back to article Review: HTC One

A year ago, I finished off my review of HTC’s One X by predicting great things for it and its maker. And then Samsung’s Galaxy S3 merrily outsold it ten to one. Thing is, that wasn’t a case of me being a colossal twit. The One X is the better phone - it’s better made, better looking and better to use. Luckily for HTC, the new …

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  1. hokum
    Thumb Down

    No microSD AGAIN

    I was well up for getting a One S or One X last time round, but the lack of microSD killed that. Realise it doesn't matter to everyone, but I need that feature. So my money went on a Galaxy S3.

    1. Piro

      Re: No microSD AGAIN

      On my current phone (Droid RAZR MAXX HD, imported to the UK at some cost); I have the camera to save snaps to the external microSD card. Maybe this doesn't matter to everyone, but if you drop your phone in the toilet, or somehow it gets corrupted and you can't boot it, at least with the external card, you can pop it out and get the photos off. It's just simple, cheap, replacable NAND. If you, say, wanted to watch many different videos each day, if you had a long commute, would you want to risk wearing out the internal NAND by writing several GB/day to it? with the card it's a cheap swap out.

      1. Piro

        Re: No microSD AGAIN

        If I could edit this, I would, by qualifying "I don't want to upload my photos to an online service" - just in case someone argues that might be a good idea.

        1. Rob K

          Re: No microSD AGAIN

          So, transfer them onto your computer? I have to say with a 64GB phone the amount of people who would need to add storage to that must be incredibly niche.

          1. fandom Silver badge

            Re: No microSD AGAIN

            If 64GB is too litte, HTC is willing to sell an external drive you can connect to the phone, and if you add the external battery to that it may even get as inconvenient as carrying a laptop

          2. Piro

            Re: No microSD AGAIN

            No, I mean what happens if you drop your phone in a puddle, and it's knackered?

            MicroSD, no problem, pop it out, dry it off, pictures intact. Simple.

            1. Professor Clifton Shallot

              Re: No microSD AGAIN

              "No, I mean what happens if you drop your phone in a puddle, and it's knackered?

              Or even just keep it in the wrong pocket in the rain as a friend has discovered.

              For me waterproofing and removable storage are high up the wish list.

              1. AndyR

                Re: No microSD AGAIN

                If waterproofing and external sd are important to you go for the Xperia Z. Camera is excellent, especially with tweaking, the screen is gorgeous and it's very comfortable to hold (better for large hands).

                I've had sd cards and removable batteries on previous phones (except for my iPhone). Almost always I've ended up putting an sd card in the phone and not changing it - so whilst I like the idea of an sd card I don't use that feature. Battery wise I bought replacement batteries which I carried round, but again nowadays I don't even bother with that. If I'm away for a few days I use an external battery pack, otherwise I just charge up at night or during the day - so again a removable battery is academic for me. Most phones these days (not all) can get a decent charge pretty quickly. And the benefits in terms of design flexibility and robustness make a sealed battery something I'm happy to live with.

                I did have a n s3 get wet and stop working (even tried the out it in a bowl of dried rice- no luck). I took the sd card out but that didn't work either (a 32gb Samsung sd). So now nowadays,I just sync my photos with picassa over wifi when at home (the iPhones auto upload at home, using photo stream is how it should be- dies it without asking me when on wifi).

                For me it's a close run between getting the htc one and the Xperia Z. Both of those give me more that matter to me than the S4.

                1. hoola
                  Thumb Up

                  Re: No microSD AGAIN

                  This is correct, the uissue od SD card slot is a complete red herring. Only a hard core of inverterate fiddlers use it & I suspect that enven the, the reality is that it goes in & is never changed,

                  I have had, HTC Legend & Desires S, both superb. The card went in and never came out. I also have had a Galaxy S3 & it was rubbish. Useless battery life, forever freezing and not use as a phone. Swapped by O2 for the HTC One S and never looked back. Sure I had to ditch a few mp3 files but that is all, I do not miss them.

                  A few words on replacable batteries:

                  There are huge numbers of replacement batteries out there claiming all sorts of high capacities. Based on tests almost all these quoted capacities are totally unrealistic. I tried higher capacity aftermarket batteries in the Desire S and the S3, no difference in life, and one was actually worse although quoting a higher capacity. I then did meaured discharge tests on them, the OEM ones were close to the published ratings, the aftermarket woefully short, e.g 1830mAh coming in at 1400mAh.

                  My current One S will last up over 2 days between charges with my normal moderate use.

                  This looks like a seriously cool piece of kit.

                  1. Gio Ciampa

                    Re: No microSD AGAIN

                    " the reality is that it goes in & is never changed,"

                    That may be the case ... but I'd prefer to have the option to do so if I want (or need) to.

            2. Jan 0
              Boffin

              Re: No microSD AGAIN

              > No, I mean what happens if you drop your phone in a puddle, and it's knackered?

              > MicroSD, no problem, pop it out, dry it off, pictures intact. Simple.

              Phone, no problem. Rinse thoroughly in changes of distilled or deionised water, shake, dry. Next?

              1. Paul L Daniels

                Re: No microSD AGAIN

                > no problem. Rinse thoroughly in changes of distilled or deionised water, shake, dry. Next?

                Except it doesn't usually work out like that. Sure sometimes it works perpetually, sometimes it works for a few months, most times they die in a couple of weeks. Usually what we do here (phone repairs, electronics level) is strip the boards down, coarse scrub with isopropylene and a toothbrush, ultrasonic wash, rinse in distilled, dry in dehumidifier, examine with stereo-microscope, cross fingers and hope for the best. However quite often the damage is already done, tracks have been corroded away, small 01005 parts eaten, fuses blown, caps shorted, PMICs brain dead. Admittingly, it's the phones that you cannot remove the batteries from that are the biggest problem. Quick removal of the battery is frequently the difference between the phone living, or dying.

                We have about a 20% success rate with non recurrence of issues. In the end, unless it's specifically demanded by the client, we just suggest they go get a warranty refurbished replacement. It's less trouble in the end.

              2. Alan Brown Silver badge

                Re: No microSD AGAIN

                "Phone, no problem. Rinse thoroughly in changes of distilled or deionised water, shake, dry. Next?"

                BTDT - doesn't work if the "water" is seawater or a 8 foot deep brackish tidal lagoon (which was clear enough to watch the thing slowly drift to the bottom) - and especially doesn't work if the employee who did it waits 3 days before bringing it in and asking for it to be repaired.

          3. Simon Westerby 1
            Pint

            Re: No microSD AGAIN

            So everyone thinks, but i can guarantee by the time your looking to upgrade your HTC One you will have some how managed to use up all that lovely space you had when you bought it....

            Such us the law of "ever decreaing disk space" ..

            Sounds great now but you what about in two years ?

            Beer because its friday lunchtime!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: No microSD AGAIN

        These phones come with 50gig Dropbox accounts, with auto-sync over wifi.

        You don't need a MicroSD slot, unless it's suddenly the 1990s again.

        1. Paw Bokenfohr

          Re: No microSD AGAIN

          Surely a "Full HD" screen means HD video, which means a lot of data. Between apps, music, photos and a few video files of between 1-4GB a pop, 32GB or 64GB actually doesn't go as far as you'd think. Unless you want to be changing the videos on it every couple of days, and you know what it is you fancy watching before you fancy it, then the option of a bit of extra memory would be good.

        2. hokum
          FAIL

          Re: No microSD AGAIN

          Thanks for telling me what I need. And all this time I've just been thinking for myself.

          App data, offline maps, HD video, photos, misc useful files...all things I keep on my microSD. If the phone dies (as it did recently) I can just swap out the card. Plenty of us do not trust cloud storage, plus the 50GB Dropbox accounts are time limited.

          We're in the 21st century now where components are cheap. HTC could have included a microSD slot at minimal cost.

        3. Triggerfish

          Re: No microSD AGAIN

          Depends I just been visiting friends abroad and in a lot of places we went wifi was patchy or not always available.

          Admittedly I was also suprised at the ease of wi fi access in some places I haven't been for years and whose normal internet used to be patchy at best.

          But it turned out that the phone acted as a really handy usb drive for swapping files with mates. If I had been out their longer I could see me having bought a spare card to fill.

          1. Triggerfish
            FAIL

            Re: No microSD AGAIN

            there not their, sorry been a long day.

            1. Triggerfish

              Re: No microSD AGAIN

              Wow downvoted for correcting my own grammar, there's some harsh taskmasters out there. :)

      3. redniels
        Unhappy

        Re: No microSD AGAIN

        NO Microsd is one, sense is another.

        I burned my fingers once to many in the past on HTC "phones" to ever buy another. I guess that is their biggest problem: the complete junk they made in the past. My past experiences are a big no no and I go out of my way to tell everyone that HTC... well... maybe not. mkay? Maybe the One is the One. but it's too late to matter.

        1. DM2012
          Thumb Up

          Re: No microSD AGAIN

          Not that fussed on the MicroSD or Sense (which looks less intrusive this time around), but same as you past experiences with HTC phones and their build quality - including the time they have spent in warranty service instead of my pocket - means I give people the same recommendation as you. I don't care if HTC claims the thing can cook you dinner and massage your feet; wait 6 months and see what the quality reports are like.

          Corollary: Never buy the latest and greatest phone. Give the market a few months to determine what it's like beyond the tech reviewers' standard "one week with...." article.

          1. Two Sheds

            Re: No microSD AGAIN

            I've been buying HTC phones for many years and never had any problems with build quality. On the contrary, they're very solid.

            My current One X is a joy and O look forward to 12 months from now when my contract renews to see what they've got by then.

            I too sync dropbox Wi-Fi only and never even think about storage.

            Google Play Music is pretty ace too. Just pin any album and it syncs to you phone. Much easier than the awful iTunes.

      4. Sampler

        Re: No microSD AGAIN

        I have mine sync to dropbox over wifi, it's simple, free and thoughtless...and doesn't depend on the memory card surviving the toilet dunk..

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: No microSD AGAIN

        "On my current phone (Droid RAZR MAXX HD, imported to the UK at some cost); I have the camera to save snaps to the external microSD card. Maybe this doesn't matter to everyone, but if you drop your phone in the toilet, or somehow it gets corrupted and you can't boot it, at least with the external card, you can pop it out and get the photos off."

        This is an article about an Android phone so I'm sure I will get reamed with downvotes immediately for mentioning the iPhone, but the entire contents of my iPhone (not only photos but also apps, app data files, contacts, songs, videos, etc.) get backed up to my home computer wirelessly every time I'm within wifi range, i.e., every time I'm at home.

        So if my phone is broken or stolen, I can just go and buy a new (or used) one, click on "Restore from backup" in iTunes and the new phone will be indistinguishable from the old one after about half an hour. At worst I will have lost about half a day's worth of data. No need to muck about with waterlogged MicroSD cards, no need to use online/cloud services, and no worries if the phone (and MicroSD card) are stolen.

        I don't understand how Apple has been doing this since the very first iPhone (although you did have to plug it in to the computer, wifi sync was only added a couple years ago) yet it's still not a standard feature of Android or Windows Phone.

        1. N13L5
          FAIL

          Re: No microSD AGAIN (Auto-sync over wifi)

          Android phones have lots of auto-sync options over cable or wifi available, including apps from the phone manufacturers, but that is not a valid alternative to an SD card:

          1) you talk about "waterlogged SD cards", that's wrong to boot, Samsung's SD cards are waterproof.

          2) you are usually not near your computer when something happens to your phone, so your latest photo / video will not have been synced.

          3) if an iPhone is full, while you're on vacation, you're stuck! you can't quickly put an empty SD in, to keep taking video or whatever.

          4) safe backup isn't the only purpose of an SD card: I have one SD card I keep Music, Audio books and electronic books on, I have several SD cards to record video on, which I can swap out as needed.

          5) I also travel with more than one battery, which is great when traveling, you can actually use your phone without worrying that it will be empty when you get to your destination and need to make a phone call.

          So, HTC is copying Apple's worst non-features here...

