Beautiful. That’s the first word that came into my mind after I held the HTC One. Yes folks, HTC One is the name of their flagship phone. It raised a lot of confusion because their former flagship was named as HTC One X. I really don’t know why they didn’t named this phone as the HTC Two or whatever name that won’t bring confusion to the consumers. Anyway, let’s get back to my review. The HTC One was one of the best Android that I’ve used. And no, the beauty of the phone didn’t sacrifice its power (Hell yeah!). But there are some things that let the HTC One down. Why don’t you check it out after the break.

Hardware

Aluminum. Baby.

THE HTC ONE IS THE MOST ATTRACTIVE PHONE THAT I’VE SEEN. That’s it. The HTC One is clad in aluminum; the construction feels like it is the smaller brother of a Macbook. The front is a combination of brawny glass and a little touch of aluminum on the speaker grills. Yep, there are two speaker grills on the HTC One. The sides of the HTC One are not aluminum though. I got the feeling that the sides of the HTC One would get rough after you’ve used it for a long time. I don’t know why but it seems that it has rough edges.

The micro-usb slot of the phone can be found below the phone but it is oddly placed at the right of the phone instead of the middle. It’s not really something to be annoyed at. At the top, there’s the power button but did you know that it also acts as an infrared sensor. And no, we’re not talking about transferring files using IR. That’s so 10 years ago (Gosh, I feel really old!). The Infrared sensor lets you use the phone as universal remote for TV, Cable boxes and players but we’ll talk about the TV app later. Almost all the TVs and players that I’ve tried can detect the HTC One. If your device isn’t on the list, it is easy to configure that as long as you have your remote. Not really the best feature on the HTC One but it is nice to see this additional feature on their flagship.

Setting up the remote on the HTC One

This year, most flagship phones pack a 1080p display and yes, we can feast our eyes on the alluring Super LCD 3 of the HTC One. The difference of the 720p screen and 1080p screen isn’t really dramatic but you’ll notice the crisper and much better resolution on the display when you browse the web, playing games and checking out pictures. I can’t say if this is the best display on a smartphone since I haven’t tried other the upcoming flagships but I think the display of the HTC One is much better than the SGS4. I’m not sure if it’s just my eye or the HTC One’s display is much better.

Powering this device is a Snapdragon 600 processor. It’s not the fastest processor on a smartphone but the Snapdragon 600 can definitely can run and play all those hardcore games and power muncher applications that you use in your everyday routine. The Snapdragon 600 is paired with a 2 GB RAM, which makes the phone lag-free. I barely experienced lags or slowdowns on the phone. Yes folks, the phone is fluid and blazing fast even with Sense UI. This is a phone that exhibits a beautiful design but it also sports a blazing performance. This phone truly has the beauty and the brains.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 under the hood

Unfortunately, the HTC One doesn’t support A MicroSD card slot but I think you’ll be satisfied with the 32 GB internal storage but if you feel that you need more space, you can opt for the 64 GB version. If you’re the type of person who loves download movies and files using the torrent app on your phone, then you might want to look for another smartphone. But for me, I think the 32 GB is already enough for my everyday use. I wasn’t able to fill up that 32 GB too.

If you have a Globe Postpaid Sim, I’m happy to announce that the HTC One supports LTE. Unfortunately, I’m only on prepaid and I wasn’t able to test the LTE on the phone. However, I notice that the HTC One has a better signal reception than other smartphones that I’ve used. Oh, and the battery life? I was satisfied with its battery life too. I was able to squeeze its juices for 12-14 hours of average use. And as always, the HTC Sense sips a lot of battery juice. I really hate HTC Sense for that despite the fact that the Sense is really an eye candy.

We all know that some of the HTC phones that are available right now packs Beats Audio inside and the HTC One is one of those smartphones. The HTC one has 2 speaker grills on the front and the HTC One has a new feature called HTC Boomsound. It’s not really a catchy name but after I used the HTC One, it didn’t failed to impressed me. Actually, I was shocked and awed by its audio quality. I’m pretty sure that all of you will be shock with its audio quality too.

