Long battery life; Amazing graphics performance ; 64GB of internal memory; Thumping Beats Audio ; Beautiful design ; Fast and sharp camera
Weak built-in speakers ; Phone is a bit large ; Mediocre camera image quality
The HTC One X+'s stunning display and powerful quad-core processor make this smartphone one of the top Android devices.
Despite sporting a brighter display and a faster camera than the Galaxy S III, the original HTC One X didn't get as much love from shoppers as Samsung's flagship. Now the HTC One X+ is here ($199 for AT&T) to escalate the smartphone wars, packing a more powerful 1.7-GHz quad-core Nvidia processor and a whopping 64GB of internal memory. HTC also promises up to 50 percent more battery life. Running Android 4.1 Ice Cream Sandwich -- plus HTC's own refinements -- has the One Series reached its full potential?
While having the exact same dimensions as the One X (5.3 x 2.8 x 0.36 inches), the One X+ is slightly heavier, weighing 4.8 ounces against the 4.5-ounce One X. The Samsung Galaxy S III is slightly thinner, at 0.34 inches, and weighs 4.7 ounces.
Unfortunately, like the One X, there is no microSD card slot for storage expansion nor a user-replaceable battery. The good news is that the One X+ has 64GB of internal storage, four times that of the One X.
When we watched a trailer for "Pacific Rim" in HD, images were crisp and colors popped. The bright yellow glow of the undersea dimensional portal shone bright against the dark background, and every detail of the high-tech machine and clothing was crystal clear.
Beats Audio and Music
We plugged in a pair of Denon Urban Raver headphones and played Kanye West's "No Church in the Wild." Overall, we were very impressed with the depth of the audio; bass was thumping, the vocals crisp and clear and the entire experience was full and rich. We then played Queen's "Don't Stop Me Now," and had the same great audio experience. Vocals, cymbals and Freddie Mercury's jamming piano were all in perfect balance. You can toggle Beats Audio via an on/off switch.
The volume on the One X+'s speakers easily filled our testing room, but the quality was much lower than the Beats-enhanced headphone experience. At the highest volume, high notes sounded mechanical in "Don't Stop Me Now" and the bass was lacking in "No Church in the Wild."
The Music app acts like a hub for music-related applications. It includes My Phone (the default music player), SoundHound and TuneIn Radio by default, but you can add additional apps manually.
Sense 4+ and Android 4.1
Also new to Android 4.1 is lock screen widgets, which allows you to set a variety of dynamic information to display on the lock screen, without needing to unlock the phone. There are different Lock Screen styles to choose from, such as Productivity, which shows the weather, your most recent email, upcoming calendar events and social media messages. Photo Album displays random photos, similar to a notebook screensaver. Friend Stream displays the latest updates from your social networks, and People adds shortcuts to your favorite contacts. There is also a an option for displaying stocks or controlling your music.
The HTC Sense 4+ Android overlay is much more simplified from previous versions. There are no more 360-degree carousel animations when you flip through home screens, and all buttons on the device's home screen can be rearranged. Recent apps are shown in a horizonal Cover Flow-like interface; while visually interesting, some will prefer to have the thumbnails overlaid on the home screen for quicker access.
By default, the clock and weather widget is featured prominently on the home screen by default. When you tap the clock, it opens the weather app. The widget takes up half the screen, so you may want to choose a smaller option.
By default, the One X+ shows arrow keys beneath the regular keyboard. We found this to be an unnecessary use of space; fortunately, this option can be disabled in the keyboard options settings.
To test the One X+'s graphics power, we played the first-person shooter "Shadowgun." We navigated through the 3D world, shooting at cyborgs and droids with no stuttering or delays. We quit "Shadowgun" in the middle of the game and switched to the browser without delay. The HTC One X+ provided decent results on the CPU Benchmark test, notching 4,301. That's more than 1,000 points higher than the 3,054 category average, but less than Samsung Galaxy S III ( 4,785) and the previous HTC One X (4,885).
We saw similar results for the Linpack Multithread test, as the One X+'s score of 137 was higher than the 97 average, but lower than the One X's 153. The Samsung Galaxy S III was even higher, at 169.