      6. Chris Beach

        Re: No microSD AGAIN

        Just to point out that on any modern phone your photos are already on about 3 different cloud services about 2 secs after you've taken them...photo recovery is not the reason for removable storage:)

        It would have been great to take my existing sd of music and just shove it in the new phone...but then again all of the music's on Google anyways, so might as well just let it organise where its stored.

      7. larryblag
        Go

        Re: No microSD AGAIN

        Good point to be fair. That aside, my last phone was a 16Gb HTC Sensation Xl. I left the shop not knowing it had no sd card slot (it was new in, and the assistant told me it had). I could have returned it as a case of mis-selling but quickly grew to really like the phone. HTC say that keeping all memory on the main board keeps things simple and allows for more efficient processing. This might be a cop-out of course, especially with once-new super fast quad core processors becoming almost standard now. In the eighteenth months since owning the XL though, I have never once frown short of storage (apart from the first day when I quickly realised I couldn't fit my entire music collection on it). So the new HTC one with 32Gb will be more than enough for me. Good point about the potential for list data in a disaster though which I'd not thought about.

      8. RAS

        Re: No microSD AGAIN

        With my iPhone all my pictures are backed up to iCloud automatically, as I take them. Pretty spiffing feature.

    2. Michael Habel Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: No microSD AGAIN

      What wait is this some kind of Stealth Nexus or something?

      We have a Fail Button, but sometimes ya really need an EPIC FAIL Button, to properly express it though...

    3. jowlymonster

      Re: No microSD AGAIN

      A common complaint but, I'm not sure these days it matters so much, and I think it's only likely to get more common.

      I used to have an HTC Desire, before moving to a Galaxy Nexus (no SD, 16Gb storage) and you know what? I've been fine.

      I simply don't need to cart that much stuff around. I've got space for all the apps I need including offline maps of a few countries for Sygic, a few albums for the odd occasion I'm travelling, and I've yet to run out of space.

      I get that some people may travel more and want their entire music collection on the device but for a lot of people it won't matter.

      The other problem with SD cards is they are a pain in some situations. Do you install an app internally or externally? If you move widgets to the sd card (like I did on my Desire when I ran out of space) then every time you plug into a PC and the SD card gets mounted, they all crash and vanish.

      And no one ever complained the iPhone had no SD card...

      I was one of the "deal breaker" people before I got my Nexus, but took a punt, and looking back I don't know what I was worried about :)

    4. IT MUNKEY

      Re: No microSD AGAIN

      I thought u needed a sd slot. But I didn't I've had a HTC one X for 8 months never needed it. If I need to transfer to my laptop or other device's it's easy with Bluetooth or WiFi.. much better the Samsung better build, faster. Also got free space with drop box. I've tested it against mates Ifones and Samsungs and it knocks the balls off each time.. Htc only and biggest problem is they keep changing models. They need to keep one form factor and allow the market to generate third party gadgets like the iPhone market. That's the main reason that Apple dominates. Took me 3 months to find a cover for my HTC.. then they bring out a new one it pissed me off... But best fone out there

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: No microSD AGAIN

      Ugg, Android. The OS looks so dated - like the iPhone OS. Shame because the phone itself looks nice. Think I will hang on for the new top of the range Lumia...

    6. N13L5

      Re: No microSD AGAIN

      yeah, I like HTC, but at the same time, I gotta say: boykott that crap with no SD card and no battery slot.

      If we don't teach HCT now, next thing they'll follow Crapple on trying to eliminate the SIM card, cutting still more of our freedom on how to use our phones.

      Kudos to Samsung for always including SD slots, and an S4 model with dual SIM card slots!

      HTC, I've liked some of your metal cases for years now, yet your other priorities are all wrong, leading me to always buy something else.

    7. Obvious Robert

      Re: No microSD AGAIN

      No, but it supports USB OTG.

      So, seriously, why would you need to change the SD card? It's actually far easier to plug in a USB stick than fiddling around swapping SD cards for your additional storage needs, not to mention that loads of apps make dynamic use of the SD card and if you swap the card then suddenly half your apps lose their data.

      Welcome to 2013, you appear to be stuck in 2009.

  2. John Latham

    No SD card slot, no removable battery

    It's like they rifled through the iPhone spec sheet and picked the worst features to copy.

    1. reno79

      Re: No SD card slot, no removable battery

      One could argue the Nexus series share those traits?

      1. Professor Clifton Shallot

        Re: No SD card slot, no removable battery

        "One could argue the Nexus series share those traits?"

        Yes, but there you suspect that Google don't want something that would totally dominate the market and hack off the other manufacturers.

        Also the lack of removable storage, with the inherent hardware variability it introduces, is important for a reference device.

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: No SD card slot, no removable battery

          >"One could argue the Nexus series share those traits?"

          The Nexus 4 doesn't support USB OTG for external storage, this HTC phone does. True, it is no use for the 'drop phone in puddle, retrieve photos from uSD card' scenerio outlined above, but does provide a storage option.

          1. Dave 126 Silver badge

            Re: No SD card slot, no removable battery

            So, the Sony Xperia Z give you a uSD card support, waterproofing and charging via an optional drop-in cradle.

            This HTC trades those for a better screen, better speakers, a longer lasting battery (possibly) and an IR remote.

      2. DrXym Silver badge

        Re: No SD card slot, no removable battery

        "One could argue the Nexus series share those traits?"

        They certainly do and they cost half the price of this phone. Is it unreasonable to expect the Rolls Royce of phones to feature an SD slot when its such an important feature for many people?

      3. Jeff Green

        Re: No SD card slot, no removable battery

        same two bad features, but half the price!

    2. Monty Burns

      Re: No SD card slot, no removable battery

      Agreed!

      I'm going on a long motorcycle ride today and need to swap my battery as I'll be using the phone as satnav and GPS tracking.

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: No SD card slot, no removable battery

        Why oh why can't vehicle chargers keep up with battery drain?

    3. Dana W

      Re: No SD card slot, no removable battery

      You called it. If they want to get my next phone purchase instead of Apple, you just called the two features they would need. Its a pity really.

    4. VulcanV5
      FAIL

      Re: No SD card slot, no removable battery

      Another high-quality outfit like HTC is called Asus. And like HTC, Asus doesn't chuck vast amounts into advertising. What it does do is produce tablets like the TF201 Prime and the TF701 Infinity which leave Apple way, way behind in terms of practicality (docking keyboard) and expandability (storage) and connectivity (USB sticks.)

      So here comes HTC with its latest phone and not a single person in the company's senior management has heard of Asus or, more to the point, has the slightest understanding of why millions have gone the Transformer route as their tablet choice rather than the Apple iPad.

      I'm a HTC Desire HD owner. I am not about to go buy a HTC One which wants me to tailor my expectations to the limitations of the device. I and countless others refused to do that with a tablet purchase; HTC must be institutionally crazy if it thinks those same consumers are going to roll over now and just accept *not* what they're given, but what they're expected to pay a very high price for.

      El Reg needs to start obsessing less about the techno-gloss of devices such as this and think a darn sight harder about value-for-money and all-round quality of offering. On which basis, the HTC One isn't any kind of 'killer' at all -- and definitely not worthy of the rave review given here.

      1. Al Taylor
        Alert

        Re: No SD card slot, no removable battery

        "El Reg needs to start obsessing less about the techno-gloss of devices such as this and think a darn sight harder about value-for-money and all-round quality of offering. On which basis, the HTC One isn't any kind of 'killer' at all -- and definitely not worthy of the rave review given here."

        Vulcan, value is a slippery concept in the UK when it comes to mobile phones because the majority are bought on contract. I'll grant you that compared to an 8GB Nexus 4 the One is expensive as an outright purchased. But compared to the direct competition (iP5, Lumia 920, Galaxy S3, LG 4X HD etc) it's par for the course.

        As for "techno-gloss", well, the excellent screen, state of the art speakers, respectable battery life, impressively powerful yet cool-running chipset, quality camera and very good Wi-Fi reception are all core features from my point of view and not "gloss" at all.

        Combine that with - in my eyes - a stylish design and very well made body and the One is worth every part of the praise I've leveled at it.

        It's clear from many of the comments that a user replaceable battery and a memory card slot are desirable features for some but I have to say that I find a portable power pack and USB OTG are more satisfactory answers to the problems of extended run times and access to large media libraries.

        In my opinion when it comes to value the HTC One is acceptable if not outstanding while the all-round quality of design, manufacture and presentation is very high.

        Al

        (another onetime Desire HD owner)

        1. thecapsaicinkid
          Alert

          Re: No SD card slot, no removable battery

          Surely a Desire HD owner remembers said device, also a HTC 'flagship' (the most flaggy of flagships infact) was left twiddling its thumbs on a seriously outdated version of Android (2.3.5 iirc) come the end of its contracted life? What makes you think the One is going to be any different?

          Software > Shiny Shiny

          D.

          (another burned Desire HD owner)

    5. mego
      Thumb Down

      Re: No SD card slot, no removable battery

      Yup. First thing I thought. No chance they'll be able to even be a competitor without these two things in mind....

  3. dotdavid
    FAIL

    No SD no sale

    "A year ago, I finished off my review of HTC’s One X by predicting great things for it and its maker. And then Samsung’s Galaxy S3 merrily outsold it ten to one ... The One X is the better phone - it’s better made, better looking and better to use."

    Not sure about everyone, but for me the following paragraph explains why;

    "Before I wrap up I should make it clear that the One lacks anything in the way of storage expansion, but with only 32GB and 64GB versions available that’s not too much of an issue"

    ...unless you play a lot of games, or watch a lot of videos, or want to have full offline maps on your GPS on your phone, or have lots of MP3s (or cloudy music service cache files).

    The reason I bought an S3 over a One X was the expandable memory. That and a removable battery are very important features for me. Judging by comments and reviews I've read I'm not the only one.

    True, Samsung managed to bork their implementation of the S3's expandable storage up by inexplicably mounting the internal storage space as "sdcard" (the external SD card is "extSdCard"), which means that helpful apps like Spotify, Garmin and most games that try to put large data files on your SD card end up putting those data files on your internal memory instead. But at least with the S3 I can still shove video and MP3 files on a large cheap external card.

    1. Arctic fox
      Thumb Up

      @dotdavid Re: "No SD no sale" Apart from entirely agreeing with you with regard to.........

      ............the lack of expandable memory my eye was taken by the phrase "Thing is, that wasn’t a case of me being a colossal twit.". I really do think that a professional reviewer should avoid expressing himself in a way that gives the impression that what he really means is that "everyone else is a colossal twit except me".

      1. Lutin

        Re: @dotdavid "No SD no sale" Apart from entirely agreeing with you with regard to.........

        That's not what I took from the reviewers comment. He's just saying that the fact that the S3 outsold the HTC One doesn't mean that it's a better phone.

        1. Arctic fox
          Headmaster

          @Lutin Re:"That's not what I took from the reviewers comment." That is not what I thought....

          .......the reviewer meant either. I simply pointed out that he could have expressed himself in a way that did not give that impression......hmm?

      2. Peter Bond
        Facepalm

        colossal twit

        I took that to simply be a self-deprecating aside.

        Though admittedly the comments section of the Reg isn't a place I'd expect self-deprecation to be recognized.

        As for all the howling about no SD card. Well, I back my entire movie library up onto a £60 128GB USB stick so as long as I can access that when I am out and about through my phone or tablet's micro USB port I'm happy.

        The One is certainly a nice looking bit of kit.

        1. Arctic fox
          Thumb Up

          @Peter Bond Re: "I took that to simply be a self-deprecating aside." So did I old chap........

          ..........however the problem here amongst some is they do not even recognise broad satire, still less self-deprecating humour. As far as your personal storage solution is concerned I have to say that I agree (within limits) and indeed have organised my use of my Nexus 7 in that way.

    2. JDX Gold badge

      Re: No SD no sale

      Just because a phone lacks one feature you deem essential does not mean it can't objectively be deemed the better phone, if that feature is one few users want or use.

