Earlier today, LG and Huawei unveiled their first quad-core, Tegra 3-powered handsets and HTC wasn't far behind, unveiling the long-rumored HTC One X, along with the super-slim dual-core HTC One S, and the value-oriented HTC One V. The three phones are part of the company's brand new "One" line of handsets, each of which is designed to offer a premium user experience that's unique to HTC. [Hands On: HTC One X and One S: .7-second Camera, Sense 4, Beats Audio]
All three One phones share the following key features:
- High-speed cameras with F2.0 Aperture Lenses. HTC is putting a huge emphasis on its phone cameras, calling its suite of improvements Image Sense. With the help of a dedicated camera co-processor, the handsets are able to snap pictures in just .7 seconds, making it easy to snap a shot of the cat looking cute before he catches you staring at him and makes a funny face. In a brief hands-on at our office last week, we were able to snap a series of pictures of our conference room as fast as we could tap the picture button. However, we wish the phones had dedicated camera buttons, because you still have to wake your phone, unlock it and find the camera icon to start shooting.
The cameras all have F2.0 aperture lenses, which should improve image quality, particularly in low light. At the press event, HTC CEO Peter Chou showed how the camera was able to take photos that were much brighter than shots of the same scene on the iPhone.
The bundled camera software also allows you to shoot photos while you are filming a video just by tapping a button. That's key for scenes that just won't wait for you to film them twice, once with video and once with stills.
- Android 4.0 with Sense 4. HTC has evolved its popular and attractive Android skin to give you the best of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, along with the best of HTC's unique innovations. In addition to key innovations like an email client that puts important icons next to your messages when in landscape mode, Sense has useful and attractive features like the Friend feed widget that shows all your social media updates on the desktop and enhanced contact management.
- Free 25GB of Dropbox: Users will get a two year account with Dropbox, which will allow them to store files in the cloud and sync them with any other devices they own, including their PCs. Dropbox is one of our favorite cloud services, but it normally charges users for any amount over 2GB so the 25GB of free storage is a huge benefit.
- Physical Buttons: Like LG, HTC has decided to stick with a dedicated buttons for home, back, and menu functions. The virtual buttons that eat up screen real estate on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus aren't here.
- MediaLink Compatibility: Via their micro USB ports, all three One devices will be able to connect to an optional accessory called MediaLink that outputs up to 1080p to an external TV.
- Beats Audio: High-quality Beats Audio processing is now built into the deepest levels of the OS so any music app can take advantage of the improved sound.
HTC One X: Quad-Core Brilliance
The high-end member of the One line, the HTC One X is powered by a 1.5-GHz, quad-core Tegra 3 CPU, along with 1GB of RAM, and 32GB of internal storage. The device's 1280 x 720, 4.7-inch Super LCD 2 screen is designed to burn a hole in your eyes with its brightness and save power at the same time. In our brief hands-on, we were impressed with the screen's brightness and sharpness, and expect it to fare well outdoors.
The One X is just 9.7mm thick and, in our brief time with it, the all-white handset felt extremely light. With a 4G LTE radio inside, the One X promises blazing fast downloads, but its 1800 mAH battery is sealed in so we hope the screen and Tegra 3 CPU are able to save enough power to keep this thing running all day. So far, the longest-lasting LTE phone is the Motorola Droid RAZR Maxx and that sports a much-higher-capacity 3300 mAH battery.
There's no word yet on pricing or availability for the HTC One X.
HTC One S: Slim and Sexy
The HTC One S offers a bit less power than the One X, but a much larger dose of style. At just 7.9mm thick, the One S is one of the thinnest phones on the market. Thanks to a process known as MAO (multi arc oxidation), the One S's black or gunmetal gray body feels like its made out of a soft ceramic material even though it's actually constructed from durable aluminum.
Though the One S's 4.3-inch screen is only qHD (960 x 540) rather than full HD, it uses a Super AMOLED panel that appears more vibrant than the Super LCD 2 screen on the One X, even if it's not quite as bright. Like the One X, the One S has an 8-MP rear facing camera. Unlike the One X, it has a 1.5-GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 CPU instead of a quad core processor and 16GB of storage rather than 32GB.
The One S will ride on T-Mobile's HSPA+ network when it launches later this spring. Pricing has yet to be announced.
HTC One V: Value for the Masses
For price-conscious users, HTC has the One V, a scaled down handset that has only a single-core 1-GHz CPU, a 4-inch, 800 x 480 screen and a 5-MP camera. However, its camera still has the high-speed image chip and F2.0 aperture lens. The phone itself has all the other One series goodies, including Sense 4.0 and Beats Audio.
No word yet on pricing or availability for the HTC One V, though it will use HSPA+ which will put it on either T-Mobile or AT&T in the U.S.