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HTC One X Review

By Simon Thomas on 02nd April 2012

3G Total Score Get phone arrow

Pros: An intelligent UI, easy to customise, a visually pleasing screen with a good display size and a top notch camera

There really isn’t anything bad to say about this phone


Verdict: The HTC One X is a powerhouse, supported by the quad-core processor and coupled with a top notch camera and a sharp, clear display with excellent colour reproduction.

Full Review and Specification for the HTC One X

It was an exciting moment when the HTC One X arrived, as this is not only the first quad-core mobile we’ve seen, it is the first to make it to market as well. It’s also the leading product in HTC’s lengthy portfolio. Bursting with features, the handset it retains a svelte and desirable shape. It might be early but it is already possible that this will be our Phone of the Year.


First impressions


Straight out the box it looks like most HTC phones. The display, made of tough Gorilla Glass, takes up nearly all of the phone’s front. With its rounded edges, this is a good looking phone.


Slim to hold it might be, at just 8.9mm, but this is still a large phone in width and height. It has to be to accommodate the 4.7-inch screen and its worth sacrificing the size for, as this is as good as the HTC Titan and Sensation XL. If we’d had smaller hands we might have preferred something like the HTC One S, but we had no problem holding this one handed.


The One X has a unibody shell. This looks tough, and it is. The battery can’t be accessed by opening it. To get the SIM card out you just jab a slot with a paper clip, in much the same way as you do on an iPhone. While the handset lacks a microSD card slot, this is made up for by the 32GB of internal storage. You also get 25GB of free storage space online through DropBox. The power button, and a 3.5mm jack, are located on the top of the handset, while volum and a Micro USB port are on the sides.


The back of the One X has a soft-touch surface. We found on the Sony Xperia S this marked up pretty quickly. We were pleased to find that wasn’t the case on the One X – it seems much more resistant to scuffs. The camera lens can’t be missed. It juts out a few millimetres from the middle of the phone. We wondered if this would be annoying, when in a pocket and pressed against a thigh. But actually, we never noticed.




At the heart of the One X is a powerful, throbbing 1.5GHz quad-core CPU. This is a monster of a smartphone. Apps start in a couple of seconds, no matter how many are already running. We opened as many as we could, and found that this didn’t affect the performance of any app being used. Supported by 1GB of RAM, and with features like NFC, this phone is pretty well future proof.


As much fun as it is playing with all this power, our first thoughts were to test the battery life. This has been a big question mark over the quad-core and we wanted to see how much power it drained. There is nothing worse than a mobile dying halfway through the day.


There was nothing to worry about. We used that phone to the extreme, constantly playing with it. Web browsing, texting, taking pictures, phone calls, watching videos online, and playing with apps. It took two days, or 48 hours, to run the battery flat. Never mind a quad-core phone, this is one of the best results we’ve had from any smartphone, and many of the latest single and dual-core handsets. One X disables cores if they’re not needed, so power drain is kept to a minimum.


Customisation features


The operating system pre-installed on the One X is Android Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS), which ran flawlessly. Combined with HTC’s Sense 4.0 overlay, there’s a stack of personalisation options, and features, available.


Let’s start with the lock screen. This is highly customisable, and we were thrilled with it. Drag the bubble at the bottom of the screen to the middle to unlock – simple. There’s more. Shortcuts for features such as Contacts, Texts, Email and Camera can be opened by dragging them into the bubble. Useful if you need to take a picture really quickly, or a new message pops up.


There’s more, and it gets better. With the Personalise app you can alter the One X’s lock screen and add extra features. Maybe you’d like your social networking accounts in there for easy and quick access, or favourite contacts. That way an email to your best buddy is only a couple of taps away.


You can also adjust the phone to work the way you do, with shortcuts and widgets, when you get to Android’s desktops. There’s a number of pre-installed skins and wallpapers, or use your own. Different profiles can be setup, with different desktops. A really handy feature if you use the phone for work and home – and obviously there are different apps you’ll want to access depending on whether you’re on personal time or business.


Just below the One X’s screen are three, touch-sensitive buttons. These are for Back, Home and Recent Apps. We particularly appreciated the last one, as it presents every app you’ve used in the last couple of days in a scrollable list.


Screen play


How to describe in words just how gorgeous the 4.7-inch LCD2 screen is? It has an astonishing 1280x720 pixel resolution, and colours are vibrantly reproduced. You won’t believe how sharp photos and movies look. It also means there’s a fairly spacious display, and an incredible level of detail. The piece de resistance is the wide viewing angle. Not only can you enjoy watching a video with friends, but you know they’ll be dripping with jealousy.


When it comes to web browsing and email, the roomy display is also a plus. There’s plenty of space for the Sense keyboard so typing is a doddle. When zooming out considerably to view a web page we were able to make out text because of the high resolution. Scrolling is smooth, there’s no lags or hesitations. This is a highly responsive touchscreen.


HTC has used Beats Audio with this phone, to produce an excellent audio experience when listening to music. And not just for tunes, this also really brings movies to life. The phone has a pretty powerful set of speakers built-in, but we’d recommend using a decent pair of your own headphones to truly get the most out of the sound.




We were pretty impressed with the excellent 12-megapixel camera on the Sony Xperia S. However, the One X tops this even though it has fewer megapixels. The feature set is just that good. You’ll get crisp, vibrant still images out of the eight-megapixel lens. However, what really makes the difference if the f2.0 aperture, as this lets in more light than you’d get on standard phone cameras. In practical use this means that it will handle low light conditions much better.


An auto-adjusting flash, and filters for funky effects, are amongst the other included features. These are fairly common, but one feature we haven’t seen before on a smartphone is a control for taking rapid-fire-action shots. A pretty cool tool, especially if you’re taking photos of sporting events. The video allows for full HD recording.


You can actually take photos while filming. Handy if you need to do screen grabs. A small touch, but it is these little things that have made the HTC One X really stand out.


Our conclusion


Every so often a phone comes along that does everything right. It doesn’t happen often, but the HTC One X is one of these examples of perfection. The interface is user friendly and highly customisable, we can’t fault the colourful screen or the build quality, and the camera is simply brilliant. There is not one single thing about this handset that we could find to criticise. Except perhaps why on earth HTC had to make us give it back.

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HTC One X Review Scoring

  • Style and Handling
  • User Friendliness
  • Feature set
  • Performance
  • Battery
  • Overall Score

HTC One X Phone Specification

Type of phone:









16 million colours




8 megapixels

Special Camera features:

LED flash, auto focus

Video recording:


Video playback:


Video calling:


Video streaming:


Music formats played:


3.5mm jack port:


Handsfree speakerphone:


Voice Control:


Voice Dialling:


Call records:




Ringtones customization:


Display description:

LCD2 (1280x720 pixels)






Standard color:


Launch Status:






Operating system:



Bluetooth, MicroUSB, Wi-Fi

Announced date:


What's in the Box:




International launch date:


Battery life when playing multimedia:



1.5GHz quad-core

FM Radio Description:


Internal memory:


Memory Card Slot:



SMS, MMS, Email

E-mail client:

Push email







Data speed:





800 mins


525 hours

Display size:

4.7 inches



Audio recording:



Tags HTC, HTC One X

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