      The fact storage support hasn't become the norm even now some people provide it, seems to show it's not a big deal to the majority.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: No SD no sale

        "Just because a phone lacks one feature you deem essential does not mean it can't objectively be deemed the better phone, if that feature is one few users want or use."

        It's not really objective if it's based on wants or needs, since they're personal to any given individual. A lot of flamewars here could probably be avoided if people realised and admitted that when pushing/defending - bit provocative there, sorry - *advocating* their preferences. Not having a go against you, just a general gripe and this is a good opening.

        1. Triggerfish

          Re: No SD no sale

          I agree, its a really really nice phone.

          Its a fail for me because as I stated above I like the flexibility of using it like a USB drive and tend to travel to areas with patchy wifi, but if I was somewhere with lots of access to wifi, or my own computer I could see it not being as big an issue.

          It still seems a bit silly though considering its probably quite low cost to add in SD card functionality, when you are setting out to make a S4, iphone killer. I'd have thought it would be a case of here's our phone its got everything, you sure you want to buy the rivals?

    3. Tom Kelsall

      Re: No SD no sale

      The One will support USBOTG - so plug in your USB Stick for the extra storage in times of need.

    4. TeeCee Gold badge

      Re: No SD no sale

      True, Samsung managed to bork their implementation of the S3's expandable storage up by inexplicably mounting the internal storage space as "sdcard"

      That seems to be the standard way of things with Android when it's gifted with copious amounts of internal storage. I reckon it's 'cos too many things save to "sdcard" by preference and they want to force it onto internal when it's not limited.

      As a manufacturer-friendly side effect, it bumps up the AnTuTu score significantly too. Internal storage is rather faster than even a class 10 card in a slot and unless you specifically tell it otherwise, AnTuTu benchmarks /sdcard for its card I/O tests......

    5. Interceptor
      Terminator

      Re: No SD no sale

      Yeah; I do pay-as-you-go and have been with Virgin Mobile (US) for years and my first real smartphone is a nice chunky dual-core HTC Evo 3d. V-Mobile sells the iPhone 4 and 4s, but I was more happy that I was buying a phone I could upgrade the memory on and replace the battery (which turned out to be quite a big deal when the defective one in it died about 3 months after I bought it). I will never, ever buy a phone I can't expand or put a new battery in.

      Terminator because hey, Androids.

  4. AndrueC Silver badge
    Coat

    Can you change the battery - preferably for something bigger?

    I'm looking to replace my ageing HTC Desire this year but I want something that can last for four or five days between charges and that means a 3aH or better battery. I've been looking at the Samsung S3 and you can buy a 4.3aH battery for it on Amazon. It makes it bulge a bit at the back and adds some weight but the same is true for the 3aH battery in my Desire. Doesn't bother me in the slightest - I think it makes it easier to hold and also means it can prop itself up sideways on the desk for viewing videos :)

    Mine's the one with a spare battery in the pocket.

    1. Phil W

      Depends on use....

      An S3 with the standard battery, or a Note 2, will both last as long (or in fact longer) as you're asking for if you leave them on standy with wi-fi off and no apps running to drain the battery. Check the standby times for them...

      http://www.gsmarena.com/samsung_i9300_galaxy_s_iii-4238.php

      http://www.gsmarena.com/samsung_galaxy_note_ii_n7100-4854.php

      If you're not going to do those things, then there is no smart phone on the market I'm aware of that will last as long as you want it to you. At least not without a big bulging extended battery, which you've also said you don't want.

      If you have a genuine need to go for 5 days without charging a smartphone the better solution is to buy a second battery, keep it charged carry that with you.

      1. djstardust Silver badge
        Thumb Down

        Re: Depends on use....

        I have always carried a spare battery ..... that is until I got the Note II. It is superb and you will get 2 days out of it. One of the first things I do is get a spare battery with a handset and I haven't even bothered with the Note. It is simply superb!

        As far as this phone goes, no expandable storage is just crazy. I guess the 64Gb version makes up for this but it will be stupidly expensive if even available.

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: Depends on use....

          >As far as this phone goes, no expandable storage is just crazy.

          It does have expandable storage, just not very elegant or compact expandable storage.

          It's not convenient if you want the storage for snapping photos (though 32 GB is a lot of photos), but if you're using it to watch movies on a long train or plane journey it doesn't seem like a deal breaker.

    2. Anonymous Coward 101

      "I want something that can last for four or five days between charges"

      This does not mean anything. It is like saying "I want a car that can go two weeks between refilling the tank". The important factor for battery life these days is how much the screen is on.

      1. M Gale

        Why have an extra battery floating around in your pocket...

        ...when you can just have a bigger battery in the phone?

        And I say this as someone with an XPAL XP8000 in the bag. I bought it because I had to, not because I wanted to. The car analogy only really holds up if every single car manufacturer decided that the smallest engine size they are selling now is a 7 litre American big-block, with a motorbike-size fuel tank.

        Does nobody remember how long dumbphones can last?

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: Why have an extra battery floating around in your pocket...

          >Does nobody remember how long dumbphones can last?

          Ahhh, back in the day... when my phone battery would last all week, but my call credit would last five minutes.

          : D

        2. Phil W

          Re: Why have an extra battery floating around in your pocket...

          "Why have an extra battery floating around in your pocket...

          ...when you can just have a bigger battery in the phone?"

          Because it makes the phone bigger and heavier in almost all cases.

          Also it quite often causes other problems, the old HTC Diamond had an extended battery with a humpback battery cover to allow for it. The battery worked if you could live with the weight and size but when due to the position it blocked all GPS signal to the handset.

          1. AndrueC Silver badge
            Meh

            Re: Why have an extra battery floating around in your pocket...

            Because it makes the phone bigger and heavier in almost all cases

            Of course if having a svelte phone is a major feature then it's not for you but modern phones are already more than light enough and more than thin enough so doubling either measurement doesn't really make much odds. It's not like you're suddenly turning the clock back thirty years and walking around with a house brick in your pocket :)

            As for functionality the only change I've noticed is that if the phone crashes it sometimes can't talk to the battery and won't charge. You have to re-insert the battery to get things back. But it doesn't crash very often (two or three times a year perhaps?) so of no consequence.

      2. AndrueC Silver badge
        Go

        This does not mean anything

        Well..okay. I wasn't going to bother quantifying it but as you asked:

        Very few calls or texts.

        Checking my POP3 server every 10 minutes.

        Listening to music for an hour every day.

        And a little bit of general use now and again but not that much. For what it's worth on the standard Desire battery I could just about go 24 hours between charges but that meant charging when it was showing orange. At present I'm charging on Monday mornings and Friday mornings and the display is still green.

        I'm just not that much 'into' phones. Never have been. It's just a useful thing to have in my pocket (the sum of it's features rather than any single feature and making calls/texts is actually the least used) and I don't want to become a slave to chargers or be constantly bothering people to borrow theirs.

        If I get invited to a dirty weekend on Friday (sadly, not common) I can just get in the car and drive off without having to worry about charging my phone. I know it will comfortably get me through to Monday.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "Checking my POP3 server every 10 minutes."

          Start by setting up an IMAP server and using push e-mail. Every time your phone wakes up any number of applications could start doing things.

  5. frank ly Silver badge

    The cost!

    I started with an HTC Wildfire then upgraded to an HTC Incredible. I was looking forward to upgrading to an HTC One, then I saw the cost even for second hand, so I got a new Nexus 4 (8GB) for half the price. The Nexus 4 does the job for me (but I don't have GBs of videos and music to watch/listen to). Full marks for the front facing speakers though and I do realise that it's a top-spec phone.

    1. TechW

      Re: The cost!

      I can't speak to the price of the HTC One in the UK, but, here in the states I can get $100 to trade in my 2 year old phone and $50 from Best Buy that I can use towards the purchase. That makes the HTC One an incredible deal!

  6. RockBurner

    very upbeat review

    compared to the review of the XperiaZ recently - makes it hard to make an objective decision, given that I'm at upgrade time.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: very upbeat review

      (Sorry for repeating my post, but it seems pertinent to RockBurner)

      Major differences:

      The Sony Xperia Z give you a uSD card slot, waterproofing and charging via an optional drop-in cradle.

      This HTC trades those for a better screen, better speakers and an IR remote.

      Neither has a removable battery. The Reg reviews suggest the HTC might have a longer lasting battery, but if it's an important issue to you you might do well to find other reviews online to confirm this.

  7. Bornhuetter
    Thumb Up

    <--- This

    If I didn't have a Nexus 4, this is the phone I would buy. I will be recommending that friends who want an S4 also check this phone out as well.

    1. Tim Parker

      Re: <--- This

      I'm not a phone person at all, but to have something equipped with a "Krait-class CPU" would make me feel like i'm in a E.E. Doc Smith or Iain M Banks novel.... which can't be bad shurly ?

      1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

        Re: <--- This

        You get 20Cr for shooting a Krait IIRC, although watch out, because they normally fly in packs with a couple of sidewinders.

  8. Pristine Audio
    FAIL

    No swappable battery, no sale

    It would probably be the battery rather than memory issue that would kill it for me.

    I've just ordered a 5000mAh battery for my Galaxy Note to enable it to carry on displaying maps, tracking my location, monitoring my heart rate, playing music over Bluetooth and so on for far longer than the stock 2500mAh battery gives me when the phone's clamped to my bike's handlebars for 3-4 hour cycle rides in bright sunlight with the display brightness at 100%. When I get home with a depleted battery I can drop in a fully-recharged spare and carry on using it, rather than having to plug the phone in and wait hours for a decent charge before its usable again.

    For the kind of uses I've put my phone to, I can't imagine ever wanting one where the battery couldn't be swapped out quickly and easily. It's a simple option that really ought to be standard when these devices have so many possible uses.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: No swappable battery, no sale

      Just out of curiosity, do they make USB chargers that can affix to bicycle wheels so that they can charge the phone while you ride (as well as provide a little extra load for a workout)?

      1. JC_

        Re: No swappable battery, no sale

        Just out of curiosity, do they make USB chargers that can affix to bicycle wheels so that they can charge the phone while you ride (as well as provide a little extra load for a workout)?

        Nokia do, though it's the Nokia-style connector, so you'd need to be handy with a soldering iron to connect it to most phones.

        When I get home with a depleted battery I can drop in a fully-recharged spare and carry on using it

        "drop in" is really shutdown-remove-plate-swap-batteries-start-up-again. It's easier to leave it to charge up a bit while having a shower, making a sandwich etc., no?

        1. JC_

          Re: No swappable battery, no sale

          Hmm, was I voted down because I pointed to a Nokia-brand charger, or because I suggested leaving the phone to charge for 1/2 an hour while doing something else?

          Even if one can't put the phone down, it's possible to use it while it's charging, after all...

          1. M Gale

            Re: No swappable battery, no sale

            "Even if one can't put the phone down, it's possible to use it while it's charging, after all..."

            Actually, I have an Xperia Arc S that very occasionally will drain more than the charger can provide when it's functioning as a portable access point. As the phone is basically my ISP, this can be... annoying.

            Only happens every now and then too, which just makes it even wierder.

            1. JC_

              Re: No swappable battery, no sale

              Actually, I have an Xperia Arc S that very occasionally will drain more than the charger can provide

              I guess that's due to the limit of the USB spec., but like you say, it only happens occasionally.

              People voting me down: surely a spare battery is useful for the times when you're away from a charger, which doesn't include when you're at home, right? Plugging in a charger is surely easier than swapping a battery.

        2. Daleos

          Re: No swappable battery, no sale

          "'drop in' is really shutdown-remove-plate-swap-batteries-start-up-again. It's easier to leave it to charge up a bit while having a shower, making a sandwich etc., no?"

          Not when you're camping in a field, trapsing half way up a mountain, sunning yourself on a beach or on a long flight it's not.

          Every smartphone I've ever had barely makes it past 8pm before it desperately needs a charge. If there's ever a chance of randomness in my day, my spare battery can deal with it.

          Those external battery/rechargers are so slow, it means leaving your phone off for at least an hour before things become useful again. Useless on a long train journey when my only entertainment is my phone.

