It's been five whole days since I received my HTC One on T-Mobile, and I'm pleasantly surprised by HTC's end game. The One is a well crafted piece of art that leaves little else to be desired. Build quality bests every Android device on the market. Performance is wonderful thanks to the quad-core CPU. And Sense 5.0 is polished to the point where third-party launchers seem empty without BlinkFeed.

With that said, this phone is far from perfect. Chasing perfection is a bit like chasing your own tail; there's an instant where you get close, but after a while the process just turns into a dizzying frenzy of tweaks, most of which are negligible in the end. I critique each of my smartphones to no avail because everything can be improved. Maybe that's why I tend to root and mod my Android smartphones. But at the end of the day, I feel the HTC One lives up to its hype which is half the battle in this era of super phones.

My initial impressions of Sense 5.0 are very good overall. It's very fluid in and out of BlinkFeed where I'd expect some hang time between updates and category switches. The same goes for the Gallery app which is a mosaic of images and Zoe's that really show you how well the Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 CPU is working behind the scenes. Sense 5.0 is vastly improved over previous iterations. It is lighter (using about 550MB total RAM) which is welcoming for multi-tasking. It is cleaner and simpler as evidenced by the traditional Android home screen.

With that said, Sense 5.0's limitation of nine background processes is unwelcoming seeing how little of the total 2GB of RAM is actually used. Also, the app drawer is finicky in that it sometimes throws you into it after pressing the Home button. The three dot menu bar plague is back and thriving off of third-party apps deeming those 5 centimeters at the bottom of the display useless, and the T-Mobile variant of the One does not allow button modifications, so I'm being forced to rely on the modding community to provide a fix. This issue with Sense 5.0 is getting old and is a clear step backwards considering versions of Sense 4 and up have had the option to use a capacitive button has a menu key. To top it off, the omission of quick toggles in the notification tray has been difficult to ignore considering how often I monitor running apps and my battery status.

Speaking of battery life, I'm interested to hear your initial impressions thus far, fellow readers, because my experience hasn't been the best. Since the phone is so new, I've tried my hardest to write-off the measly 8-10 hours with two hours of screen-on time. But as I'm going on battery cycle number five, I'd by lying if I said I wasn't starting to get annoyed. Some research via the hacker's black hole of the Internet (XDA and Rootzwiki) has yielded a few interesting tidbits of information regarding battery life related to wakelock issues, and I've downloaded BetterBatteryStats by Sven Knispel from the Google Play Store to dive deeper into what's draining my battery.

At the time of this writing, T-Mobile's Carrier IQ is wakelocking my One, and sapping 7 percent of battery per hour with the screen off. Google Play Services is also draining it at a rate of 4 percent per hour. I have disabled all T-Mobile apps in the running programs log as a precaution. Overall, I'm a bit disappointed by the battery life of the One, but I can't blame it entirely on Sense 5.0. The 4.7-inch 1080p panel is so clear and vivid it makes everything in the real world seem dull, and it just so happens smartphone displays are the biggest battery drainers. 

Continuing with the hardware discussion, the chamfered edges and matte aluminum finish exude a sense of quality previously absent from the current portfolio of Android smartphones, and I'm convinced by the One's timeless design. But as you'd expect, the aluminum back is prone to scuffs quite easily. I have been able to buff out the light hazing that has seemingly shown up out of nowhere, but I've decided to go with an XtremeGuard clear back protector seeing that I do not want to use a case all the time. 

Onto the marketed features - The UltraPixel camera has lived up to its hype in both day and night settings. In the day, images have a tendency to get soft, but after tapping to focus, I have no complaints of the result. In the gallery, colors are a bit saturated, but not overdone. And at night time, the camera really runs away from the competition. BoomSound has made streaming media a joy to endure with a stereo effect that makes me wonder how I've dealt with anything else for this long. To say two speakers on the front of a smartphone is not necessary is something you shouldn't even consider until you've tried it.

And that's enough from me. It might seem like I have done more nitpicking than what's really required, and that the HTC One is nearly faultless, but initial impressions can always change.

So, what do you think of the HTC One thus far? Hit the comments below!

Image via Pocket-lint.

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87 Reactions to this post

"Hey, HTC One owners! Is there anything you would change about the One?"

