HTC One X - gray (AT&T)
Price Range: $299.00 - $449.99
CNET Editors' Rating: 4.0 / 5
The good: The futuristically-styled $199.99 HTC One X offers Android fans on AT&T plenty to like, such as a massive, bright 4.7-inch screen, blazing 4G LTE data speeds, a powerful camera, and zippy performance running Ice Cream Sandwich and Sense 4.
The bad: Sadly, HTC One X owners can't claim quad-core bragging rights. Also, the nonremovable battery and lack of SD card slot weaken an otherwise incredible Android smartphone.
The bottom line: Quad-core processing isn't everything, and AT&T's new $199.99 HTC One X proves it. This advanced Android has style, speed, blazing 4G, and power galore.
Design, Features & Performance (out of 10)
It's been a long time since it first debuted at Mobile World Congress in February, but HTC's flagship Android phone is finally here. The $199.99 HTC One X may not feature quad-core power, though with a feature-packed camera, connection to AT&T's smokin' LTE 4G network, and fleet-footed performance running Android Ice Cream Sandwich, you likely won't care. Not only does it surpass its Tegra 3-toting European variant, but also it bests its little brother, the HTC One S on T-Mobile. It goes on sale on May 6, less than a week from the time of this review.
Looking at the One X, it's clear that HTC strayed a bit from tried-and-true design playbook. Instead of the aluminum unibody construction the company's handsets typically sport, the One X is crafted from a single piece of polycarbonate plastic. Believe it or not, that's a good thing, since the plastic material HTC selected feels high-grade, not the cheap stuff I've seen in other phones. As a result the One X's chassis has a pleasingly premium quality similar to the Nokia Lumia 900, another handset that opts for pricey Lexans over metal.
A flat slab that has smoothly rounded edges and a gently curved back, the HTC One X definitely flaunts an ultramodern aesthetic, especially the chic white-hued version I reviewed (HTC also makes a soberer black model). You'll want to be careful how you tote the One X since its white surface attracts smudges easily. Measuring 5.3 inches tall by 2.75 inches wide by 0.36 inch thick, the One X certainly is a handful. Still, its 4.6-ounce weight lends the plastic phone some solidity.
Gracing the front of the device is a massive 4.7-inch (1,280x720-pixel) super LCD screen. It gets very bright, brighter in fact than the HTC One S' qHD AMOLED screen, and has viewing angles that are nice and wide. Of course the One S' high-contrast display produces more vibrant colors and darker blacks, which I prefer.
Above the screen sits a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera for video chats and vanity shots. Below the display are three capacitive buttons for back, home, and recent apps. On the phone's right side are controls for volume, and a Micro-USB port sits on the left. Up top are a tiny power button, a micro-SIM card compartment, and a 3.5mm headphone jack, while around back are the 8-megapixel camera and LED flash. Two big drawbacks, though, are the phone's lack of an SD card slot for extra memory expansion and its nonremovable battery.
In addition to the phone's cutting-edge components, much of the HTC One X's real power lies in its robust software. Not only does this smartphone run the latest version of Google's Android OS, version 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, but also HTC has gingerly grafted its revamped Sense user interface on top. HTC says that Sense 4 meshes seamlessly with ICS' new abilities and strives to stay out of the way. Indeed, much of Sense 3's fancier eye candy, such as the endlessly spinning 3D carousel of home screens and over-the-top weather graphics, is absent.
There are two ways to unlock the phone; you can either flick a virtual ring from the bottom of the screen to the center, or slide icons into the ring to quick-launch major phone functions. For instance, dragging the camera symbol into the ring fires up the One X's main imaging sensor to snap pictures and video in a flash. Other standard lock-screen shortcuts bring up the Web browser, text messaging, and phone dialer.
