HTC marked their start to MWC (Mobile World Congress) on Sunday with the release of their new “One” series. Being a value phone provider, it’s somewhat a startling turnaround when you look at what they’ve got on display this year. And boy, do the Chinese know how to make a mobile phone.
Starting off with the flagship One X, HTC decided to go after the Samsung Galaxy range and scaled up everything – screen size is up to to 4.7”, resolution up to 720p, cores up to 4 with the latest Tegra chipset and using a single piece of polycarbonate plastic (like the N9 and Lumia 800/900) to create a very handsome smartphone. Gone are the traces of cheapness sometimes found on the previous Desire and Wildfire ranges – this is a very clean look indeed.
Keeping up with the Joneses, the One X also features a new camera design with Back Side illumination and a slightly bigger lens to compensate for the lack of any real zoom. In addition, the shutter speed has been fine-tuned in the software so that still images can be taken while simultaneously recording HD video at 25fps. While nothing like the 41MP monster in the Nokia 808, this should do very well for the One X, and Droid fans couldn’t be happier that HTC is finally picking up the slack in its camera department. What’s equally interesting its the “Car Mode” function built into HTC’s Sense 4.0 – many manufacturers like Ford have opened their in-car computer systems for use with mobile phones like Android and iOS. Could Android become the de-facto standard for in-car-control? I certainly hope so.
The smaller One S fits in where the Desire S once stood proud. Mimicking its bigger brother, the One S has a unibody design made of aluminium (iPhone owners, yes you had that first) and comes with a 1.5GHz dual-core with 1GB of RAM – quite spiffy for a mid-range model with ICS. Slimmer than the One X, it also packs a 256ppi (pixels per inch) AMOLED 4.3” screen (yes, it’s better than the iPhone’s one as well), which puts it up right there with the Galaxy SII and other premium Droids looking to head up the army. A 8MP camera straight from the X, Beats Audio and a 1650mAh battery make this Droid very attractive.
The entry-level One V replaces the Legend with a 1.2Ghz single core and 512MB of RAM, with a 3.7” widescreen LCD and HTC Sense 3.6 (still on ICS, though). Being an entry-level handset, it doesn’t come with the same camera tech as its siblings and even shares some of the same design cues of the Legend. It’s sure to be a hit among budget buyers, though. What doesn’t make sense, however, is the One XL.
The One XL is like the X, but is equipped with a slower dual-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon Krait CPUs, an Adreno 225 GPU for the grunt work, and an LTE antenna and compatible hardware. Why anyone would sacrifice better hardware for faster network speeds is anyone’s guess. LTE isn’t even widely deployed in most countries, and the One XL will head to AT&T customers first.