did after handling this phone was buy a case, the back is slick and this makes it slippery. A case will keep it safe and stop it from slipping out of your hand.  The LED on this thing is bright; you have no chance of missing any texts or messages when it goes off.

The body of the phone can only be described as a smooth rectangle. All the buttons are hidden within the phone and when looking at it face on can’t be seen. There has been some moving around of the components, the power button is on the top left of the phone and the micro-usb port in now on the bottom right. The volume rocker is still on the right hand side and the sim card slot is on the left.

The front of the phone is a piece of art; there are no changes in shape or texture. You can run your finger over the speaker to the screen and not even notice you have done. Gone is the settings button and in its place is the home and back button with the HTC logo in the centre. I am starting to miss the settings button and at the moment there is no alternative but the dreaded 3 dot black bar. HTC have bought in an interesting double-click feature for the buttons, instead of holding down the home button to see the recent apps menu, you now double-click it to see a much cleaner running apps page. This feature may be used in the future for the missing settings button.


The screen feels like it’s a mini HD TV, its bright and colourful and great to watch movies on. The screen along with the speakers makes this phone a great entertainment station. The battery feels good, my battery is currently at 74% after being unplugged for 5 hours, this includes 30 mins of podcast listening on the way to work and using Google Talk.

Sense 5 feels like it’s designed for this phone, it has bold icons and soothing colour schemes. It is heavily based around social integration; case in point is the Blink-Feed addition.  This allows you to add Facebook, Twitter, news and displays it all on one home screen for you to browse through. This social integration can also be seen on the gallery app which displays all images by uploader. These features won’t be used by me so a home screen replacement app may be needed to bypass this.


Some good features from HTC are the TV app which allowed me to integrate the phone with my Samsung TV and Sky box. Not only does this allow me to control both from my phone, but it also shows me a TV guide highlighting shows I might like to watch and when they are selected auto tune my Sky box to that channel. Another feature is Kid-Mode this allows you to lock your phone and give it to your child to play games without worrying about them getting into any apps you wouldn’t want them to access. It allows you to install child friendly games and anything else a child might enjoy doing.


When you try this phone “fast” will be the word used most. Everything about this phone is fast, the music app shows the tracks under the album name meaning one less click to listen to your music. Even the Wi-Fi feels faster and downloads seem to be almost instant (though this could be a placebo effect).

I have heard HTC is working hard on the Android 4.2.2 update so I would say that the current 4.1.2 + HTC Sense 5.0 isn’t the final product. We’ll see some real HTC One power when HTC release 4.2.2 (4.2.2 is known to have Snapdragon optimizations) with a refreshed version of Sense 5.0.

I have rooted this phone and the process was painless. I have heard about issues with the version of AROMA installer being used, so this may be ironed out later in the year. I’m currently using ARHD 3.5 which includes a MOD to make the back button a settings button too. I have had no issues with this ROM and it is very stable.

This is a major upgrade from my One X, the increase in processor power and RAM is very noticeable and makes using this phone pleasure.

Owner of a rooted One and Nexus 7. Mostly write reviews of apps and any hardware I can get my hands on. I frequent Google+ and XDA-Developers.

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