All this week we have had the chance to get our greasy mitts on the new HTC One S, the ‘mid range’ mobile phone in the Taiwanese giants new range, the One series. We put it through its paces (well, we made phone calls, listened to music and took some photos – is that ‘putting it to the test?) and it coped very well. Could HTC be getting close to an iPhone beater?
The first thing that takes your eye when you look at the phone is its size, the One S is HTC’s thinnest phone yet and they have crammed the device full of hardware, with a 1.5Ghz Dual core processor, 8 megapixel camera & 16gb storage space. However with packing the phone to the brim with tech, they have missed out a SD storage slot which is evident on all other HTC smartphones, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it is a nice peripheral to have to move your information from one smartphone to the next with ease and the extra storage space. The phone boots up smartly and is very responsive using the new Ice Cream Sandwich Android OS with HTC’s own Sense Software, with the ability to fully customise your own home screen with HTC Sense, this is one area they excel over Apple and the iOS home screens.
The processing speed of the One S makes it perfectly capable of doing general tasks a mobile phone user would want, loading apps in a flash, browsing the internet, posting on a social media platform and pretty much whatever you want are no trouble.
HTC have put the majority of their effort into the camera functionality in the One range. Their view is that people now look primarily at what the camera is like when choosing their new mobile. With the One S, the 8 megapixel camera can be started and snapping photos within seconds of unlocking the phone, and the ability to snap more than one picture in a short period of time, allows you to cherry pick your best photos. The only downside is the editing software is a little clunky, but with Instagram now on the Android marketplace its not much of a problem. It also records in HD at 1080P, and allows you to take a picture whilst you video. You can read our full thoughts on the camera from when we gave the HTC One S Camera a thorough test in Barcelona.
There is a lot of hype about HTC’s handsets having Beats Audio, we do love the tie in, both being brands to watch, but the casual user won’t notice the difference in sound quality to other mobile devices. Some argue it is just a graphic equaliser, and we do worry about that it is more of a name drop than actually making the most of the technology available. One downside to an otherwise top notch phone which is exceptional for the casual user.
At the moment the new HTC One Series do take the title of best Android phone, and may well be drawing level with Apple in terms of quality of hardware and functionality, and the One series of phones in my opinion are some of the best handsets out there at the moment. But, they may have a limited shelf life. With the new iPhone on the not so distant horizon, and the latest Samsung Galaxy also expected soon, it won’t be long until the rest of the mobile market will be again scrabbling to keep up.