45 Minutes with the HTC One

HTC’s Flagship phone for 2013, simply named HTC One is definitely a phone to watch this year, read on to find out my thoughts about it after using it for a brief 45 minutes in my local Phones4u Store.

 

 

 

As soon as you see the HTC One with your own eyes, you’re immediately mesmerized and amazed by just how beautiful it is. Seriously, it’s the best designed phone of this year, scratch that, it may be the best designed phone ever made in the world, period. It has a nice weight to it and the curved back makes it fit very comfortably in the hand. The material is mostly metallic with two thin plastic bars on the back for signal reception.

HTC BlinkFeed/New App Drawer

HTC BlinkFeed on HTC One (Image Credit: HK-Android)

HTC BlinkFeed on HTC One (Image Credit: HK-Android)

Swipe up from the lock screen and as opposed to traditional homescreen, you’re taken to BlinkFeed, you can add your RSS feeds here and get autoupdating content throughout the day. Tapping the central button in the dock, let’s you see your app drawer, but it’s considerably different to before, rather then each app being a cell in a row and column layout, you now have folders to better organize these apps within the ‘app’ drawer, it took me a while to get used to.

I found it quite puzzling to get to a certain app if I was on blinkfeed view or the main homescreen view, obviously you can organize the most used apps by moving them to the top or on the dock, but it was just slightly different for me and it might take some getting used to for others as well.

HTC Zoe/HTC Zoe Share

HTC Zoe Share (Image Credit: AndroidAndMe)

HTC Zoe Share (Image Credit: AndroidAndMe)

The HTC Zoe experience was quite interesting indeed. To activate it, you simply launch the camera app, tap the zoe button and tap the shutter button. In brief HTC Zoe takes 3 seconds of video instead of a still picture, giving a more memorable way of remembering a certain moment or event. One thing I noticed, is if you try to share the file on anything other then HTC’s own ‘Zoe Share’, DropBox for example, then it just sends it as a picture, without the video, which makes sense but it’s something to be aware of. To get the full experience you need to use Zoe share, for which you need to make a HTC account or sign in with Facebook to upload the Zoe to HTC’s site and this is where some confusion arose.

I tried to upload the Zoe but it said “There is a Zoe already uploading, please try again later”, which was bizarre since I sure as hell hadn’t uploaded one before, and the annoying thing was, this message came up on the screen of where you specify details like a name and description of the Zoe. Tapping the back button to get rid out of this screen would mean that you lose the details of the zoe, a slight annoyance. In the end I had to do this and then restart the phone to upload the Zoe, but it was just quite confusing and a so called noob smartphone user might be a bit put off. It would have been better if there was an app or something for HTC Zoe, so if there was a clash while uploading Zoe’s, perhaps you could save it as a draft to upload later, there should be a better way to manage them, at least from my experience. Once they’re on HTC’s Zoe’s site, you can’t customize the name/description you specified before, again another flaw, surely logging into the HTC Zoe site or something should allow you to edit these Zoes even after they’re live.

One thing I did like is even after the HTC Zoe was uploaded successfully, there was a persistent notification encouraging me to share it, this is useful because let’s say you shared it to Facebook and then a few hours later you wanted to share it to Twitter, you might have forgotten the link. This way the sharing options are just a tap away.

For anyone interested, here’s the HTC Zoe I captured and uploaded using the HTC One: https://zoeshare.htc.com/QLbBMNwT2. It was in my local Phones4u store, I asked one of the staff members to do a fly kick since Zoe’s look good only when there’s some motion or audio, and in the process he ripped his pants haha.

Here’s a gallery of the pictures I took with the HTC One so you can get an idea of the quality, check the captions because some of them are stills from other HTC Zoe’s I captured.

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 HTC One Display vs. Samsung Galaxy S III Display + HTC One Browser/Performance

HTC One Display vs Galaxy S III Display (Image Credit: GizMag)

HTC One Display vs Galaxy S III Display (Image Credit: GizMag)

The display was very sharp and the viewing angles were great. I played some footage from the Landscape Timelapse channel on YouTube and the level of detail was exceptional, especially compared to my Galaxy S III. Obviously it’s not a fair comparison, since the One has a full HD 1080p 441 ppi display and the Galaxy S III has a 720p 306 ppi display but still I was blown away. Using the browser was a joy, HTC retain their amazing and patented “pinch to reflow” technology, which is one of the main things I love about HTC phones if I’m honest. I hope they open source it one day to bring it on more phones but I won’t hold my breath. Zooming up really close on the text on an article didn’t show any pixels, the text remained incredibly crisp. Performance on the whole was brilliant, the HTC One really flies.

Conclusion

HTC One (Image Credit: Coolsmartphone)

HTC One (Image Credit: Coolsmartphone)

Ultimately I was very impressed with the HTC One even though I only used it for a brief period. The display and build quality is stunning, the transition between a traditional homescreen and using BlinkFeed/App drawer will take some getting used to and apart from the upload glitch issue, HTC Zoe is a great feature.

Buy your HTC one on Amazon UK here: http://amzn.to/X8k1Gi

Here’s a video walkthrough of the HTC One I did back in February which will give you a lot more detail about the device.

I’m planning to get this device for review hopefully at some point so stay tuned for more coverage on this device including a full review! It will be interesting to see how this compares to the Sony Xperia Z and the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S4.


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Written by Purav, PDTechHD (My personal account is PDTalkinTech)

So what do you guys think of the HTC One? Will it be a smartphone that makes its way into your pocket? Let us know in the comment section below.


Notable Accolades for this article: HTC Facebook HTC UK Twitter

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I’m a 23 year old Maths Graduate, who has a great passion for technology and in my spare time I make videos on YouTube to show my passion. I'm also co-admin here at TeckComesFirst and I joined this site back in January 2012.
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