After iPhone: Two months after the switch, this is what I think of the HTC OneAnna Scantlin - Contributing Editor
When you get a new phone it's easy to get caught up in all of the new and different things about it. A great new display, a new design, the device is speedier, etc. Really, when you decided to get a new phone it was likely because you were so bored or so fed up with your previous one that you were looking to change to something - anything - aside from the one that you had. Although I enjoyed my time with my Apple iPhone 4S for the most part, towards the end I was getting antsy to try something different. Did I want to go with another iPhone, or should I switch to something different? Should I go with Windows Phone, BlackBerry or Android? No matter what I ended up choosing, you can bet that after just a couple of days with the device that I would have likely sang praises about how much better any device was from my last daily driver.
But the real question is, how well does the device do after everything sinks in and you get used to how it works, after everything becomes normal and there's not much left to discover? It's been two months now since I decided to make the switch from iOS back to Android. After nearly two years since owning my last Android device, I was intrigued to see how Android aged. Did it get better, or did it still have the same, clunky software that I remember using? One of the main reasons I stuck with my iPhone 4S after switching was because I found the UI to be smoother and more reliable than Android at the time, but nearly two years is a long, long time in the tech world. I left Android with a somewhat bad taste in my mouth about it, so it only seemed fair to give it another shot now that time has passed.
Although I initially decided to go with the Samsung Galaxy S4, I ended up trading it in for the HTC One. Although the software on the S4 was fine, the 5-inch screen size and the design of the device was too much for me to handle comfortably. My hand cramped after extended use and the button placement was not exactly convenient for watching movies and videos, which I do quite often. While the HTC One isn't much smaller at 4.7-inches, it combined with the design of the phone somehow made a big difference to me. This device was definitely the one for me.
Spending a lot of time with a phone is similar to spending a lot of time with a person. You get your intial impression, and you have to bank on your initial judgment on whether this person is worth spending your time with. As I'm sure many of us have experienced in life, just because your initial judgment of a person seemed good doesn't always mean it pans out in your favor in the end. Sometimes you find out that a person wasn't who you thought they were; likewise, sometimes they can blossom into beautiful friendships that last forever. Same goes for phones. Sometimes your phone turns out to be a temperamental jerk after you start actually using the device, and sometimes it remains a sturdy companion. When it comes to the HTC One, for the most part, it's been a sturdy companion.
After two months of use, the phone is still blazing fast. Even after loading music, recording videos and taking photos, and downloading various applications the HTC One still manages to pull through with impressive speeds every time. To put it into perspective, I only have 9GB of space left out of 32GB (which brings me back to my theory that even though you don't think you need that much space, you'll probably end up using it anyway). I also have yet to experience a single force close, which was a problem that riddled Androids of my past. I expected space to fill up fast with Zoe, given that it's my favorite shooting mode and I'm really bad at remembering to delete things. So as expected, my gallery is insanely littered with a bunch of photos that I never intend to use. Regardless, the One still manages to pull them up within a second of selecting the gallery that I want to view.
However, among all the good things about the One that I love, I do have one major problem that I notice gets worse as time passes: my camera is having some major issues lately. The quality of the images during the daytime are pretty normal, but especially during the nighttime, I have noticed that my camera has developed a strange purple tint that cannot be remedied. No matter how many settings I change within the camera, the purple filter is always there. If you put the camera flat against a black surface, the screen is not black - it's a bright purple. The result of this is that it looks like my camera is on constant Instagram mode, which isn't something I want. It only seems to get worse as time passes. For a long time, it seemed that other people who were having this same problem had no idea how or why this happened. There was no fix. HTC also failed to acknowledge it was a problem. However, just today HTC did (thankfully) acknowledge that it is an issue, and they're allegedly working on a fix for it for the Android 4.3 update.
Aside from the camera issue, when it comes to the One, I am extremely impressed with how far Android has come and how well HTC put together this device. The battery has yet to die on me completely within a normal day's worth of use (which, keep in mind, varies from person to person - for me it's around 12-13 hours before I get the 14% battery life left notification) and the BoomSound speakers always remind me how nice it is to have a phone with great speakers. I personally never finish my BlinkFeed page, but I could see how some people might enjoy that feature of the device. I do wish there was a way to disable it completely though, because for me it's just wasted space.
Readers, how have your experiences with your phones been after you get past that "honeymoon" phase? What phones have you continued to love? Have you ever purchased a phone that you wish you hadn't? Let us know your stories in the comments below!