          Then there's the fact that batteries lose their change over time. A year later and my original phone battery holds only holds 60% of it's original charge.

          1. JC_

            Re: No swappable battery, no sale

            Not when you're camping in a field, trapsing half way up a mountain, sunning yourself on a beach or on a long flight it's not. ... Useless on a long train journey when my only entertainment is my phone.

            Do you do any of those things at home? To repeat myself:

            "a spare battery is useful for the times when you're away from a charger, which doesn't include when you're at home, right?"

            We actually agree! :)

            Then there's the fact that batteries lose their change over time.

            That true, but it's beside the point. I'm not arguing that being able to swap batteries isn't useful, just that swapping batteries when one gets home is more hassle than simply charging the phone.

            Those external battery/rechargers are so slow, it means leaving your phone off for at least an hour before things become useful again.

            Not in my experience. Your phone will still work while being charged, and even so, do you use your phone continuously when you arrive home? Why?!?

            The activities that draw more power than the charger is providing don't make sense at home; if it's sharing a 3G connection, why not use the WiFi? If it's watching videos or gaming, why not use the TV or PC?

            Put the phone down and walk the dog, wash the dishes, talk to the kids etc.! ;)

            1. M Gale

              Re: No swappable battery, no sale

              "if it's sharing a 3G connection, why not use the WiFi?"

              What wifi?

              This phone is my ISP.

          2. mickey mouse the fith

            Re: No swappable battery, no sale

            "Those external battery/rechargers are so slow, it means leaving your phone off for at least an hour before things become useful again. Useless on a long train journey when my only entertainment is my phone."

            I got a cheapo battery jump pack from a poundshop. It plugs in the usb port and gives the battery a constant trickle charge. Its got a bloody great li-ion battery in it that i recharge before heading out. It gives a fair few hours extra without faffing about changing the phones battery. Its a bizzare thing, it has solar panels and also slots for normal aa batteries to recharge the internal battery on the go, so all bases are covered. The solar panel is a bit useless though, it takes hours and hours to fully charge the thing and gets worryingly hot if its placed in direct sunlight. might be handy in an emergency out in the wilds though.

    2. Professor Clifton Shallot

      Re: No swappable battery, no sale

      "I've just ordered a 5000mAh battery for my Galaxy Note "

      If you have a link for this it would be much appreciated, might be just what I am looking for.

    3. Tom Kelsall
      FAIL

      Re: No swappable battery, no sale

      Why on EARTH can't you use your phone while charging? My phone works just fine while it's charging - I just make sure I'm using a 3m USB lead to charge it with so that I'm not yanking the lead all the time.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: No swappable battery, no sale

      I hope that's a stationary bicycle you ride in bright sunlight. Otherwise why would the screen be on the whole time?

      Work smarter, not more mAh'er.

    5. Shannon Jacobs
      Holmes

      You don't have a USB charger on your bike?

      Magnets on the spokes and coils on the frame to generate power to keep your smartphone fully charged while you travel. That's what I want, though I haven't seen it yet.

      My own experience with HTC was quite negative. The battery was one of the problems, but there were many others, and my main beef with HTC was the AWFUL pretense of support on their website. I really can't imagine how I got the impression they were going to answer questions or something. I actually dumped it before the 2-year contract ran out. My carrier was actually running a promo that picked up part of the cost of a new phone they were pushing. I wouldn't say it was my perfect smartphone, but the Huawei has been substantially more satisfactory than the HTC was.

  9. ran93r

    Nifty

    Quite looking forward to this, contract is up in May so there should be decent stock by then. Lack of storage not an issue for me as I'm running a stock sensation and these days just use it as a phone and have an N7 for other pissing about.

    1. Victor Ludorum
      Thumb Up

      Re: Nifty

      Spooky - my Sensation contract's up in May... Although mine runs Cyanogen 10. And I use my Nexus 7 for pissing about as well (when the kids aren't using it - thank $DEITY for the multi-user feature!)

      V.

  10. Christopher Rogers
    Linux

    This is a compelling phone, but I'm gonna need some hands on time with it, an S4 and a Windows Phone before I commit to upgrading my Sensation XE.

    The XE had potential by the bucket load but is badly let down by the software, so HTC already have that against them. Also, this missing button interface. A step too far away from normal Android (for instance, if I decide to root the device and slap on a ROM?)

    Lack of wireless charging? Some cool new tech not in a flagship device.....

    Lack of SD slot used to annoy me, but frankly I've got over myself. I either use online services, or FTP to my home NAS. My 3 wifi gives me plenty of headroom for that.

    All in al though, it looks like phones have hit that point of being powerful enough to do everything. I look forward to key lime pie.

  11. Andrew_b65

    Potato instead of camera module

    HTC will struggle to sell their flagship phones while they continue to fit potatoes instead of camera modules.

    HTC's marketing department can claim what they like about their cameras, but year after year, the back to back tests show time and time again their imaging capability is utter shite.

    On the positive side, at least the build quality on this new model might actually see out a two year contract for once.

    1. rich0d

      Re: Potato instead of camera module

      "On the positive side, at least the build quality on this new model might actually see out a two year contract for once."

      How so? My original Desire is still going strong and is now my Mum's, and my HTC One X is still running pretty well, and there's barely a ding on it...

      The only thing which is pulling me away from HTC and to Samsung is updates and battery life.

      1. Neil 23

        Re: Potato instead of camera module

        True, my Desire is a good few months out of a 2 year contract and has proven to be pretty bullet-proof, surviving half a dozen drops onto various hard & soft surfaces (from concrete to carpet*), at least 2 drenchings and being used as a teething aid / drumstick by a small child.

        *great Peel session in '83

      2. Daleos

        Re: Potato instead of camera module

        "The only thing which is pulling me away from HTC and to Samsung is updates and battery life."

        HTC are actually ahead of most in terms of updates...

        http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2012/12/the-checkered-slow-history-of-android-handset-updates/

    2. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

      Marketing nonsense

      All other things being equal, image noise is a function of sensor size, not pixel size. Using fewer, larger pixels just makes the noise coarser and more difficult to deal with.

      1. JaimieV

        Re: Marketing nonsense

        Nonsense yourself - it's a function of how many photons you can get striking each pixel. Larger pixels == more photons == more data samples == less noise.

        Sensor size *with res* is a surrogate measurement for pixel size. It's easier talking about a half inch 8Mpixel sensor than 1.3nm pixels.

      2. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Marketing nonsense

        >All other things being equal, image noise is a function of sensor size, not pixel size. Using fewer, larger pixels just makes the noise coarser and more difficult to deal with.

        Ug?

        It is a function of pixel size, it's just that for images of the same resolution larger pixels by definition mean a larger sensor- but as the review clearly stated, this HTC only produces 4 megapixel images (which is fine for the most common end-use: posting online).

        Get yourself a coffee : D

        1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

          No really...

          It's not that controversial!

          For the same size sensor and the same level of sensor technology (i.e., "all other things being equal"), more pixels is preferable. Yes you get more pixel level noise, but the image level noise is the same, and the detail is higher. Furthermore, when you have smaller pixels, the noise is finer and you have more flexibility regarding the noise reduction techniques you can use. You can emulate a 4MP sensor by resampling a 16MP image down to 4MP, but you can't go the other way, and there are much better noise reduction techniques out there than simple block averaging, which is effectively what you're doing by using larger pixels.

      3. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Potato instead of camera module

      If you really want a decent camera then get a camera.

      However, the next Samsung brick sized phone is rumored to have a Nikon Camera inside

      http://nikonrumors.com/2013/03/18/rumor-next-nexus-5-phone-to-have-a-nikon-camera.aspx/

      Mines the one with D800 + 200-400 zoom slung over the shoulder.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Potato instead of camera module

      "On the positive side, at least the build quality on this new model might actually see out a two year contract for once."

      Considering I've pile driven my One X into the floor accidentally on more than one occasion and there is only some minor scratching on the case, I'm actually pretty impressed. My Desire was similar, in fact the worrying trend is very minor scratching in the same places as my One X. The wifi signal is the real pain with it though, and I hope the One has a better antenna design.

    5. Piro

      Re: Potato instead of camera module

      Not sure where the last comment was directed - my old Desire HD is still working flawlessly (even though I've replaced it now), and it's been dropped onto hard floors many a time and so on, without it showing.

      HTC phones in my experience have a solid feel to them.

  12. Schultz

    Disposable phone

    The lack of exchangable battery makes it another disposable phone. I don't like those, because I tend to use my electronic gadgets forever (and then push the obsolete phones on needy foreign visitors or similar). Full points to Samsung for offering things that run more than 2 years!

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Disposable phone

      >The lack of exchangable battery makes it another disposable phone. I don't like those, because I tend to use my electronic gadgets forever

      I think we can see the cause and effect here: You've just identified yourself as someone who buys fewer phones than someone who trades in after their 18 or 24 month contract ends.

      I'm not knocking you, just noting that you are less of a customer to the manufacturer.

      Of course, the other argument for removable batteries is for road warriors who like Gordon Gecko are never off their phone... but these days, with several USB-charged gadgets, an external and thus universal battery pack makes sense- it'l do your phone, your tablet, your e-reader and your emergency spare phone. More everyday devices have a female USB A port for charging things, be it a car, TV or router.

  13. MrXavia
    Thumb Down

    If only it had a micro SD port and a removable battery then I'd buy it...

    but by going down the Apple non removable battery and no external storage, it makes it pretty pointless for me...

    the ONE thing I hate about my Samsung phone is that the SD slot is inside, and not easily accessible without removing the back cover... and it looks like the S4 has the same issue, but better that than no sd slot!

    1. Ledswinger Silver badge

      "the ONE thing I hate about my Samsung phone is that the SD slot is inside"

      Depending on what you're doing, you might want to consider a microUSB to USB to SD adaptor, plus the app to read storage attached via the microUSB port? The same would work for phones with no expandable storage, although in both cases you've then got the storage on a short lead.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        You don't need an app if USB OTG has been properly implemented. It does vary by manufacturer, though. Some have hobbled hardware that software can't fix (LG's Nexus 4, for example).

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Only here could you have people moaning about not being able to fit a 5000mAh battery!

    Mine's the 2 year old iPhone 4 that still doesn't need charging every day.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Not only here, but especially here! this IS a tech site....

    2. Loyal Commenter Silver badge
      Coat

      Mine's the 2 year old iPhone 4 that still doesn't need charging every day.

      There's a 2-yo iPhone 4 still in existence without a broken screen?

    3. M Gale

      Of course it doesn't need charging.

      Apple forgot to fit the "recieve radio signals reliably" function to that model. You can't drain the battery when you can't make calls.

      And don't tell me the grip o' death doesn't exist. It even exists with the rubber band solution provided by Apple.

      1. Tom 38 Silver badge
        WTF?

        Re: Of course it doesn't need charging.

        It's amazing how people who are vehemently opposed to iphones know everything about them.

        1. M Gale

          Re: Of course it doesn't need charging.

          It's amazing how many people know someone who has an iPhone.

          Especially if it's someone who used to say "meh what's the point".. until they get an iPhone, then proceed to try and say how theirs is better than yours.. at every available opportunity. Funny, I'm sure I was the one who explained what a smartphone was.. I'm sure I don't need you telling me what I told you five years ago.

          God, I still remember the "ooh look mine does multitasking now, bet yours can't!" - yes, of course.

          Or "ooh I have a portable access point now. Bet yours can't do that!" - uh huh.

          So yes, I do perhaps express an inordinate amount of schadenfruede when something like the iFlaw happens. Or the crap maps app flap, or Siri's brainlessness and inability to cope with accents stronger than Received Pronunciation, or unlock exploits, or...

          Still waiting for a change in Apple policy meaning that guy tells me how amazing it is that he can install apps without the Fruity Overlord's permission, at some point. And how my phone can't do that. Or something.

  15. Vimes

    Best camera on a phone?