Just like on T-Mobile's HTC One S, you can choose from seven screens that you can populate with application shortcuts and animated widgets. By default, HTC places its iconic weather clock front and center on the main home screen. Tapping the widget's digital readout launches a world clock complete with a slick 3D globe visual, and hitting the weather portion of the clock pulls up a detailed forecast. Another boon to weather nerds like me is the engaging graphics displayed on the lock screen that correspond to current atmospheric conditions. I was even able to choose them as my live wallpaper.
At the foot of each home screen is a tab containing the same four quick-launch icons shown on the lock screen. I particularly liked being able to swap these icons for others or even create and add folders holding multiple app icons. Any changes here are reflected on the lock screen and placing application shortcuts on top of one another creates a folder.
Sense adds some neat tricks to the browser, such as a Pure Content Reader view that removes all ads and displays just the basic text of a selected Web page. You can also choose pages and video to bookmark for later perusal offline.
As you'd expect on a modern Android device, the One X comes with the usual Google services onboard, including Gmail, Google+, and Navigation, along with the Play Store, from which you can download apps from a catalog of over 500,000 titles. Play also provides digital books, movies, games, and music to purchase. If that's still not enough entertainment, HTC's Watch app hawks TV shows and movies for rental or purchase. For example, I could rent "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol" for $3.99 or buy it permanently for $14.99.
Other compelling third-party software that's preloaded on the One X includes the Kindle eBook reader, the MOG music subscription service, and TuneIn Internet radio (a personal favorite). AT&T sprinkles the device with its own selection of apps, such as U-verse Live TV, which serves up both live programming and full TV episodes and movies (for an extra $9.99 per month, and you can't use it over Wi-Fi), a bar code scanner, and FamilyMap for locating family members ($9.99 per month for two family members, $14.99 for up to five).
As we've seen on other HTC devices, social-media integration is just as strong in Sense 4 as in previous versions. Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ apps are preloaded, plus a Friend Stream widget pulls all updates across multiple social media platforms to view in one location. Similarly, the People app will analyze your contacts list automatically and suggest any possible links, between say Gmail, Facebook, and Twitter. Additionally, within a friend's contact details I was able to view any albums my friend posted to Facebook and any recent updates like messages or missed calls.
HTC plays up the fact that the HTC One X boasts Beats audio processing. In theory, it automatically will activate a targeted equalizer profile to match specific Beats-branded headphones. As with my experience with Beats on the HTC One S, however, I found that it often pumped up bass way too much, killing the mids and highs. Certainly some tracks will benefit from the heavy Beats audio treatment, especially ones where booming bass is the central draw. Thankfully HTC also provides a group of equalizer settings and per CNET headphones editor Justin Yu's suggestion, I tried the Sweetener profile, and found it offered the most balanced audio across all genres to my ears and his.
HTC's new One series smartphones have what the company calls ImageSense technology. Essentially this is a buzzword signifying that the phone's 8-megapixel camera relies on a dedicated image processor for quick performance. It also indicates that HTC added additional photo goodies such as a wide range of scene modes that go way beyond the typical camera phone options.
Besides staples like face detection, auto smile capture, and panorama, the One X has an HDR (High Dynamic Range) mode, which uses the handset's back-illuminated sensor to add shadow detail to what would otherwise be overexposed shots. A Continuous Shooting mode snaps images in bursts of up to 4 frames per second, great for shooting unruly or fast-moving subjects like kids and pets. Another one of the One X's handy skills is the ability to record video in up to full 1080p HD quality and grab 8MP stills either while the camera is rolling or when playing back movies later. There's even a Slow Motion video feature to capture footage at a high frame rate to review at a snail's pace.
The HTC One X's camera image quality didn't disappoint. The phone took test shots of an indoor still life with accurate color and sharp details even under challenging fluorescent lighting.Outdoors in bright sunlight, the green of foliage and red and purple of spring flowers were vivid but not oversaturated. 1080p videos I shot also were clear and exhibited none of the blocky pixelation I've seen from phones with lower-res camcorders. The Video Stabilization feature, however, didn't do much to cancel out shake caused by my hands.
