HTC One X+ (AT&T)
Price Range: $199.99 - $599.99
CNET Editors' Rating: 4.0 / 5
The good: The HTC One X+ has a quad-core processor, 64GB of storage, and Android Jelly Bean, plus a great camera, all for $199.99.
The bad: The HTC One X+'s battery life is short. The phone also lacks an SD card slot, and its battery can't be removed.
The bottom line: Although it does have some flaws, the $199.99 HTC One X+ is currently the best Android buy on AT&T.
Design, Features & Performance (out of 10)
Editors' note: Portions of this review were taken from our evaluation of the HTC One X, since the two devices are extremely similar.
The $199.99 HTC One X+ for AT&T, a revamped version of the One X, successfully improves upon its predecessor in many areas. This new model boasts robust quad-core processing courtesy of an Nvidia Tegra 3 chip, plus it has a massive 64GB of internal storage, enough for users to perhaps overlook its lack of an SD card slot. Those are certainly welcome changes compared with the One X's standard 16GB of memory and slower dual-core CPU when it debuted this past spring. A fresh helping of Android Jelly Bean operating-system software, a full-featured camera, and slick styling don't hurt, either, and add up to make the One X+ the best Android deal on AT&T.
The HTC One X+ is practically the spitting image of its predecessor the One X. Just like with that device, HTC chose to mold the One X + from a single piece of polycarbonate plastic instead of giving it the aluminum unibody construction the company's handsets have traditionally used. Even so, the black plastic material HTC selected (a hue the company calls Carbon) feels high-grade, not cheap. I also like the phone's soft-touch finish, which has a slatelike texture that wicks moisture away and absorbs fingerprints. Of course the One X+ isn't as flashy as the HTC Droid DNA, which flaunts slick metallic-red accents on its edges.
A flat slab that has smoothly rounded edges, the HTC One X+ is every bit as aesthetically ultramodern as its progenitor. While it isn't as chic as the white version of the One X (HTC also makes a black model), as I mentioned, the surface of this Carbon model doesn't attract smudges easily. Measuring 5.3 inches tall by 2.75 inches wide by 0.36 inch thick, the One X+ isn't small but has the same footprint as the One X. Weighing 4.76 ounces, the One X+ is a hair heavier than the 4.6-ounce One X. That said, the weight lends the plastic phone some solidity.
Gracing the front of the device is a massive 4.7-inch (1,280x720-pixel) Super LCD 2 screen. It gets very bright, brighter in fact than the HTC One S' qHD AMOLED screen and even the HTC Droid DNA's 5-inch (1080p) Super LCD 3 display. Viewing angles on the HTC One X+ are nice and wide, too, comparable with those of the HTC One S. Of course the One S' high-contrast display produces more-vibrant colors and darker blacks, which I prefer.
Above the screen sits a sharper 1.6-megapixel front-facing camera; the older One X uses a 1.3-megapixel shooter 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.
Just like with the One X, two big drawbacks of the One X+ are the phone's lack of an SD card slot for extra memory expansion and its 2,100mAh nonremovable battery. That said, HTC tries to alleviate the storage issue by outfitting the One X+ with a staggering 64GB of internal memory.
As a pumped-up and tricked-out version of the One X, the One X+ boasts a few key improvements over its previous incarnation. First, instead of the 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor that powered its American predecessor, the One X+ relies on a 1.7GHz quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 CPU.
Additionally, as I stated before, HTC packed a whopping 64GB of internal memory into the One X+. While I'm sure some will complain about the lack of an SD card slot, I seriously doubt you'll miss one. Unless your music and movie collection is truly of gargantuan proportions, this phone has your mobile media needs covered and then some, especially compared with the typical 16GB most handsets offer. To be clear, though, there are benefits to having SD card access, since some apps are better served storing data on an external card. Additionally a card often makes it easier to sideload apps and more-ambitious hacks like custom operating systems.
In addition to the phone's powerful hardware, much of the HTC One X+'s real power lies in its robust software. Not only does this smartphone run a modern version of Google's Android OS, version 4.1 Jelly Bean, but HTC has placed its newest Sense user interface on top. At first glance, Sense 4+ is practically identical to the Sense 4 UI that the original One X offered. According to HTC, Sense 4+ is built to integrate with Jelly Bean's new features such as Google Now, which brings improved search and voice commands, plus automatic alerts depending your location and search history.