    I wonder if the author has had the chance to try out a Nokia 808? I also recall seeing comparison shots between the HTC one and Xperia Z. Aside from the fact the photos on the Xperia Z were of higher resolution there was no real appreciable difference when viewing them at the same size, and oddly enough the Xperia also seemed to perform pretty much just as well as the HTC one in low light conditions (again when the photos are viewed at the same size - people seem to forget that you can remove noise from an image simply by zooming out).

    And I find it difficult to believe that blinkfeed won't reduce the usefulness of the larger battery when you can't remove it or stop it from updating the contents. I really don't understand why HTC seem intent on forcing this particular widget down the throats of their customers, regardless of whether they want it or not.

    1. joeW

      Re: Best camera on a phone?

      Good point about blinkfeed. I wonder what's in it for HTC?

    2. Al Taylor
      Alert

      Re: Best camera on a phone?

      Not the 808 but I did do some direct comparisons between shots taken with the One and the Lumia 920 and the iPhone 5 I had on loan for the 4G feature last month.

      As for BlinkFeed, you can change the period between refreshing or disable the automatic refreshing altogether.

      1. Vimes

        @Al Taylor

        A pity. Despite it's Pureview branding the 920 doesn't seem to be as good as the 808.

        And it still begs the question: why force a widget on people that's only really useful when it's regularly updated on one hand, but allow it to stop updating on the other? Why not just allow people to get rid of the damned thing altogether?

        Samsung have recently released - albeit with unwanted 3rd party software - an update for 1st generation Galaxy Notes, despite them having been released well over a year ago now. Do you really expect given past performance that HTC will be putting in a similar level of effort to Samsung? I seem to recall HTC trying to effectively dump support for handsets rather quickly - e.g. the original HTC Desire - and it seems to me that this sort of course of action is unlikely to change any time soon.

      2. Vimes

        @Al Taylor

        I'm wondering what your response is to the criticisms of Sense 5 found here, given that this appears to be used in the HTC one:

        http://www.gizmodo.co.uk/2013/03/htc-sense-5-0-review-better-but-also-worse/

  16. D. M
    Thumb Down

    No removable bettary, no SD card = no sale

    I was looking at what HTC could offer before I bought my S3. Everything looked decent until you see HTC copied the worst piece of Sh*t iCrap does.

    I don't use cloud storage, neither trust it, or wanted to waste my mobile data (here the amount is rather limited unless you pay outrages amount of money to buy extra block of data). And removable battery is very useful for me.

    Again, I give HTC 0% which is only slightly better than I rate iCrap at -1billion%.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    keep telling yourself if it helps

    Time to face facts, some phones have the X-Factor while others are stuck with the "HTC One X" factor

  18. Dave 62

    No SD card??

    I've got the One V (It's smaller than a One X though so.. er.. idk..if it's the same but lower specs or entirely different.. they're both called 'One'?) anyway it has a micro SD slot. It's got that funny.. pointy bit at the bottom (which I quite like actually)

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: No SD card??

      HTC is segmenting the market with the One X, V and S. They all have pluses and minuses but nothing has them all with the X seeming to fail because it doesn't do SD cards.

      I actually think HTC have a point about not offering removable storage because, at the file manager level it might confuse. But for most people using media via apps that shouldn't be too much of a problem.

  19. Lusty Silver badge

    Features

    "an all-new version of HTC’s Android overlay"

    So it doesn't have the one feature ALL of their customers have been asking for then...removal of the HTC crap

    1. Rob Crawford

      Re: Features

      No not everybody, I quite liked some of the HTC overlay

      However the option to remove it would be good

      1. RockBurner

        Re: Features

        I daresay you can install an alternative launcher, without going as far as to root the device.

        (just a shame you don't get the choice to uninstall the crap that gets loaded on - eg FB, twatter, etc)

        1. Obvious Robert

          Re: Features

          It really is a piece of piss to root HTC phones these days now HTC allow their bootloaders to be unlocked. XDA has guides for them all. Once rooted you can do what you like from simply uninstalling bloatware to totally replacing the ROM if you want to get rid of Sense. Rooting my One S took under 30 minutes on the day it arrived via a mostly automated tool, largely just point and click!

          I find it slightly odd that the kind of people who frequent this site would be so hung up on manufacturers' interfaces, bloatware and update timescales when they can be so easily circumvented. Very few of us would ever consider relying solely on the manufacturer of a laptop to provide new OS versions, we'd just install them ourselves or replace the OS altogether. The more that phones become like fully capable PC's the more we should see them in the same kind of light, as very capable hardware ready to install whichever interface and software we choose.

    2. M Gale

      Re: Features

      Nova Launcher Prime. Worth every penny of the £2.60, and works across phones and tablets too.

      Launcher 7 is okay if you want to be cheeky and make your Android phone look like TIFKAM. The "donate" version I can confirm does indeed remove the ads. Doesn't work on tablets though, for some reason.

  20. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    No AMOLED

    I don't think that AMOLED is a merely matter of choice, the screens are also significantly easier to read in bright sunlight. That SD card, and a dedicated camera button are what are keeping me on my Samsung Wave, which nearly three years in is still giving excellent service although it looks like the (removable) battery should probably be replaced.

    1. Piro

      Re: No AMOLED

      AMOLED is awful, in my opinion. I have a phone with a 720p Super AMOLED display, and I'd trade it for a good quality LCD in a heartbeat.

      Over time the elements degrade, leaving a visible tint to the screen. It also seems to sap power far, far more claimed. Oh, and the colours look all off (mainly because of the tint).

      I read an article where a reviewer received something like 5 Galaxy Nexus devices, and all had a slightly different tint. Day one.

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: No AMOLED

        AMOLED is awful, in my opinion

        And I prefer the higher contrast, … the point I was making was about the suitability outdoors which is a sine qua non for me. I wear polarised sunglasses which make LCDs compare even worse.

        The blue does degrade overtime, but my phone is nearly three years old and still looks fine. Power consumption is typically than LCD higher when looking at items with lots of light colours (whites, yellows, greys, etc.). This is counterintuitive as the same process is being used to create light in both circumstances, LED-backlit LCDs using arguably more. It's to be hoped that the process engineers will continue to chip away at that, thought to have been slated for the S4 but apparently now due to make its debut with the the Note III.

  21. JDX Gold badge

    "Chrome just doesn’t excel at JavaScript rendering"

    I saw this mentioned in the other review too, and found it surprising. Isn't insane best-of-class JS performance one of the things Chrome is known for?

    1. Professor Clifton Shallot

      Re: "Chrome just doesn’t excel at JavaScript rendering"

      I was thinking just the same thing - has it been leapfrogged by its competitors or is the mobile version notably deficient?

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: "Chrome just doesn’t excel at JavaScript rendering"

        When Anadtech benchmarked the iPhone 5, they found that its Sunspider result beat any other phone by a very large margin. They also noted that in context, it was more a test of caching than anything else i.e, benchmarks != real world performance.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    fixed

    "iPhone 5 for the blind or terminally dim"

    1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      Re: fixed

      "iPhone 5 for the blind or terminally dim"

      Also known as the iPhone 5?

      1. JDX Gold badge

        Re: fixed

        It's generally very dim people who can earn enough to spend £500 on a phone.

        1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

          Re: fixed

          £500 amortised over 24 months appears to be affordable for most baristas

        2. thecapsaicinkid

          Re: fixed

          It's generally very dim people who believe a £500 phone makes them look like they earn enough to spend £500 on a phone.

  23. This post has been deleted by its author

  24. MikeyD85
    Thumb Up

    Awesome phone

    I've got one here, it's lovely.

    I've never really bough spare batteries before, so removable battery doesn't bother me.

    As for SD-Card... I've lived with an 8GB one on my Desire S for the last two years... 32GB in built is loads for me! I don't really play games on phones (aside from puzzles) because I refuse to carry a PS3 control pad around with me all the time. I've got a Nexus 7 for video (although the One has a far superior display, it's just too small for a film of TV show).

    I feel for all you guys that need removable stuffs! This phone is honestly the nicest mobile device I've ever used.

  25. Rob Crawford

    Why I swapped from HTC to Samsung last year

    Despite liking HTC products and having had several previous HTC phonesI the following issues finally made me change to Samsung

    Phone reception with the HTC was at best poor

    No external SD

    No replaceable battery

    Shit cameras

    Poor WiFi reception

    Poor Android updates.

    Before anybody complains about Samsungs poor update policy you really should experience HTC's slow update policy followed by abandonment at the first possible opportunity, thank god for the Android community.

    I am glad that HTC have finally discovered that cameras and reception matters and hope they listen to the other complaints.

    What I do like abut HTC is that they are into metal phone bodies, though my current Galaxy S2 has survived being run over by a car (twice)

  26. Joe 48

    I'm moving from a S3 to the ONE. For the first time I quite fancy form over function. The battery never bothered me as I've never swapped out the one in my S3. The Micro SD is a nice to have but I can survive without it by managing my files better. Besides my S3 only needed the Micro SD because it was a 16GB model. The larger ONE should do the job.

    I'll miss my Samsung, I had the S2 and S3 but I just fancy a change due to Samsungs average design. Always ran custom ROM's like Omega or Cyanogenmod so won't miss touchwizz. Just hope the HTC gets some good devs as that side has always been lacking and I'm still not sold on Sense.

    1. MikeyD85

      Good shout, considering CM are NOT supporting the S4 officially. Wouldn't surprise me if the UK version gets a decent port from someone else due to it running the S600 over here as opposed to the Exynos 8-core CPU.

      This iteration of Sense does seem a whole world better than previous versions (I can say that with experience of all Sense's various iterations over the years), though I too prefer stock. At least this time, it's not been too over-engineered.

      Regarding BLINKFEED: It can at least be set up to not refresh on mobile data. :)

  27. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

    Despite it's flaws, I went ahead and actually got the One X. Yes, it has its annoyances - no removable battery or storage being pretty high on the list, but also the fact that the last update to it broke the ability to attach it to my PC as a removable drive. Having made the poor choice of 64 bit XP as an operating system, I am stuck in driver non-availability hell, unless I want to start hacking install files about. Not being able to easily get stuff off the internal storage is FAR more annoying than not being able to swap it out, and no; I don't want to trust any of my data to the 'cloud' - why the hell should I trust anything to someone I don't know operating servers who knows where with terms that could well be making a land-grab for rights over the content, or making any and all of it available to a foreign government? (CIA/FBI I'm looking at you)

    That said, with the new One, the inability to get rid of the pointless social-networking gaff would piss me off almost equally as much. Lets hope that by the time my contract is up for renewal in 18 months time, the next phone they release solves some of these issues, because despite my gripes, I actually quite like the One X and I certainly don't want an Apple phone, and I'm not sure I like Samsung any more as a company than their fruity adversaries.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      >but also the fact that the last update to it broke the ability to attach it to my PC as a removable drive.

      IIRC, that was a Android issue across the board- it was reported when a particular Android version was released. Kudos to Sony on the Xperia Z for implementing a good ol fashioned option to access the internal storage as Mass Storage Class, thus making it Mac, Linux and older XP happy.

      (The Xperia P lacks such feature, and to transfer files from a Mac over USB requires Sony software and is painfully slow... though I guess most people would use WiFi these days)

      64 bit XP? You masochist! : D

      1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

        I had heard that this was an Android issue, rather than being specific to the implementation, and has something to do with allowing greater storage size using alternate file systems. It's still annoying though, and I can can only hope that the next iteration will allow devices to be attached as external storage once again,for instance by allowing the user to choose how the file system interface is chosen. My phone has fixed storage, so changing the FS to one that allows for greater storage size makes no sense!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          No mass storage: 2 reasons

          There are 2 reasons for the removal of USB mass storage from Android:

          1) To support large files (e.g. HD media files bigger than 2G) you need a file system other than VFAT32. However, NTFS is not well supported outside of Microsoft OSs (yes, Linux can read and write it, sort of, maybe, if you hold your tongue right), and Windows doesn't support other file systems well (Forget any Linux FS, forget HPFS for Mac, and Windows really doesn't like doing UFS on anything that isn't a DVD).

