Technofreak’s HTC One: first thoughts

, posted: 8-May-2013 15:00

I was very happy to agree when invited to take part in this TelecomTech blog series on the HTC One. I like new toys and playing with technology.

As a result last Tuesday a package arrived in my letter box and inside it there was a white box with a couple of stickers on the side. Very non descript. Inside was a bubble wrap bag containing a phone and a thin metal tag labelled HTC with a sharp pointer to open the SIM tray. Certainly not exciting to look at, however the bubble wrap cleverly disguised a very very sharp looking piece of engineering, the HTC One.

4.7 inches of gorilla glass screen that extends edge to edge with matte finish aluminium panels top and bottom, with a solid matte finish aluminium back panel that is nicely curved to fit your hand. The edges of the aluminium nicely polished. Sandwiched between the glass screen and the back panel is a thin white plastic body. The design is in my opinion very tasteful and gives the phone a nice solid feel. My words certainly don’t do it justice.

Other than the SIM tray there’s only two ports: a 3.5 mm headphone jack and a USB port for charging and computer connections. I did read that this can also be used for HDMI. There’s also an IR port in the power button.

Basic specs for those that don’t know already:
  • 4.7 inch gorilla glass screen
  • Android OS, v4.1.2 (Jelly Bean), upgradable to v4.2.2 (Jelly Bean)
  • Chipset Qualcomm APQ8064T Snapdragon 600
  • CPU Quad-core 1.7 GHz Krait 300
  • Micro sim
  • Non-removable Li-Po 2300 mAh battery
  • 4 MP camera, LED flash, 1080 HD video 2.1 MP front facing camera
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, NFC Infra Red
  • Stereo speaker with Beats Audio
First impressions were of a very slick, good looking device and to a large extent those impressions have proved to be spot on. The OS is nice and smooth and generally easy to find your way around. This is the first time I’ve really used Android so in some ways a bit of a learning curve, in as much when something doesn’t work as expected is it me or is it the OS. It’s been my experience that most devices do the same or similar things it’s just a matter of finding out how it’s done on a particular device.

 

By nature I’ve always prodded and poked any new device to find out how things work and as result generally find my way around without too much trouble. Finding my way around HTC One has been pretty straight forward for an Android newbie. Some of the actions/functions are quite similar to both the Nokia E7 and N9. The notification blind on the E7 and the swipe to close on the N9 for example.

The things I like so far: Firstly kudos to Telecom New Zealand. The setup onto the Smartphone Network was simple and straight forward when the SIM was inserted. The phone is unbranded, and the “Your Telecom and Y! TWorld logos installed automatically and away I went. A seamless experience.

No, the 4G option isn’t activated and while it would be good to try out 4G I can understand why it’s not currently available on the phone (Telecom’s 4G network is currently under trial, not open to the public yet).

I like the 4.7 inch screen and the thin profile of the phone itself, it just over 9mm thick. My other phones look small and or chunky (the N9 is 12mm and the E7 13.5mm). I like the way the apps screen scrolls up one “page” or one screens worth of viewing at one time instead of having to watch how far to scroll. The stereo speakers provide a great sound.

However there is one big thing I don’t like: there is no reliable way to sync the Outlook calendar on my laptop to the HTC One. I don’t work the same days each week nor the same time each day and every day can have a different schedule. I rely on having my roster on my phone and my laptop. Outlook is my calendar of choice and I don’t wish to go away from Outlook. Right now the HTC One is really only good as a phone and I need to carry another device with me for the calendar. HTC provide software to sync the calendar (HTC Sync Manager) which continually crashes. I’ll keep exploring avenues to solve the Outlook sync problem.

The camera is only 4 megapixels but does a good job. As with most phones the flash is LED. HTC are using what they call ultrapixel to improve the quality of the photo well above that expected for the pixel count. So far I’ve been very happy with the pictures I’ve taken. The focus function works well by tapping the screen to tell the camera which part of the picture you want to be in focus. These pictures were the first ones I took with the phone, as yet I haven’t had a chance to fully explore the camera to its fullest.





Battery life is a bit over two days between charges. Considering it’s nearly twice the size of the battery in the E7 I would have expected better than that though it’s early days and batteries sometimes have a habit of improving after the first few charges.

So far I’m enjoying the HTC One experience and look forward to putting it to work over the coming few weeks and reporting further on my experiences.  

About the author

My name is Alan. I’ve been a Geekzone member for almost eight years (as Technofreak) and have enjoyed contributing and helping people on the site and have also gained a lot of help here myself at the same time. My involvement with technology goes back to another life when I was a Technician for NZPO/Telecom. I still remember the first cellphone I used, a Panasonic, which was the size of a handbag. I was an avid user of Palm handhelds for many years, having owned a 515, a T5 and a TX, all fantastic devices, I only recently pensioned off the TX.  These days I find smartphones extremely useful devices for keeping me in touch, especially being out and about with my job. The HTC One is the first real foray into the world of Android for me, it going to be an interesting and learning experience.

Other related posts:
Technofreak’s HTC One: final thoughts
Brad’s root guide for the HTC One
Brad’s HTC One reviews: camera






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Telecom New Zealand
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New Zealand


Telecom Tech is a different type of blog. We're sponsored by Telecom New Zealand, but most of the posts here are from every day users like you.

We choose tech savvy Geekzone users to "test drive" the new handsets from Telecom New Zealand.

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