Earlier this year HTC launched the One X. It was generally acknowledged at the time as the best Android handset available, it had a stunning screen and a class leading camera. Unfortunately for HTC along came the Samsung Galaxy SIII which with its aggressive marketing campaign left all contenders trailing in its wake.
HTC weren’t going to take this lying down and have now updated their flagship handset and so the HTC One X+ has been born. Luckily for us, the wonderful people over at HTC have leant me one to play with. After my initial impressions, I have now managed to have a thorough look at the One X+ and so, here is my review.
HTC caused a little bit of a kerfuffle when they announced the HTC One X+ just six months after the release of the One X. With a slightly upgraded processor, a better front facing camera, a bigger battery and of course the all important Android 4.1 Jellybean the update to HTC’s flagship device is more evolutionary than revolutionary.
The stats are as follows:
- 134.4 x 69.9 x 8.9 mm (5.29 x 2.75 x 0.35 in)
- Super LCD2 capacitive touchscreen
- 720 x 1280, 4.7″ screen
- Corning Gorilla Glass 2
- NVIDIA Tegra 3 1.7GHz Quad Core Processor
- 64Gb onboard storage
- 1Gb RAM
- GPS / WiFi
- Bluetooth 4.0
- Beats Audio Onboard
- 8mp Rear Camera
- 1.6mp Front Camera
- Dedicated HTC image chip
- 2100mAh embedded battery
As I stated on my initial impressions, the look of the One X+ is exquisite. Formed from a sealed unit of black polycarbonate, the handset is certainly eye catching. On the front is the HTC Logo which is located below the front speaker and the front camera. At the bottom of the screen are the three softkeys, home, recent apps and back. These are backlit in an attractive red colour when needed. On the top is the power button the 3.5mm jack. On the right of the device is the volume rocker. On the left is the USB charging port and the bottom holds the microphone.
The back has the LED flash and camera which protrudes slightly, the SIM card tray, the HTC and Beats logos,a set of 5 pogo pins and a rear speaker.
The outstanding feature of the One X+ is the screen. Like the One X before, it is truly spectacular. Bright in any light, with exemplary colour and detail reproduction it is quite simply a joy. Video is a pleasure to watch and you can never tire of showing off photos. Quite simply it is 4.7” of quality and goodness.
Beats Audio makes a clearly noticeable difference to the sound quality emanating from the One X+. Personally I found it a little harsh at times but it certainly makes a marked improvement to the standard sound output. The volumes output are loud enough to satisfy the back of the bus teenagers, I would however suggest replacing the bundles earphones with a decent set as Beats headphones are no longer standard.
I have only one gripe with the design of the handset and that is the volume rocker. Being someone who listens to lots of podcasts and music when the phone is in my pocket, the volume rocker is vital. Due to the overall design of the handset the volume rocker is almost flush with the fascia, whilst this makes for an excellent design, the result is that finding the volume whilst the handset is in your pocket is virtually impossible and you find yourself taking the device out to change the volume. A minor gripe but a pain nonetheless.
The battery has been upgraded and is now a 2100mAh offering. With a day of normal to heavy usage streaming music and podcasts, twitter and internet browsing coupled with a few calls and texts there was still over 40% battery left. Impressive performance but the key is consistency so whether this level of performance can be maintained is yet to be seen.
Overall, the One X+ is a solid piece of engineering, I cannot overstate how much I like the design and the feel of the polycarbonate makes this a hard device to put down.
What hasn’t been said about HTC Sense? As I said in my HTC Desire X review, it is a love it or hate it piece of software. Whilst it has been significantly trimmed back in recent times, in my opinion it is still bloated and slows any handset down somewhat.
All of the usual Sense parts are included, Friendstream, a plethora of clock and weather widgets, the people widgets, stocks widgets and the watch widget. They are all well designed and graphically well presented.
Also bundled with the handset are a variety of apps which include 7digital, Best deals, Chrome, Dropbox, EA Games, Facebook, an FM radio, HTC Media Link HD, a mirror app, notes, pdf viewer, polaris office, rescue, stocks, teeter, tunein radio, twitter and watch. This is on top of the standard Google apps such as Gmail, Youtube, Play Music, Play Books and Play Movies.
The lockscreen is customisable with a variety of different widgets and applications that can be launched directly from the locked state. The launcher is also customisable, you can select any apps to go into the dock up to a maximum of 4.
As you can see from the list there is a lot of bundled software and even with the massive 64gb onboard storage, I personally am not sure that they are all needed or will all be used.
The One X+ is powered by a quadcore 1.7ghz processor which means that absolutely anything that can be thrown at it is handled with ease, apps launch quickly, and everything flows along at a good pace.
The camera on the One X+ is the same as that its elder sibling the One X and can produce some excellent results.
Plenty of options are on offer along with instagram like filters such as distortion, vignette, depth of field, dots, mono, country, vintage, vintage warm and vintage cold. Many other settings are able to be altered ie ISO, touch to capture, face detection, auto smile capture and geo-tagging.
Camera performance is generally very good, however with the recent launch of the iPhone 5 and the Nokia Lumia 920 the competition has become a lot stiffer. Good results can certainly be achieved but performance falls a little short of the best available.
The HTC One X+ has been launched into a crowded space and is in competition with some top top quality handsets. The Samsung Galaxy SIII, the Apple iPhone 5 and even the new Nexus 4 are all direct comparisons and therefore it has alot to live up to.
For the most part the One X+ can compete on an even level with the competition but one can’t help but feel that it is let down by the heavily bloated HTC Sense and an overloading of unnecessary pre-loaded apps.
Battery life is very good, Beats means that the audio quality is excellent and the screen is in my opinion the best screen on any mobile phone that I have seen. The camera may not be the best on offer but certainly gives a passable picture that you would not be ashamed to show off.
Design wise the handset is simply gorgeous. The matt black finish and feel in the hand is second to none and when combined with the stunning screen it is a great package to look at.
If you are after a top end handset that excels where multimedia is concerned then this may well be the one for you especially as priced at under £500 SIM free, the HTC One X+ is a great handset at a reasonable price considering it’s place in the market.