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Ask MoDaCo: the HTC One


This is the HTC One, in stunning black. I have to confess that I really like the silver one, but now I have a black one in my hands... it's really growing on me.

A device such as this deserves an extensive, thorough and honest review and that's what I will deliver - but I know lots of you have questions about the device right now... so i'm here to answer any queries you have.

Fire away! :)

About the author

PaulOBrien's Photo
Paul O'Brien founded MoDaCo in 2002 as a site focused on Windows Smartphones and has grown it since then by concentrating on providing a friendly community for both experienced and beginner mobile enthusiasts.

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129 Comments

HTC have long made well built handsets, how does the One fare? And is it the best built Android yet?
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Do you think the Black version will be more prone to scratching than the silver/white version? I know its anodized, just wanted your opinion now you have one.
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Hey Paul.. this is the first time i am seeing a black version being reviewed...

how does the black finish feel?? prone to scratches.. ?

is the LED RGB or only Orange and Green like on the One X?
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Photo
android indian
Mar 12 2013 09:39 AM
How do you feel about the camera? there have been talks about the 4ultra pixels.. i saw some images and they look amazing, you think they work great for photography etc? for their pixel sizes..
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After reading the Verge review and seeing other previews I have the following comments and questions.


Camera
Takes low light shots that the iPhone 5 couldn't - bonus
Verge say "Shots only good enough for Facebook and instagram" - so what, i'm not taking pictures to print on 2 foot high canvas, I have a 'proper' camera for that. You will never get brilliant shots in a smartphone, simple. I think people are forgetting that if you want good pictures, you need a dLSR or similar and are expecting miracles that defy physics with a tiny lens and sensor. Some realism please. ;)


Sense
Aaargh, gimme stock/AOSP anytime. Maybe CM with the HTC camera software for Zoe (being able to pick frame by frame which shot) would be a decent compromise.


Size
4.7", woohoo, so glad HTC haven't gone mad with everyone else who has gone 5".... how does the size compare to the Nexus 4? Which I feel is my size limit.

Any chance of a side by side snap with the Nexus 4? Specs suggest HTC One is just 3.5mm taller, 5mm slimmer and 2mm thicker than the LG. How does the HTC feel in comparison?


Battery
It seems that until companies take the Droid Razr maxx route and sacrifice device slimness over battery life, then no phone will last a day, especially with 1080p screens, bigger/faster CPU and features. :(


Notification LED
RGB, nice, big and bright?


Screen
I'm assuming the usual HTC level of awesomeness?


Price
£519 sim-free.....ouch, how can anyone possibly spend 500 quid for this when a 16gn Nexus 4 is just £279? What makes the £240 difference worth it?
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Do you know what date HTC has set to start shipping in Europe ? Placed my order at a belgium webshop.. Can't wait :)
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HTC have long made well built handsets, how does the One fare? And is it the best built Android yet?

No question it's definitely the best built Android device yet. It feels incredible...

P
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Do you think the Black version will be more prone to scratching than the silver/white version? I know its anodized, just wanted your opinion now you have one.


Hard to say, but the debacle around the MAO finish on the One S worries me. That said, the One S in grey didn't really chip so hopefully this will be OK!

P
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Hey Paul.. this is the first time i am seeing a black version being reviewed...

how does the black finish feel?? prone to scratches.. ?


See above! I really thought the silver / white version was the one for me but this one feels super understated and classy...

P
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How do you feel about the camera? there have been talks about the 4ultra pixels.. i saw some images and they look amazing, you think they work great for photography etc? for their pixel sizes..


It's too early to say on that one, but I can say already that the low light performance is incredible. I was walking round taking pictures last night of stuff that I wouldn't dream of photographing on other devices. I plan to take photos with it alongside a X+ for comparison purposes.

P
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Battery life? The Verge says it's too bad. I'm fine with HOX battery life. Comparable? Yes, I know more time needed for this one. I hope you'll play with it for more than a week.
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How's the sound quality through headphones jack? Not neccessraly the ones coming with it, I'm curious on the audio output quality of it.
Can you try playing a song like Hotel California or Time (Pink Floyd)?
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What earbuds does it come with? Are they any good?
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Verge say "Shots only good enough for Facebook and instagram" - so what, i'm not taking pictures to print on 2 foot high canvas, I have a 'proper' camera for that. You will never get brilliant shots in a smartphone, simple. I think people are forgetting that if you want good pictures, you need a dLSR or similar and are expecting miracles that defy physics with a tiny lens and sensor. Some realism please. ;)

Real world is what I care about - my real world. If pics look great on my phone and great on my 27" iMac i'm happy. Low light performance IS important to me, I think the Zoe mode is going to be a godsend for me as i'm always snapping Lucie and missing the exact right shot - this should fix that. The camera on the one is as much about software as hardware.

Sense
Aaargh, gimme stock/AOSP anytime. Maybe CM with the HTC camera software for Zoe (being able to pick frame by frame which shot) would be a decent compromise.


I like AOSP too, but I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by Sense 5, it's a lot 'flatter'. There's not much where you can't load up the AOSP equivalents anyway.

Size
4.7", woohoo, so glad HTC havne't gone mad with everyone else who has gone 5".... how does the size compare to the Nexus 4? Which I feel is my size limit.

