HTC One Review

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(2013) This is a powerful phone with just about every feature a user could want, and then some, including a unique camera that performs very well even in low light. The HTC One is a bit smaller than many competing smartphones, which appeals to users who routinely carry their phones in tight pockets and small purses.

HTC One reviews tend to compare the 2013 incarnation of this phone to its Android arch nemesis, the Samsung Galaxy S4. The HTC One (starting at 1 cent, Amazon) holds its own against the S4 in nearly every respect and even bests the Samsung in some ways. For example, an expert from Engadget points to the aluminum body relative to the plastic construction of the S4. The site's reviewer also lauds the HTC One's display, which renders natural colors and sharp text and is actually easy to read in bright daylight. Another strength, according to this expert: The camera can take very good photos in low light, something most smartphones struggle with. Overall the HTC One performed excellently in Engadget's testing, and that includes the phone's function as (lest we forget) a phone. It effectively cancels out background noise, which significantly improves the quality of phone calls.

A CNET reviewer appears particularly impressed with the power and speed of this phone, which was the fastest the editor had ever used at the time of writing, in mid-2013. He praises the display for its vibrant, bright colors and considers the call quality pretty good, although voices occasionally sound flat. One surprising spec on the HTC One: a 4 MP rear camera. The camera on the Galaxy S4, for comparison, boasts 13 MP. Still, the HTC One camera has optical image stabilization, a feature that prevents blurring and until recently was confined to dedicated digital cameras. It's also designed to capture more light, which leads to more colorful pictures and better image quality in low light. According to CNET's HTC One review, this technique works well and yields photos with accurate colors. The battery tested better than a 2,300 mAh capacity might suggest: 9 hours and 37 minutes.

Where to buy

oh!Dreamy Online Store
$9.49
Verizon Wireless
$29.98
Shopping.com

The HTC One's specifications are pretty impressive. It uses a 4.7-inch, 1920 x 1080 HD display. The phone is available with 32 or 64 GB of memory (although no microSD card slot) and runs on a speedy 1.7 GHz, quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 chip. The HTC One uses Android 4.2.2 (Jelly Bean) with HTC's Sense customizations. It can record 1080p HD video and has a front-facing camera with a resolution of 2.1 MP. Buyers can also check the boxes for 4G LTE, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth support.

The HTC One certainly has some attractive features. Its metal build makes it feel more durable than the Samsung Galaxy S4, and the smaller display is easier to manage. The performance is super-fast and largely flawless. Although many consumers head straight for Samsung, a good look at the HTC One makes it hard to pass by.

Michael Sweet

Michael Sweet writes about consumer electronics. If something runs on electricity or ones and zeroes, he's interested in it. Sweet has written about PC technology and consumer electronics for 14 years.

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