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 so it's ready to snap pictures and video. Other standard lock-screen shortcuts bring up the Mail app, text messaging, and phone dialer.
Just like on T-Mobile's HTC One S and Verizon's Droid DNA, you start out with three but can add and choose from a total of 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 gift to weather addicts like myself are 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.
You'll find a few fancy tricks in the browser too, such as a Flash player for viewing video and other Web-based media and the option to open multiple tabs simultaneously. As with newer Android phones you can even fire up an incognito window so cookies and other tracking software can't keep tabs on your surfing.
One creepy addition to the browser is an AT&T Browser Bar Analytics tool. It's essentially a strip running along the bottom of the screen that offers shortcuts from which to like or share pages via Facebook and Twitter. Additionally, it points you to AT&T curated content grouped into topics such as News, Sports, and Entertainment. If you choose to, the feature also will collect anonymous data about the curated content you share and read through the tool. (Personally I'd rather see the Pure Content Reader view that removes all ads and displays just the basic text of a selected Web page. It was a feature on the first One X but I can't find it anywhere on this device.) 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 also gives access to TV shows and movies for rental or purchase. For example, I could buy the 2012 remake of "Total Recall" for $14.99 but not rent it. On the other hand, I could both buy ($14.99) and rent ($3.99) "Expendables 2."
Other compelling third-party software that's preloaded on the One X+ includes the Nook reader and a demo version of Mass Effect Infiltrator from Electronic Arts, plus TuneIn Internet radio (a personal favorite) and SoundHound hidden within the HTC Music app. Nvidia's TegraZone offers ways buy and download official Tegra 3-supported games as well. AT&T infuses the device with its own selection of apps and services of dubious usefulness. It has a bar code scanner, FamilyMap for locating family members ($9.99 per month for two family members, $14.99 for up to five), AT&T Locker, which stores files in the cloud for an extra fee, AT&T Navigator, and Messages -- all to do things you can pretty much do for free through Google software.
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 and One X, 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 I found that the Sweetener profile offered the most balanced audio across all genres.
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, though it does tend to paint subjects in a ghostly blue brush. 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 capabilities is the ability to record video in up to full 1080p HD quality and grab 8-megapixel 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. You also get a nifty panorama mode that sticks images together into one sweeping scene.
Like the One X before it, the One S, and Droid DNA, the HTC One X+'s camera image quality didn't disappoint. The phone took 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 yellow of flowers were vivid and natural, but not oversaturated. And 1080p videos I shot also were clear and exhibited none of the blocky pixelation I've seen from phones with lower-res camcorders. That said, I did see some video noise as I panned across vistas with lots of minute details such as individual blades of grass in park lawns.
I know many HTC fans were disappointed that the U.S. version of the One X had a dual-core CPU instead of the much-hyped quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3. Judging the One X+'s and One X's performance side by side, I have to say it ultimately didn't seem to make much of a difference which chip was running the show. Equipped with a 1.7GHz quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 processor and 1GB of RAM, the phone is very nimble but not noticeably more so than its predecessor.
Sure, it zooms through Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and HTC's Sense skin with great velocity and agility -- just like my experience of the HTC One S (T-Mobile). Linpack tests (multithread) verified that the HTC One X+ is fast but not faster than its older dual-core rival. In fact it notched a fast 168.7 MFLOPS in just 1 second. On the same test, the One X actually scored a higher 205.7 MFLOPs (in 0.82 second).
Further muddying the waters, on the more graphically intense Quadrant benchmark, the One X+ notched a much higher 7,355 compared with the One X's 4,324. Of course the HTC Droid DNA's score of 8,165 trumps both devices.
The One X+ does brings to the table a swift 4G data connection. On AT&T's 4G LTE network in New York, I observed average download throughput exceeding an impressive 12Mbps. Upload results, however, hovered at just over a slow 2Mbps, which is not the speed I have typically seen from AT&T. Moving to a different location resulted in much faster throughput, well over 20Mbps downloads with uploads cracking the 10Mbps mark.
