HTC One review: The best phone on the planet, but is it good enough?

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Last year, HTC promised a unified marketing effort with the One brand, but it didn’t seem to go as planned. They started with the One X, One S, and One V. Then came the One SU, One SV, One VX, several Desire devices, and the Butterfly. Lets not forget variants such as the EVO 4G LTE, the DROID Incredible 4G LTE, and the DROID DNA. Unfortunately 2012, was another bad year for HTC, and they have come back with the same story for 2013, which is to offer a unified marketing effort and one flagship phone. This time around they did indeed unveil “one” phone, appropriately called the HTC One. There are plenty of reviews already published on the HTC One, and you will have a hard time finding anyone who doesn’t think it’s the best phone ever made. I will cut to the chase and tell you that it’s very unlikely that I will disagree with that assessment, especially when you consider the fact that I picked the One X as the best phone for 2012 while everyone and their brother chose the Samsung Galaxy S III or Galaxy Note II. Unfortunately being the best doesn’t guarantee success nor does it mean that you should buy it. Sometimes its better for the average person to buy what’s popular rather than what’s considered to be the best. The bottomline is the One is the underdog salivating for your hard earned dollars. Underdogs need to prove their worthiness. In other words, does the HTC One provide enough greatness to break brand loyalty for the average consumer? A year and half ago, it was all about specs for phones, but Samsung and Apple recognized that mainstream consumers don’t buy on specs. They buy on consistency, software features, and a recognized brand. The One X may have achieved the best phone last year in terms of pure hardware, but they failed in all three categories. Will this year be any different? Hit the break to find out.

Design

Last year’s One X was stunning to say the least, but a year later the One somehow makes the One X seem cheap, I know that is an overstatement, but I say it to prove a point. How could HTC improve on something that was so great? Well I’m not part of the design team at HTC, so I can’t offer much more than they obviously have the most talented design team in place. When people stare at their phones, they are generally looking at their display to read emails or play a game, but HTC phones are different. Of course you look at the display, but when you have a phone as sexy as the HTC One, you sometimes pull it out of your pocket just to stare at the phone itself. You end up holding it at different angles to let the beautiful curves sink in. This is when your spouse or friend says, “What are you doing? It’s just a phone.” You just sigh knowing they will never understand.

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The One has an all aluminum body with a hint of polycarbonate as opposed to the all polycarbonate body of the One X. Each phone is made out of a single block of anodized aluminum and has a zero-gap construction. The edges are chamfered thanks to a special diamond cutter, and each unit goes through roughly 200 minutes of CNC machine cuts. There’s no question that HTC spent a lot of time and money to make the One the most attractive phone ever made. HTC is hoping consumers really care about this. I know I do, but I’m not convinced that others do. For more on their process click here.

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HTC introduced the pyramid style design with the Butterfly/DROID DNA, which was also implemented on the One. The back is rounded and resembles a Hershey bar. It allows HTC to offer a thinner profile at the edges, which is roughly 4mm. At its thickest part, it’s 9.3mm, but because of the pyramid style, it feels so much thinner. It also feels more natural in your hand. Since it’s all metal, you can’t expect it to be the lightest phone as it comes in at 5.04 oz (143g). In contrast, the Samsung Galaxy S 4 weighs 4.59 oz (130g). Still, it’s not a big difference, and the One feels more solid.

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Other than the materials, HTC also changed the layout of buttons and ports from last year. Whether you like the changes or not, this is one of the weaknesses of HTC in that they just don’t seem to have any consistency, which ends in confusion for consumers. The power button (with built-in IR blaster) is now to the top left (was top right on the One X) and the microphone jack is now at the top right (was top left on the One X). The volume rocker remains at the top right, but is sleeker. The left side now has the microSIM slot towards the top (was on the top on the One X), and the microUSB port is now at the bottom towards the right (was on left side bottom on the One X). So far I have only compared these changes to the One X, but the Butterfly/DNA has even more differences. Now we get to one of the most dramatic changes and that’s the capacitive buttons on the front of the phone. HTC decided to get away from the Android concept and go with just two buttons, Home and Back (instead of Back, Home, Task). Not only that, they moved the Home button to the right and put an HTC logo at the center. It actually looks good, but it’s another example of HTC’s lack of consistency. Samsung has been criticized for their lack of quality in their phones, but one thing HTC can learn from Samsung is consistency. Consumers don’t feel lost when upgrading from one Samsung device to another. As much as I appreciate quality, consistency is probably more important to the overall marketing strategy.

