HTC One Review: Hands-On

Since our initial hands-on with the HTC One we’ve been able to spend more time with the device and fully test its features. You can see our full review here.

After months of speculation the HTC One was finally unveiled by Peter Chou, HTC CEO, at a launch event in London this afternoon.

The device, formerly known as the HTC M7, was revealed as a powerful flagship from the Taiwanese manufacturer, taking design cues from the firm’s 2012 range of handsets and packing in a raft of new features that bring genuine innovations to the smartphone table.

Looking not unlike the HTC One X and One S but with an even more minimalist design, the HTC One has a fantastic form factor that includes a aluminium backplate and stereo Boom Sound speakers at the top and bottom of the front fascia. The smooth backing gives it a sleek appearance and from the front it strips away any excess space to leave little other than the display. In fact, looking at it head on, the handset looks not unlike the BlackBerry Z10.

HTC One UI

That display is a 4.7-inch full 1080p HD, high-quality offering and is superb, featuring a cool, subtle hue and dark background that allows images to stand out. Tucked inside is a quad-core processor, ensuring unfaltering performance, even when multitasking.

Moving on to the software and HTC has created something brilliant with the new version of its Sense UI. On top of Android Jelly Bean sits a grid-like interface that looks a little like that seen on Windows Phone devices. This tiled interface is called ‘Blinkfeed’ and pulls media sources and social networks right through to the homescreen, presenting a lively and ever-changing desktop always active with new updates. The manufacturer claims that the UI can draw on over 1400 sources such as ESPN and the Guardian for its feeds, promising a huge amount of content.

HTC has made further image capturing innovations with the HTC One, introducing what it terms the ‘Ultrapixel camera’. Along with standard, high-quality image capture, the device has a new capability which lets users capture short clips of video from which individual frames can be pulled. Working within these frames, parts of the image can be scrolled back and forth to do things such as changing people’s facial expressions and removing unwanted objects from the shot. For example, say somebody walked into shot as you were capturing a clip; you can scroll back a few seconds to a time when they weren’t there.

HTC One Back

In the HTC One, the Taiwanese manufacturer has created a brilliantly stylish handset that packs in some unique features. The device’s camera functionality is incredible, breaching the distinction between images and video and allowing users to capture the ‘moments’ that the manufacturer talks about in its marketing. Whilst it’s true that innovations similar to this have been seen in BlackBerry 10 and Nokia’s Smart Shoot, HTC has taken them a step further, resulting in an impressive camera app which may leave other manufacturers struggling to catch up.

The HTC One is a genuinely forward-thinking handset which, from the short time we’ve spent with it, appears to have a lot to offer and plenty of features to set it apart from the competition.

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