So I’ve got loaned the HTC One X Plus and yeah it’s been quite a nice phone to use for the past 2 weeks. My first engagement with the Android platform was when I got myself a HTC Hero. This little guy was running Android 1.5 stock, as as usual being the “adventurous” sort I rooted the fella to install the newer roms onto the phone and tried to make it more friendly. The processor at that time was very much slower as compared to the new HTC One X+, and yes it was a pain to use. Since then I have not looked at the Android platform for a while because there were too many things to sort out and configure to make it friendly enough for me to use. By the term “friendly” I mean fast enough, and piping in that data I need on the home screen. So Starhub and HTC teamed up to get 50 of us to test out the HTC One X+ and yup I’m in the running to own a set for myself. So I figured, I would write a little about it, since my friends usually do look to me for advise when it comes to such stuff. I’ll try to be as honest as possible here with regards to the HTC One X+, no secret too I have the iPhone 5 with me so I may do some comparisons here and there on the two handset.
Contents & Phone
Out of the box the HTC One X+ does not come with a battery! The body is clammed shut and the only access point is a sim card tray that pops out at the top left hand side of the phone. So the battery is built in, packs 2100mAH and the only way to get more juice into this phone is via a portable charger. It is a no no to lugging a spare battery cause I probably need to crack open the pretty white shell to change the battery (If that is even possible in the first place without any technical knowhow). Apart from a seamless handset, I was provided with a charger charging at 1 AMP, micro USB cable and headsets. Also in the “egg carton” there are various warranty information and manuals.
There is also no way to expand the built in memory, perhaps I can store some stuff on cloud but other than that no access slots for micro SD cards. However the 64GB is more than enough for me to use.
Setting up the phone is a breeze with the instructions provided, I can transfer from a previous handset orI just used google to get back all my contacts, calendars and emails. Yeah although Google would “read” my emails but I think it’s a great convenience to have when my phone is ready to “work” in just minutes. I was also presented with the ability to add in many social networking accounts that integrate seamlessly with the phone, so it was easy for me to share my images, status, videos and locations easily to the many social networks we engage in today.
One thing I like about the HTC One X+ is the online setup, where you can configure your phone on a webpage. Who does not find it a pain to type on the screen of the mobile phone. This webpage http://start.htc.com/onex+ will let you setup various accounts such as drop box, exchange, yahoo etc. and save these settings on their servers (think of it as a storage cloud, cloud computing being the buzz word these days). After which a few default settings can be selected, it will “change” your phone for gaming, social media, work etc. After you have done all these settings, you just need to go to your phone, and go through the setup process. All these saved information is transfered to your phone and viola, you have a phone that is customized to your preferences. I believe if I change to a newer HTC android model in the future, all these settings will be preserved and I can get up and running really quickly without much hassel.
Media is something that us commuters love and use everyday. Be it in the car, on the way to work or just relaxing. The HTC One X+ is great in this aspect with the large LCD screen that gives us a large enough landscape to playback HD movies and bright enough to brave the sun when relaxing outdoors. The HTC One X+ supports a wide variety of media, this includes my favorite lossless format for music, FLAC. It is supported by the native player. However I needed some assistance to get the files over via Android File Transfer, but once the files were loaded into the phone it played flawlessly and it sounded really good.
The way the default player handles my media is also a plus, I like the layout how it supports downloading of album art from gracenotes. It also integrates with soundhound to get me the information about the track I’m playing. Rather impressive functions that are simple but very useful for me.
One thing to note is that how they have designed the circuitry to prevent static when listening. Try this by turning off your music and putting the volume to the highest. I did not note any static or noise from my Triple Fi which can pick up such nuances. The beats audio system is great, giving a bass boost to the music and really great to bass thumping tracks, especially when you need to just shut yourself out to work. But it sounds just as good with beats audio turned off.
How about video playback? The system supports MP4 out of the box but MKV requires an external software to be installed (I use MX Player). Thanks to the quad core Tegra 3 processor, MX player is able to support MKV and 1080P videos without a hitch.
The HTC One X+ has a great camera and thanks to the powerful processor, the camera has extended functionality such as 99 continuous shot and capturing images while taking a video.
BSI is a technology to ensure that more light gets onto the CMOS sensor because to put things simply, cameras need more light to get that nice picture for you and if your sensor is able to do a better job at that you get better pictures. The BSI sensor moves wires that were previous in front of the CMOS sensor to the the back of the sensor allowing more light to hit the sensors letting you take better shots even in low light conditions. HTC has included this technology on the One X+ even for the front facing camera so that portrait shots are just as great even in low light conditions (note that BSI sensors are generally a little more expensive than the standard CMOS sensors).
Apart from having BSI sensors for the front facing cam, there are little conveniences built into the photo capture system. One amazing function is the 99 continuous shot capability, 99 shots at 4 frames per second allowing me to capture great moments. What this does is allow me to take a burst of images and choose the best one or for a little fun animate the images for some GIF fun. This is especially useful when covering high speed events, capture that candid moment or perhaps even get your little niece to smile and look at your camera.
The other camera feature of the system is the ability to capture images while shooting a video, so when I’m filming something important I can also get the video in images, reducing the time needed in post processing. I just have to copy the images over to my computer and I’m done. Ready to make a blog post or send it to friends.
The HTC One X+ has a wonderfully lit display and is bright even is harsh lighting conditions. I also love the size of the screen, it is definitely feels odd down sizing the screen now on my iPhone 5. Apart from size and brightness, the screen also has great color reproduction and is great for videos on the go.
It’s also hardened with Gorilla Glass, I think the screen maybe more hardy than the body, so I went out to get a case for the loan phone. But it still looks as bright and vibrant even after 2 weeks of “naked” use.
The phone is definitely a keeper and it has wonderful software integration for my social media needs. I guess I will recommend this phone for it’s screen, multimedia capabilities, camera and multimedia capabilities. Give Android some time and the software will be more close knitted with the hardware. I think it will only get better from this point. So year if you wish go grab a HTC One X+ I give it the thumbs up and worthy phone to consider.