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.
AT&T claims the HTC One X+ will provide a talk time of 12.75 hours and 15 days running in standby mode. That's a long time for a device with such a big screen and quad-core processing. Still the One X+ does boast a sizable 2,100mAh battery, though it's disappointing that it isn't removable. In anecdotal use both over LTE and Wi-Fi, the handset lasted a full workday of moderate use, such as running tests, opening apps, and playing music. The handset didn't fare so well on the CNET Labs video battery drain test. It lasted just 5 hours and 11 minutes before shutting down. To be fair, HTC provides a power-save mode that by default isn't enabled.
I know there are many who will complain about the lack of an SD card slot for extra expansion. The same goes for the embedded battery, which you can't swap out in a pinch. That said, I think the handsomely styled $199.99 HTC One X+ more than makes up for this with its ridiculously vast 64GB of internal storage. It's the most I've seen available on a mobile phone save the iPhone, and unheard of at this price. Throw in Android Jelly Bean, quad-core computing, an outstanding camera, and 4G LTE, and the One X+ is the best bargain to be had on AT&T's current roster. Sure you could opt for the $199.99 Samsung Galaxy S3, but I don't think its removable battery and SD card slot offset its slower dual-core CPU and less attractive design.
|Cellular technology||WCDMA (UMTS) / GSM|
|Band / mode||WCDMA (UMTS) / GSM 850/900/1800/1900|
|OS provided||Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean)|
|Included accessories||Power adapter|
Average User Rating: 4.0 / 5
User Rating Breakdown
5 Star: 6
4 Star: 0
3 Star: 1
2 Star: 0
1 Star: 1
A phone with amazing specs!
Rating: 5 / 5
on December 18, 2012
1 out of 1 users found this review helpful
Pros: Fast performance, great camera and great screen!
Cons: Low battery life, but isn't noticable.
Summary: An amazing phone, one that deserves to be in the top 5.
I bought this phone and it is absolutely awesome.
Rating: 5 / 5
on December 4, 2012
1 out of 1 users found this review helpful
Pros: No pros for me. This phone is definitely amped up!!!
Cons: Everything. I almost purchased the galaxy note 2, but I am very excited with my choice. The phone is performing like a heavyweight champion.
Summary: I am a techie kind of person and I took some time on reviewing the galaxy when at the very last minute I came across this phone. Then after viewing the specs. I said am sold. I highly recommend this phone to any and everyone. HTC really needs to put some money in advertising this item.
Rating: 3 / 5
on March 22, 2013
0 out of 0 users found this review helpful
Pros: Great screen resolution. Camera is very good. Fast with 4G. 64 GB of space. Beats audio.
Cons: Screen is a smudge magnet. Call quality and phone speaker. AT$T. Drops calls and loses connection. Accessories are expensive and difficult to find. HTC Sync Manager. GPS. Eats up SIM cards.
Summary: I really like this phone for many reasons. The camera for still photographs is very good. I recently used the camera for a work project and was very pleased with the detail it provided. The video camera is very nice. The processor is fast with 4G and WiFi. The screen resolution for HD movies from Ultraviolet was very good. 64GB of space is actually more like 55GB when you subtract the AT&T bloatware and systems files but that still is plenty of room for movies, music and files. Beats audio and the bluetooth sound clip for car or stereo does sound very good on most music. Some music seems a little weak in the mid range and overlt tweaked on the high end, but all in all nice sound.
I don't like this phone for just that it's voice quality. When I did my research I was looking at reviews from a practical I am going to use this as a phone perspective and this phone got pretty good reviews. What I have found is that the incoming calls when placed on speaker are tinny and sometimes difficult to understand. Outgoing calls on speaker sound similar to people on other end. In the six weeks I've had this phone it has dropped telephone calls and network connections frequently. I have been to AT&T three times with this phone and I have gone through two SIM cards. AT&T store personnel say it is the SIM card and the phone and have authorized a replacement of the phone. Therein lies my issue with AT&T they will replace this six week old phone with a refurbished phone. So in short I am going to get someone elses problem phone which has "been inspected and repaired by HTC." Got to love AT&T. Car accessories for this phone are tough to find and expensive. I purchased the HTC 3.5mm bluetooth adaptor which is excellent in streaming music to my car stereo BUT will not stream telephone to car speakers. It will stream turn by turn directions from Google Maps, kind of strange. HTC Sync is not horrible just not all that good. This phone screen is a smudge magnet and needs to be cleaned often.
