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Last Updated: May 3rd, 2012

That's a lofty claim, isn't it? Isn't there a new "next generation" every year? Well, to answer that last question, not always. But technology is evolving at such a rapid pace in the mobile world that we can scarcely buy a phone today without something better coming out a month later. And today, just days from Samsung's announcement of the next Galaxy phone, everyone is watching with bated breath to see what comes next.

But in the here and now, HTC's One X will be within your wallet's reach in those same, few short days. The "next big thing" won't be around, likely, for months. So let's stay focused on the present, shall we?

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The AT&T variant of the HTC One X will be known internationally as the One XL, and aside from some minor carrier bloat, is literally the exact same phone as the XL. Now, don't let the name confuse you - the XL (and by relation, the AT&T One X) is no bigger than a standard One X. It's not thicker, heavier, or in any way visually distinct. But once you start digging around inside its silicon guts, things are different between the XL and the standard X. If this is all terribly confusing, I understand, they haven't exactly made it easy with the names. Let's clear all this up now.

The AT&T One X is for all intents and purposes the One XL, powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor with LTE. The European One X is a Tegra 3 variant not available on any carrier here in the US. The primary differences are that the European One X does not have LTE, has 32GB of storage (instead of 16GB), and is using a quad-core Tegra 3 processor. If you're looking for a review of that device, we have one here. While there are obviously going to be more minor hardware variations resulting from the use of two different chipsets, they're really not worth going into because I'd probably just fall asleep. Anyway, let's get back on message here.

The AT&T One X is a phone you can buy today and be truly happy with for quite a while. It's solid, fast, and has what I believe is the best display to ever grace a smartphone - not to mention the much-lauded rear camera. And with LTE support, you'll have network performance that outmatches most home broadband in the US. While the One X isn't without its drawbacks, they aren't enough to stop me from recommending what is truly an excellent phone.

HTC One X: Specifications

  • Price: $200 with 2-year agreement, off-contract price $730, available May 6th, 2012.
  • Processor: MSM8960 dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 at 1.5GHz
  • GPU: Adreno 225
  • Operating System: Android 4.0.3 with Sense 4.0
  • Display: 4.7" Super IPS LCD2 (720x1280, 312DPI)
  • Memory: 1GB RAM / 16GB internal (12GB usable - 2GB for apps, 10GB for storage)
  • Cameras: 8MP rear / 1.3MP front
  • Battery: 1800mAh, non-removable
  • Ports/Expandable Storage: microUSB port, HTC dock contacts / none
  • Thickness: 8.9mm / .35"
  • Weight: 130g / 4.6oz

The Good

  • For the first time, a plastic chassis almost sort of works on the One X - the entire body is one piece, so there are no unsightly seams or panel gaps. It just looks pretty cool, too, especially in white.* (*see "Not So Good" for one caveat.)
  • It's fast. Really fast. Android has never been smoother.
  • The display. Oh. My. God (insert "valley girl" twang). This is the best display I've seen on a phone in the history of ever. Wow - colors are so true and accurate, and viewing angles are unbelievable (almost no distortion). Want.
  • This is the only LTE smartphone I've ever used where I haven't had to worry about battery life. Idle drain is very low, and I suspect most people will easily make it through a whole day with the One X.
  • The rear camera is quite awesome, easily the best on any Android phone today.
  • Did I mention the display is really, really pretty?

The Not So Good

  • HTC has seen fit to equip the AT&T One X with only 16GB of storage (like the One XL). For most people, it's probably enough space, but I guarantee that will be the complaint-in-chief about this device.
  • That awesome white color? Yeah, it's a matte finish, and it picks up pretty much every spec of dirt, grime, and oil on your hands, in your pocket, and basically anything else it comes into contact with. If you're OCD about cleanliness, this might drive you completely insane - so maybe buy a case, or better yet, the gray version.
  • Plastic is plastic, and my One X review unit already has a few creaks - fewer than most phones, though, and it generally feels more solid.
  • <Insert complaint about Beats Audio being useless.>
  • Sense 4 may run very smoothly, but some people just won't like the look of it.

Build Quality / Design

The One X is a pretty phone. Particularly in white. In fact, I'd say it's probably HTC's best-looking phone ever, including the upcoming EVO 4G LTE, which is a little too industrial for my taste. The One X's lines are simple and understated, but the seamless, gleaming white body makes it something a little wondrous to behold. It looks very modern, clean, and tasteful - something that can be said of few other (if any) Android phones. If nothing else, HTC will have made a name for itself with the purposeful and focused design philosophy that is so clearly an integral part of this phone. It really is gorgeous.