          2) For any of the above file systems, they don't like having 2 independent entities frobbing them at a sector level at the same time, so using USB file storage means unmounting the file system from the phone's OS, making the low-level "pile of sectors" available over USB Mass Storage, then when the host is disconnected, remounting the file system to the phone's OS, and then doing a lengthy rescan to see what changed.

          Moving to MTP means a) the phone can use EXT3 or EXT4 for the file system, allowing for big files, and b) the phone mediates all access to the file system, so it doesn't have to unmount it.

          Now, why Google didn't use a better interface than MTP (hell, NFS over USB networking would be better IMHO)... I guess it is Microsoft's intransigence on allowing other plug-in file system drivers to be a common part of the Windows install (or even to be installed by default by device driver INF files) - using something that Microsoft won't support by default is a non-starter.

          1. M Gale

            Re: No mass storage: 2 reasons

            "using something that Microsoft won't support by default is a non-starter."

            Someone had better tell that to the printer manufacturers.

            I don't see how installing Ext2FSD (or whatever you like) is any different to installing the latest Epson or HP drivers. Well, asides Ext2FSD being slightly less painful.

            (And despite the name, it seems to work with Ext3 too. Ext4 untested on this machine.)

  28. Greg D
    FAIL

    SD card FAIL

    I bought a Sammy because of this - I almost went for the One X+ but got put off that purely because of that.

    Specs aside, all I ever see is people moaning when phones come without an SD card. How can you say that we're the minority!?

    Personally, it's the idea of REMOVABLE storage that interests me. I watch a lot of video and have a huge music collection, so the internal storage is not adequate (maybe 64gb may do it, but it's locked to the handset). Additionally it gives you the option of removing the storage if your phone breaks, or needs to go off for repair, thus you dont lose everything.

    The idea of online storage is NOT an option for me on mobile. It's too unreliable and slow (the unreliability being a HUGE problem for mobile broadband). You cant stream a vid or download a HD movie/TV show using a mobile broadband connection whilst you are on a train can you? No. Online storage is NOT an answer, just another option, and should be used in conjunction with having a removable storage option.

    HTC used to fit microSD slots in all their handsets. Why the sudden move to change that? It's lose-lose for them, cos it puts off punters like me (of which there are many).

  29. Michael Habel Silver badge

    Terminaly dim...

    "I’m not going to dignify the accusations that it looks like an iPhone 5. It only does to the blind or terminally dim."

    Ya mean in the exact same way that the Samsung Galaxy s and Galaxy S2 didn't look like the iPhone 3 / 3S & 4, and how the Galaxy Tab 10 didn't look like an iPad?

    I think a lot of People would disagree, with ya. AND I HATE APPLE!

    But, if ya have to take longer then a passing glance at some blokes Phone to determine if its an iThingy (or not) then that could be an argument for HTC & Samsung trying to confuse the Public by watering down Apples IP. I for One hope that Apple sic there litigious attack Dogs on HTC double quick.

    1. Al Taylor
      Alert

      Re: Terminaly dim...

      Sorry Michael, I have to disagree

      The curved back, the ridged sides, the colour scheme, the detailing, the size difference, the physical positioning of the speakers and their visual impact, the trade marking (the HTC logo below the screen). All are clear distinguishable features.

      The similarities are that it's oblong and the corners are curved but I regard those as fundamental and inherent design features of the product type. Just as all five-door hatchbacks have a bonnet at the front, a hatch at the back, some doors on either side and a tyre at each corner.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Terminaly dim...

        But look at all the other Apple features it infringes upon:

        1) It is made of baryonic matter.

        2) It occupies 3 large spatial dimensions and one time dimension.

        3) It uses EM radiation from 680nm to 420nm to communicate to its user.

        4) It uses sound from 20Hz to 20kHz to communicate to its user.

        5) If not acted upon by an outside force, it follows Einsteinian geodesics.

        6) It curves space-time in proportion to its mass.

  30. Gordon861

    One X, S, V, X+ or just One

    I thought HTC said when they launched the One X and One S that they would be simplifying their range of phones so you could see which one was the higher end without needing to know the details of each phone.

    I didn't realise that simplify meant calling every damn phone they release 'One'.

  31. matthewjs

    Interesting how Samsung is now pretty much the 'undisputed champion' - at least in handset sales - of the Android world. Besides the (very significant) issues regarding the HTC's non-swappable battery and lack of expansion, I wonder just how much the Apple-Samsung lawsuit reduced the iOS vs Android battle to a simple matter of iPhone vs Galaxy, and whether - given the rampant tribalism and sectarianism on both sides of the divide - Apple haters gravitated exclusively towards Samsung as a manifestation of their hatred of the former. While top-of-the-range phones from HTC, Sony, LG and Samsung are all compared to one another in group tests, it's only the Samsung that seems to get compared to the iPhone, which must - unconsciously at least - create some sort of mental 'iPhone or Samsung Galaxy' polarisation in punters' minds.

  32. thomas k.

    ooh ... shiny

    So it's finally here and, yes, I would like one very, very much but geez, Louise, 550BP - that's like 2 laptops, and I'm assuming that's just for the 32 BG one, too. Oh, well. The lack of SD might have been a killer for me but I think I could easily live with 64 gigs.

    One thing I'm curious about is why they'd put those nice stereo speakers on it but then not build in a kickstand of some sort for setting it on a table to watch a movie. Are they hoping 3rd party case makers will come up with something?

    1. MikeyD85

      Re: ooh ... shiny

      They're being bundled with a flip stand case by a few places.

  33. Chandy Bronze badge
    Thumb Down

    No replaceable battery

    = no sale.

    I liked my old HTC Hero at the time, and would be prepared to go back to HTC, but not being able to change battery is a definite no-sale. I play some games that HAMMER it (gone in an hour) and being able to pop the back off and swap is a 'must-have', until batteries get 10x as long-lasting.

    SD card slot is a 'nice to have' as well, but I can live without it.

  34. rahul
    Meh

    Phew, it's good to know...

    ...That I'm not the only one who hankers after microSD and removable battery as must-have features.

    And, given that the low-light capability of the phone's camera has been so much talked about, maybe a couple of low light / indoor shots would have made sense? (no pun intended).

  35. 59er9er
    Thumb Up

    It does matter

    Nice review. And yes, it does matter to me that it's made in Taiwan which is one of the main reasons I'm considering ditching my iOS device for the One.

  36. Ribblethrop

    These 'My new phone is the best because of xyz' are too much. Consumer bias much?

    Would this have been more appropriate on the chat forum?

  37. ecofeco Silver badge
    Meh

    Call me an old fart

    But seriously, what's the actual, you know, CALL quality like?

    1. MikeyD85

      Re: Call me an old fart

      Very nice. Far better than the Desire S I upgraded from.

  38. Michael Jennings

    Is the reviewed HTC One LTE capable, and if so, which 3G and LTE bands does it support? I think the answer to this question matters quite a bit, as most people who buy the phone are going to keep if for something on the order of two years, and all the UK networks will be offering LTE within six months.

    Most manufacturers high end phones last year were sold in the UK in both 3G only variants, and also 4G variants that also supported LTE. (Some of the 4G variants support fewer 3G bands than the 3G only version of the same phone). This year, my assumption is that manufacturers are mostly going to be selling the 4G variants of their high end phones in the UK. Confirmation that this is so for the HTC One would be a useful thing to get from a review.

    1. thomas k.

      here you go

      HSPA/WCDMA:

      Europe/Asia: 850/900/1900/2100 MHz

      GSM/GPRS/EDGE:

      850/900/1800/1900 MHz

      LTE:

      EU: 800/1800/2600 MHz

      US (AT&T): 700/850/AWS/1900 MHz

      US (TMO): 700/AWS MHz

      US (Sprint): 1900 MHz

      Asia: 1800/2600 Mhz

      1. Rob Davis

        Re: here you go

        Thanks thomas k. for the specs - shame the reviewer didnt mention / discuss them. Instead they went on about pixel density, speakers, design. No good if you need to get on the internet and have a high speed internet connection. Thanks for doing what they should have done.

    2. Rob Davis

      +1 upvote. This to me is a crucial feature of a phone, a communications device that is used for mobile internet which the review neglected. Don't give a t*ss about pixel density, speakers or ui or quad core - none any good if the network is crap - can't download that content to view on such nice hardware.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    On my final note

    the fact the HTC has caved in to Microsoft may not matter to you, but it does to me. For the moment my phone is a Samsung Galaxy because in my opinion Microsoft is rich enough even without my money.

    1. Daleos

      Re: On my final note

      Which is exactly why I won't be buying Samsung. They've got way too much of the smartphone pie to be healthy for the rest of the business.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    >"the blind or terminally dim"

    aka "patent lawyers".

  41. asdf Silver badge
    FAIL

    HTC is still around?

    After being forced to use my current turd of a phone that is the Thunderbolt for the last few years all I can say is never again. HTC seems to finally have gotten its shit straight but the last couple of years of epic fail probably means it doesn't matter long term.

  42. TEQ

    Are you seriously suggesting that the camera is better than the Nokia Pureview 808?

    1. Piro

      It's not, we know it's not

      Enough said. Pureview 808 has the best camera of any phone, this is well known.

    2. Lutin

      No I think he's saying that the 808 isn't considered a smartphone.

      Which sounds about right to me.

      1. Davidoff
        FAIL

        The 808 isn't considered a smartphone.

        Of course the Nokia PV 808 is a smartphone. Just because it's not running Android or iOS doesn't make it less of a smartphone.

        Saying a 808 not a smartphone just shows off your ignorance.

  43. JeffDenver
    FAIL

    No SD? No upgradable battery?

    It is like eating a perfectly cooked steak that someone dropped on the floor. Yes, the phone looks great and otherwise has nice specs, but clipping options (especially major ones like these) ruins the experience for me.

  44. Mick Stranahan
    Happy

    Battery

    If I think I'll need more power I just carry my 5,000mAh juice pack with me. It's a more flexible answer to the problem than carrying a spare battery and gives me an extra two charges rather than just one. That and USB-host pretty much negates the absence of a removable battery or micro SD card slot.

  45. Long Fei
    FAIL

    Agree

    It really doesn't matter about the features for me if the battery isn't removable and there's no expansion slot. Double fail.

  46. Jan Hargreaves

    Beats? No thanks. I don't need all the levels pre-f*cked for me. I guess I would like it if I listened to R'n'B/Pop.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Beats

      you can turn it off in the Settings menu if it offends

      1. MikeyD85

        Re: Beats

        If? :P

  47. Paul 135

    obscure button arrangement

    The obscure button arrangement used here really makes me doubt HTC's competence when it comes to user experience (never used Sense so I don't know). Apart from the SD/battery issue, why ruin what could be a near perfect phone with such unnecessary idiocy?

    As it stands, I think Xperia ZL looks better.

  48. McVirtual
    Thumb Up

    Wowzer!

    I think this hits the nail on the head. I can't recall the last time I needed a spare battery, I'm alway in proximity to a USB port on my laptop for a quick top up.

    Extra memory??! Pah!... 64GB is more than enough and with USB On-the-Go I can stick all my movies on a tiny USB stick - As I do today with my Nexus 7

    Slick, cool and generally EPIC looking, and that's not just me the phone ticks those boxes too ;)

  49. Joe 48

    So no iPhone users on here then?

    Guessing due to all the negative comments for no SD or swappable battery that no one has an iPhone.

    Never seen so many comments about the lack of those two features. Get over it and buy a phone that suits your needs that rather than comment in here about one that obviously doesn't.

  50. Peter Townsend
    WTF?

    Luddites

    All this harping about removable batteries and micro SDs reminds me of a friend of my father who constantly bemoaned the loss of the starting handle in modern cars.

    Battery - as other posters have suggested, by a 5000mAh + power-pack. It's more flexible and stores more power than a second battery and is easier to recharge.

    SD card - for those for whom 64GB - OK, say 58GB after system - truly is not enough a USB stick and a micro USB - USB adapter is surely a better option if you really must have access to a huge video/music library.

