Featured user review HTC One 9-30-13

The PhoneDog
Mascot from Charleston, SC
Published: September 30, 2013

Scorching the competition for another week on the Official Smartphone Rankings, the HTC One took the #1 billing by over 345 votes.  How long can this great smartphone keep this up?  Check out a new featured user review by PhoneDog fan Mitch Toland below.

"Step aside Samsung and Apple, HTC is back to remind you what innovation really looks like."  By MITCH TOLAND on September 27, 2013

Display: The display on the One is unlike any other smartphone in my opinion. Everything is crisp and detailed and colors are accurate. Watching hd videos on YouTube is, to put it simply, awesome. Best in the business.

Speakers: What can I say besides, they're awesome. These are the best speakers on any smart phone to date, at least that I know of. I enjoy the extra little bass beats brings to the table and these speakers make video watching even more pleasurable. Music is also loud, sounds full, and clear. 

Design/Form Factor: Once again, I believe this is the best design in the business and that includes Apple's iPhone. I am a fan of the iPhone and Apple but the rounded back and full metal body of the One set it apart. It rests comfortably in the hand and can still be used with a single hand without discomfort. The phone is absolutely gorgeous and draws attention when not in a case, which for me is almost all the time. It may be may be heftier than the iPhone and other prominent Android devices, but for what you gain in display, and sound from the dual front facing stereo speakers, it's worth it. It feels slim and great to the touch. I would argue it's the best design ever for a phone.

Battery: Here is where the One comes back to the pack. Battery life on the One is sufficient in that I can get a full work day out of it, but I often find myself charging when I get home. I'm a pretty heavy user so I suppose this is not a negative, and I understand that a bigger battery would in most cases mean a larger phone. I'd rather have the slim feel of the One than a bulkier handset.

Software: At first I was extremely skeptical of Sense, as I did not love it on my HTC EVO 4G back in the day, and have since had great experiences with the Nexus line. However, with that said, I have found Sense 5.0 to be an absolute joy to use. The additions such as Blinkfeed, Zoe, and Video Highlights are fantastic. I use all three daily and can't imagine using a phone without them now. Sense has been toned down and once you remove the traditional clock and weather widget you almost forget it's there at times. With my experience with the Galaxy Note 2 I came to hate Touchwiz and eventually just used a launcher to completely replace it. The OS seemed clunky and contained many features that were not useful to me, but may be to others. Overall, as I stated earlier, Sense contains features that I find useful and use daily. There are some quirks, removing and adding icons from the bottom tray being one of them, but they do not diminish the experience.

Camera: My experience with the camera has been quite positive. I don't use my phone as a camera to take photos I plan to have printed out so the loss of detail there doesn't change my opinion of the camera. It performs admirably in low light situations, better than most phones I have tried. Day time photos are clear and produce accurate colors. There are times when a lack of detail is certainly noticeable, however, for the average user sharing to Instagram, Flickr, and Facebook, this camera is more than adequate. I have taken some very high quality shots with it and I find the macro mode constantly produces very nice shots. A huge plus for the camera is the software HTC has included that allows you to manipulate the settings to produce better photos. Also included, is the Zoe feature which most are familiar with now, as well as the Highlights feature. I love having these features and use them often for shots of my nephew and then share the video with family and online. Again, these are features that may mean nothing to most, but I find them extremely useful. There are smartphones available that take more detailed photos, especially in well-lit situations but for my needs this camera is perfect when you combine its pure capabilities with the camera software included.

Overall, there is not a phone out currently that I would want to trade my HTC One for, including the new iPhone 5S and it's fancy fingerprint sensor (I remember that feature on an Android phone a few years back, but I digress). HTC hit the ball out of the park with this device and it's truly a shame they have done such a poor job marketing it and getting it into the hands of consumers. The delay with Verizon certainly didn't help. I certainly hope HTC will continue to produce high quality devices such as the One and I see a brighter future ahead if they do. 

I enjoy trying new mobile tech and have found I enjoy Android the most but do not hate the others. There are things I enjoy about iOS and Windows Phones.

To give you an idea of the phones I have used over the years here's a short list:

1) Apple iPhone 3G - eventually jailbroke
2) HTC Evo 4G - First android phone and rooted after less than a year.
3) Apple iPhone 4 
4) Galaxy Nexus 
5) Galaxy Note 2 
6) iPhone 4S - jailbroke
7) Samsung Galaxy S3 
7) LG Windows (borrowed from a friend when my phone broke, don't even remember what the phone was called)
8) HTC One

Display 5/5
Battery Life 4/5
Apps & Media Support 5/5
Reception & Call Quality 4/5
Design/Form Factor 5/5

Overall 4.6

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