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That white matte body has one major drawback, though: it's eager to soak up oil, dirt, grime, and anything else it comes into contact with. I've cleaned my review unit numerous times since receiving it, and the thought of how one of these phones would look after 3 months of use is one I try to avoid. If you use your phone with a case or skin, this probably won't matter. But if you're a clean-freak, or just a little OCD about things like that, it's going to bug you. Luckily, it comes in a gray finish as well, so if you're concerned about the grime issue, just get it in the alternate color. All that said, the white one just looks so cool. I honestly am considering buying this phone myself, and the hardest part of that decision will probably be convincing myself I'll have the discipline to keep the white version clean.

The size of the One X may be a concern for individuals with smaller hands. I'd prefer if HTC had kept it down to 4.5", but hey, the market has spoken, and it seems people want bigger phones. Is it too big? Go to an AT&T store and hold it for a few minutes, and you'll have a custom-built answer to this question, because frankly, I can't answer it for you. For me, a guy who is 6'1 with long fingers, it's a bit of a stretch, but not so much that I'd call it "too big."

As far as sturdiness, plastic is plastic. I really wish we could start making phones out of more exotic materials like carbon fiber (which can be painted and finished with scratch-resistant coatings) that don't exhibit the creaking and flexing of plastic, but do allow strong radio reception. Unfortunately, it seems we're just not there yet - while the EVO 4G LTE will have an aluminum unibody chassis, the standard One X/XL is stuck with good 'ol polycarbonate. It creaks when flexed, but when you're using it, I have to say it's really not all that noticeable. For a plastic phone, it feels solid and well put-together, and the lack of seams makes the materials choice much less of a long-term liability.

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In terms of hard buttons, the power button is simply too far recessed. It's hard to press, and I don't like it. I don't think anyone could like it - it really kind of sucks. That said, that's not going to stop me from liking this phone. The volume control is also quite recessed, but provides far better press action.

Hardware / Performance

The One X (and XL) is powered by one of Qualcomm's newest dual-core setups, the MSM8960. All of the wireless components (Wi-Fi N, Bluetooth 4.0, LTE/3G/2G/etc.) are integrated on the MSM8960 chipset, a first in mobile. It's built on a 28nm process similar to the new ARM Cortex A15 design (though not technically the same), increasing performance 60% over the previous-gen S3 dual-core, while at the same time generating less heat. Its cores are smarter, too, using technology that allows each core to be managed fully independently at the hardware level, further reducing power consumption, especially while idle. There truly is a lot of new technology (for the mobile space) packed into this chip, and I think it represents the biggest mobile processing leap in quite some time.

It's also packing an Adreno 225 GPU, a fairly powerful little chip, leading to many benchmark comparisons between the S4 and Tegra 3 versions of the One X. I typically stick to GLBenchmark's offscreen 720p Egypt test for GPU benchmarking. Here are the results:

  • Samsung Galaxy S II: 4727
  • DROID RAZR: 3202
  • HTC One S: 6326
  • HTC One X (S4): 6330
  • HTC One X (T3): 7164

As you can see, the Tegra 3 version of the One X does seem to outgun the S4 when it comes to raw GPU horsepower. That isn't exactly surprising, though, considering NVIDIA has focused heavily on optimizing GPU performance in its Tegra chipsets. More importantly, you can see that its GPU performance is entirely comparable to its smaller sibling, the One S. I've seen the S4 beat Tegra 3 in more computing-intensive benchmarks, but benchmarks are always something to be skeptical of in the first place, because it's difficult to transpose them onto real-word performance.

There has also been considerable confusion about the differences between the S4 chipsets in the One X/XL and One S, leading to a lot of misinformation. The One X uses the Qualcomm MSM8960 S4, while the One S uses the MSM8260A. To set the record straight: in theory, the One X and One S should perform identically in objective benchmarks - their processors, RAM, GPUs, and any other internal hardware components that would impact benchmark results are identical. To repeat: there is no substantive difference that would cause the S4 One X to be "faster" than the One S. In fact, the One S's lower resolution might even make it seem quicker than the One X in certain situations. The only difference between the chips is the integration of a world LTE modem on the 8960, which the 8260 lacks. That's it.

And as far as real-world performance goes, the One X is fast. I've never seen Android move this smoothly or quickly (except on the One S, of course), and I absolutely love it. Sense doesn't seem to weigh down Android 4.0 or the S4 processor - everything moves like a knife through warm butter.