    As for back-up. My pictures sync to DropBox and Picasa/Google+, my music is all uploaded to Google Music though I do do carry a few dozen key albums on local storage (original files all on NAS), my books are all in DropBpox (for Fabrik), Kindle or Google Books, docs all in Google Drive, notes in Google Keep,

    Any random documents not in Drive are in a DropBox folder.

    If I drop/drown/loose my phone there's nothing on it I can't replace from my home storage in seconds (the few music albums and a couple of movies for when I forget the USB stick) or that isn't already in the cloud (everything else).

    If you don't "trust" the cloud, why the hell have you bought an Android/Google smartphone to begin with?

    I'd have more time for the "must have a removable battery / SD card" crew if any one of them proffered a solid reason for those features that can't be better accomplished by another means.

    In short, see title.

    1. Greg D
      WTF?

      Re: Luddites

      Yes well, you obviously don't use your phone on a moving vehicle, such as a train, if you are saying Dropbox (or equivalent) is acceptable as a replacement in such situations. Flapping signal = waste of time, and I'm not paying for the shockingly poor in-train WiFi. It's not just train travel either - pretty much anywhere inside buildings, rural areas, built-up areas with too many people (most of London)... etc.

      I would even say this: To say online storage is an acceptable replacement for removable/expandable local storage is utter bollocks, especially so in the mobile world.

      I understand your other arguments, but answer me this: why remove this functionality in the first place? It may not inconvenience people like you but it pisses me the fuck off. I dont want to carry around cumbersome USB sticks and adapters when I can just have a couple of tiny microSD's in my pocket!

      So in answer to your statement "I'd have more time for the "must have a removable battery / SD card" crew if any one of them proffered a solid reason for those features that can't be better accomplished by another means." I say this: The alternatives are not good enough. MicroSD works, it's convenient, fast, reliable and portable. There is NO reason to ditch it.

    2. Piro

      Re: Luddites

      Why not have them? Why exclude them as options for no reason?

      Clearly it's working for Samsung, the Galaxy line of phones are without a doubt the most popular android handsets, they have them, they're highly regarded.

      It's not an aesthetic reason, that's for sure, because you need a port for the SIM anyway. My phone has the micro SD and micro SIM under the same, tiny door that you pop open with a pin (not totally convenient, but if you're worrying about clean lines, it doesn't get better than that).

    3. Rob Davis

      Re: Luddites

      Cloud is *a* useful place to hold files, as is SD. Neither should be the sole place, they compliment each other. Remember a golden rule about backups: multiple ones. Also bear in mind a recent google drive outage which illustrates it's not infallible.

      Also consider *connectivity* - can you get a decent reception / signal AND at speed to connect effectively to the cloud in the first place? The review mentioned none of these vital facts.

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wot no plastic?

    If I'm paying top dollar for a phone, I want it to be plastic dammit!

    Shamsungs life companions have soul because they're plastic!

  52. Smittey

    Not having an SD card - problem?

    I've read a lot of responses to this article smiting down this amazing bit of kit saying that the absence of an SD card slot is a deal breaker. With the introduction of cloud services and general online storage (let alone the 25GB internal storage that my HTC One X has), does it really matter?

    There are tonnes of websites like Dropbox in which I acquired 25GB of free storage, MEGA in which you get 50GB free storage, and no doubt many more! Most of these services allow an automatic upload of your phones content (such as photos and videos) to your online account, meaning you don't need to worry about a little card that can get lost or vacuumed up by accident (speaking from personal experience). For those of you who use your phone to watch videos on and have seen that the phones storage is quickly eaten up by a few seasons of Breaking Bad, services like DropBox allow you to stream directly from your account.

    Please not that I'm saying this fully knowing that not everybody has unlimited data allowance, so I can understand why some would like the SD card feature. Yes, an SD card slot IS handy. I'm not saying that it isn't , but if you manage your phones storage well, click a few things here and there to set automatic uploads, then you won't have much of a problem. I sure haven't, and I've had mine for almost a year.

    1. Greg D
      Stop

      Re: Not having an SD card - problem?

      You're missing the point. Mobile signal flaps like a bitch unless you're standing right under the goddam masts. It is simply NOT reliable or fast enough (most of the time) to work as well as a local microSD card.

      How can you even conceive that online storage is a good replacement!? Backup, yes. Replacement, not even close. It's not even about the data allowances that are the problem! (I have unlimited). Maybe when the technology for wireless data transmission becomes more reliable, faster, and able to cope with even the current demand, MAYBE I will agree with you then. Currently I can't even load Simpsons Tapped Out without waiting ages for a connection or going through a couple of "connection lost" messages!! (uninstalled that game btw, EA are greedy fuckers).

      Until then, microSD please or I'm not giving you any of my money.

      To re-iterate. Online/cloud storage is shit for mobile. Good for backups and the odd casual file, but for instant access and/or streaming on a mobile device, you can forget it.

  53. Rob Davis
    Stop

    No mention in the review about 4G, LTE higher speed internet - the phone supports multi-band LTE

    Nowhere in the review did you mention 4G or LTE capability which would afford the phone faster internet speeds where such networks are available. That's not to say it doesn't. My point is that the this is a glaring omission of the review.

    Looking at the official spec page, the phone does indeed support multi-band LTE, http://www.htc.com/uk/smartphones/htc-one/#specs

    From that I would guess that the phone will run on other operator's networks other than the current EE 4G network?

    To be frank I think the review was largely superficial: screen pixel density, camera, UI, speakers as all of these are criteria that could be review in many non-phone devices. This is supposed to be a review about a *communications* device, a phone (which I must add in the general trend is that used more for data communications than voice, before you think that I'm on about the basic purpose of a phone to call people; I'm not). Therefore, review should have given attention to the various network types that this phone supports and whether or not they would be compatible with Vodafone's, O2's etc 4G higher speed networks when they roll out, as well as trying it out on EE. And whether or not it can use three's enhanced 3G network technologies.

    High speed mobile internet access is patchy in coverage and performance, in the UK anyway, and your review should highlight phones that are compatible with the newest networks that aim to address these issues, as well as keep this issue in the reader's consciousness. It's no good having a phone with a fast quad core processor and fancy features if it is connected to a poor performing network - it might as well be any other non-phone device with those features.

    Also agree with other: no microSD, no removable battery - would be handy to have a spare battery on days of heavy usage. USB OTG useful though.

    1. Al Taylor
      Alert

      Re: No mention in the review about 4G, LTE higher speed internet - the phone supports multi-band LTE

      Hi Rob

      The review device HTC supplied me with was a 3G model but below are the supported bands for 3G and 4G...

      HSPA+ 850/900/1900/2100 MHz

      GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz

      LTE: 800/1800/2600 MHz 50 Mbps UL, 100 Mbps DL

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: No mention in the review about 4G, LTE higher speed internet - the phone supports multi-band LTE

        That would put the LTE modem of the One at a Category 3 (100 dn/50 up).

        As for the bands, the LTE bands tend to be a bit more precise, so perhaps it would be better to know the +/- of the different MHz ranges so as to know which bands they cover. That said, based on what I'm seeing, this spectrum seems to have a European focus with some American accommodation. Interesting they only list three frequencies, as the S4 claims six; it's something to compare against.

  54. PAT MCCLUNG

    Clerk

    Truly, who can care about these ridiculous implements that people carry about with them, paying enormous sums to rapacious companies that supply them with radio "bandwidth" with which they can determine the nearest restaurant, or place to pee?

    I have one, for which I paid $41, which has two sim cards, and a bunch of internet stuff like browsers, email, pictures, text, video, music, and other stuff don't use. Can't you wait till you get home to read your mail? Follow Napoleon's advice, and wait a few days before you open it, by which time unimportant matters will be resolved. All I want is to talk on the phone. My last wireless monthly bill was around $5.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Clerk

      When the kid needs to go and the map's out of date, you start appreciating an always-up-to-date map program that can point you to a bathroom quick. Same for traffic detours and so on; I don't know about you, but I don't intend to wait three hours for an accident to clear up when I could've diverted to surface streets at the last exit. As for the web browsing, it's a one-day sale and you're comparison shopping. By the time you get home, the item may be gone or the sale ended, so a quick snap to the web for some info helps you to make a smart choice on the spot (sorry, Napoleon, no time to go home). A smartphone may not be for you, but for some of us, we find it most handy and are willing to shell out a little more (in my case, $40 a month) for the capability.

  55. Wize

    They almost had me sold.

    I was thinking between the S4 and this phone and the specs look good.

    Till we got to the lack of microSD and non removable battery.

    Think it will be S4 come renewal time.

  56. sorry, what?
    Stop

    One's name is not for searching.

    "This is not the 'droid we're looking for. Move along, move along."

    Anyone else tried to do a quick google to find (pre-order) availability and cost of this device across a bunch of SIM-free mobe sellers? I found that many of the results are for the HTC One X, One X+, One S, One V etc. - yes, it rather depends on just what you search for.

    But my point is that this stupid marketing of a whole set of devices with the same basic name plus suffixed letters and then marketing a device with the same name without a suffix really messes up the ability to locate information specific to that new device. Or at least, that's what I find.

    D'oh!

    1. Joe 48

      Re: One's name is not for searching.

      I must admit having just got my ONE searching for a case to buy is turning into a pain, as it constantly finds the other models like One X One S etc.

  57. John Jennings

    I have the one...X

    I dont need to upgrade this year, but I would recommend the X to anyone. My second HTC phone. I am a heavy phone user, and rarely miss out on with the battery...its a 64gb model - and I cant imagine why you need another sd card... i mean - really need it.

    1. Joe 48

      Re: I have the one...X

      Is it the One X+ or just the One X as a friend has the One X and the battery is next to useless, where as the X+ got a bigger battery?

  58. Davidoff
    WTF?

    This is the best camera ever fitted to an HTC handset

    This may be true, but considering that HTC camera modules have been utter crap this does not say nothing.

    "...and one of the best ever fitted to a mobile phone."

    That may be true if all you know is HTC cameras, but after I could play around with a HTC One yesterday I can honestly say that the camera poses no danger to HTC's reputation of having mediocre cameras. Low light sensitivity is good, although not extraordinary (worse than the Lumia 920 which has an 8.7MPx sensor), but the very low resolution does show. It's no match for a Lumia 920, and definitely no match for phones like the venerable Nokia N8 or the Nokia PV 808.

    It seems the author is a bit too focused on HTC and too little on what else is out there.

  59. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why the HTC One won't sell as well as the S4

    1. No microSD slot

    2. No removable battery

    3. Inferior camera (yes, I have seen the samples)

    4. Annoying quirks of HTC Sense.

    5. Subpar battery life (in theory)

    Not too many people will be persuaded by a more slick chassis and front-facing loud speakers.

    Also, I think Samsung will roll out Android 5.0 (Key Lime Pie) long before HTC does (if at all).

  60. hendersj

    What about /data/data storage?

    I'm soon likely to be looking to upgrade a first generation Droid Incredible, and one of the major shortcomings of that phone is the /data/data storage space is severely limited on the dinc.

    Have HTC dealt with that issue in the HTC one, or am I again going to be receiving mysterious "out of storage space" messages even though the phone has plenty of actual storage (and the problem is the limited /data/data partition)?

  61. chebucto
    Pirate

    It does look like an iPhone 4/5

    The article author's insults aside, it does. I wouldn't go so far as to say it's copying the iPhone - there are clear differences. That doesn't change the fact that it has the looks the same.

    I don't know if it's the width/height proportions, the diametre of the curves on the corners, the straight sides, or what, but it looks like an iPhone 4/5.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It does look like an iPhone 4/5

      " there are clear differences. That doesn't change the fact that it has the looks the same."

      you do realise that that makes no sense whatsoever. If there are clear differences between two things then by definition they cannot look the same.

  62. Paul 87

    Sadly, you lost me at the point where it said "Blink Feed can be moved, but it can't be removed"

    I'm already frustrated with the latest HTC updates for my One X, preventing me from blocking HTC Sense for Facebook, to have yet more privacy invading "smart" technology on my phone, is just frustrating.

