HTC ONE GOLD
The new Gold HTC One (Image courtesy of HTC.com)

 

So I thinking about what to write about this week and while I have finally got my hands on a Pebble Smart Watch, I am going to wait until I try it out to give the verdict!

This led me to the HTC One. Now while I’m hardly going to break ground here, I am writing this as I realised this is still my favourite phone on the market since its launch last year and the one I still recommend above all others. Plus it’s just being launched in gold…so it is practically new! The following is my evaluation of life with the HTC One.

First of all is the build quality. Apple, Sony and HTC have all gone the route of their flagship models sporting solid builds (ie non removable batteries). While the sleek aluminium shell is a little slippy to use with one hand and easy to dent (two problems easily overcome by using my Otterbox Commuter case), the overall result is a premium feeling handset. The few buttons on the handset feel solid, including the IR blaster power button.

The One’s hardware allows the handset to run very smoothly while performing multiple tasks. While the internal 32GB memory cannot be expanded, the One’s Wifi adaptor is most impressive, regularly getting top speed on my UPC connection. This means you can make full use of the 50GB Dropbox space that comes with your purchase of the handset, offsetting certain anxieties of possessing a fixed memory handset.

The on-board camera was one of the main points HTC highlighted when launching the handset to set themselves aside from the competition. The 4 Ultra Pixel camera was claimed to be on par, if not better, than the 13MP camera seen within the Samsung Galaxy S4 and Note 3. While I do love the camera on the handset and was blown away by the low light video quality, I do believe the S4 and Note 3 win the battle of the cameras.

This does not mean I am leaning towards the flagship Samsung handsets in this heavyweight battle- quite the contrary. The HTC One boasts incredible audio. In the box you will be pleasantly surprised to find Monster headphones, which are greatly complimented by the Beats Audio software installed on the handset (a partnership which unfortunately looks almost certainly have come to an end with the new HTC M8). One is left wondering why all handsets do not shift their speakers to the front, as the combination of audio and fantastic screen make watching Netflix or listening to music at a house party a breeze for the HTC One.

Now, that’s all the HTC One “press-pack-esque” stuff out of the way here is my own personal opinion.

You need to get a case and really it has to be something hardwearing. The phone’s shell is gorgeous but may as well be made from butter. However, for me, this is really the only drawback. The battery in the HTC One is simply stunning. Here you can see why I think so.

2014-01-15 03.26.49

Okay, so those of you who remember forgetting where the last place you had your charger plugged in due to your amazing Nokia 2 week battery, may not be blown away by this image. For me, knowing how much I use my phone, this was amazing. Sure I charge my phone every night, but it comfortably gets me through a day without having to be constantly afraid of being phoneless.

Initially, Blinkfeed was a massive let-down. This feature was a new approach to the home screen, which brings all your social media and news needs into one easy to access place.Very restricted feeds, heavily focussed upon the US market. While the latter hasn’t changed, it now allows fully customisable feeds. You can log in to your Facebook and Twitter accounts while also drawing from your favourite RSS feeds, ensuring all your news and feeds are never missed.

Finally, the greatest gimmick of them all has become my favourite feature. In my apartment I only have Saorview, built into the TV, which means no fancy SKY Guides. Thank god for the TV Remote feature. First of all it offers control over the TV, such as input, volume, channels etc. It also provides a full visual guide of what is on TV over the coming week. You set your favourites and get reminders for your show and future similar shows, with the app automatically changing TV channels accordingly. It also works for SKY and UPC, meaning everyone can find a use for it.

The too long didn’t read version.

The HTC One offers the build quality of an iPhone, the brains and freedom of Android while throwing some genuinely unique approaches to how a handset should operate. While initially daunting, the HTC One is easily the most fun and interesting phone on the market to date and as mentioned earlier, the one I still recommend above other handsets. You get well above average battery life, with enough “WOW” factor to keep everyone else jealous.

Check back soon for my review of the Pebble Smart Watch and reports on the launch of the HTC M8, expected March 24th.

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