Storage

Oh boy, I can already feel the comments coming: 16GB isn't enough, and not having a microSD slot is sacrilege. Bring out the torches and pitchforks. The One X has 16GB of advertised storage, 12GB of which is usable. 2GB of that is partitioned for apps, and the remaining 10GB for storage. The Tegra 3 One X, by comparison, has 32GB, 26GB of which are usable.

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Let's have a candid conversation about storage, shall we? More storage is better, and so is the option to expand it, but are these complaints really going to stop a significant number of people from buying this phone? No, they aren't. Millions of people every month around the world buy 16GB iPhones and, I know it's hard to believe, manage to live happily with that puny capacity. And even if the AT&T One X had a microSD slot and 32GB of storage to start, I don't think either of those things would help to noticeably boost sales.

Regular consumers just don't care as much about this stuff, and while that's bad for us enthusiasts, HTC has to look at this phone from a business standpoint, and those added features cost money. Not much, but enough that they're a material economic consideration. I know for a fact I can live with 16GB of storage. Would I like more? Yes. Is not having more going to stop me from enjoying the phone? No.

I'll wrap up this section by saying this: if the capacity and no expandable storage really are deal-breakers for you, I understand. But, you're probably already well-aware the EVO 4G LTE will meet your needs in that regard, so this phone probably wasn't something you were seriously considering in the first place.

Calls / Wireless / Sound

Network coverage and performance brings us to yet another topic that stirs up emotions. I was an AT&T customer for 3 years, and the first thing I'll say is this: AT&T's 3G/HSPA+ 4G provide the best balance of coverage and speed of any carrier in the US. On the One X, I averaged 5-10mbps down and 1mbps up on AT&T's HSPA+ network, which basically has the footprint of AT&T's 3G - and that footprint is big. Those speeds are a far cry from the woefully slow CDMA of Sprint or Verizon, with much better coverage than T-Mobile's HSPA+.

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And AT&T's LTE, while not heavily utilized at this point, is stupidly fast. 20-30mbps down and 10-20 up are easily achievable in areas with reasonable coverage, which for AT&T's LTE network mostly means large cities throughout the US for now. While AT&T's LTE footprint is significantly smaller than Verizon's at this point, if you're in a covered area, AT&T's will probably be a little quicker.

To bring us full circle, if you're on the fence about choosing between the EVO 4G LTE and the One X, know that the One X will provide the superior national network experience - period. And that advantage will likely continue for the duration of the device's life.

Call quality on the One X was reasonable, and while the speaker was finicky about positioning, it was nice and loud when I got it right. People on the other end appeared to be able to hear me just fine. I dropped no calls. The Wi-Fi radio, like the one on the One S, is very fast (and gets good signal), and you of course have Bluetooth 4.0 onboard, which supports all Bluetooth legacy devices, as well (including BT3.0HS - important for audiophiles).

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An HTC device review wouldn't be complete with a mention of Beats. Beats Audio is really just equalizer profile options. That's it. The headphone amp on the One X was good, if a bit quiet (a concern if you want to use large, on-ear cans). Sound was clean and undistorted (when Beats was turned off), and I'm generally of the opinion that when we're talking about using earbuds, there are no "excellent" headphone amps - there are good ones that do it right (clean, clear, undistorted), and there are bad ones that do it wrong (static, pops, hums). The One X's does it right. In terms of Beats, the most noticeable addition it brings to the One X is the logo on the back of the phone.

HTC's notification light is still basically useless, though it is a bit easier to see on the One X than the One S, for whatever reason. Perhaps it's that white finish. Anyway - it's nearly impossible to see unless you're looking straight down at the phone, mostly because it's incredibly tiny (one hole on the upper speaker grille). I've always wondered why HTC doesn't come up with a better solution (read: bigger hole), but I rarely rely on the notification light anyway.

Software

Note: much of this portion of the review is taken from my review of the HTC One S, for reasons that should be obvious.

Sense 4. If there's one thing that has stirred up emotions about HTC Android phones since the days of the Hero, it's Sense. Love it or hate it, Sense is HTC's branding of choice for Android, and it invades almost every nook and cranny of the OS. The thing about Sense is this: talk all you want about its "ugliness" or "bloat" - it doesn't slow down Android a bit on the One X. Personally, I think it adds a number of enhancements over stock Android, and I find I'm pretty neutral on the aesthetics.

I'm not here to convert anyone, though, so here are some screenshots of Sense in action - make your own judgments.

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I'm a big fan of the Car app (large landscape screenshot), as well as the interface for adding apps or widgets to homescreens (center shot in the bottom row). HTC also eschews the standard Android app switcher first introduced in Honeycomb for its own paginated system, which I can't say I see the point of. Still, like many of HTC's changes to Android - it doesn't really affect how you use your phone, Android is Android is Android, it just looks and feels a little different on the One X.