  63. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    YEEEAAAHHH! IR REMOTE ONCE AGAIN!

    Finally, modern smartphones catch up with where the older HTCs left off in about 2006, 2007 when everything went 'consumer'.

    Christ, you'd have thought that a simple IRDA link would have been easy enough to add on.

    It also means you've got a simpler to code for, more secure, and more universally acceptable wireless data transfer system than NFC.

    1. illiad

      Re: YEEEAAAHHH! IR REMOTE ONCE AGAIN!

      erm, the galaxy S4 has IR... and a good camera, and you can also use the screen with gloves on...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: YEEEAAAHHH! IR REMOTE ONCE AGAIN!

        I didn't think that was released yet...

        Anyway, it's good to see Sammy is getting back to doing things properly too. Their TV control app was basically useable except for it not letting you actually turn the TV on!

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: YEEEAAAHHH! IR REMOTE ONCE AGAIN!

          Must've gotten positive reviews for the feature on the Galaxy Tabs (I have a 7.0 Plus). It seems to work better than their network-based remote control program (which tends to Force Close on me).

  64. Jimbo in Thailand
    Coat

    Vote with your wallet... I did!

    I have to admit it's nauseating to read a fawning 'review' like this one that attempts to justify missing desirable functionality on a premium priced device when there was/is no good reason for HTC to take that tack. If I didn't know better I would swear that Steve Jobs was back on top of the dirt again, but this time as the Patron 'Saint' of HTC, mesmerizing his new cult. HOW SAD it is to see all the new lemmings buying into this crappola!

    The real issue here is that HTC has deemed it more worthy to save a few pennies of manufacturing costs by leaving off the MicroSD card slot and by welding the battery in place than by putting the customer first. That makes absolutely no sense whatsoever since HTC has, during recent years, lost mass quantities of market share to crApple and Samsung. Anyone with half an ounce of brainiac upstairs would think HTC would do everything possible to gain back some of that market share. Putting off potential/returning customers by removing important features is definitely not the way to achieve that goal.

    Let me say I'm a former HTC phone owner (8525 Hermes/Tytn2) and loved it's great quality and robustness. So when it came time to buy a new phone I looked at HTC first. To put it mildly, I was more than pissed to see them leave off those important features. Instead, I bought a Samsung Galaxy Note 2 and couldn't be more happy. Of course, my N2 has a new 64GB mSD card stuffed with music, audiobooks, and ebooks AND sports a 6500mAh 'fat' battery kit. Try as I might I can't run that 'fat' battery down in less than a week and typically get two weeks of moderate use, and even longer for light use. And I don't need no stinkin' USB thumb drives or external battery packs! I truly feel sorry for all the lemmings who feel like it's acceptable to have to carry around extra peripherals to make up for missing functionality purposefully left out to save a little money.

    Like I said, vote with your wallet if you despise this kind of shit as much as I do.

    <-- Oh yeah... mine's the coat with the loaded Note 2 in the pocket.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Vote with your wallet... I did!

      I've seen a Note 2 with a 6500mAh battery. It looks ridiculous, is thicker than a paving slab and weighs a ton. No thanks. My 32GB One X has all the storage and battery any normal person could want. The 64GB One will likely be my next handset thanks to the superb screen and quality speakers. The One X is my third HTC (Hero, Desire HD) been happy with them all.

      1. Jimbo in Thailand
        Facepalm

        Re: Vote with your wallet... I did!

        AC, you obviously haven't seen, or handled, a Note 2 with a 6500mAh battery or you wouldn't make such blatantly ridiculous comments. My phone is a whopping 6mm thicker than stock, and only along the lower 2/3 of the phone's length. The upper 1/3, where the camera is located, is stock thickness. The Note 2 is large enough that the extra 6mm hardly looks out of place. In fact, the extra thickness actually makes holding the big Note 2 much easier. My N2 is also not significantly heavier than stock. And, no, it's not a freakin' car battery, for Christ's sake.

        To each his own. I just recharged my N2 again last night. As usual, it was the first time in over two weeks. Even though it was down to 4% charge remaining I still had to force the issue to get it fully discharged by turning on BT and Wi-Fi AND playing a looped HD video for over an hour before it finally shut itself off! Now that it's got a full recharge I'll have another 2+ weeks before recharging again. It's all good. Enjoy your HTC.

      2. Piro

        Re: Vote with your wallet... I did!

        Funny thing, I've seen people with their supposedly pretty iPhones, yet are sporting something like Otterbox, so the thing is easily thicker than a paving slab, and looks like a star trek reject prop.

    2. Al Taylor

      Re: Vote with your wallet... I did!

      "that attempts to justify missing desirable functionality."

      I wouldn't say I attempted to justify the absence of a micro SD card slot or a removable battery. I simply stated that to be the case and didn't mark the One down because of it. No review can be wholly objective and removable batteries and SD card slots are simply not deal breakers to me though the latter would be if a device only had 4 or 8MB of storage space.)

      If they are to you, there are plenty of phones on the market that offer both.

      There are all too obvious reasons why HTC decided to follow the route it has, none of which I suspect has anything to do with saving money. I'd be most surprised if the One's aluminium unibody is cheaper to fabricate than the S3's plastic case with its removable battery cover.

      1. Jimbo in Thailand
        FAIL

        Re: Vote with your wallet... I did!

        @Al Taylor - Actually you clearly did "attempted to justify the absence of a microSD card slot or a removable battery." And this statement: "There are all too obvious reasons why HTC decided to follow the route it has, none of which I suspect has anything to do with saving money." OH PUH-LEASE!!! That really shows your ignorance when it comes to manufacturing. Let's talk about the microSD card slot first.

        There can only be two possible reasons for a manufacturer leaving out the ubiquitous microSD card slot:

        1. To SAVE manufacturing costs. It's real easy to understand that manufacturers do everything imaginable to increase their profit margins. Why can't you see that?

        2. To try to force the buyer into using their respective Cloud-based media storage services. Both Microsoft and Google have been playing this same anti-consumer game with their mobile phones and have lost market share to Samsung as a result.

        I would love to hear what you think is a valid reason why a manufacturer, after years of including these ubiquitous memory card slots, suddenly stops the practice.

        OK, on to the 'welded-in' battery issue. It wouldn't matter if manufacturers actually designed their phones around a decent-sized battery as sooner or later that battery is going to require replacing. And unfortunately, with manufacturers vying for the top spot of providing the thinnest phones on the planet the resultant tiny batteries will require daily recharges, or even more frequently. My previous smartphone, a way ahead of its time (2009) ultra-thin Toshiba TG01, featuring a 4 1/8" LCD and 1Ghz CPU was fatally wounded from the gitgo with its miniscule 1000mAh battery that required recharging about every 4 hours. Sadly, an otherwise incredible phone was brought to its knees by an inadequate battery, just for thinnest-mobile-phone-at-the-time bragging rights. At least the battery wasn't 'welded' in.

        OK, 'welded-in' batteries have another major flaw. Frequent recharging has the undesirable effect of reducing the service life of the phone by a huge factor. This is because lithium based batteries only have a lifespan of about 500 recharge cycles. It follows that a phone requiring frequent recharging compared with a phone that requires recharging only once per week, or much longer my case, will suffer a much shorter useable lifespan. And when that tiny little battery finally gives up the ghost the phone either goes into the trash bin or the owner has to incur a huge cost and lost time to ship the phone off for another 'welded-in' battery. Shiny aluminum phone cases, or not, the practice sucks. It's also a severely anti-Green practice. How many more mobile phones will end up in landfills prematurely just because the battery died? The bottom line is there is absolutely NO GOOD REASON for manufacturers to not provide easily replaceable batteries.

        So like I said in my original post, I like HTC phones as I've had great experiences with there 8525 in the past. That said my HTC had a microSD card slot and a removable battery. Sadly HTC will continue to lose market share until or unless they correct this poor marketing/engineering/manufacturing decision. It's also very sad that you and a few others choose to stick your fingers in your ears and sing, "la la la la la la la" when others, such as myself and many other commenters, point out this major failing of HTC. The reality is that the majority of us won't stand for this no mSD card slot and 'welded-in' battery nonsense. And yes, I voted with my wallet.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Vote with your wallet... I did!

          "Google have been playing this same anti-consumer game with their mobile phones and have lost market share to Samsung as a result."

          so Google which makes the Android software has lost market share to the foremost maker of Android hardware?

          That's nonsense on so many levels.

        2. Mick Stranahan
          Thumb Down

          Re: Vote with your wallet... I did!

          "I would love to hear what you think is a valid reason why a manufacturer, after years of including these ubiquitous memory card slots, suddenly stops the practice."

          Because when SD cards were ubiquitous the average Android phone had 512MB of storage, not 32 or 64GB.

          The advantages of MTP over USB mounting shouldn't need explaining so I won't bother.

          Coincidentally I recall the same reviewer giving a really strong write up to your beloved Note 2 a while back....I dunno, maybe he just manages to see the good in different answers to the question "what's the ideal phone?".

  65. krzyzag

    All looks great, another nice device from HTC, but why oh why no removable battery and no card slot? Looks like I'll stay with Sammy for now until HTC will stop following iPhone... ;/

  66. Van
    Paris Hilton

    Yes my lord

    Did the reviewer really just describe a telephone as "classy" ?

  67. Nathan 13
    FAIL

    Shame

    It looks lovely, really lovely, but without a removable battery and SD card slot it wont be seeing the inside of my pocket im afraid.

  68. localzuk

    Everyone is obsessed with SD cards and batteries.

    I've now had smartphones for about 6 years. I used to subscribe to the 'no expansion, no purchase' mindset but I don't now. I just haven't had any need to do either! Swapping internal batteries are a pain whatever the case, as you have to turn off and on. An external battery for £20, can charge my phone in about an hour, and I can do that 3 times between charges of the external battery.

    SD cards? I've got an 8GB card in this phone at the moment. I've never once filled it. I have many hours of music, hundreds of photos, apps, videos etc... Yet I still don't fill it. Why? Because I clear it out and archive my stuff. Just like I would with my camera.

    I for one will be getting one of these to replace my Desire HD.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Everyone is obsessed with SD cards and batteries.

      Have you had your phone undergo a hard freeze? I have, to the point that not even the power button works. That's the main reason I prefer a removable battery: it's a last resort in the event nothing else works--not even a reset button.

  69. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Smartphone die hards, still don't get perfect phone shocker!

  70. Neil Porter
    FAIL

    Lots of rave reviews but in reality it's disappointing

    Had mine a week now and I'm waiting on Vodafone to send me the return bag.

    The build quality, screen and camera are all awesome, yes, but the power and volume buttons are rubbish, I have to look to find them and it's too easy to adjust the volume by mistake during a call.

    The HTC Sync Manager is buggy and crashes or just doesn't work. The bits that do work are poorly documented and only work patchily, such as only transferring half my music files over.

    Lastly, though Android has some cool features, it also has some annoying issues in the email client and the browsers (and I tried Android, Chrome, Opera and Firefox).

    Very disappointed, it's much cheaper than an iPhone with an awesome spec but in terms of everyday usability it's a fail from me. Maybe if Android improves and can provide some kind of quality PC syncing experience that is beyond HTC's developers abilities, maybe I'll try again with whatever is the big thing next year. The HTC Two?

  71. Turgut Kalfaoglu

    Battery power

    Am I the only one that would gladly sacrifice some of this thinness with more battery power?

    It really irks me that my current HTC Sensation would go down a notch on its battery icon before lunch, after an overnight charge? Why do the manifacturers always churn out these paper thin machines with lots power gobbing features, and a flimsy battery?

    1. Piro

      Re: Battery power

      No, it's not just you. Everyone wants a slightly thicker phone with a bigger battery, but the manufacturers constantly claim they're building what people want.

      No, they're not, they're building something that's easy to market vs apple. SUPER THIN!

      I personally bought a Droid RAZR MAXX HD so I could get a giant battery in a still very thin chassis. It boggles the mind other phones don't do the same. Oh, and it has a microSD slot, too.

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