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Last but not least, HTC made a dramatic change with the speaker or shall I say speakers. The HTC One has two speakers on the front of the device, one at the top and the other at the bottom. This is something Samsung implemented with their most recent tablets, so it’s nice to see this same concept on a phone. While the majority of phones only have one speaker, they are generally found at the back, which never made sense. The speakers aren’t small either. In fact they are so big, they housed the notification light inside the top speaker to the left. I will talk more about the speakers in the performance section.

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Hardware

As far as specs go, the HTC One didn’t hold anything back. It has a 4.7-inch 1080p (1920 x 1080) LCD 3 display with a ppi of 468, a 1.7GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor, Adreno 320 GPU, 2GB of RAM, 32GB or 64GB of storage, 4MP (with UltraPixel) rear camera, 2.1MP front camera, 2,300mAh battery, IR blaster, MHL, DLNA, WiFi 802.11 a/ac/b/g/n, WiFi Direct, and microUSB port. As for radios, it depends on your area. I am reviewing the AT&T version, which has 850/1900/2100MHz 3G and 700/850/AWS/1900MHz LTE. You will notice that I didn’t list a microSD slot, and that is because it doesn’t have one. This means there isn’t a way to expand the storage. Still, with 32GB and 64GB offerings, it should satisfy most people. It also needs to be noted that the battery cannot be removed since the One is a unibody design.

Performance

There really isn’t much to say about the speed of the One other than it’s very fast. Reviewing CPU performance is starting to get boring because phones are getting to the point where consumers aren’t going to notice much from phone to phone. The AnTuTu benchmark came in at 23,538, which is one of the highest scores we have ever seen. The bottomline is that the Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 performs very well.

Much like quality of materials, HTC has been kicking major butt in the display department. Everyone was blown away with the 720p LCD 2 display on the One X, but the 1080p LCD 3 display that was introduced late last year in the Butterfly/DROID DNA left us completely speechless. The One has the same display as the Butterfly/DROID DNA, but it has a little higher pixel count (468 ppi vs 440 ppi) since the display is at 4.7-inches as opposed to 5.0-inches. No one is going to notice that difference, but it continues to be the best display on the market.

HTC introduced Beats integration a couple of years ago, and most people saw it as a gimmick. I would tend to agree, but it appears HTC had a plan all along, and I don’t think any of us realized how committed they were to sound quality. The One is the first HTC phone to feature BoomSound, which is appropriately named. As I mentioned in the design section, there are two speakers at the front of the phone (top and bottom), which provides stereo sound as opposed to mono sound. The result is the best sound I have ever heard from a phone. You really have to hear it for yourself to believe it. Unfortunately I don’t get a lot of use out of it since I don’t use my phone to play music via the built-in speakers. I think most people use ear phones, and the good news is that you won’t be disappointed with that either because the One features the same 2.55V amp that’s in the DROID DNA. When it comes to sound, there isn’t a phone that comes close the what the One offers.

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Battery

The One sports a much bigger battery than the One X, but only slightly bigger than the DROID DNA. The One has a 2,300mAh battery, while the One X had 1,800mAh and the DROID DNA had a 2,020mAh battery. 2,300mAh is pretty good, but the Galaxy S 4 sports 2,600mAh and it’s removable. If HTC is weak in one area, it seems to be in battery life. The One X was nothing to brag about and neither was the DROID DNA. With 2,300mAh, we were expecting a big improvement, but unfortunately it came up as a slight improvement. In my usual video rundown test in which I run continuous video with WiFi, Bluetooth, and GPS turned on (WiFi and Bluetooth not connected), I was able to squeak out a little over 7 hours. The DROID DNA came in at a little over 6 hours. An improvement, but nothing to write home about. Still, real world daily use is where it counts and you can expect to get about 15 hours with average use. However, if you’re at an event in which you plan on taking a lot of Zoes (see below), it will cut that down a lot.

