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Review: What I like about HTC One (video)

I have been holding on to the HTC One for a few weeks already. Finally, I decided to talk about it. It has been a tough moment for me because I was hoping that it will be my next phone. However, I do have my “concerns” on it. Read on to check out how I feel about HTC One.

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What I like about HTC One

In my review, I decided break it into two parts. One part is to talk about what I like about the phone. The other part is what I don’t like.

The Design

I love the design. It is metallic and it looks and feel premium. HTC has done well in making head turns with this phone design. When I saw and touch the phone in February, I know that the design is a winner. I have talked to others on the design and most of them agree that the design really stands out amongst the many Android phones around.

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Click Here to check out my first look on HTC One

I love the way HTC tries to hide the bezel with a pure black border. With zero gap on the screen, it looks like the screen is extended to the edge. I can safely say that when I put HTC One together with iPhone 5, they are on par with each other.

The Dual Frontal Stereo Speakers

When HTC showed the world that they have put the speakers on the front of the phone, I was wondering why not many manufacturers are doing that (BTW, this is not new).

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Here is the bottom speaker.

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In my opinion, the speakers should always be on the front. HTC has done it better by not only putting the dual frontal speakers, it has built-in amplifier and powered by Beats Audio. This makes the sound incredible. Having used and toyed around with so many smartphones, the sound quality from HTC One (HTC called in BoomSound) blows me away. Check out this demo.

The sound is loud, rich and the bass plentiful. As a layman, it is really good enough. Other than the sound quality, the decision to put the speakers in front also make sense. I can now hear clearly when using navigational software on the phone. And when I use the phone for teleconferencing, the frontal stereo speakers are a blessing. (but sometimes the notification sound can be a little too loud)

The IR Port and Power ON/OFF Switch

It is a clever move to introduce the IR sensor on the phone. And it is even a cleverer idea to incorporate it on the ON/OFF switch.

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It looks really good and the position is nice when you point it to control the devices. With the TV app provided, I can easily configure the app to control my cable box and TV. FYI, it has preset Mio TV, StarHub Cable TV in the configurations. Very easy to configure. Here is a few screenshots of the TV app.

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I like that the app is able to show the Channels and has indicator to let me know how long the show has been showing (a little blue indicator line shows the status).

The Screen

The 4.7 inch, Full HD 1080p, 468 PPI is really nice. In bright sunlight, I can clearly read the content on the screen. When I compared it with competitors’ device, I can see that HTC One performs better (my opinion).

To me, this is very important. I hate it when I cannot see clearly under bright sunlight. With HTC One, I have absolutely no problem.

The Speed

Thanks to the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 600, quad-core, 1.7GHz processor, everything is fast. There seems to be no lag on the device. I did a Quadrant test and HTC One wins some of its closest competitors.

Click here to check out the test results

PS: The handsets in the test are: HTC Butterfly, Sony Xperia Z, Samsung GALAXY Note 1 and HTC One.

HTC Sense 5.0

This is very controversial. Many people out there are telling me that they would love to remove HTC Sense. It changes many of the presets.

For HTC One, I believe HTC Blinkfeed is part of this HTC Sense 5.0 experience. Some hate it but I don’t mind having it. Although HTC has mentioned that it is different from Flipboard, I still find that they are similar.

Anyway, as the Blinkfeed is customizable, I am able to see what I want. And because of that, I am more aware of what is going on with my friends and news that matter to me.

Here is a short video to show you the settings on the Blinkfeed.

Apart from that, I think Sense 5.0 also makes a better reading experience on the email (I am using Microsoft Activesync). It feels cleaner and more organized as compared to my Samsung GALAXY Note. BTW, my favorite is still Windows Phone :) .

Summary

So, the above almost summarizes my “likes” on HTC One. One thing I did not try is the 4G speed and how it relates to battery life (as I do not have a 4G SIM card yet). And also this is a pre-production set. That means that anything can change on the production set (of course not expecting it to happen).

Overall, I like HTC One but as you can see, I did not mention a word on the Ultrapixel camera that HTC has been touting about. I will do that on another blog post. Do check back to see it.

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