Beats logo. Easily removed

Software

The HTC One is running on Android 4.2.1. The Android 4.3 update is still nowhere in sight but I’m pretty sure that the update will be coming very soon. When you’ve tried a HTC smartphone, you’ll feel that the HTC Sense 5 completely covered the stock android. And no, don’t get me wrong because the HTC One’s Sense 5 doesn’t lag at all. I didn’t experience any slowdowns from it. I was only disappointed with it because it really drains the battery. Actually, it’s the #1 app that consumes the battery a lot. Another thing that I hate about the phone is the app drawer. The gaps are too big and it wasted a lot of space. I wish an update could fix that and let the user choose how many apps that they can include in the app drawer. Nonetheless, I still love its looks and UI. It’s so easy to use and it was fast.

There are a lot of apps that are already pre-installed in the HTC One. One of those apps that I really love is the TV app. Unfortunately, the program guide doesn’t support the Philippines yet but at least, the HTC One can be use as your universal remote. Another thing that I love about the HTC One is the notes app because the default note app can be sync to your Evernote account. Pretty damn cool.

If you’ve notice, the HTC One only has 2 capacitive buttons. Those are back and the home button. I know, it’s kinda weird but actually, this two-button layout is much easier to use than the Galaxy’s Android button layout. To multi-task, all you need is to double tap the home button that supports 9 running apps simultaneously. But don’t worry, if you’ve opened 10 apps, the app will still run.

The 2 capacitive buttons

Like what I’ve said, the HTC One is very fast thanks to the Snapdragon 600 processor and the 2 GB RAM with it. All of the heavy games that I’ve tried on this phone runs pretty well. When I played Gangstar Vegas, I didn’t experienced any slowdowns and lags. I was even multi-tasking on the smartphone. All in all, the HTC One didn’t fail to amaze me with its fast and amazing performance.

When it comes to benchmarks, the HTC One was excellent. It may lag behind the Octa-core processor of the Samsung Galaxy S4 but the HTC One was still fast and it got a high score at Antutu. The HTC One got 24703 at Antutu. Not bad right?

Camera

HTC was really proud of its Ultrapixel camera. It’s their best bet against Nokia Lumia 920’s Pureview camera. My take? Despite having a great aesthetics and software, I think the HTC One fails when it comes to the camera. The Ultrapixel camera of the HTC One is only capable of having 4.1 Megapixel photos. Why is it only capable of that? because the HTC One’s Ultrapixel camera can absorb more light which enables you to shoot bright photos even at lowlight. Yep, Just like the Lumia 920 and the 925 but the HTC One’s Ultrapixel camera cuts short from the Lumia’s Pureview. Check out some photos that I took using the HTC One.

The lowlight shots of the HTC One didn’t turn out well. Most of the time, they’re out of focus and they have too much noise. But at least, the HTC One can manage to shoot at low light. I didn’t had any problems when there’s enough light but sometimes, I feel that the front camera has a takes a better photo than the Ultrapixel camera. There’s one thing that I really like about its camera, the photos are 16:9 at default. Yep, the camera is really made for a 16:9 photos.

The HTC One has OIS but that feature isn’t as effective as the one in the Lumia. But still, I was satisfied with the video recording of the HTC. You’ll also drool over the 60 fps video on the HTC One but unfortunately that’s only available on 720p. Why don’t you take a look at my sample video that I took using the HTC One:


Conclusion

I think the HTC One is the best Android phone to date. And no, don’t hate me guys because I’ve tried the Samsung Galaxy S4 but I think the aluminum body and its unique design were the main game changers here. Plastic is not always fantastic. Yes, the camera isn’t that well, a lack of MicroSD Card and removable battery (which may be a turn-off for some people)  but I think this is still the best Android phone in the market right now. Maybe it’s just me, but I’ll buy the HTC One soon. Yes, folks. This will be my next phone. You can get this phone at Globe for Plan 1699. Why you should get it at Globe? Because the HTC One only supports LTE from one network, and that’s Globe.

You can get the Globe HTC One here.

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