Any chance of a side by side snap with the Nexus 4? Specs suggest HTC One is just 3.5mm taller, 5mm slimmer and 2mm thicker than the LG. How does the HTC feel in comparison?

Having used a Butterfly J for the past week or two I am really glad they went 4.7" too. It is indeed slightly taller than the N4 which in turn is slightly wider, it feels smaller I think because of the curved back.

Battery
It seems that until companies take the Droid Razr maxx route and sacrifice device slimness over battery life, then no phone will last a day, especially with 1080p screens, bigger/faster CPU and features. :(

I've heard good things about the battery life... I expect it to be at least as good as the N4, maybe better. Definitely better than the Xperia Z! Take reviews written in 36 hours complaining about battery life with a HUGE pinch of salt.

Notification LED
RGB, nice, big and bright?

Hidden away in the speaker, bright, not huge, not tested RGB yet (needs root).

Screen
I'm assuming the usual HTC level of awesomeness?

Fantastic!

Price
£519 sim-free.....ouch, how can anyone possibly spend 500 quid for this when a 16gn Nexus 4 is just £279? What makes the £240 difference worth it?

The N4 is artificially underpriced - that's all there is to it. But... nicer construction, better camera, newer / faster CPU, 32GB / 64GB on board, 1080P great screen... you pays your money...

P
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Battery life? The Verge says it's too bad. I'm fine with HOX battery life. Comparable? Yes, I know more time needed for this one. I hope you'll play with it for more than a week.


Whats to mention here is that the reviewer for The Verge only had less than 42 hours with the device, which is no way to judge a battery. It needs to calibrate properly with a proper charge cycle. Might take Paul a few days to get good indication of battery.
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1) Can the Blinkfeed thing be COMPLETELY disabled (not shoved to a side screen)?
2) Is the screen IPS?
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How much are you missing the multi task button? Going from the s2 to n4 the addition of a dedicated, one touch, multi task button was a massive part of why the phone felt so fast, so losing it doesn't appeal to me.

Are you missing the extra real estate from the 5" phones you've been using recently? I was fairly certain I wanted a 5" phone next but if there's no on screen buttons I guess 4.7 may feel better?

Does it support usb-otg?
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Battery life? The Verge says it's too bad. I'm fine with HOX battery life. Comparable? Yes, I know more time needed for this one. I hope you'll play with it for more than a week.


The Verge had their unit ~36 hours before posting the review - I don't feel comfortable they gave it a fair run personally.

I expect it to surpass the One X no problem.

P
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What earbuds does it come with? Are they any good?


My current unit is a press sample rather than retail, I should have a retail unit shortly and i'll let you know then!

P
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1) Can the Blinkfeed thing be COMPLETELY disabled (not shoved to a side screen)?
2) Is the screen IPS?


It can be disabled by installing a third party launcher... it'll always be on the side-screen in the HTC Launcher. But, you'll never come across it unless you sweep to it if you're in that mode.

P
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Well I'm hoping mine comes by Friday, I don't have any decent buds, so wondering if I should buy some now.
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How's good is the audio output quality through the headphones jack?
Can you try playing a song like Hotel California or Time (Pink Floyd)?
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Real world is what I care about - my real world. If pics look great on my phone and great on my 27" iMac i'm happy. Low light performance IS important to me, I think the Zoe mode is going to be a godsend for me as i'm always snapping Lucie and missing the exact right shot - this should fix that. The camera on the one is as much about software as hardware.

Yeah, Real world..... screen use/phone use snaps that are sharp and not blurry. i'd be happy with that. I can see the benefits of Zoe already, like you, kids move to damn fast to get the right shot. ;)

I was trying to make the point that people expect perfect shots with their phone's in conditions that you'd struggle to get with a dSLR and a f1.8 lens. Expectations really need to be lowered.

The N4 is artificially underpriced - that's all there is to it. But... nicer construction, better camera, newer / faster CPU, 32GB / 64GB on board, 1080P great screen... you pays your money...


Artificially under-priced, yes. But that's the realism of where we are and it will no doubt be the same if Google release the "X" phone or the next Nexus. Google have changed the pricing landscape with all Nexus devices and against the HTC One, I really don't think I can justify almost double the price for no way twice the phone. (in my opinion)

Its nothing against HTC and their hardware/device, it will be the same with the Galaxy S4, no doubt another £500 phone as well as the Xperia Z.

Maybe I just need to stop being a tight-ass. ;)
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How much are you missing the multi task button? Going from the s2 to n4 the addition of a dedicated, one touch, multi task button was a massive part of why the phone felt so fast, so losing it doesn't appeal to me.

Are you missing the extra real estate from the 5" phones you've been using recently? I was fairly certain I wanted a 5" phone next but if there's no on screen buttons I guess 4.7 may feel better?

Does it support usb-otg?

I don't really miss it from a multi tasking perspective - double pressing the home button is fine. I do miss the ability to turn it into the menu button though. :(

I actually feel more relief moving to a more mangeable size than sadness at losing the screen size. :)

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Well I'm hoping mine comes by Friday, I don't have any decent buds, so wondering if I should buy some now.


*cough* Buy a RHA pair if you do (amazing value) *cough*

:)

P
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