Software

A couple of years ago, it was all about the specs, but things have shifted to the software side. When I say software, I really mean the proprietary features, not the user interface. Unfortunately HTC hasn’t figured this out yet as they seem to spend more time on their user interface, which is called Sense. On the other hand, Samsung spends more time on proprietary software features which translates to more phones sold. Most of them are gimmicks and probably rarely used, but they are marketable and exciting to consumers. In HTC’s defense, they did come up with some new software features this year (see below), but nowhere near the number that Samsung is rolling out with the Galaxy S 4. HTC’s continued focus on Sense only confuses consumers since a lot of the main aspects of the user interface change from phone to phone. HTC really needs to take a cue from both Samsung and Apple in this regard. Samsung has been criticized for their TouchWiz interface in that it hasn’t really changed much since Gingerbread. I agree, but this is what makes their phones more appealing to consumers. Consumers need familiarity when upgrading phones or receiving updates. Samsung adds new features, such as S Beam, Smart Stay, and All Share, but they keep the basic elements of their UI the same. Consistency is the key, and HTC lacks that.

If you haven’t figured it out yet, this year’s version of Sense, Sense 5, has some changes from last year. I put together a tutorial video highlighting the major ones below.

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Now as I mentioned, HTC did find time for a few proprietary features, which include BlinkFeed, HTC TV, and HTC Zoe / Video Highlights (see camera section). BlinkFeed is HTC’s version of Flipboard that looks like a widget, but isn’t removable. It’s a scrollable news feed that you can customize, but HTC made the choice that it has to take up one of your homescreens and there is nothing you can do about it.  It’s doesn’t have to be your main home page, but it’s shocking that HTC wouldn’t make it removable. HTC  found that consumers generally don’t bother with widgets and they generally leave their device’s “out of the box” setup intact. It appears they were trying to simplify things for the average consumer, but why not make it a removable widget for those advanced users?” See the video below to learn how it works and how to set it up.

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HTC TV is one example of a newer trend for smartphones. The One features an IR blaster (just like the Galaxy S 4) built into the power button. You can control your TV, cable/satellite box, and home theater receiver.  Controlling your devices is just part of it since you can also get a more visual look to what’s on TV and get recommendations based on your interests. Just tap on a show that interests you, and the One will change your satellite/cable box to the appropriate channel. HTC TV is nothing new since Peel already offers something very similar, but it can bring this type of application to the forefront with some marketing. Below is a video showing you the setup process and how HTC TV works.

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Camera

This is the most controversial part of the HTC One. While phone manufacturers are in a race to offer the highest megapixels, HTC is making a very bold move in going in the opposite direction. While flagship phones are now at 13 megapixels, the One sports 4 megapixels. HTC is arguing that it’s not about the megapixels when it comes to quality photos, it’s the size of the actual pixels. HTC is marketing their camera as UltraPixel, which means they are using a large sensor (one-third-inch BSI) and combining it with bigger pixels. The result is better color and a dramatic difference in lower light situations. To give you an idea, most phones have 1.1-micrometers pixels, but the One has 2-micrometers pixels, which lets in 44% more light. Combine this with a 28mm f/2.0 AF lens and optical image stabilization, you have one of the best cameras on a smartphone.

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The problem lies with the size of the photos. I agree, an 8MP sensor isn’t going to necessarily give you better photos, but as you know, smartphone cameras don’t offer optical zoom. This means that if you want to zoom in on your subject, you’re going to be left with a rather small photo if you’re starting with 4MP. The same goes for cropping after the fact because the detail isn’t going to be there. This is exactly where the controversy lies. The bottomline is that you will get amazing photos with the HTC One, but you are going to have to plan your shots better. You are going to have to make sure that before you press that shutter button, you will be satisfied as far as distance from the subject because your options after the fact won’t be there. I suspect this is the case for most consumers in that they are probably sharing their original shots and not cropping. I like this direction that HTC is going, but it’s going to take a lot of marketing to educate consumers on why their 4MP is better than the competition’s 13MP. Will the rep at the carrier store really understand the differences and be able to explain it to the consumer?

Based on what I told you about UltraPixels, it’s no surprise that the One camera performs fantastically in low light, which is where the majority of photos are taken. In bright light, it’s not as noticeably better, but an update is coming that will help with that. It is also one of the fastest cameras as far as focusing. As soon as you hold the One up to take a shot, it’s ready to go. If you need to focus on another subject, it’s instantaneous when you tap your finger. As far as basic camera settings, everything is there from last year including panorama, HDR, various editing effects, and a slew of settings for fine tuning.

You will find plenty of example photos online that were taken from the One, but here’s a few with different light variations for you to judge. The first two are in sunlight while the last two are in very low light conditions.