In case you've forgotten, HTC includes 23GB of additional Dropbox space (for 2 years) on all of their Android phones, which is a definite plus, and getting this extra space is made very easy - just sign into the app and click on a confirmation email.

The lockscreen is one part of Sense I really don't like. Too often I find myself accidentally hitting one of the four quick-launch buttons instead of the unlock circle, but that could just be a result of the fact that I'm not accustomed to reaching so far down on the screen to unlock my phone. On the One X, I find the lockscreen is easier to use than its smaller sibling's, if only for its larger display.

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The keyboard included with Sense is probably the best HTC implementation yet, but it's definitely imperfect, and takes a lot of getting used to. The spacebar is just too small, and this results in accidentally hitting either the period or enter key far too often, and attempts to enter a comma hit the inexplicably poorly placed hide keyboard button on the lower left. On the One X, this problem is less pronounced than the One S, but it still occurs.

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Additionally, the accuracy of the keys themselves is very average - if you prefer to type out all your words key by key, you're far better off with a 3rd-party keyboard. The HTC keyboard's saving grace is its prediction engine, which is extremely good. Since most people prefer to type using prediction engines, the spacebar and punctuation placement become less substantive gripes. Still, it's sad to see that no Android manufacturer seems to be able to make a software keyboard with the accuracy of the iPhone's - the Galaxy Nexus is the closest I've seen any device come to Apple's implementation.

At the end of the day, most people will like the look of Sense, and the changes it makes to Android, especially people who are new to Android or smartphones generally. Power users may lament the bloat (there are about 10 preinstalled AT&T apps, 9 of which can be disabled), and the outdated looks (the dialer does look pretty awful), but it all works pretty well, and more importantly, makes Android a little more "user-friendly" - and that's what really matters.

Display

It's amazing. Just forget everything you've heard about every other phone display. This is better - I guarantee it. The One X has the best screen of any smartphone on the market, and I don't see that changing particularly soon. It's that good.

Where to begin? Perhaps we should start with its shortcomings, as they are few and of little consequence. First, it doesn't get as bright as something like what Motorola uses on the DROID 4, but that's really only useful for burning out your retinas, so I'm hesitant to even call it a flaw. Secondly, it's not the world's best display in sunlight. SAMOLED+ and Super IPS+ both outmatch the Super IPS LCD2 on the One X in that regard, but again, it's not by any huge margin. The One X is perfectly usable in sunlight, it just so happens that a couple of display technologies are a little better at it.

Beyond those very small complaints, there's nothing not to like. The One X's display has the truest colors I've ever seen on a smartphone (even more so than the iPhone 4), bar none. Hold the One X up to a standard, properly-configured LCD (not LED) or CRT computer monitor (which are the best at reproducing colors accurately), and you'll see what I mean immediately. The colors are almost a dead-on match. This means you'll see content the way it was meant to be seen.

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Greens, which PenTile matrix displays tend to ruin, and SAMOLED displays to oversaturate, are represented with startling accuracy and contrast on the One X. Reds aren't hot - they're perfectly balanced (despite the photos - that's my camera, not the screen). This is particularly good for taking photos - you'll see your shots as they will appear once you upload them and look at them on your laptop or desktop PC.

Viewing angles are extraordinary - and that's thanks in some part Corning's newest iteration of Gorilla Glass, which is found protecting the One X's display panel. Gorilla Glass 2 provides the same level of protection of the original, but requires a thinner sheet of material to do so. This means less distortion at extreme angles, and that the pixels are actually physically closer to the surface of the display. The result is a screen that, as my colleague Aaron Gingrich put so well, "has the best viewing angles I’ve ever seen outside of actual printed paper."

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The resolution, 720x1280, may sound like "standard fare" for a high-end smartphone these days - but you'd be completely and utterly wrong to think that. The key to the One X's ultra-crisp display, which renders text so beautifully and cleanly it almost hurts, is that it actually gives you all of those pixels. There's no subpixel rendering trickery going on here - you get all 720 dots, in their full unadulterated glory, going from the left to right side of the screen, and it's amazing. You get all of them going up and down, too, just to be clear.

There is no better smartphone display out there right now, end of story. I honestly don't even think Samsung will be able to top this panel with the next Galaxy phone - I could never go back to the hot, cartoonish hues of an AMOLED display after seeing what SLCD2 is capable of.

