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Review: HTC One X+ (Video)

The HTC One X+ has been out for a little while now but we hadn’t reviewed it yet.  So I reached out to the HTC team and they were kind enough to send us a unit to check out.  How does this phone stack up against the original and some of the other flagship devices currently on the market?  Well lets find out.  Shout out to the HTC team for sending us the device!

SPECS:

  • 4.7″ 1280×720 Resolution Super LCD2
  • 1.7GHz Quad-Core Tegra 3 Processor
  • 1GB RAM
  • 64GB Internal Storage
  • 8MP Camera
  • 1.6MP Front Facing Camera
  • 2100 mAh Battery
  • 134.8 x 69.9 x 8.9 mm
  • 134 g
  • LTE 700MHz/1700MHz; HSPA 2100MHz/1900MHz/850MHz; GSM 850MHz/900MHz/1800MHz/1900MHz
  • Android 4.1 with Sense 4+

IN THE BOX:

Like all of HTC’s newer products, the HTC One X+ come in a white oval box.  Once you crack that open the phone will be resting on top with it’s beautiful 4.7″ display.  Beneath the phone you have your wall charger, USB cord, and user manuals.  Sadly, there are no headphones included which is very ironic given they own a good chunk of one of the biggest headphone manufacturers in Beats Audio.

DESIGN:

When it comes to phone designs, after Sony, HTC is probably my favourite.  They’re not always the most practical designs (ie. non removable battery and no micro-SD slot) but they look darn good and the HTC One X+ is no exception.  It is identical to the original One X but honestly, for an incremental update of a phone, it didn’t need a redesign.

What you have with the One X+ is a matte black polycarbonate unibody design.  This not only makes for a sleek and stunning device but also a durable one.  Without a doubt it’s one of the best looking phones on the market.  On the front you have the gorgeous 4.7″ Super LCD 2 display.  The display is very vivid and very bright.  Colours are accurate and everything is very crisp and clear.  At the very top of the glass you have the HTC logo and to the left of that the sensors are neatly tucked away.  You almost don’t notice them unless you really look close.  Below the screen you have your three capacitive buttons for “Back,” “Home,” and “Recent Apps.”  Above the screen you have your earpiece and front facing camera.

On the back of the device you have the camera with it’s ever so slight bump with the flash sitting next to it.  Below the camera you have the HTC logo beautifully etched into the device and below that is the Beats Logo.  Below the Beats logo is your speaker and to the right of the logo is the 5-Pin connector for docks that can be purchased.

The top of the device  houses a mic, the 3.5 mm headphone jack, the power/lock button, and the SIM card slot.  A little tool is need to pop the SIM card tray out of the device.  On the right edge you have a nice large volume rocker while the left edge has only a micro-USB plug for charging the device.  The bottom is nearly bare with only one small hole for the other mic present.

Overall, the device is a beauty to look at and it’s easy to hold.  The finish on the body adds some grip to the device so that it won’t easily slide out of your hand and the device isn’t all that heavy either so you won’t tire holding onto it.  The device is definitely pocketable for most guys but ladies and their small pocketed pants will likely have to find somewhere else to store it.

SOFTWARE:

The device comes pre-installed with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean with HTC’s Sense 4+ laying over top.  Android 4.1 really helps make the overall experience buttery smooth.  You also get to take advantage of the wonderful creation called Google Now, which allows you to access different personalized cards to help you get through your day.

When Sense UI first launched back with the HTC Magic it immediately became a favourite.  It really helped bring some life and character to a rather dull Android experience.  However, as Android evolved, Sense also changed and in a lot of ways become unnecessary.  That’s not to say that the UI wasn’t nice anymore, but rather, stock Android looked pretty good on its own.  The bigger problem  however was that Sense became cluttered and bloated and had a tendency of slowing down the system.  With the HTC One X+ we are still treated to that very nice and cohesive Sense experience but without the lag or slow down.  A major reason for this is that the quad-core processor is powering the device and its power can really help mask any potential hiccups Sense may cause.

There were two specific software features that I found with Sense 4+, one that I loved, one that I hated.  The feature that I loved was the ability to program the “Recent Apps” key.  You can program the key to act as a “Settings” key instead if you want or, better yet, you can have it set so that a long press will access “Settings” while a short press accesses “Recent Apps” or vice versa.  The feature that I really hated has two parts to it, but both have to do with the drop down notification area.  To begin with, there are no quick toggles in the drop down area at all.  I tend to use this feature constantly on my Note II and the absence of it was a bit of a downer.  The other side part that really annoyed me in the notification area was the “Power Saver” option that was constantly there.  It’s impossible to remove this from the notification area and it’s not something that I would ever use.

PERFORMANCE:

With the quad-core Tegra 3 processor running the show, the performance on this device is great.  As I stated earlier, there wasn’t any noticeable lag or slow downs when navigating through the device.  Even with multiple apps running at the same time things ran relatively smoothly.  An upgrade to the memory could have made things even better but I guess we’ll see that on their next phone

I did throw some very graphic intensive games at the device as well and they played perfectly.  No issues with slow downs or skipping frames, they just worked  and worked well.  Videos were also handled perfectly as well and with that beautiful 4.7″ screen, things looked really good too.

CAMERA:

The camera on the HTC One X+ is unchanged from the original.  And while that may sad like a bad thing I assure you it is not as the original HTC One X had, and still has, one of the best cameras available for a mobile device.  Shots on the camera were great in all sorts of lighting situations and there are a variety of different customizations that can be made with the built in camera application.  A collection of filters also helps you create those artsy shots that are all the rave right now.

CONCLUSION:

The Galaxy S III is undoubtedly the phone to beat right now and while the HTC One X+ may not have the success of the S III it should by no means be overlooked.  Of all the current flagship devices, it’s probably the best looking one.  It’s polycarbonate body is durable and beautiful.  The Super LCD2 is an amazing screen and the upgrades to the processor and internal storage make this a great performing device.

As I stated at the beginning of this review, this is an older device and there are a variety of new devices on the way.  The rumoured device coming out of the HTC camp this year is the M7.  And if that phone builds on what HTC put together on the HTC One X+ they’ll definitely have a strong contender.  However, if you’re in the phone for a market right now, don’t overlook this beauty.  I can guarantee that you won’t be disappointed with what you’ll get in this beautiful package.

  • notbillable

    Will this work on wind mobile if unlocked?

    • Tim Gee

      My guess is no, likely uses different radios. For Wind/Mobilicity, you generally need a phone from TMobile in the states. They run on the same radios