I've had the HTC One X for going on three weeks now. I bought it on launch day, May 6, and have been using it as my primary device ever since. It has become my go-to device for streaming Spotify, texting, browsing the Web, tweeting, etc. Most surprisingly, it has become my preferred device for taking pictures, ousting even the iPhone 4S. (The camera on the One X isn't necessarily better than the iPhone shooter, but it's good enough in most situations that I don't bother reaching in my pocket for the iPhone and just use the One X instead.)
When I bought it, I knew it would be a great device. However, I had one major concern: the locked bootloader.
Last year, HTC started providing a bootloader unlock tool for their devices so developers could develop and consumers could enjoy the pleasures of simple hacks and mods at the expense of their device warranty. It was easy to assume every HTC Android device moving forward would come with the ability to be unlocked.
Just days prior to the One X launch on AT&T, however, Paul O'Brien of MoDaCo revealed that the bootloader unlock tool provided by HTC did not work for his device. When using the tool, the unlock process would fail and give ”MID Not Allowed” as the error reason. At first, he figured it didn't work with his due to it being a pre-release unit. But when people's pre-orders started arriving on the Friday before the official launch, we all learned a sad truth: the HTC One X has a locked bootloader and the unlock tool will not work. MoDaCo reached out to HTC on the matter and HTC's response read:
"HTC is committed to listening to users and delivering customer satisfaction. Since announcing our commitment to unlockable bootloaders, HTC has worked to enable our customers to unlock the bootloader on more than 45 devices over the past six months. In some cases, however, restrictions prevent certain devices from participating in our bootloader unlocking program. Rest assured, HTC is committed to assisting developers in unlocking bootloaders for HTC devices and we'll continue to unlock additional devices in the future."
Basically, it's a nice way of saying they will not provide an unlock for the AT&T One X. (I'm guessing we can thank AT&T for that.)
Like many phones of past, though, I was afraid the locked bootloader would effectively kill this device for me. A similar story is one of the DROID X. I loved that phone when it first came out, yet its locked bootloader made it nearly unbearable. Over time, I came to despise the stock software and could not flash an AOSP ROM to get rid of Motorola's monstrosity, better known as MOTOBLUR. Essentially, with a locked bootloader, flashing truly customized ROMs (read: non-MOTOBLUR, non-Sense or AOSP-based ROMs) is impossible – or at least very difficult.
Seeing as I have never been very fond of Sense UI, this news was a bit unsettling. Between lag, bugs and glitches, a cluttered interface and excessive animations, I found Sense UI to only good for mucking up the Android experience. It was overbearing and simply aggravating to use.
As I explained before, though, Sense 4 is a totally different story. It has actually been quite a pleasure to use. It's smooth, polished and a perfect balance of a unique HTC touch with Ice Cream Sandwich design. And, even after two and a half weeks and a super easy, one-click root method, I have yet to even want to root the One X, much less try a different ROM or get rid of Sense altogether.
I have always been an Android purist – I prefer stock Android over anything – and I'm normally a modding junkie. I love staying up late, perusing forums for different tweaks and mods for my devices. But, as strange as it may be, I want to continue using the One X exactly as it was intended to be used. I'm perfectly content with the out-of-the-box experience. I have no urge to root, mod or alter the software on the One X in any way.
For what it's worth, that may change with time. I usually try to see just how long I can stand stock software on a device before I cave. I lasted several months before wanting to root the Galaxy Nexus. Generally, though, with Sense devices, I only last a couple days before losing my mind. Sense 4 may eventually wear me down. And, if developers actually crack the bootloader and the CyanogenMod team picks up the LTE One X, I may just have to try out some CM9 on HTC hardware.
But, for now, my One X is unrooted and purely stock Sense 4. And ... oddly enough, I'm okay with that.