When you are lucky enough to test many Android smartphones you might think that eventually they all start to look alike. You might think this is the case if they are all running the same OS, but it's simply not true. Each company has it's own implementation of the OS. HTC Sense is one of my favorites. Then of course there is the difference in hardware. A phone with inferior hardware will drag. A phone with a low resolution screen will not be so crisp and clear. And some cameras are just not up to par. So when I get a new one, I check out those things first. Of course that is just the beginning.
However, the HTC One S is the first phone that I have tested so far that is running Android 4.0 aka Ice Cream Sandwich. Although at first glance the interface looks the same, as you start using it you notice the difference. When I first unboxed the HTC One S my first reaction was “Ooooh pretty!” because it is. Just by looking at it I would say that it is a close fashion contender to the Droid Razor. It is thin, sleek and has a unique gradient matte finish on the back.
The phone is very snappy and there is no lag time performing functions. The HTC Sense interface is well designed and makes it easy to find everything that you need. It is perfect for those that thing that they might be intimidated by learning to use an Android smartphone.
T-Mobile's 4G network makes browsing the web and checking email very fast. A test with the Speedtest.net app came in at just under 8mb down, and 1mb up. The next test came in at a very nice 10mb down and 1.2mb up.
|Android™ 4.0 (ICS) + HTC Sense™|
|Processor||1.5 GHz Dual Core
|Memory RAM||1 GB DDR2|
|Memory Storage||16 GB onboard storage|
|Display||4.3″ qHD Super AMOLED
960 x 540
|Network||HSPA 42 Mbps|
|Battery||1650 mAh, Embedded|
|Camera||(Main): 8 MP, f/2.0, BSI,
Single LED – Smart Flash, ImageChip
1080p HD Video with Stereo Sound
(Front): VGA (640 x 480)
|Audio||Universal Beats Audio|
|Dimensions||130.9 x 65 x 7.8mm
(8.9 for bump area)
The camera is the fastest camera that I have used on a smartphone. I am not exaggerating. t has almost no lag time at all to grab the next photo. The camera is 8mb, and takes excellent shots. It even has a “Best Shot” feature which is very helpful when snapping multiple shots of the same composition. Pushing that button will save only the best image out of several.
The most impressive feature to me is the continuous shooting. Holding your finger on the camera trigger button will take up to 20 shots in succession in just over 5 seconds (based on my experiment).
- The camera has so many options it is almost like having the Instagram app built in. I also love the ease with which options can be changed.
- The Recent Apps button on the main screen is very useful and brings up a nice swipe screen to let you move between open apps.
- 16gb Storage built-in
- Beautiful screen
- As with many other Android phones, that battery life is not that great.
Overall, this is an AWESOME smartphone. It is among the top of my recommendations list when people ask which smartphones they should be checking out. The phone is fast, attractive, and full of features. The camera does a great job of filling in for a point and shoot. It is definitely a great choice if you are looking for a good Android smartphone. It can be purchased right now for only $99.99 if purchased through the HTC website.
Disclosure: The HTC One S was provided to me on loan from HTC and T-Mobile to do this review.