HTC One Design and Build
In terms of the feel of the materials, and the way they fit together, we can name no smartphone that bests the HTC One. The only parts of the HTC One's shell that aren’t obviously made of aluminium are the Gorilla Glass screen and a slim plastic band around the edge.
At 144g it is big and solid, but light. It feels solid but it’s thin, too, and perfectly balanced. The display isn't quite edge to edge, but the bezel is far from huge.
In our tests the HTC One became hot to the touch. Not too hot to hold, but enough to make us worry.
HTC One Performance
The HTC is the fastest phone we have tested. With a quad-core chip and two gigs of RAM it aced our GeekBench 2 benchmark, turning in a record score of 2721.
You have a choice of 32 or 64 GigaBytes but no expandable storage. Amongst the connectivity options are NFC, 4G LTE and a micro-USB 2 port with mobile high-definition video link.
Head to this page for our take on the HTC One's performance and build quality. On page two we look at HTC One display, audio and media. Click through to page three to find out about the HTC One camera and page four is where you find our review of the HTC One software and setup. Or just keep watching!
HTC One Display and Audio
The 4.7in Super LCD 3 display has the highest pixel density of any phone we have seen. This full HD display crams 468 pixels into every inch. it’s sharp, brilliant at rendering details in photos and video even under the strip lights of a room with no natural light. Viewing angles are good and the touchscreen responsive.
With a built-in amplifier, Beats Audio and two front-facing speakers the HTC One delivers a big sound with or without headphones.
HTC One Camera
The HTC One has only a 4 megapixel camera at the rear and a 2.1 megapixel, 88-degree wide angle lens with HDR capability at the front. A faster sensor means you can quickly capture shots - critical for a smartphone snapper. Pictures taken were good: occasionally noisy as you might expect from a camera with such a low pixel count, but good in low-light conditions.
HTC One Software
The 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 called BlinkFeed.
BlinkFeed offers a cascading flow of all updates and media similar to the Hub in BlackBerry 10 or Windows Phone 8's messages feed.
HTC One Verdict
Superb performance and excellent build quality spoiled only slightly by running hot in use. You can't fault the feature set, and it matches other high-end phones on price. The interface might be an acquired taste for some, and we weren't overly impressed with the camera, but alongside the Xperia Z and iPhone 5 this is about as good a phone as you can buy. Four and a half stars.
See also: Group test: what's the best smartphone?