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I mentioned HTC Zoe and video highlights in the software section, but since it’s a camera function, I thought I would discuss it here. I have criticized HTC for not offering enough software features on the One as opposed to the Galaxy S 4, but HTC might have struck gold with Zoe and video highlights. It just might be the best feature to ever be offered on a smartphone, and I’m shocked Apple didn’t come up with it first.

Let’s talk about Zoes first. The name Zoe comes from zoetrope, which is a device that produces the illusion of motion from a rapid succession of static pictures. HTC Zoes are 3 second 1080p videos, but also includes 20 images. It’s like an updated version of burst shooting, but much better since you’re getting video at the same time. You enter Zoe mode by simply hitting the Zoe button in the camera interface. You can still do traditional burst shooting, but Zoe is going to offer so much more. HTC has put together an algorithm that will turn your images, Zoes, and videos into a 30-second highlight video. The world has become very visual thanks to sites like Instagram, Facebook, and Google+, so why not turn it up a notch with highlight videos? Unfortunately that’s a daunting task for the average individual. Most consumers aren’t about to load video and images into a video editor and mess with that. Instead, HTC’s unique algorithm will do it for you automatically. When I say automatically, I mean it because you don’t even need to press a button to actually create one. Your 30-second highlight video with music will already be in your gallery without ever asking for it.

How does it know what images / Zoes to use? Generally we take photos around certain events so HTC created event folders in the gallery. Each event will consist of images, Zoes, and videos that you took. You can move any of these media files from event to event, but generally it will go by date and time frame. In most cases, you won’t have to do a thing. When you tap on an event, you will see all the media associated with the event, but the top will already have a highlight video ready for you to watch and/or share. You can change the effects, and if you’re not certain you like the video, just hit shuffle and a new highlight video is ready in less than a second. You can even fine tune things by pre-selecting the images, Zoes, or videos that you only want to be utilized. You can share any of these videos via YouTube or through HTC Share. YouTube is the more permanent share, while HTC Share is only for 30 days. I can’t stress enough how incredible both the Zoe and video highlights features are. This alone is reason enough to buy this phone and is something that HTC needs to push in their marketing efforts.

I put together a complete tutorial of the camera interface, Zoes, and Video Highlights which you can watch below.

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And here is what the finished product looks like. I have six versions of the same event with the only difference being one of the six predefined filters:  Islandia, Burbia, Eifel, Vega, Avalon, and Polaris.

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Now everything great does have its downside and Zoes are no exception. By using Zoes, you are going to use up your storage a lot faster since every Zoe is an mp4 video as well as 20 images. When using traditional burst shots, people generally pick the best one and delete the remaining shots. With Zoes, you will want to keep these videos because they are used for the video highlights. After you have created a video highlight that is acceptable, you should save it and/or share it. Then go through the remaining Zoes and save the images separately that you like and delete each Zoe. Unfortunately you won’t be able to create another video highlight in the future, but how many do you need from the same event? Another issue is battery. When people are at an event, they tend to leave their phone on a lot so they can take photos at a moments notice. If you do that while you’re set to Zoe, you will drain your battery faster because it’s constantly buffering video since every Zoe includes about a half a second before you hit the shutter button. The last issue involves instant uploads. You might want to turn this off because if you leave it on, you are going to have a lot of uploading, which could affect your data plan as well as battery life.

Closing

There is no question that the HTC One is the best phone on the planet, but the real question is if you should buy it. As I mentioned in my opening, consumers tend to choose what’s popular because the “best” doesn’t always translate into anything useful for mainstream consumers. Buying something popular means more people have it, which makes consumers feel more at ease since there will be more people to offer assistance. Popular phones are also likely to get more support since manufacturers tend to spend more money on the phones they sell more of. Last year I felt the One X was the best phone, but I had a hard time recommending it over the Galaxy S III. I feel like when I recommend something that someone isn’t familiar with, I am asking them to “take a chance” if you know what I mean. Fast forward to this year. Do I feel differently? The One is still the underdog and I already mentioned that consumers aren’t buying on specs, they are buying on consistency, software features, and a recognized brand. Last year, HTC failed at all three, but this year it’s a little different in that they succeeded in one area, software features. Samsung wins in the number of features, but the Zoe / Video Highlights feature is so good, it puts whatever Samsung is bring to the table to shame. Is this feature enough of a reason to break brand loyalty and force consumers to buy the HTC One? Unfortunately for people who aren’t into the camera so much, the answer isn’t so easy. For those that put the camera towards the top of their list, the answer is yes. The One seems to be a phone to build a brand upon and will hopefully allow HTC to be more consistent moving forward. I’m not sure HTC could have made a better phone, so the time is now for people to find out about HTC and “take a chance.” HTC has a long way to go to reach Samsung’s market share dominance, but they are well on their way to satisfying their hunger by getting a decent slice of the pie.