Battery Life

And now for the section you've all (presumably) been waiting for. LTE and lithium-ion cells have always been bitter foes - and it was a fight that LTE usually won. I own a Verizon LTE device (a BIONIC), and the battery life is, for lack of a better word, depressing. The idea of burdening it with a mega-battery-pack sickens me.

So, has the One X finally thrown off the yoke of 4G juice-oppression? It seems like it, actually. Even with that huge 4.7" display, a dual-core processor, and LTE radio, the One X, I can say with confidence, will get the majority of people through a whole work day and then some quite easily. My usage was as follows:

  • 3 push-synced Gmail accounts (50-100 messages per day, total)
  • 1 Facebook account (sync default)
  • 1 Twitter account (push sync)
  • Multiple other synced apps
  • Automatic brightness
  • Wi-Fi off
  • No Bluetooth
  • GPS on
  • Mobile data on

Even with this, I was able to unplug the One X at 12PM on a Friday, and have it last me all the way until 3PM the next day with a few solid hours of heavy usage - that's over 24 hours. As I write this review, I've had the One X unplugged since 8AM this morning, and at 5PM today, it's still going strong at 35%.

Camera

HTC has been very aggressive in marketing the camera on the One X and One S (they share the same hardware), and rightfully so.

The One X shoots photos crazy fast - at least one per second. The rapid shot mode, initiated by holding down on the capture button, shoots a burst of photos in extremely quick succession, and lets you pick (and also suggests) a "best shot." There are a myriad of camera settings, too, including ISO, filters, lighting, adjustments for exposure/saturation/contrast/sharpness, and flash behavior.

The real questions you have, no doubt, are about quality. So, onto the samples (unedited, uncompressed, unaltered). As a note, the first 6 or so were taken near dusk, so lighting wasn't ideal, either.

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As you can see, the camera on the One X loves to saturate colors, and in good lighting, the effect is actually quite nice. While the tint of the sky in some of the images is less than vibrant, greens and reds "pop" very well. Sometimes the red exposure gets way too hot, though:

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After spending time with both the One X and One S, and their identical cameras, I feel like my opinion of them on the whole is unchanged. They're the best on any Android phone, and for most people, excellent point and shoot replacements. Still, I feel like the iPhone 4S's camera is a better all-rounder, while HTC's has its various strengths and weaknesses. 

Conclusion

The One X is a fantastic piece of hardware - there's just no other way to put it. Combined with AT&T's excellent network (say what you will - it is), I'd have to say that the One X is the best all-around Android phone you can buy in the US today. A beautiful phone with an excellent camera, great performance, solid battery life, and a jaw-droppingly good display add up to something truly great.

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David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • http://meatcastle.com/ Youre My Boy Bloo

    This phone looks absolutely phenomenal, but I have to admit a slight bit of disappointment.

    Am I the only one that gets kind of sad when you see a Qualcomm or TI processor in a phone? I know there is no reason for this sadness and these companies do in fact make bomb ass processors, but for some reason if a phone does not have a processor from Samsung or NVIDIA I am disappointed.

    WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?

    Are these companies better at producing hype?

    Somebody please explain why I feel this way!

    • http://twitter.com/andr3wjacks0n andrew jackson

      You fell for the hype.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      It's true, Qualcomm is pretty awful at hypebeasting. But this is an awesome processor, no doubt. So is Tegra 3, though.

    • warcaster

      You get around the same performance with about 30% longer battery life with the S4. So what are you complaining about exactly? 

  • http://twitter.com/andr3wjacks0n andrew jackson

    I think storage is overrated. How much storage do you need? 12GB stores a lot of music, plus you have Google Play which is an additional 200GB I think. Plus you still have Amazon and home brew solutions. I don't think your phone would last too long recording 1080p videos, you can get a cheap handheld recorder that will do the same for a lot less. No sense in taking huge pictures since most of them go to Facebook, email or G+.

    My previous phone was a Samsung Galaxy S Vibrant. In the 2 years I owned that phone I took a ton of pics, video and listened to a lot of music and I didn't hit 16GB.

    • sahilm

      With the cloud, you're obviously needing much less space. However, I think the issue people have is the lack of power. 

      If HTC doesn't allow SD card storage, then they should at least bump up the internal memory. 

      Then again, both Samsung (Galaxy Nexus GSM), Apple (16GB iPhone), and now HTC aren't really caring much about this, each releasing 16GB non-expandable phones. 

      • Verifunny

        My Galaxy Note (International) is exception. Without any modification, I can use a OTG cable to expand my Note storage capacity and backup data in the phone or its internal memory. Samsung did a great job if you ask me.

        • sahilm

          My galaxy nexus also allows USB OTG support, but it's obviously not the most elegant of solutions. 

