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HTC One X review

Barry de la Rosa
17 Apr 2012
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
inc VAT

A quad-core processor, plenty of storage space and a camera that rivals a compact digital camera - the HTC One X is the best Android phone currently available



Android 4.0, 4.7in 720x1,280 display

HTC's One X is a collection of firsts. It's the first HTC handset with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, the first with a 720x1,280-pixel screen, and the first with a quad-core processor; its Nvidia Tegra 3 chipset even includes a GeForce graphics core and a "companion core" - a fifth processor core that takes over essential functions when the phone is idle to save power.


The huge 4.7in screen's IPS panel is bright and colourful, if not quite as punchy as the OLED screens on the Motorola RAZR or Samsung Galaxy Nexus. The screen's contrast also can't match that of its rivals. Blacks weren't as deep and whites not as bright in our side-by-side tests with those phones. Colours were on the vibrant rather than accurate side, although you may prefer this for gaming and reading websites. The 720p resolution is ideal for web browsing; we could easily read headline and summary text on the BBC News homepage in landscape mode, and then double-tap to zoom in to individual stories.

The One X's screen is rounded at the edges and sits proud of its white surround. There's very little space around the screen, except at the bottom where three touch-sensitive buttons handle Back, Home and the new Open Tasks function, which shows which apps are currently running. The handset is light and comfortable to hold, with the matt-white plastic providing adequate grip.


The phone's 1.5GHz quad-core processor makes it run smoothly, although we still noticed some jerkiness and lag when under heavy load - swiping through the home screens still isn't as buttery smooth as on the iPhone. We tested a few games and they all played smoothly, although the phone can get hot at the rear. In the JavaScript Sunspider benchmark it scored 1,746ms, that's around 100ms quicker than the Tegra 3-equipped Asus Transformer Prime, probably due to a higher clock speed.

With the Android 4.0 operating system comes HTC's own Sense 4.0, a collection of apps, widgets and customisations designed to improve on Android's own interface. We've mentioned previously how manufacturers and network operators often load phones with software that can't be uninstalled, and which duplicates or even removes Android's own functions, but Sense has always been one of the less intrusive examples. Sense 4.0 adds features that complement Android's own software.

For a start, Sense beefs up the camera app, adding plenty of extra features that take advantage of the One X's dedicated imaging chip. There's a fast multi-capture mode which you access by holding down the shutter button, and it saves these pictures as a collection so you can browse for the best one. Pictures can be snapped in 0.7 seconds, with a 0.2 second auto-focus, and you can go straight to the camera from the lock screen to speed things up.

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