Please limit your reaction to 140 characters or use comments for a longer reply :)
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Desmond Crouthers I have mine in an otter box it keeps it safe and when I need to show people I take it out. But the HTC case is also pretty good double deep
Rindy Croix please review on case/cover.. still considering to put it or not
Desmond Crouthers I love my phone maybe they can make a bigger screen like note 2 but even with the size of screen it's still a great phone. The 1080p is nice overall this phone gets a score of 10 it's a fine phone
Jared Johnson The One is the best phone I have owned. My last phone, the GSIII was great, but the One is better all around. There are some quirks with the gallery and sharing photos that could be fixed. (mentioned above) Even my iphone 5 friends are feeling a little left behind. :-)
John C. Cole I'm wondering if the successor to the One might be called the "Two," or if they will simply make the name even shorter, like the "O".
Danny Chavez It should have a bigger battery due to the crappy battery life (compared to my Note II), no removable battery, no expandable storage, at least a 5.0 in screen, it should have an S pen (it's so useful to me), it should allow you to remove Blinkfeed, and the button placement is awkward. Don't hate on my comment. It's my perspective from being a Note II owner.
Demetria Brown @khari lane you can crop and share pics. What r u talking about?
Daniel Rodriguez Ipone is dead
Erdem Cubukcu Number one htc oneeeeeeeee...
Adylle Allen Sense 5.0 n 2 soft key buttons
Humza Ahmed I would change....Nothing. Everything's perfect, including battery life.
Tyler Hell This phone is way better than the galaxy s4! I've played around with both. This phone is just amazing.
Ken Rowe If I ever gave up my Lumia 920, THIS is the phone I would own.
Lane Mengon make it WP8!!!
Jonathan Persson The only Android device I would consider buying
Khari Lane In the gallery, u can't share to any application or crop pics like u can in the galaxy s series. And if you have your Facebook account connected, you can't keep your friends photos out of your gallery. It's all so annoying.
Milton Gfl Williams Add a sd card slot
Travis Robinson I hope Verizon gets it if not I'm going international HTC one.
Hassan Taha I really admire Bhza the shaking Page really nice
Matthew Elder I dunno if they care haha Jake Parker
Jake Parker Matt Matthew Elder. I'm shutting all these dickheads up
Cj Espiritu I would turn it to touchwiz nature ud
Brian Moore To be honest, the button placement on the power and the volume kind of irritate me, I end up hitting the volume when trying to lock the phone because I'm right handed. Aside from that, it's the best phone I've ever used.
Joey Cheng Federer Beautiful and powerful
Matthew Elder Really Jake Parker? Really
Jake Parker It doesn't matter so much about the sensor in these small ass cameras. Sure a good quality Sony one would help. But it comes a lot down to software. They don't have any room to work with when it comes to the hardware of the camera.
Jeffrey Wainscott LTE signal seems much weaker than my Note 2 on the same network, by 20 dBm. Anyone else notice this?
Dave Gray SD support, but I had to think hard to find even a semi required item for this awesome phone! HTC need to advertise more!
Matthew Gonzales Landry Turn it into an iPhone.
Daniel Rodriguez For instance tweaking the battery so it last 40% longer .
Daniel Rodriguez Ed I'm enhancing the same Rom not changing it there is a difference. The software stays the same but with added tweaks to the operating system.
Ed Plnia I don't understand why I will buy any phone to change the system software for any other Rom! What's the point of buying any phone? If you don't like the software I think that you should not buy the phone. I wouldn't pay not even $199.99 for any phone that I'm not happy the way it was build
William Smith All these great reviews of this phone and do many complaints! My note 2 is better no complaints here! :-)
Daniel Rodriguez Brian weak . Really ....have you tried the htc one
Daniel Rodriguez Naveen you are absolutely right. Wait until I put out a custom Rom it will be even better .
Brian Jones weak phone compared to the S4
Emmanuel Ramos HTC one the best... HTC = quality. I have from day 1... I dont change anything... The HTC camera just amazing... Now I share pictures good low light pics and amazing real color regular light pictures that I can't whit other smartphones...
Naveen Bhatia if you have a 64gb version the sd becomes a useless feature, just my opinion.
Kris Sabo I love my one
Daniel Rodriguez Also people just because it has a 4 ultra pixel camera and s4 a 13 mega pixel doesn't mean s4. Is better . It's the sensor that makes the camera. I spent time with the s4 and it feels that Samsung rushed the device with it's gimmicky air view and eye scrolling . It lags too much and is not consistent. HTC really took their time with this device and put special care in making everything right. Who cares that you can't take the battery out and does not have a sd card. 32gb on board storage is more than enough. Aaron from phone dog gave these two devices a tie. He is correct in that statement . It ultimately will be your decision on which you prefer. I own both and use the htc more than s4. Hope this helps in your decision.....oh yeah I should have a Rom out soon on xda..to improve battery life as well as speed tweaks.