      • spydie

        EXCUSE ME!!!  Galaxy Nexus GSM has expandable memory.  My wife has one.

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

          What? No it doesn't.

          • sahilm

            Yeah, I was pretty confused when I read this comment. 

    • ElfirBFG

      12GB is fine for internal storage, but if no mSD option is available, it's just not enough to have the device to be a replacement for a PMP. Streaming from the cloud just isn't an option for anyone not on an unlimited plan. I have a 16GB phone, I used the internal for photos and apps, and my 32GB mSD for music, almost perfect set up. I wish I had a bigger card just so I could just drag and drop the WHOLE music folder onto the card instead of making a big playlist on Banshee and copying the files, folders are neater, but a bigger pain to move in parts.

  • blix247

    How does the display compare to the Galaxy Nexus?

    • sahilm

      From reviews I've read, the general consensus is that it's better. And visibly so. 

      As a Galaxy Nexus owner, I can say the screen isn't that good. There are serious issues, IMO, regarding this weird texture thingy in the way the pixels display (apparently an issue with superAMOLED displays).

      • warcaster

        I think you mean there's an issue with Pentile displays. Galaxy S2 doesn't have Pentile, and I don't think Galaxy S3 will have either.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      Let's say "massively better in literally every way" and leave it at that.

      • Itaraid

        David
        There is so much talk about the Galaxy S3, have you seen it or worked with it yet? What are the advantages or " Pluses" it has over the OneX? What about the display...Samsung says its got a (Pentile) display...why is everyone making such a fuss about it. When it surfaces retail you can lay the OneX down next to it and whoever your Eyes and Brain tell you should be the winner. I also assume the S3 will have a SD card
        Thank you!
        LARRY

  • Ruperto17

    The phone looks gorgeous but the screen sizes are getting ridiculous. Other than hard core phone enthusiasts, I don't know anyone who actually wants bigger screens. I mean, who are these manufactures talking to? One of the reasons the iPhone sells so well it's because it's beautiful and portable. Make this phone in a 4" - 4.3" display and it will sell like hot cakes. 

    • Tim

      If you think the iphone sells because it has a 3.5" screen you're crazy!  Most people buy iphones so they can say they have an iphone.  Simple as that!

      • Zerounodos

        Never thought of it that way... I simply guessed they were all idiots.

  • http://twitter.com/ElijahJung Elijah Jung

    I think the editor is forgetting all those new HD quality games coming out. I mean look at Modern Combat 3, it takes 1.33 GB of storage. Now think how much space Nova 3 and Modern Combat 4 will take? Considering that I have at least 4 Gameloft games taking 1 GB each and other games taking about 800 MB of space and 12 GB of music, this phone doesn't have enough space. Hopefully HTC release something like HTC One XL for AT&T with extra storage like the Droid Razer except with more storage. ( Streaming isn't an option since I have AT&T and I'm not moving to any other carrier)

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      Most people aren't going to have more than 2 or 3 of those kinds of games on their phone at a time. Most people aren't even going to play games that large. This review is written for the average user, not the person who *needs* 25GB of storage available to them at all times.

      • http://twitter.com/ElijahJung Elijah Jung

        Still though, having 3 NOVA 3 graphic-quality games will at least take 5 GB or more and add on at least 5 GB of video and music, the average user is screwed over. It also could be my ignorance living in the most tech-savy city in the U.S. (its Seattle). I just hope that HTC pull a Motorola and release a 32 GB version several months later. And don't forgot that when connected to Mac (a surprising number of people have those too) it produces a thumbnail and separate files (Macs and Windows do read different files and therefore must be converted) sometimes taking up more than 5 GB space (happened to me and had to reformat the sd card to clear the invisible data). I'm also pretty sure the "average" user could buy a $200 dollar phone since this is a flagship device. Most people these days won't buy a phone more than $100. Though no hard feelings.

  • Tyler

    I'm not sure I like the way they used the physical buttons... if you notice in the video, when Groupon is loaded, the 'Menu' soft button appears, essentially making two rows of buttons, and wasting screen real estate. I'd rather have all soft buttons, or all physical buttons... not both.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      That's Groupon's fault for using old Android design conventions, not the phone's. If you load apps like Dropbox or Gmail, this problem doesn't occur. Apps will update for the lack of the menu button eventually.

