HTC One X: This Is How You Do an Android Device!

I can describe the HTC One X in one word: A-MA-ZING!

But before I continue… A little disclaimer: I was given a free HTC One X as a member of a special HTC community program. I was under no obligation to talk about this product or company. I get no additional benefits for talking about the product or company.

Now that we got that out of the way I can finally tell you about this amazing new HTC phone. I’ve been an HTC-fan since I was given a Nexus One 2.5 years ago. I was an iPhone user before that. In all honesty… I hated it at first. I hated the UI but immediately fell in love with the hardware. It was so much better than the iPhone. A couple of months later I flashed a Sense ROM on it and was hooked from day 1. HTC’s Sense UI is their UI skin on top of Android. It makes Android much more user-friendly and a lot less geeky. It’s probably the best UI skin on the market.

I replaced my Nexus One with the Desire HD the day it came out. And later I replaced that one with the Sensation. When I moved to the US I was given a couple of phone options. An iPhone, a Motorola Atrix and a Samsung Galaxy. I don’t like Samsung’s UI layer at all. I just don’t like all the bubblegum colors. I didn’t want to go back to an iPhone and so I went for the Atrix. I hated it. I was completely lost on that phone mostly because of their UI layer. I went back to using my Sensation even though I couldn’t get 4G on it. AT&T didn’t carry the Sensation but after a bit of Googling I found that the Canadian Bell version of the Sensation had the same radio frequencies that I needed to get 4G on AT&T. It was just before MAX and so I asked my Canadian colleague Duane Nickull to bring me one.

Fast forward to February. Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Everyone knew HTC was going to announce new devices and when they did they got a lot of buzz at the show. They announced their new One series. I was lucky enough to play with one of their demo phones at their booth and knew that that was going to be my new phone. Being on AT&T I had to wait and see if AT&T was going to carry it and I’m glad they did.

Fast forward to last Friday. A package from HTC arrived at home. I felt like a kid who just got a new train set (kids still play with trains, right?). When I opened the box and took the One X out of the box I thought they pranked me and actually sent me a dummy phone. It’s that light! Points++!

This weekend I took it out for a photo walk. The 8MP camera is extremely impressive. The 4FPS burst mode is just amazing! You can actually take up to 99 photos (20 by default) by just holding the camera button. When you let go you can just select the best shot and choose whether or not you want to keep the rest of the photos. You have to see this to actually get how amazing this is. Even more amazing is that you can take photo while you’re recording 1080p video! I uploaded a few photos on Flickr.

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The One X’s 4.7 inch screen is also absolutely gorgeous. It’s actually the first phone I can use in direct sunlight!

The international version of the HTC One X has been available for a few weeks now but this one has LTE. This is my first LTE phone and I had no idea what to expect from it. The speed of AT&T’s LTE network here in San Francisco is amazing. In fact… The internet on my phone is now almost twice as fast as my connection at home!

Obviously I was also worried about battery life but I was also pleasantly surprised by that. I go on a lot of long walks or bike rides on the weekend and my phone used to die before I got back home. So I was pretty anxious to try out the HTC One X on last weekends urban bike ride. I got about 11 hours of battery with moderate to heavy use! I use my phone on these trips as my camera, for music, to text/Whatsapp friends, to lookup routes, … and so again a great surprise to see how well the battery copes with that.

Beats Audio is now also available for every app that outputs audio to your headphones and it really does make a difference. I recently bought a set of Bose earphones (not sure why I haven’t bought these before ‘cause they are really great) and while they already sound fantastic Beats Audio makes them even better. I can now hear frequencies I didn’t even know were there.

The HTC One X is one amazing device… but it may have one flaw. The AT&T version only comes with 16GB of internal storage (and no MicroSD slot). That’s not really a big issue but I never had to think about storage before with the 32GB MicroSD card in my Sensation. A possible solution may be HTC’s partnership with Dropbox. You get 25GB for free when you sign up for Dropbox on your HTC One X (existing accounts get upgraded). Dropbox has the ability to automatically upload any pictures you take with your phone. So in theory you can almost immediately delete the photos from your device. With Google Play Music I could just stream my music library or temporarily sync it to my device. In other words: with so many cloud services available now and with the speed of LTE the storage limitation is probably not going to be an issue at all.

The HTC One X is my new favorite device! I’ve been showing it around the office and now have a lot of jealous colleagues ;-) I give it a 5 star rating and can’t recommend it enough! This is how you do an Android device! Oh… For those wondering: AT&T’s HTC One X is available from next Sunday!