By ZAM KARIMbytz@thestar.com.my
With each new Android smartphone, HTC has introduced something exciting and the latest One is no exception.
THE new flagship model in HTC's One range is a solid smartphone that's pleasing to the eye. The One X has a sleek, minimalist white unibody - with black piano sidewalls - which feels durable.
The One X is also among the first to run the latest Android operating system, Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) aka Android 4.0.
A 1.5GHz Tegra 3 quad-core processor and 1GB RAM makes every action on the phone smooth. However, there's only 32GB of internal storage and there isn't a memory expansion slot - just like a certain phone from a fruit company. The similarities don't end there - the One X is also one of the few Androids to use a microSIM.
We were not thrilled about the microSIM which requires our standard SIM to be snipped but the many exciting functions of the One X made it much easier to do so.
Despite its size, the One X is surprisingly very light, tipping the scale at only 130g. The smartphone sits comfortably in the hand, and the matte finish makes it easier to grip the phone and also doesn't attract fingerprints.
Like some of its predecessors, the One X is enhanced with Beats Audio technology. HTC has also included a pair of Beats in-ear buds to complement the audio system and together they produced music with slightly more detail and deeper bass than you get from a standard pair of earphones.
The One X's minimalist design extends to the buttons as well - it only has a volume rocker and power button as well as three soft keys on the bottom of the screen for Back, Home and recently opened apps.
The screen is not Super AMOLED but the Super LCD technology that it uses still boasts impressive viewing angles and vibrant colours.
More importantly, the screen has a resolution of 720 x 1,280-pixels which translates to a density of 320ppi (pixels per inch) to produce incredibly sharp images and videos. In comparison, the iPhone 4S' display, which has a resolution of 640 x 960pixels, has a density of 326ppi.
As we mentioned earlier, the quad-core 1.5GHz Tegra processor is powerful enough to handle pretty much any application.
With ICS and the latest HTC Sense 4.0 layered on top, users are treated to a whole new experience when using this Android.
There are plenty of improvements in ICS - Settings can now be accessed directly from the notifications bar, widgets and icons look nicer, and notifications can be swiped off screen individually.
When shooting photos, there is also a video record button next to the camera one. So, now you don't have to toggle between the two like in the previous OS.
There are also cool effects such as distortion, vignetting, dots, vintage, HDR and Panorama - all of which worked really well.
But what really impressed us was the super fast continuous shooting mode. When you hold down the shutter button, the camera will shoot at 4fps and up to 20 images. You can then choose what to keep or delete.
You can also shoot videos in full HD with options to digitally zoom and set focus and exposure while recording.
Both images and video quality were quite good although not ground breaking.
When it comes to media playback, HTC smartphones don't disappoint and the One X continues the trend.
Media playback was smooth and the phone supports plenty of formats such as 3GP, 3G2, MP4, WMV9, AVI, MP3, WAV and WMA.
However, with no expansion slot available, there is only so much you will be able to store on the phone and movies generally take a lot of space. Plus, if you are fond of shooting full HD movies, you'll run out of space even faster.
The phone also gets hot occasionally and usually happens when it is being charged or after a long session of playing games or surfing the Net. Luckily, the heat is confined to the top of the back.
A quick check online revealed that this could be due to the quad-core GPU. HTC says it is normal - the phone's temperature generally hovers between 37°C and 38°C but if used for playing games or surfing the Net for a long time it can reach up to 55°C.
We hope HTC could bring it a few degrees lower at the very least.
Overall, the HTC One X is a solid offering from HTC. We like a stylish smartphone and the One X scored brownie points in that department.
Plus, running ICS on a quad-core processor and a big, bright display are features that are hard to resist.
However, the absence of a memory slot to expand the internal storage was a letdown but it's just a minor annoyance.
Of course, premium offerings come with a hefty price tag, so be prepared to dig deep into your pocket as this smartphone costs RM2,099.
Pros: Stylish and sleek; big screen; Beats enhancements with Beats earphone; very responsive; decent still and video quality.
Cons: No memory card slot; heats up after prolonged use; pricey.
NETWORK: GSM 850/900/1800/1900, HSDPA 850/900/1900/2100
OPERATING SYSTEM: Android 4.0.3 with HTC Sense 4.0
DISPLAY: 4.7in (1280 x 720-pixels)
CAMERA: 8-megapixel rear camera with autofocus, smart LED flash; 1.3-megapixel front camera
CONNECTIVITY: Bluetooth, WiFi, microUSB 2.0
MEMORY: 32GB storage, 1GB RAM
EXPANSION SLOT: none
STANDBY/TALK TIME: 460 hours/7 hours
OTHER FEATURES: Accelerometer, digital compass, proximity sensor, NFC, Bluetooth 4.0, DLNA support, micro-USB 2.0 port with mobile high-definition video link (MHL) for USB or HDMI connection (cable not included), Beats Audio system with Beats earphone
DIMENSIONS (W x D x H): 134.36 x 69.9 x 8.9mm
RATING: 4 stars
Review unit courtesy of HTC Malaysia Sdn Bhd, (03) 6201-6433