I know many HTC fans are disappointed that the U.S. version of the One X has a dual-core CPU instead of the much-hyped quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3. Well, I'm here to wash that bitter taste of sour grapes away. Equipped with a powerful 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor and a full 1GB of RAM plus 16GB of storage memory, this phone seriously hums. It flies through Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and HTC's Sense overlay with oomph and agility -- just like my experience of the HTC One S (T-Mobile). Linpack tests (Single Thread) confirmed the HTC One X's processing prowess: it notched a fast 103.5MFLOPS spit out in just 0.81 minute. On the same test, the One S, running an identical CPU, scored a virtually identical 102.4MFLOPS.
What the One X brings to the table that the One S lacks is a truly swift 4G data connection. While I saw maximum download speeds of 12.45Mbps on the One S over T-Mobile's HSPA+ network, the One X's 4G LTE connection obliterated these results. The HTC One X buried the Ookla Speedtest download needle with peaks often exceeding 20Mbps. Average download throughput came in at an impressive 16.63Mbps, and I even measured upload results at a high average of 7.53Mbps that once reached a high of 15.83Mbps.
Call quality on the HTC One X via AT&T's GSM cellular network was on par with other AT&T handsets I've used. For calls made in New York, voices sounded clear with no discernible static and people on the other end reported clean audio as well. The phone's slim speaker doesn't get too loud even with the volume pushed to the highest setting.
HTC One X call quality sample Listen now:
AT&T claims the HTC One X will run for 12.5 days in standby mode and provide 8.5 hours of talk time. That's a long time for a device with such a big screen. The One X does boast a sizable 1,800mAh battery, though as I mentioned, it's disappointing that the battery isn't removable. In anecdotal use both over LTE and Wi-Fi, the handset lasted a full 11-hour workday of moderate use (such as running tests, opening apps, and playing music), then was left unplugged overnight, and managed to cling on into the late morning before finally powering down. I'll update this review soon with more anecdotal video playback tests.
AT&T has made waves this year with a few very prominent smartphone announcements. Though only a handful of devices actually have made it to market, the carrier's customers face a tough choice. In one corner, of course, is the $99 Nokia Lumia 900. If you ache for a Windows Mango smartphone, or simply a well-designed and affordable device on AT&T, I wholeheartedly recommend it. And in the other corner is the $199.99 HTC One X. It's fast, it's modern, and it boasts LTE, all of which at the moment makes it the best AT&T Android available.
|Cellular technology||WCDMA (UMTS) / GSM|
|Band / mode||WCDMA (UMTS) / GSM 850/900/1800/1900|
|Short Messaging Service (SMS)||Yes|
|Combined with||With digital camera / digital player|
|OS provided||Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)|
Average User Rating: 4.0 / 5
User Rating Breakdown
5 Star: 11
4 Star: 4
3 Star: 5
2 Star: 3
1 Star: 1
Rationale for assuming Tegra 3 is Faster than S4??!
Rating: 4.5 / 5
on May 2, 2012
3 out of 3 users found this review helpful
Pros: It's like assuming that a Mustang GT is fater than a Porshe 911 because Mustang has more cillinders! You just don't see that kind of nonsense on Automotive websites.
Cons: battery not removable
no SD card slot
Samsung Gallaxy 3 and iPhone are just arround the corner
Summary: This is not the reporting quality one would expect from the technology experts!
Here is an example of quality reporting on the S4 processor vs. Tegra 3:
It seems when you look at it INTELLIGENTLY S4 is actually a better designed processor and faster at most tasks.
Knockout punch doesn't happen here, it disappoints.
Rating: 1.5 / 5
on May 24, 2012
2 out of 3 users found this review helpful
Pros: The One X is Fast, responsive, has a huge screen (4.7"), good form factor (.37" thin), a well-heeled 8MP camera that doesn't deliver, build quality is OK also. Plus+: has the fastest upload and download speeds on LTE/HSPA of all smartphones.
