Expert Review of HTC One S
HTC One S is the slimmest smartphone ever launched by the Taiwanese giant and added to HTC’s portfolio so far. HTC has made a real effort to set the phone apart. HTC One S has a waistline of barely 8 mm and this slim handset, despite of not being a flagship device, has all the specs necessary to put it in the high-end segment. This process is also used in satellite design. As a consequence, it does look sharp and smooth for sure and HTC pays attention to details in the handset's contouring. HTC has given One S an advanced camera which takes 0.7-second shot time, 0.2-second autofocus, and f/2.0. The camera of the phone is capable of snapping better pictures under low-light conditions due to its BSI sensors. With a thickness of 0.3 inch, the device uses aluminium with a soft-touch surface created by a "micro arc oxidation" technique.
HTC One S bears resemblance to its own very well known sibling, HTC Sensation, but in terms of thickness HTC One S is the slimmest phone HTC has ever manufactured. With Sense v.5.0 interface one can also overcome the minor defects of the Android platform. This interface works amazingly, it will automatically lower down the volume of the ringer when the phone is picked up and will mute the ringtone when the phone is placed face down, and it will make phone vibrate when a call is answered which allows the user not to hold the phone to the ear in order to know if the call is connected. This is one of the first smartphones in the One series by HTC that have Android Jelly Bean platform along with HTC Sense UI that create wonders for the device. This device has virtual QWERTY keypad which can be transformed into landscape orientation for better usability and the predictive text input provides quickness and easiness to the messaging feature.
This smartphone certainly holds its own in the face of the high-end competition despite of its different looks, weak processor, and less outrageous screen size. In terms of its outer design, this smartphone is blessed with a minimalistic form that provides it a premium look and the aluminium body provides a nice grip to hands. The top of this device hosts a 3.5mm headphone jack that also works as an A/V connector and a power/lock button whereas the bottom has the primary microphone hole. The right part is the home for a volume rocker, while a microUSB port resides at the left. The front has the VGA secondary camera, a fully responsive touchscreen, Gyro, Digital Compass, Proximity and Ambient Light and G-Sensors. Below the screen, there are basic three capacitive Android buttons for Back, Search and Home that respond very quickly and fast even to the slightest touch.
The back has tiny holes for speakers, a couple of logos and the camera with LED flash. The battery is safe under the back panel that is completely sealed, so no access to battery at all and since this smartphone does not support any external memory so you will not feel the urge to remove the back cover. Only a small area at the back has removable cover that has microSIM slot. With the amazing camera of the device one will not miss even a single special moment of their life, as it starts within seconds and provides rapid-fire continuous shooting which allows you to capture video and picture at the same time. The image quality will not get hampered by the poor light conditions. This smartphone is one of the most talked about phones that gives a straight competition to Samsung Galaxy S III and with a weight of 119.5 grams; it is even slighter than its rivals. The phone has built-in loudspeakers that give authentic sound for all media. It is the most desirable phone of the bunch. Overall, HTC One S seems like a very promising device.
User Interface and UI functionality
The design of HTC One S is quite similar to the higher-end HTC One X. The phone boasts an aluminum body given strength through multi-arc oxidation process. This casing is four times harder and has ceramic-like properties. The HTC Sense UI makes the experience with the phone unforgettable and provides lot of amazing features to the device that will keep users busy with it 24 x 7. There is a pull down tarry on top of the screen also that holds alerts and notifications and accesses the most recently used applications. The combination of Android Jelly Bean platform and HTC Sense UI version 5.0 makes the home screen customizable to a large extent where users can add or remove widgets and icons according to their choice and need. Icons such as Bookmark, Calculator, Clock, FM Radio, Friend Stream, HTC Likes (application suggestions), Locations, Mail, Messages, Music, My Shelf (ebook shelf), Navigate, News, People, Photo Album, Photo Frame, Search Anywhere, Stocks, Sync All, Tips for Home, Twitter, Weather, etc. can be added or removed from the homescreen and can be launched easily without a long press on the touch sensitive display. The thickness of HTC One S is exactly 7.9 mm. All pooled, the handset becomes extremely light, thin and durable. The rear has a soft-touch texture with ability to resist finger-prints and scratches.
The device is personalized with HTC Sense v.5.0 also on top of the Android Jelly Bean platform that works superbly well. With a resolution of 540 x 960 pixels the multi touch supporting display provides a crystal clear, rich and vibrant view that looks same from each angle. The display has a 4.3 inches wide super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen with qHD resolution and that comes out to a showcase with a pixel density of 256ppi. Nevertheless, the display is quite good, shows vibrant colors, giving credit to the color combinations made from 16M colors, and brightness that is expected from a super AMOLED display type. It has a dual-core processor that clocked at 1.5GHz/1.7GHz speed and occupies 1GB memory of RAM. The home screens and widgets both are also improvised. If not compared to the smartphones equipped with powerful quad-core processors, HTC One S certainly scores well in this aspect also. Widgets have been given a bit of sharpening and now have cleaner design and less disturbing animations.
HTC One S sports Jelly Bean operating system and on top of it, the droid has HTC Sense user interface. The Sense v.5.0 has updates the Beats Audio integration that brings enhancement in all the music files played through HTC One S. So for those who favor Internet radio, they can enjoy it either with the Beats magic, or turn it off. Besides the Beats Audio Technology, 25GB of Dropbox storage and support for Media Link adds more fun and usability to HTC One S. The dual-core 1.5GHz processor handles the media software with utmost ease. In terms of video supports, formats such as .3gp, .3g2, .mp4, .wmv (Windows Media Video 9) and .avi (MP4 ASP and MP3) are supportable and for video recording this device backs .mp4 format. Various audio playback formats that are supported by this piece of gadget are aac, .amr, .ogg, .m4a, .mid, .mp3, .wav and .wma (Windows Media Audio 9) and for recording an aural file it supports .amr format. The phone also dons an 8 megapixels photo snapper with flash and we are pleased that the camera casing doesn't protrude out disgracefully. One can also enjoy music on the stereo FM radio that has RDS technology, which automatically detects the station name on to which a user is tuned into.
