HTC One: First Impressions

It’s a fact that HTC makes the best smartphone in the market, and the HTC One is the taiwanese handset maker’s hail mary. It is the most beautiful Android smartphone at the moment, with an all-metal casing that is made out of a single piece of aluminum. I recently got myself the HTC One for development related work and today I am going to present you my first impressions of the device.

Specs at a glance: HTC One
Screen 1920×1080 4.7″ (469 ppi) Super LCD3 touchscreen
OS Android 4.2.2 with Sense 5.0
SoC Quad-core 1.7Ghz Snapdragon 600
GPU Adreno 320
Storage 32/64 GB NAND flash, not expandable
Networking 802.11a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, WiFi direct, Infrared, DLNA, USB OTG
Ports Micro USB, headphone
Camera 4.0MP UltraPixel camera, 2.1MP front camera
Size 137.4 x 68.2 x 9.3 mm (5.41 x 2.69 x 0.37 in)
Weight 143 g (5.04 oz)
Battery 2300 mAh (Non-removable)
Starting price Rs 40000
Sensor Accelerometer, gyroscope, proximity, compass
Other perks BoomSound speakers, Beats Audio

Build Quality

I can’t say this enough. The HTC One is the most beautiful and sexiest Android device in the market right now. The back is slightly curved and the edges are beveled. The all-aluminum casing screams premium quality and it feels amazing in the hand, unlike the plastic feel you get on many (or should I say all?) Samsung smartphones. The phone is designed to impress and is well made.

HTC One Aluminum body



HTC led last year with the best display in a smartphone (HTC One X) and once again, they lead with the gorgeous Super LCD 3 display on the HTC One. The display is very bright and colors are realistic, well saturated and the whites look really white. The screen looks amazing even in direct sunlight, unlike AMOLED based smartphones, which look dull. The screen size isn’t very big that would make holding the phone uncomfortable and the 469 PPI density makes text and images look very sharp, in fact sharper than any phone in the market, technically speaking.


Don’t let the megapixel count fool you: The UltraPixel camera captures exceptional photos, both in day and night. While the sensor size is just 4 megapixels, the size of each pixel is 3 times larger than traditional pixels, which means the sensor can absorb more light, which leads to better low-light photography and also photography in general. The only downside of having 4MP sensor is that when you zoom in a lot, the detailing takes a nosedive. There is no shutter lag and the camera software offers various modes like HDR, Panorama, Macro, etc and allows you to control various settings like ISO, balancing, sharpness, exposure and more. There are live in-built filters as well and HTC Zoe allows you to capture a sequence of shots to ensure you always capture the best one and it also creates a mini film out of it.

HTC One Camera Sample

You can see more samples here.

OS, Performance and inbuilt Apps

HTC One ships with Android 4.1 although an Android 4.2.2 update is available and you’re notified when you connect to the internet. The update brings a lot of improvements, both to Android and Sense. Instead of putting a lot of bloat and impractical gimmicks that other manufacturers tend to add, HTC has toned down its custom Sense user interface, which has been praised for its beautiful design and animations, and added something called BlinkFeed. BlinkFeed is a continuous stream of real-time information aggregated from your social networks and custom sources that you can select (News, Apps, and more) and is set as your homescreen by default. Its design is admittedly similar to Metro UI and it allows you to take a quick glance at what’s happening. It integrates with the operating system properly but cannot be disabled completely, although you do get a choice to set either BlinkFeed or the normal Android homescreen as your homescreen.



The performance of the device is mind-blowing. Everything is smooth as butter and there’s virtually no lag anywhere, thanks to the new Snapdragon 600 SoC clocked at 1.7GHz and barely any bloatware. Even the startup and shutdown of the phone is blazing fast – It turns off in 3 seconds and starts up in 6. You can see it in action here:

The phone scores 25522 in AnTuTu benchmark, which is really good for a device with killer hardware.

HTC One Benchmark

The IR blaster works great with my Samsung LED TV although since India is not supported, I cannot see channel content and list. The stock browser, dialer and other apps works great as well.


The HTC One comes with Beats Audio along with two front-facing BoomSound stereo speakers and trust me, the phone has the best smartphone speakers at the moment. You can actually leave your portable speakers at home and enjoy quality audio without the need of a separate headset. The sound is true to life, distortion-free and very loud; you can be blown out of your bed if your alarm rings and the volume is cranked up to the max. Here’s a sample I recorded using my Lumia 920 – You can see how loud and clear the audio is.

Battery Life

The HTC One has a non-removable 2300 mAh battery and so far, I am always left with 20-30% charge before going to sleep. I watch some full HD videos for an hour, use WiFi, do light gaming, texting, calling and the battery hasn’t let me down yet. You can expect a full-day use on moderate to slightly-heavy usage.


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