Cons: Does NOT multitask well--if at all, OS UI is quirky, finicky, and doesn't hold settings (constantly resetting WiFi, network functions BT),+ other prefs=very frustrating! Sync functions are a failure, just can't keep settings intact=command failure!
Summary: I went into my 2-year AT&T contract with an HTC One X with strong expectations, when little did I know that HTC would not deliver with some very significant functions, namely: Sync fails, settings fail, ie constantly having to reset Sync, WiFi, BT, any and all network settings, and the OS UI between Android's ICS and HTC Sense is nothing but annoying. The camera was a biggie also: with an 8MP dedicated camera system, backlit sensor and all, and an amazing array of user choices for the photos themselves, you'd think that this, of all smartphone cameras, would be fantastic and satisfy 100%. Reality is indoor shooting is problematical at best, where colors are NOT reproduced accurately, focusing is "off center" even after double touches on the subject, and dim light shots just don't come out well at all.
I liked the overall speed of the phone a LOT, especially upload and download speeds on the LTE/HSPA AT&T network virtually anywhere in Southern California, where I live and work and play. Installing programs went fast, faster, fastest and DONE! You could blink once or twice and miss a whole large multi-MB program installation, the thing is just blindingly fast!
The LCD display @ 4.7" diagonal measurement, 1260 x 800 resolution, fast redraws and color switching/transitions, is also amazing, so good eye candy for showing movies, games, playing any media from the 'Net such as Pandora, Netflix live streaming of movies and TV shows, so it shined there...and it should shine there with its high-end parts and pieces, good software for movies and music viewing, another big plus for this smartphone.
Now we really get into some heavy negatives with respect to Multi-Tasking, which is an abysmal failure on the HTC One X, unfortunately, in fact that was the No.1 reason I sent my phone back to Amazon Wireless in exchange for a Samsung Galaxy Note, admittedly a huge phone form factor and presence, but one that I'd used extensively before buying it--and that phone was a winner all the way, even with Gingerbreak OS 2.3.6.xxxx instead of ICS.
I'd never had a smartphone NOT Multi-Task! Even my Apple 3GS iPhone, and the iPhone 4 also did that feature repeatedly, and never failed. The HTC One X by contrast could NOT EVER hold two programs open for me at the same time, or more than two for that matter, because once you switch to the 2nd program and then back to the 1st program or app, that 1st program in sequence was always tragically DOA, gone, done, finished, closed and no record of any work you may have done on office docs, reading PDF's with comments, etc was all gone too! That is just crazy!
I worked with AT&T on that failure to Multi-Task, both on the telephone and taking my phone into the local AT&T Factory Store, a store which had very, very talented reps who helped me out in the past with professionalism, courtesy, and expertise on a myriad selection of Adroid, iOS, and Windows phones, not to mention the Blackberries. And AT&T had no answer for me, nothing at all and they acknowledged the failure of my HTC One X in this area, 100% true, no user errors involved: the phone just cannot Multi-Task worth a plug nickle's amount of apps, programs, or phone juggling with the apps and programs. VERY DISAPPOINTING!
I also queried HTC Tech Support about the failure of this, and only this phone in their lineup, failing at Multi-Tasking, and HTC also had no answers, none at all! They didn't even hint at having a fix in the works, or even acknowledging that the failure existed! My two reps there at HTC Tech Support actually read me the HTC internal "Company Line" on this issue, and it was just a bunch of gibberish and double-speak/talk...there were the words "HTC is always striving to enhance the User Experience for its customers", things that were very liturgical like that, but no mention of this major failure of the HTC One X at all, nothing, nada, zilch. CRAZY!
I won't bore the readers here with crucifying the HTC One X further, ie about the lack of storage or any Micro SDHC card port, plus the battery is inadequate and NOT removable... as I could write a book, a novel or two about how much time and energy I invested in trying to make things right with the One X, and I mean a 2.5 week Herculean effort on my part to put it frankly, only to fail in the end because of manufacturing and software glitches of the most serious and major proportions.
