I’ve been using an HTC One X for about two weeks now. I usually share my thoughts on devices sooner than this. But, I’ve now had a couple of devices work well in the U.S. only to disappoint when taken on the road. So, with being in Asia briefly last week, I opted to give the One X a real road test before sharing my thoughts.
Ok, so two weeks in, here’s the scoop:
- The first thing you’ll notice about the HTC One X is how light it is. Seriously, you’ll probably keep thinking you lost it only to find it safely in your pocket. This phone is not small, actually the screen is huge, but it must be the lightest smartphone I’ve ever used. Once you get used to it, every other device feels like a paperweight.
- Part of how HTC kept the weight down is by making the phone a sealed unit, with no openable compartment for battery replacement, and no slot for an SD card. Honestly, both of these restrictions worried me at first. But the truth is that I already carry all sorts of chargers with me, along with a rechargeable backup battery for any USB device, and I realized that I never even bought a second battery for my last phone, so, maybe the sealed battery is a non-issue. Maybe.
- As for the lack of an SD card slot, this can be a very real limitation depending on what you use your phone for. I don’t watch movies on mine, when I take pictures I usually move them to a NAS or to online storage pretty quickly, and any music is up on the cloud, so it’s not that big a deal for me. But, if you do need greater local storage, this could be a real deal breaker.
- I already mentioned the screen, it’s huge, and bright, and a pleasure to view. It’s also really smooth. This is something I had not paid attention to previously, but sliding your fingers across the glass is effortless and just feels better. I am a big Swype fan, and the difference can be felt immediately. I have no idea what they did to the glass, but it feels different from every other device I have here (including iPhone, Samsung devices, and other HTC devices).
- The HTC One X comes in two versions, a quad-core Tegra 3, and a dual-core Snapdragon S4. Only the latter has AT&T LTE support, and being unwilling to part from my beloved LTE, that’s what I opted for. And no complaints. The phone is as responsive as I need it to be, and never ever feels sluggish.
- Talking about radios, the LTE support is incredible if you are fortunate enough to be in an area where AT&T LTE is supported. (I’ve used it in New York City, Miami, Atlanta, the Bay Area, and Kansas City, and while LTE speed varies greatly from location to location, it’s always significantly faster than without it). And yes, the phone (both voice and data) worked flawlessly in Japan and Korea last week.
- The HTC One X runs Android 4 (aka ICS), and I should note that there is no comparison running ICS on a device built for it, as opposed to one built for an older version and then upgraded. ICS does take a little getting used to, but when used on a device made for it, it feels just right.
So, is the phone perfect? I do have a few very minor complaints:
- There is an odd Wi-Fi bug that causes the phone to sometimes think it’s still connected to a Wi-Fi access point even when it that access point is no longer in range. It is as if the connection never times out. And because the phone thinks it’s on Wi-Fi there is data connectivity over the cellular network. Quickly toggling Wi-Fi on and off solves the problem, but it is an annoyance.
- There is a bug in the text messaging client. The default font is too big for me. You can change the display font, but the next time you open a test message the changed font size setting will be lost and you’ll be back at the default. And yes, I know that’s nitpicking, but it’s still irritating.
- This next one is a Swype issue, not an HTC one. Swype works beautifully on the HTC One X, except the first time you use it after powering the phone on. The keyboard ends up squished to about half the right width making it impossible to use. If you rotate the phone to horizontal and back to vertical it resizes properly, so not a biggie.
- And finally, this one is an AT&T issue. AT&T originally only supported Visual Voicemail on iPhone, but recently added it to all of their LTE phones, all except the HTC One X! Huh? It’s not an ICS compatibility issue, because Visual Voicemail was supported on the HTC Vivid after it was OTA upgraded to ICS. AT&T, please fix this one!
So, is the HTC One X the perfect smartphone? It’s definitely the closest to perfect that I have seen yet. My few complaints are not fundamental device problems, and all feel like issues that could be addressed in a software or firmware update, and I really hope that an update is in the works. But, regardless, this phone is an absolute winner!
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