 

 

» See more articles by Robert Nazarian


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  • Mario

    I picked up the phone on Friday, and I love it so far. One thing, I’m having an issue with is NFC. As far as I can tell with the limited testing I’ve done, is that it’s not working at all. Can you verify that it works on yours? I tried holding it back-to-back with several other phones, including a One X, a Nexus 4, and a galaxy Nexus, and couldn’t get it to connect.

    • RobertNazarian

      Very interesting. I never tested it. I grabbed an NFC business card I have and it didn’t want to read it. After a few tries it finally took, but NFC is definitely not working too well. I wasn’t able to connect to a DROID DNA either.

  • GraveUypo

    i’ll just skip the whole thing and say the title is absurd. it might be the best for you but it’s not even eligible to enter my wishlist. so try to avoid superlative statements like that.

    • RTWright

      Well you see the problem is here, Mr. Nazarian is a long time supporter and follower of HTC. His opinions as well as his review is biased. A real review would come from someone unbiased. There was a lot more that HTC was screwing up on other than marketing, customer support was a major kicker against them for a while, not sure how they are now and don’t really care.

      This phone is not even on my list of must haves or even consideration of such. But we all know that I’ll get bashed by the Nazarian Tribe for this but until HTC starts to offer not just software enhancements but as well the hardware a lot of us ( According to Nazarian we’re a complete minority and don’t deserve recognition ) have been used to and desire ( Removable Batteries, MicroSD, etc…. ).

      Oh but hey, there is AT&T’s study that states we don’t need anymore than 16GB period, so why offer more. Yet for some reason that only applies to the one millionth of users that use these devices across the world, so the rest of us who don’t speak up enough on sites like this or care to waste our time just need to clam up and deal with it.

      This phone is well built, is probably a great phone but “Best” is a matter of opinion and I’m quite sure several share it with him. But even though Samsung pushes their “Software Enhancements” in their marketing? They STILL OFFER all the rest to go with it, so with the notion specs don’t matter is a complete line of BS by Nazarian and anyone that thinks like this or Samsung would have gone the iDroid way with everyone else!

      The GSIII won out because it offers everything. Just because they didn’t put that in their Advertisements, doesn’t mean it doesn’t count. I promise you this, it was the tipping point for sale over the One X for a great many and the different internal sizes going up to 64GB ( What was that? Only need 16GB? Hmmmm…. Wrong! ) helped a ton as well. HTC needs to start following by example before it can ever lead again… Don’t care how fancy you package it, it’s what’s inside that counts!

      • GraveUypo

        that’s all well and right but what bothers me isn’t the HTC fans (not the reasonable ones at least), it’s the stupid “let’s support the underdog” crowd. i’m tired of reading comments such as “oh damn this doesn’t have X or Y or even Z that i want in my phone, i should probably buy phone T that does have all of that, but i think i’ll buy this one instead because i want to support brand W”.

        my forehead is permanently red from facepalming thanks to these guys. Waste your cash on a product that doesn’t fit your needs and all you’re saying is you don’t need what you want. well actually you’re probably not saying anything, you’re just wasting the cash you could use to buy the T phone and be happier.

        i personally like motorola phones the best, but last year there wasn’t anything nearly as good as a galaxy s3, so i got that instead. i’m hoping the next phone i get is a moto (obviously hoping google doesn’t spoil it with their damn nexus policy of not having sd slots or removable batteries, and leave the mini-hdmi port alone because i fucking love it), but if it’s not the best phone at the time just won’t get it. though i won’t be switching phones for a while. s3 has everything i want on a phone for now (well i could use even more storage – heck i’d welcome a second micro sd slot – and the native hdmi port, but…).

        • RTWright

          When I bought my GS3, I was coming from an original Evo4G. Within the first 6 months of ownership I decided to go ahead and root it, all because of HTC and Sprint, mostly HTC’s lame excuses for not updating the phone and constant dancing around the issue. It was the TOP selling phone when it first came out, you couldn’t find it in stock anywhere. It was a damn nice phone, no doubting it. It had EVERYTHING anyone could want at that given time.