Thus, back the HTC One X goes to the seller tomorrow, the 25th of May, via UPS Ground (the "slow boat" to Amazon Return Center of Lexington, Kenturcky, USA) so I can get a refund on the $149 going rate for this phone at Amazon Wireless (which is now down to $119 if you can find it there today). I wish I had something of a good review to give on the smartphone from HTC with the fast CPU, GPU, 1GB RAM, and the great screen real estate, but I don't this time.
I calls it like I sees it, and for Wavey Davey to speak out against such a 'fine product' from HTC is a big deal, when there are so many stellar reviews and commentary on the phone in the 'Net press, magazines, and online data and articles everywhere you can look for them. But that's the way this cookie crumbled, and I have to issue a "Buyer Beware" rating to the HTC One X, a phone that fails where it should shine like a mirror finished show car's paint shines...
HTC One X, Highest quality Android device on the market
Rating: 4.5 / 5
on August 24, 2012
1 out of 1 users found this review helpful
Pros: The design of the One X is sleek & clean with a 4.7" HD Super LCD display that superbly renders colors. The powerful & fast device is stylish, smooth & a pleasure to use. For a new low price of $99, you cannot go wrong.
Cons: Lack of SD-Card support.
Although battery life is pretty great on the latest update, not having battery access limits ability to supplement power source with spare batteries while traveling.
Summary: The highest quality Android device on the market. Even with a screen that is only 0.10" smaller than the S3, the One X is lighter, thinner & overall a tighter package. The display is much more accurate with light & bright colors than the S#'s SuperAMOLED pseudo-HD display. The resolution on the ONE X is superb. The new Sense UI is a pleasure to use, a very rich & uniform experience & yet it is much lighter than previous iterations, making it very fast & responsive. While it uses a poly-carbonate shell/body in-lieu of an alloy, it still feels solidly built & just feels at home in my hand. While I am a power user that previously carried two spare batteries & a 32gb micro-SD card & these, I thought, were a big deal that kept me from using the One X for some time in favor of the Galaxy S3. However, I finally put the S3 down for a rest & I haven't picked it back up for months. I for the last year, had been bugging HTC to utilize the 5ghz band of wireless-N. I am happy to say they finally did it & while the device is not truly dual band (none are that I know of), the One X now is able to take advantage of the faster & usually less cluttered 5Ghz band. This device is One of the best HTC has ever made. That is saying a lot from me. While I have long loved HTC, look up my comments to them on Facebook & you'll see that I am more often critical about them than praising. But with the One X, they almost did everything perfectly. (I'd still like to see SD support.)
Sleek and Powerful
Rating: 4 / 5
on July 29, 2012
1 out of 1 users found this review helpful
Cons: limited storage
Summary: The HTC One X marks a huge step forward for Android phones. I'm a graphic designer stationed in Dallas, and i use this phone to draft design ideas on the go and send them to clients using AT&T's 4G LTE network. Ice Cream Sandwich allows for a highly-customizable interface, and the hi-res screen makes my designs burst to life.
Great phone when it is working
Rating: 1.5 / 5
on November 27, 2013
0 out of 0 users found this review helpful
Pros: Full of features, fast, good call quality and reception
Cons: High failure rate and poor customer service, My One X has spent more time with HTC than with me. Now they tell me my one year warranty has run out in November - even though I bought the phone in February.
Summary: I had high hopes for this phone. It could have been a fantastic phone had it worked right. My screen went out, so I sent it back for warranty repair. It came back and worked for two weeks before the bottom of the screen became unresponsive. I sent it back again only to find that the camera stopped working. I sent it back a third time and HTC tells me the mainboard is bad and it will cost me $235 to have it fixed. These issues are all too common with the One X, but HTC refuses to acknowledge a problem.