HTC One X+ Review
- Very well built
- Exquisite looks and feel
- Very good display
- Extremely powerful
- Updated HTC Sense hugely improved
- Improved battery life over One X
- Price kind of kills the deal
The HTC One X+ is clearly what the One X should have been in the first place. On a rather interesting note, the One X+ pips the Samsung Galaxy S III in most of the system performance benchmarks. But the pricing of the device is a bit of a downer. The price of Rs. 40,190 that HTC has shared with us makes the Galaxy S III a bit more attractive, since it is currently retailing for considerably less money, at around Rs. 36,000.
In a season full of refreshes, the One X+ follows up to the One X, much like how the Sony Xperia SL came as a fresher version of the Xperia S. And truly, this is what the One X should have been in the first place.
If you remember, we had recently done a first impressions story of the One X+ at an event recently, and at time, we got the black version to play with. The test unit we have received is the same white one as the One X.
Build & Design
The HTC One X was a looker, and the One X+ looks exactly the same from the outside. Except for the slight difference – the red color on the touch sensitive keys and a red ring around the camera. The One X+ is a very much a premium phone to feel, hold and use. The polycarbonate finish on the unibody design is pretty much worth the time and effort.
By carrying forward the exact same looks as the One X, what HTC have managed to do is line this up as a refresh. There are some positives to this, without doubt. The slight curve on the rear panel is immensely helpful when you are typing out an SMS with the fingers of the same hand that is holding the phone. While the battery cover isn’t exactly matte or rubberized, the One X+ is perfectly designed for single-hand operation.
On the front is the 4.7-inch display, accompanied by three touch sensitive keys below it – return, home and task manager. The tinge of red marking these keys looks very cool – the slight sporty touch to a phone that otherwise looks very classy and understated, for the most part. The bezel is very thin, and the display sits slightly higher than the unibody for quite some while, thanks to the outward curve towards the middle at the back. The display glass kind of flows over on the two sides like water down a cliff, and feels brilliant when you are swiping your finger across the screen.
Above the display is the nicely chiseled out earpiece grille, on the white portion. Next to it is the front facing camera. Switch over to the sides, and the left spine first. This has the microUSB port. The right spine has the volume rocker that blends brilliantly with the rest of the design. Two observations regarding the rocker – it has the perfect height for use without looking at it and the same colour as the rest of the phone makes this go almost unnoticed the rest of the time. The top has the power key, while the 3.5mm headphone jack utilizes the dual curve on the top and the rear panel to fit in seamlessly.
On the back is the camera and the flash towards the top, with the silver HTC logo in the middle and the Beats Audio logo below it. Towards the bottom is the hands-free speaker, which has been carved out rather classily, akin to the earpiece at the front.
To understand most elements of the design influence, you need to look at the phone placed vertically on a flat surface, from side on. The slimness literally shouts, silently. The Motorola Razr has received a lot of praise for its slimness, but the numbers to bring out some interesting facts - at 8.9mm, the One X+ isn't far behind the Razr’s 7.1mm (at its thinnest). For a phone that packs in insane amounts of power, that is not a bad deal.
We have mentioned the slight curve on the top and bottom of the HTC One X+ multiple times when describing what the phone looks like. When looked at side-on, the slight banana-like shape does add an extra visual element, along with the comfort and functionality of easier grip. The only issue with this slimness is that the 8MP camera protrudes out at the back, and when placed flat, the phone rests on a part of the clicker. This could lead to scratches on the lens.
The One X+ is rather well sculpted, and has a nice mixture of understated and sporty/youthful elements. The unibody looks brilliant, and we have seen the phone in both white and black colours, and both look equally stunning. If you are in the demographic that finds the Galaxy S III to be plasticky, the One X and the One X+ will surely warm your heart with a bit of polycarbonate trickery!
Features & Specifications
The upgrade on the One X+ over the One X is the upgraded processor. The newer Tegra 3 quad-core processor clocks at 1.7GHz, while the One X got a 1.5GHz processor. Almost everything else (except for the battery) remains exactly the same on the two phones, specs wise. That we are rather thankful for!
The primary reason for that is the 4.7-inch S-LCD2 display on One X and X+ is among the better smartphone displays out there. The resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels is adequate to provide a great experience. Primary among them is the depth of the black levels, and fairly good brightness levels. The sharpness of the text is impressive. What it loses out on is the vivid colours that an AMOLED display would offer, but by no means is this inadequate in any way. However, compared to the Galaxy S III, we prefer this display because the colours remain a lot more natural. By comparison, the S III has fairly vivid colours, some of which look doctored and unnatural for the most part. The display isn’t very reflective, and that helps a lot with viewing when outdoors.
The One X+ version launched in India has a 64GB internal storage, but no memory card slot. Additionally, Dropbox users will get an additional 25GB free storage as a part of a promotion offer.
On the software side, the One X+ comes preloaded with Jelly Bean (Android 4.1). But the bigger change is the HTC Sense version has now been updated. If you remember, we had pointed out that the Sense version on the One X crashed quite often and was generally fairly buggy. This one, it seems, is the version where the bugs and issues have been ironed out. It felt quicker to use as well, and we did not face any issues of crashes, reloads or stutters in the time we used the phone.
Visit page two to read about the performance of the HTC One X+, as well as our overall verdict...