Pictures and Video quality
A camera of 8 megapixels in HTC One S with a dedicated imaging chip, f/2.0 aperture and BSI sensors gives that "wow" feel to the camera and allows ample light to enter the sensor for good quality low light pictures. You can capture images as well as videos at the same time due to its rapid fire feature. The camera application launches extremely fast and in the whole process of photo clicking, one can shoot continuous shots as it takes less than a second to re-load. To take a picture, the phone uses its light and proximity sensors and properly exposes the object to be shot. This 8 megapixels sensor captures images with a resolution of 3264 x 2448 pixels that provides a clear and vibrant picture. The camera is also capable of shooting 1080p videos and take pictures simultaneously. This is probably the best smartphone cameras to date, other than obviously the 41 megapixels camera of Nokia 808 PureView. There is also a sharp 1.3 megapixels front facing shooter that enables users to have live video chats with family and friends and with this camera one can also shoot self portraits. The 8 megapixels autofocus camera sensor has LED flash that enable one to capture images even in the low light conditions.
HTC One S has provides Internet connectivity through various connectivity options available at your end. Options like EDGE, GPRS, 3G with HSPA speed, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n and Wi-Fi hotspot via WLAN network are there to help you out in getting connected with the rest of the world. Via DLNA, one can play their multimedia files on the big screen of a DLNA compatible TV. One can have connections with the nearby devices through Bluetooth v.4.0 with A2DP, DLNA and microUSB port v.2.0 that transfers data at an instant fast speed.
Internal and External Memory
HTC One S holds 1GB of RAM on board and in a bid to look different from other contemporary devices, it has made slight changes in the droid that keeps it out of the queue of smartphones, which as per the current scenario cab prove to a bane for this handset. HTC One S has not provided any support for a microSD card slot that helps in increasing the external memory of the device, so users have to manage with barely 16GB of internal storage capacity available on this device.
Applications and Gaming
HTC One S runs all the familiar and most popular Android applications and games that the device can download from the Google Play Store, earlier named as Android Market. The phone does have all the basic phone applications like Calendar, Messaging, Alarm Clock, etc. and the 1GB memory of RAM allows the smooth functioning of all the applications. Users can also download various games of their choice from the online sites. One can download various work related and fun applications from the Android Market that is the hub for all kind of applications that are currently ruling the market.
HTC One S is an extremely snappy device that comes loaded with a powerful standard Li-Po 1,650 mAh battery that can keep the device alive for a very long time. This battery provides a talk time of up to 10 hours 30 minutes along with a standby time of up to 317 hours, which is extremely well. One can also play music and video files on the amazing screen of this smartphone for long duration of hours, uninterruptedly.
HTC One S facilitates all the requisite connectivity options. This device supports GSM 2G and 3G networks at a bandwidth of 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 MHz and 850 / 900 / 2100 MHz, respectively. There is Bluetooth, microUSB, Wi-Fi, and DLNA Share. The data downloaded or uploaded at a 3G HSPA+ speed is extremely fast.
The competition is intense between HTC One S and Motorola Droid RAZR. On one hand, Motorola Droid Razr is extremely sturdy donning a Corning Glass display with DuPont Kevlar fiber protection cover whereas on the other hand, HTC One S is very thin and measures up to 8.99mm only but bring along more battery life and 3G connection for super fast Internet access. The fact that HTC One S comes with HTC Sense 5.0 user interface is absolutely unbeatable and above all it has Android version 4.1 Jelly Bean operating system that makes it much desirable amongst the available rivals. One can, similarly, not beat Droid Razr in Internet speeds. HTC One S has a stupendous quality in 4.3 inch qHD super AMOLED touch panel with impressive colors, wide-viewing angles and remarkably high-pixel density, which is better and bigger than the 4 inch qHD display of Droid Razr. HTC One S scores over Droid Razr because it is even thinner and measures just 7.99 mm in thickness but it is also a very sturdy handset, thanks to dramatic “micro-arc oxidation” technology used for creating outer chassis in which it is enveloped. It supports video chats, live videos and the downloading time is 10 times faster than any 3G phone. HTC One S just has to manage with 3G HSPA connection. Besides the slender body, HTC One S also boasts of Qualcomm S4 Snapdragon CPU clocked to 1.5GHz, superficial resemblance in harmony with the HTC lineage, overall exterior, texture, and 8 megapixels front camera with a VGA quality 1080p video with 30 frames per second. The strong rival, Motorola Droid RAZR holds 1GB of RAM, 16GB of internal memory, a 1,605 mAh battery and a 42 Mbps HSPA support.
The other smartphones that exist in the market and have all the capabilities to give a neck in neck competition to HTC One S, either in terms of price, software, features supported or looks, are Apple iPhone 4S, Apple iPhone 5, HTC One V, Samsung Galaxy S Duos, HTC Desire S, Sony Xperia Tipo, Apple iPhone 4, Nokia Lumia 710, HTC Sensation XE, Samsung Galaxy S II, Samsung Galaxy S II Mini, Samsung Galaxy Ace Duos, Motorola DEFY, Samsung Galaxy Nexus, HTC Desire S, HTC Desire V, Nokia Lumia 920, Nokia Lumia 820, Nokia 808 PureView, Nokia Lumia 620, HTC Butterfly, HTC One X, HTC One, etc. and many more.