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First of all, I’d like to mention this is my first time using an Android phone for longer than 5 minutes. I’ve been an avid iOS user for many years and even explored Windows Phone for a little while. I wanted to try something new and explore the world of Android and the HTC One grabbed my attention with it’s slim aluminum uni-body design. We were fortunate to receive the HTC One on the Sprint Network to review.
My first impression of of the packaging was “Wow, that’s is some clean packaging.” It was very streamlined and reflected the phone very nicely. It wasn’t packed in some awful yellow or orange box with bunch of carrier branding on it. The box itself is visually pleasing which made me more excited to rip the box open and start using the phone.
Inside the box you’ll find the phone on a nice white divider. Under the divider there is your standard wall charger, usb cable, headphones, and user guide.
Upon holding the phone, I thought it was well balanced, and felt great in the hand. It’s very thin and feels solid. There is only one slot on the phone and it’s for a SIM card. The back isn’t removable so that means no changing the battery or adding more storage via SD card.. This might be upsetting to some people but I found it to be fine since I’ve been accustomed to that with the iPhone. The benefit of not having a removable back is that it allows for a larger battery and a thinner design as well as it gives it a more solid feel. I was able to get through the entire day without having to charge the phone and I wasn’t going easy on the phone either. I was checking email constantly watching videos, text messaging, and playing games. The phone did get warm to the touch but it wasn’t of any concern.
When turning on the phone for the first time, I was in utter shock and surprised that I could setup the phone from an web browser and have all the data downloaded to the phone which was a new and exciting experience. It’s a great solution for someone that are not as comfortable setting up the phone via the device itself. I’m not sure everyone will like this but there is a way around it. It’s just an option you can work with.
Navigating the interface of the phone wasn’t the difficult for me. HTC did a very nice job designing the interface for users and as a first time Android user I found it very easy to navigate the phone and change settings. One thing I didn’t care for were the Sprint apps that were preloaded on the device. I know Sprint wants to show their customers what services they offer but I felt it was a little upfront to have them right on the home screen without giving the user to option to download them.
One feature that HTC added to this phone which I truly love but I feel needs some improvement is HTC BlinkFeed. It’s great to see all my news in one place kind of like Flipboard or Pulse but there is a lack of support for personal websites. Although I found many websites in the feed, I really wanted to add other sites that I follow for news.
Now when it comes to phones, one thing many people look at when considering the phone is the camera. One shocking thing that many people will find is that the back camera is only 4 megapixels. However, HTC was smart about it and used larger sensors which capture more light and allow for amazing pictures. HTC calls this their UltraPixel Camera. One awesome feature that the camera has is HTC Zoe. Think of it as Vine. It allows you to bring photos to life with 3 second snippets of high-resolution video. I experimented with it and I thought it was a neat feature to have on the phone. It may not be a feature everyone will use but I felt it was a neat little feature that allows the user to bring personality and emotion to their still photos.
When watching videos back, the large 4.7” Super LCD Display allows for sharp 1080p picture quality. But videos and movies are not complete without sound. I’d say HTC knocked this one out of the park with their HTC BoomSound. This system uses two front facing speakers with a dedicated amplifier. Beats Audio integration is enabled across the phone which allows for a richer audio experience. I’d say the audio rivals some tablets and even some ultra books.
Speaking of audio, the call quality on the HTC One is great. I was able to hear clearly and others were able to hear clearly as well. This does depends on reception and unfortunately, where I live in Orange County, coverage is spotty. The coverage wasn’t as satisfying as I thought but Sprint is still building their network. I never got the chance to test the phone on Sprint’s LTE network since it’s not available in my area. I was stuck on the 3G network which was far from pleasing most of the time. I’ve been using an LTE iPhone for a while and I’m accustomed to fast data speeds and when having to use 3G on the HTC One, I was frustrated because I know how fast the phone itself is. I received an average of 325 kbps for download and 625 kbps for upload. It was agonizing and make it annoying to download a single small app while not connected to Wi-Fi.
Over all I found the HTC One to be a great solid phone and something I’d consider using as my personal device. It’s a sleek phone, fast, and easy to use. It has great features like HTC BoomSound and the HTC UltaPixel Camera with HTC Zoe. The phone is priced at $199 with a new two-year contract and it comes in Silver or Black with 32GB of internal storage.
If you’re interested in switching to Sprint and want to get your hands on the HTC One, check out Sprint’s coverage map to ensure your area is covered by their service. You can visit www.sprint.com/coverage to check your area.