          Their subsequent releases however constantly seem to pail by comparison. People on Verizon and AT&T as well as T-Mobile all wanted a variation of the Evo, but never seen one ( At least not with all the bells and whistles the Evo had ). Little by little they kept on taking away features and giving out crap ( Remember the Evo 3D? ). This was the start of the decline of HTC, they stopped putting quality as job #1 and focused on what? GIMMICKS!

          Samsung hit it right on the nail with the SII and other subsequent releases. They pulled ahead without a ton of marketing like they did with the S3, they did because their products were superior. Now I’m not going to claim loyalty to any company, I use the GSIII, I have no issues with it, but if another company ( HTC included ) would come out with a better option, then yes, I’d be up for it. The HTC One is nothing more than a Gimmick in itself. All that fancy metal packaging is a gimmick, all of that bs touting of their camera, gimmick, all of it! So it would seem Samsung isn’t the ONLY one with what? Gimmicks!

          Sorry but you fail to realize, while Samsung covers ALL grounds, regardless of rather or not they put it in their stupid ads. They will remain on top till someone can land on equal ground and challenge them. HTC is got a fancy looking device, that’s it. It’s nothing special. If by the time my Sprint contract ends and something better than anything Samsung is putting out is available, then I’ll switch. But you can’t come here spewing your jaded views of HTC’s One and pull the wool over people’s eyes. You are very biased Mr. Nazarian!

          • oliver_liew

            A large majority of other reviewers are using similar superlatives. ll of them biased too? If yes, maybe we need to think why are they being biased? Maybe the phone really is that good?

            • RobertNazarian

              Truer words were never spoken. When someone disagrees with someone else, The quickest defense is to say they are “biased.” For some reason they think they aren’t. LOL

            • GraveUypo

              The difference is we don’t have to be unbiased, we’re not writing a review / article. We’re just giving opinions on the comment section. Then again, i never criticized you directly, just the title of the article, so i guess that poke wasn’t really meant for me.

              Even so, i still stand by what i said. Try to not state your opinion as fact in your review. It’s ok to have an opinion, as long as it’s treated as such.

      • RobertNazarian

        I knew you would chime in. I am not going to get into an argument with you. We have already exhausted enough, and will will just agree to disagree. The only reason I am replying is to defend myself about being biased.

        You said, “Mr. Nazarian is a long time supporter and follower of HTC. His opinions as well as his review is biased.”

        This couldn’t be further from the truth. in my profile on the author page I state that I owned only Motorola phones from the early 90′s up and through the Galaxy Nexus, which was a Samsung phone. If anything I am a Motorola fanboy. I was with Motorola from the MicroTac days to Windows Mobile and eventually the DROID and the DROID X. I never was an HTC fan. I made my first HTC purchase this past December with the DROID DNA. I am far from a “long time supporter” like you said and I am not biased. I would never fault anyone for buying any of the Galaxy S phones or the Notes. I have even recommended them as I pointed out in my article.

        I just wanted to make it clear that I am not biased about HTC. I have a right to think they have the best phone on the market just like you think Samsung makes the best phone. If anything, you have “supported” Samsung a lot longer than I have “supported” HTC. Who’s biased?

        • hohopig

          But personally I disagree with you that HTC One is the best phone though. They just made too many compromise, even in the camera (with the lost of details especially in the letterings and fine details in a photo taken in daylight at a middling distance). Put in the smaller battery, so so battery life (so it seems), non removable battery & SD card, slightly slower benchmark compared to S4, the overbearing BlinkFeed (which strikes me as a bit too much of an iFruity copy .. same with the non removable battery and SD card) and several other compromises, I think it cannot be said to be THE BEST phone. It might be the best phone for some, but definitely not for a lot of others. So at best, we can say that it is a good phone, perhaps the best phone that HTC manage to put out (and without shooting itself in its feet .. hopefully .. like that over aggressive tasking killing setting in One X)

  • Todd

    HTC used to be a very good phone brand, but they don’t innovate. They have good phones, but nothing special. The S4 and moto x are going to be the phone of 2013!