Marek Kora menu buttom, going back from menu, settings EASIER WAY, able to change wallpaper on lockscreen, settings shortcuts on notifications panel, and wake up buttom..
Daniel Rodriguez Compared to s4 this is overall a great device. Don't get me wrong s4 is a nice device but really not that much different from s3. HTC is beautiful feels like a 500$ phone. It's quick it's screen is amazing the sound is outstanding and clarity is crisp. Being a developer of roms, this will be a pleasure to cook roms for. HTC gets an a+ on this device.
Eric Keith That there isn't one in my pocket...
Yahya Ghanem yes, htc makes their phones better throughout the year. Samsung upgrades their plastic after a year.
Jacob Parson this is a awesome website.
Jacob Gainger has anyone tried texting when the phone is flat on its back? I would change the case to a flat back.
Sergio Rubio Get rid of sense ui
Mark Belkowski Your joking right? The one has the best build quality out there.
Jason Vargas Come out in black already!!!!
Dan Bittner 4.2.2 and bigger battery but that's it I love it
Vicki Figueroa It needs a removable battery & expandable memory
Kris Sabo Sd card and batteryaccess is all
Vivek Jadhav Yeah ! The facebook Home
Demetria Brown I could do without blinkfeed. And I would've liked a removable battery. Other than that it's a solid phone.
Matt Ellis Removing my friends facebook pics from my gallery and stop being so restrictive with the size of the widgets!
Lanh Nguyen haven't had any issues on mine.
Lanh Nguyen I would have liked to have had a dedicated recent apps button. Also some of the things that stock android does really well sense made it a little bit less intuitive.
Jamie Crane Htc one is excellent phone best phone I've had ever by a big margin one thing I would change is android version to 4.2.2
Dayo S. Apata I love the phone, but the popping sound on the speaker when speaking on the phone is annoying. With music it's great just when making phone calls.
Anthony Zarsky Battery percentage indicator, different fonts for text
William Plotner Plus the headphone amp is second to none.
Dan Vesh I went through 3 devices before returning it all together, and it's a well documented issue on XDA frums
Abram Wenevermet Dennis Htc is trash. .
William Plotner You must have a defective phone. The speakers on mine are fantastic.
Tuan Do That will be HTC Two
Joernie Berrios Removable Battery!
Erek IamUpzkale McKay i moved my blink feed all the way to the left and use the traditional home screen. i love the phone but i hate they pumped the camera up so much and the filters suck and then they leave off the physical camera button other than that i love the phone
Eric Mitchell I agree w/ ya. Once you own an HTC flagship device, you're already outdated within a few months when another HTC flagship gets released.
Arxi Kay Saw this at my local best buy, it's interface is quite reminiscent of the WP8, i will say though, it's kind of more extensive. To some, I see how that's very applicable, but to someone who just want to see the highlights in a simple layout and 'cornered', the Lumia 920 serves me well. I will say HTC's effort shows in that device! ...and that ends my rant
Steve C Trevino put it on Verizon Wireless 0___0
Kevin Joel I will second you on that Larry Walters. WP8 got style... rocking the 920 right now....
Nole Lazaroff HTC has way too many hardware problems lately,I simply don't trust them anymore.
Mark Belkowski Just put 4.2.2 on it.
Kevin Joel DELETE LOGO from center bottom, or make it a HOME BUTTON
Larry Waters If it comes out in WP8, I may look at it. Considering my last HTC phone experience consisted of 2 phones bad out of the box and 2 having to be replaced within 3 months, HTC shouldn't hold their breath waiting on my purchase.
Mark Greentree Nope, apart from not selling it to dick heads
Martin Láwliet Amuesi Nope. Not as long as I can root.
Jolly Macwan Get rid of blink feed
George Deleija Ehhh ... knowing HTC just wait for the revision in a few months the HTC One+ lol
Beto Santana Blinkfeed
Bryan Pizzuti Bigger screen, SD slot, third button.
Arturo Atherly completely DIFFERENT from what U all want me to believe!!!!! I got a nexus 4 and will be purchasing the S4 if ITS worth the money and HTC can go eat a D#$K....thats it!!!
Gary Daniel Petty BUILD QUALITY
Garret Byrne Be able to lock the bootloader easily without the hassle I'm going through now, lol
Eric Hook I would make Blinkfeed able to be stopped, able to be moved to the center screen, have the ability to have 7 screens. And the gallery. Simplify it...photos, videos, etc. Not all photos that includes videos. Don't get me wrong it is an AWESOME phone. Better than the Note II and S3 and iPhone 3 other high rated ones. And equal or better to the S4
Fonzy Paniagua Vanilla Android
Dan Vesh The speakers are crap.. constantly popping during and after audio, crackling and the Beats audio EQ is all over the place

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