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Android smartphones Reviews
15,669 Reviews PC Advisor Gold Award

HTC One review: great high-end Android matches, but can't beat the best. A good deal

£449 inc VAT

Manufacturer: HTC

Our Rating: We rate this 4.5 out of 5

The HTC One is beautiful Android smartphone that offers near-perfect performance. The HTC One's excellent build quality is dented only marginally by a slight tendency to run hot during our tests. Here's PC Advisor's HTC One review. Updated, 30 September 2013.

HTC One test shots

Test video clip

Here's a shot taken in very low light (under my desk). Click the images to enlarge them.

HTC One test image

These two are on the street outside our office. Again, click to enlarge.

HTC One test image

HTC One test image

We made a super quick Zoe and it is very easy to use.

HTC One test image

HTC One review: Software and setup

The new HTC One runs Android 4.1.2 with full access to the Play Store for apps and media, but it is heavily customised with HTC Sense and a new content-flow feature. In additon to HTC Zoe, the silly names just keep on coming.

As part of the relatively simple HTC Sense interface, now upgraded to Sense 5.0, HTC has introduced a new service called BlinkFeed. Sense is part of all HTC phones, and makes the Android experience clean and simple - although it is very different to a traditional Android interface. I like it, but it is a personal thing.

BlinkFeed offers a cascading flow of all updates and media similar to the Hub in BlackBerry 10 or Windows Phone 8's messages feed.

With BlinkFeed the HTC One delivers tiles of all of your favourite information, social and media feeds, allowing you to see everything that is going on in your life, the lives of your 'friends', and in the world. All in 30 seconds or so.

Honestly, I found BlinkFeed nothing but annoying. I can see what HTC is thinking, but for me it is just too much. Open up your phone and it is there, throwing information at you whether you want it or not. Your opinion may differ, of course. You can't delete it but you can set up your phone in such a way as you rarely see it. And HTC is promising to sign up all manner of media owners, publishers and software developers to populate this feed with compelling content.

The initial setup process is slick, but may feel intrusive to some. When you first use the HTC One you are pushed into synching various social and email accounts, and selecting your news preferences, via a web app on your PC. It's the slickest setup of an Android phone I have experienced - all your contacts and accounts on your device within a couple of minutes. But it does feel unavoidable, and it is possible you may not want to be tied into all of your accounts in this way. 

New HTC One back

HTC One review: Battery life

After a period of 24 hours of moderate use, the HTC One had around 30 percent battery remaining. It's an acceptable effort in the sense that smartphones typically only last a day of use and need to be charged overnight. That's not to say we don't want more, we do.

It's worth pointing out that the HTC One's 2300mAh battery is non-removable.

HTC One Expert Verdict »

4.7 inch, Full HD 1080p, 468 PPI
Qualcomm Snapdragon 600, quad-core, 1.7GHz
Android with HTC Sense, HTC BlinkFeed
32GB/64GB, available capacity varies
Internal GPS antenna + GLONASS, Digital compass
Gyro sensor, Accelerometer, Proximity sensor, Ambient light sensor
3.5mm stereo audio jack
Bluetooth 4.0
micro-USB 2.0 (5-pin) port with mobile high-definition video link
HTC BoomSound
Dual frontal stereo speakers with built-in amplifiers
Studio-quality sound with Beats Audio
HDR Microphone
Sense Voice
HTC UltraPixel Camera
137.4 x 68.2 x 9.3mm
  • Build Quality: We give this item 8 of 10 for build quality
  • Features: We give this item 9 of 10 for features
  • Value for Money: We give this item 9 of 10 for value for money
  • Performance: We give this item 9 of 10 for performance
  • Overall: We give this item 9 of 10 overall

The HTC One is up there with the very best smartphones on the market today. It has superb performance, and excellent build quality spoiled only slightly by running hot in use. You can't fault the feature set, and it matches the other high-end products in terms of price. In terms of audio and visual output it is unsurpassed. The interface might be an acquired taste for some, and we weren't overly impressed with the camera. It's not perfect, but alongside the Xperia Z and iPhone 5 this is about as good a phone as you can buy.

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