Review: HTC One X

A fantastic smartphone only let down by poor battery life and somewhat inconsistent software

HTC One X

HTC One X

The HTC One X has a great design and an excellent display, but suffers from poor battery life.

HTC One X preview
HTC One X coming soon to Virgin Mobile
Optus opens HTC One X pre-orders

Design and display

To say the HTC One X has an attractive design would be completely underselling it. This single block of polycarbonate plastic is simply gorgeous and is without doubt one of the best looking phones we've ever reviewed. Like the Samsung Galaxy Nexus before it, the One X has a slightly curved profile that makes it both distinctive and comfortable to hold. This curvature is elegant yet subtle — it's hard to notice if you look at the phone front on.

The polycarbonate finish on the HTC One X isn't new, as Nokia has made it a key feature on its Lumia 800 and N9 smartphones. However, we prefer the smooth curves of the One X over Nokia's block shaped Lumia 800. We also prefer the finish of the One X over the plastic design of the Galaxy Nexus. The former is easier to grip and simply feels sturdier and better constructed.

This preference is easy to understand once you've held the One X in your hands. The attention to detail in construction and design is very impressive. The earpiece and rear speaker grills are both visible, but rub your finger across them and you can't physically feel the laser drilled holes. The bezel surrounding the screen is so thin it's barely noticeable. The power and volume buttons are perfectly positioned and provide great tactility when pressed. The One X simply feels elegant, a phrase not often associated with Android phones.

That being said, the design of the One X isn't perfect. The camera lens protrudes from the back and therefore directly comes into contact with a desk or table when you sit the phone on it. While the lens itself seems to be protected by a slightly raised outer rim, both the lens cover and the rim itself were visibly scratched after a few days of use.

The edges of the microSIM tray on our review unit were left looking slightly flimsy after it was opened a few times, while the polycarbonate design means a non-removable battery. There's no room for a microSD card slot, either. We also found audio output via the built-in speaker rather low. It's not as low as the volume on the Galaxy Nexus, but it isn't as loud as we expected and often made ringtones and notification tones difficult to hear when the phone was in our pocket. None of these issues are enough to completely overlook the One X, but the lack of expandable memory will annoy many current Android users.

The HTC One X has a brilliant 4.7in Super IPS LCD2 display with a HD resolution of 1280x720. It's crisper, brighter and sharper than the Samsung Galaxy Nexus' 4.65in Super AMOLED HD display. It has excellent viewing angles, great sunlight legibility and good colour reproduction. It also has a very high pixel density of 312ppi, putting it only slightly behind the iPhone 4S's ppi of 326.

Next page: Software, performance, camera and more

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