    • M42

      To each their own. I just got the HTC One this weekend and it replaces a very nice Samsung. Needless to say, the HTC is in a class all by itself. I have not doubt the S4 will sell well due to its gimmicks. But in terms of phone quality and that intangible “it” feel that the iPhone has always had, this phone has it and the S4 does not. Hold both in your hands and the S4 just feels cheap.

      • Todd

        Its about value with the phone with any brand. I have a moto photon, I bought the in 2011 because at the time it was one of the best phone on any carrier. I was back in forth between that and s2. Now photon is a better phone, but s2 has jelly bean and photon as gingerbread no updates. It is possible you could have the s2 for 3 years. A high end phone should last you at least 2 years. HTC got lazy after the first EVO and when the hero first came out, it was a beast of a phone.Right now the top 3 is samsung,lg and motorola. Now with apple, the put marginal improvement with each phone that come out twice a year. Get there parts from everyone and slap an apple name. Apple product are good but people seem like there in heaven when they get a apple product.Samsung is the answer to apple, think apple have samsung chips in there phone too…The one is a very good start for HTC and i am rooting for them for better phones. When all the brands come out with great phones, we as the consumer win!

    • hohopig

      Totally agree. Except that they did innovate in terms of sound and perhaps tried a bit too hard in the camera. But the rest – the faux premium aluminium look, software, etc etc are all gimmicky and second rate hard ware and software compared to S4 :(. Add in non-removable batteries and SD card and it is not even a fight at all. Unless you are really into sound it seems, or perhaps the gimmick they offer for camera. But one thing to note though, it seems that their compromise in using a bigger sensor results in just so so normal shot (i.e. in daylight mid and long distance shot) with noticeable lost of details, especially when seen on large screen

      • http://twitter.com/timrdsn Tim Richardson

        “faux” premium aluminium? I own a One after a very happy experience with the plastic Samsung Galaxy Nexus, but there is nothing faux about the One’s body. The camera was the decisive difference for me, and it is even more impressive than I hoped for. Lower pixel density is a seriously good trade off (which is why I bought a full frame digital camera ten years ago). I think it’s the only Android with optical stabilisation as well. The camera is not a gimmick. It substantially and obviously outperforms nearly everything else on the market in low light. The flash hardly fires.

        • hohopig

          It is indeed “faux premium” because so many people THINK that it is actually strong metal. There is nothing strong about it and it is just a compromise between the use of material. In fact I would argue that plastic has better impact resistance than the aluminium, which is why so many of the iPhone5 has dents and scuff and my own Asus transformer infinity has multiples dents and scratches from just a few drop, and while my old S2 that I have been using, was dropped a few times without the cover and yet is without scratch or dent.

          So when people want to compare the two phones, let’s leave the material aside and focus on the really important factors such as usability, speed, screen quality, battery life etc.

          And in terms of lower pixel density, it depends on usage really. It does seems to excel in low light shots as well as scenes that is less crowded with less details. But when taking shots in clear daylight in the mid to long range, it does not perform well at all. And if you like to crop or edit your photo, then you will further degrade the image quality since you only have so many pixel to begin with. And lastly if you ever want to display it on a large computer screen (17/19/21/23/24) inch screen, then the artifacts from the ultrapixel shots is even more obvious.

          For those who take lots of pub/disco photo and night photo or dark indoor photo, then yes it is a great camera phone for them. But for me and others who takes more regular shots outdoor and like to display it on the large computer screen, then it is not.

          And PS, it is not the only android with optical stabilisation. Nokia has one too.

          • jac

            Yeah , nokia makes awesome phones with android….

  • http://twitter.com/snookasnoo Idon’t Know

    iPhone 5 is at least as fast, better battery life, better camera, better build quality, better service and support, better app quality and selection.

    • GraveUypo

      about half of those things are false.

  • J-MOBILE E. HITE

    TMUS!!!! Is carrying the HTC-ONE! *T-Mobile_USA_&_*metrOPCS*_COMBINED

  • http://www.facebook.com/LordMobius Demetrius Constantine Alexande

    The memory is not an issue because I have 32gb on my lg optimus g E971 and I haven’t used it up and am gonna get the htc one 64gb developer’s edition

  • Ruben James

    I’ve had my HTC One for about a week and I think it can easily beat most smartphones out there. The best things about it are the Zero-Gap casing, the camera, and the 10800p display. Usually when I’m on my way to my job at DISH, I like to stream my live and recorded shows on my phone since the trip takes some time. I can do so using the DISH Anywhere app, and it works wonders on a full HD display.