In closing this is a nice phone but the quality issues and AT$T bring the rating from a 4.5 down to a 3 and the 3 is generous.
I love my one x+.
Rating: 5 / 5
on March 8, 2013
0 out of 0 users found this review helpful
Pros: Quality does matter. Design of one x+ is very attractive.
Cons: No Cons in one x+.
Summary: It has amazing camera and wonderful animations.
Clock+weather widget is awesome and every time weather spreads out with amazing animations and sounds.
Camera is very user-friendly and quick with 1.7 GHz processor.
Design of phone is very attractive.
It is a wonderful experience with htc.
Rating: 5 / 5
on March 5, 2013
0 out of 0 users found this review helpful
Pros: Good UI; Sense 4+ was better than I expected
Fast speed; the overclocked Tegra 3 is comparable to the S4 pro, but more power-hungry
Durable; has survived several drops
Great camera; good picture quality
Good sound quality overall
Cons: Battery life a bit dodgy; standby mode drains a lot of battery
Beats Audio makes some songs sound worse
Succeeded by the One after less than 5 months of release
Tegra 3 processor struggles with unsupported 3D games
Video is compressed and choppy
Summary: As my first smartphone I thought this was an amazing phone overall. The UI is very nice; much better from what I expected on HTC Sense. The screen is a beauty; the colours pop out and the brightness is great. The Android Jelly Bean OS runs very fast and smoothly. However with some 3D games the Tegra 3 struggles and lags; it typically only works well with Tegra 3-optimized games.
The camera is very good and comparable with a point-and-shoot of similar resolution. However, some users have noted that its image quality is slightly worse than the original HTC One X. This can be explained by the fact that the original One X had a Samsung sensor while the One X+ uses an Omnivision sensor. However, the image processing chip itself seems to also overprocess the image as there is a lot of noise reduction and oversharpness applied. Video quality is disappointing as the video frame rate is choppy and has a lower bitrate than the original One X. Compression artifacts are quite obvious. Audio capture is very good although it sounds muddy unless you use Beats Audio (one area where Beats actually works pretty well). The front camera is only 1.9 MP but pretty good for its resolution
There have been some complaints about the sound quality of previous Tegra 3 devices including the original international One X. Many users complained about distortion and hissing. Some reviewers have commented that is greatly improved in the One X+, while others still notice hissing. Although I've not listened to previous devices, I can say that the audio for the One X+ is very good; there is a little bit of hissing from the audio chip but the sound is not distorted, turn off Beats Audio if you notice any distortion. Beats Audio works fine overall but I generally prefer the more flat audio response without beats. On larger headphones like my Panasonic HTX7, the One X+ does not play as much volume in the music and Beats boosts the volume well enough, but it also adds audio artifacts. Listening to Viva La Vida by Coldplay, I noticed this "zigzag" string vibrato that is not there when I use the same headphones on the computer. You can't really hear the bells either, so much for the lyrics "I hear Jerusalem bells a-ringing"! With in-ear headphones such as my Klipsch S4, the One X+ sounds very good at maximum volume. The dynamic range isn't as good as my iPad 2 and the lows and highs roll off a bit; though I think the bass roll-off makes the bass much "tighter" instead of bloaty. For my HTX7s I use JetAudio with a slight bit of preamp. Overall I think the One X+ is very good as a portable music player though you don't really need Beats Audio.
Battery lasts me around 8-10 hours thoughI am typically a WiFi user. On LTE with moderate use (ie browsing, listening to music and playing some games it lasts me 6-8 hours, better than some of the reports online. Standby mode drains the most out of the battery.
Despite some shortcomings the HTC One X+ is overall a great phone.
Updated on Apr 23, 2013