The HTC One X+ killed it in the graphics department. The 12-core NVIDIA GeForce GPU scored a 7,488 on the An3DBench, higher than the One X (7,138) and the Samsung Galaxy S III (7,272). The category average is 7,172. On Quadrant, which measures CPU, graphics and I/O performance, the One X+'s score of 7,568 more than doubled the category average of 3359, and trounced the One X (4,901) and the Samsung Galaxy S III (5,159).
The NFC chip inside the One X+ enables features such as Android Beam, for content-sharing with other NFC-enabled devices.
4G LTE Data and Web
When surfing the Web, NYTimes.com loaded in 7 seconds, ESPN.com took 5 seconds and Laptopmag.com took 8 seconds. These fast speeds led to a great Web-browsing experience.
The Web browser features a quick browser strip at the bottom of the display that can be shown or hidden with a flick up or down. This area is designated for quick access icons to bookmarks, social sharing and quick access to news.
The One X+'s camera includes a BSI sensor for low-light shooting, but don't expect performance on a par with the Nokia Lumia 920. When we took a photo of some tchotchkes in a darkened room, we could barely make them out on the One X+.
The camera app is jam packed with a ton of great features. One-press continuous shooting fires off four shots per second for five seconds, ensuring the best shot is captured. HTC VideoPic allows you to take pictures while recording video.
The camera application also includes 16 different filters, similar to Instagram, which allows users to easily customize their pictures. Turning on a filter changes the image in real-time, so you can make sure you like a shot with a filter before snapping the picture. These filters aren't quite as robust as Instagram, but definitely add some personalization features to the phone.
Other features include ISO and White balance adjustments, face detection and auto- smile capture.
The rear-facing camera records up to 1080p HD video. We took to the streets of NYC and recorded moving traffic. The video quality, like the picture quality, had a grayish hue. The yellow cabs and pink shopping bags, however, popped against the concrete and asphalt background.
The front-facing camera on the One X+ records 720p video, which allows for high-quality video chatting. We video chatted using both Google+ Hangouts and Skype, over both Wi-Fi and AT&T's 4G LTE network. The Skype video quality over LTE was not very good, but the Google+ Hangout video was decent. A Wi-Fi connection provided the best video clarity.
From AT&T comes Navigator, FamilyMap, Locker for cloud file storage, and Ready2Go for "fast and easy" phone setup. Other apps include Wi-Fi Hotspot for setting up the One X+ as a Wi-Fi hub, TegraZone, "Mass Effect Infiltrator" and YPMobile, which is a business app similar to Yelp.
Call Quality and Battery Life
The HTC One X+ includes a 2100 mAh battery, up from 1800 mAh on the One X. HTC rates its newer phone for 12.75 hours of talk time and up to 15 days standby. In our testing, which includes continuous Web browsing over 4G with 40 percent screen brightness, the phone lasted 7 hours and 19 minutes. This runtime is a hour longer than Samsung Galaxy S III and the HTC One X, which lasted 5:59. The category average is 5:51.
VerdictSamsung Galaxy S III, which has more innovative software and sharing features but a dimmer screen. But for the moment, the HTC One X+ is the most powerful smartphone on AT&T.
|Form Factor||Candybar Touchscreen|
|Operating System||Android 4.1|
|Networks||4G LTE Band 4 and 17 4G HSPA+ HSPA+ with enhanced backhaul 3G - UMTS 850/1900/2100 MHz GSM/GPRS/EDGE 850/900/1800/1900 MHz|
|CPU||1.7GHz NVIDIA AP37 Tegra 3 4-Plus-1|
|Memory Expansion Type|
|Display (main)||4.7-inch 1280 x 720 TFT Super LCD 2|
|Bluetooth Type||Bluetooth 4.0 LE|
|Front Camera Resolution||1.6MP|
|Camera Resolution||8 MP|
|Audio formats supported||AAC|
|Audio formats supported||MP3|
|Audio formats supported||MIDI|
|Audio formats supported||iMelody|
|Audio formats supported||AMR-WB|
|Audio formats supported||XMF|
|Audio formats supported||AMR-NB|
|Audio formats supported||WMA|
|Audio formats supported||AAC+|
|Audio formats supported||WAV|
|Video formats supported||MP4|
|Video formats supported||AVI|
|Video formats supported||3GP|
|Video formats supported||3G2|
|Video formats supported||WMV|
|Talk / Standby Time||12.75 talk time/15 days standby time|
|Size||5.3 x 2.75 x 0.36 inches|
|SAR Rating (Head)|
|SAR Rating (Body)|