  • Zerounodos

    I've really loved both reviews on HTC One X and XL (calling it XL since im not from USA)... I love the HTC one X, since it has way more storage, and Tegra 3, and I'm seriously planning on getting one, but what's bugging me is battery life, because people have been reporting pretty crappy battery life from the One X...now, you said the XL has great battery life, apparently better than the X... I'm guessing because of the dual core processor? Which makes not much sense, since the Tegra 3 is supposed to handle battery life better with the fifth core. So, my question is: Is battery life really better on the XL? 

    But, what the hell,either phone will be an improvement from my Motorola Defy (yeah, I know...)

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      I would say that yes, the XL has superior battery life to the Tegra 3 variant, even though it has an LTE chip - which is very impressive. I've read anywhere from 20-30% better battery life on the XL than the standard T3 X.

  • warcaster

    That display looks amazing, even in pictures and on my crappy laptop display.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lentrice-Wilson/100000303237497 Lentrice Wilson

    I have the GSII with a 64GB micro SD.  I have no regrets about this combination.  19 mp4 720p movies and counting. The problem with cloud storage IMO is that most people expect the data to be instant and always accessible like an SD card since it's replacing it. Once they move docs, photos, movies and music from their computer to the cloud they want it to be there.  When you fill up that storage and want to stream or watch a movie better hope your signal is adequate or else you're going to be lag city if any connection at all.   I'll bet you a dollar to a dime people are going to blame the phone and not the lack of connection.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      While clearly this device's limited storage means it isn't for you, for the vast majority of people, locally storing huge video files isn't something most people are even aware is possible. Again, this is your subjective gripe with the phone, and not an objective assessment of how most people will be using it.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lentrice-Wilson/100000303237497 Lentrice Wilson

        Yes this a gripe for me.  But I also I'm speaking for people who do store large quantities of music will run into problems when the storage is cloud based and exceeds the storage limits of the phone. I still believe over a long term when they want their music (or whatever files the may have stored) and connectivity is an issue they won't equate the two have to be in unison and will blame the phone.

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

          That's possible, but really, AT&T's LTE network is only going to grow over time, and their HSPA+ coverage/speed is already great. The average consumer probably doesn't use anything for music on their phone other than Pandora or Spotify in the first place, both of which require a data connection.

          If we're talking about people too technically ignorant to understand the need for a data connection, something tells me they'll be equally frustrated by the process of putting local music file on an Android phone anyway.

  • spydie

    I'm afraid the lack of replaceable battery (how do you remove the battery for a real clean cold boot, which all android phones need sometimes) and lack of SD card are deal-breakers for me.  10gb is never enough for what I have on my phone.  Heck, my music alone is 8gb for about 2500 songs.  I also don't like the pictures.  I prefer the brighter colors of the Samsung phones (G-note), same with the screen.  And Sense totally ruins the looks of ICS... it looks just like an old Froyo machine.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      It's funny how people are willing to completely ignore the fact that a cold boot can be accomplished without removing the battery, including on the RAZR.Why do you people keep insisting this is a flaw when it clearly isn't? Simply hold down the power button for 10 seconds and the phone will soft reset, even when completely locked up.

      SD storage, your needs are your own - clearly if 10GB isn't enough, you should be looking at other hardware. For the vast majority of people, it's plenty. Same goes for Sense, like it or don't, it performs very well, aesthetics are a matter of opinion.

      And in terms of the screen, have you even looked at the display on one of these? It's better than the Note's, period. The only reason Samsung displays have those "hot" colors is because it distracts from the comparatively poor accuracy of AMOLED panels.

      • Kenporter83

        does the 10sec soft reset work in boot loops as well??

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

          Unless you're a developer, that shouldn't be a concern, and if you are a developer, I'm sure HTC could answer your questions about that.

        • http://twitter.com/rohanXm Rohan Mathur

           FYI, yes it does, the 10 second hold is coded directly to the system firmware in a partition that is unable to be touched. The 10 second will work no matter what, it is exactly like a battery pull.

      • Itaraid

        David the display is uncontested drop dead gorgeous, whites pop right off the display, colors are national geographic gorgeous. Unbelievable. But now I have a question and hope you William help. I have a Atrix2, its a nightmare. How does the audio output compare? Which is louder. I have a sensory hearing defect the A2 is very loud, playing music, speakerphone, calls ect. Would appreciate your help. How do you move music from a SD card to the onex? Is this a Google phone?? What abouts my contacts and address book their Google. What's the best way to transfer them?
        Thank you Larry

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

          Larry,

          In regards to the audio, you may find that the One X's external loudspeaker is quieter than the ATRIX 2's. Not by a lot, but it's going to be a noticeable difference. Motorola makes the loudest phones I know of, and I have to say, calls have always sounded best on Moto phones to me. In terms of making calls, the One X's speaker is pretty good, and I think it gets more than loud enough, so it may meet your needs. I'm hesitant to be definitive on this, so I'd suggest going to an AT&T store and having them let you try it out for calls to be sure.

          Moving music should just be a matter of putting the music files from your ATRIX onto your PC using a USB cable, and then moving those files onto the One X. And yes, this is a Google (Android) phone, and if you'd like I'm pretty sure AT&T can help you get your contacts transferred.

          • Itaraid

            David..thank you for the response, for some reason my original response didn't post, I resent it to you. I did go into a att store and spent almost 3-4 hours with the OneX and the Note. As I wrote to you, I was astonished at the signaled strength differences both note and OneX had compared to my A2. I have had huge problems with the Atrix2 and that's the main reason I am switching to the New Phone. The A2 has connectivity, wifi and memory issues, that the os upgrade a few months back made worse. I hope the One will do better, so I spend less time on the phone with tech support from att.
            Looking forward to your response, as before, the Display on the OneX puts to sleep the Note display ( absolutely trumps the note display) including if not rivaling the Retina display of the 4s. I saw them side by side, and consistently thought the OneX display was more vibrant and real.

  • grellanl

    Disappointed to see HTC went with segmented storage between "internal" and "phone" storage, when ICS supports (and works best with) unified, all-ext3/4 storage. It's a great feature on the Galaxy Nexus and tablets running 3.x or 4.x - by default apps store everything internally without the security risks of using the FAT32 virtual "SD card" -- and I never see any of the install failures that have plagued every other device I've used, including my Nexus S which now runs 4.0.4.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      It definitely is a bit annoying, but I haven't had any install failures or problems because of it at this point.

  • Casey

    unplugged over 24 hours, so the screen time on is?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      Probably around 3-4 hours, but that's a very rough guess.

  • http://www.speaksmart.co.uk/ Daljit Kapoor

    Best Article.... Liked it

  • http://www.feedchimp.com/ Nick DeSousa

    I'm pretty sure you have it mixed up.  AT&T is carrying the One-XL, the dual core S4 variant of the One-X.  The One-X is the international Tegra 3 version.  It's extremely confusing, I know, and in the development community it's causing some confusion.

    Here is the official HTC page for the One-XL showing the dual core S4 cpu, which AT&T will be carrying.
    http://www.htc.com/asia/smartphones/htc-one-xl/#specs

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JPTTY5CPD7YKFV5RJQOZBPAZ3E Mike

    good review, enjoyed it. since I'm commenting on a site like this, I do enjoy my content loaded 64gig sdcard & crazy huge extended batt. hope there are enough 'enthusiasts' for new phones with higher specs in these other areas that were omitted in htc's latest one series.

  • Zohan

    great review! not a big fan of HTC phones but I enjoyed this read..

  • http://twitter.com/ElijahJung Elijah Jung

    Wouldn't the majority of users purchasing this device be "high-end" user therefore saying 16 GB would be enough is actually not justifiable? I doubt someone who randomly decides to buy would buy this phone and even if they have the cash would probably get an iphone instead since that's whats advertised to them. I don't think the majority of people would pay $250 and more (when you add tax and activation fees) for a phone in this economy. Unless the economy got better over time that is. So it should be a problem that this phone doesn't even have a micro sd or 32 gb of storage if my logic is correct. 

  • Itaraid

    I second that motion..i spents. 4-5 hours at a att stored they had a note sided by side to a OneX which was faster aand superior to any samsung display including the Note the 3rd was my Atrix2. What was profound.nd was both the note and HTC o ex were receiving z62 dbm - 4-5 ASU WHILE MY ATRIX WAS RECEIVING 98 DBM AND 14 ASU. THAT A HUGE DIFFERENCE I WONDER WHY. Lastly is this phone a Google phone? You have to sign in to Google to make the phone work? Hop I can also fin some to tell me how to move my music and photos off my SD card to thedevice

  • Gustavo Gomez

     http://www.androidauthority.com/htc-one-x-issue-breaks-android-multi-tasking-85598/

    It is terrible. I am about to return my phone

  • Scottyd

    Thanks for the review. 

    I am down in Australia and we are still waiting for our version of this to become available - which is killing me as my desire is dead. Interestingly it seems that our version may be coming out with 32GB of onboard storage, which I must say I pleased about. I could live with 16, but 32 I feel future proofs me a little and means I dont have to "mange" it so much. One of the reasons though is we dont have very good data plans so cloud storage isnt possible when the average plan comes with about 256mb of data to use! I am lucky I have 4GB, which is enough for me, but would be useless for cloud storage!