HTC One S Details, Review & Hands-On Video Roundup

The HTC One S, like its HTC One Series brothers, was originally announced back at the Mobile World Congress in February. With the HTC One X on the high end and the HTC One V representing the lower-end, the HTC One S figures to sit somewhere in between the both of them. Like the One X and the One V, the One S represents a new era of HTC smartphone design and software.

At the beginning of the year, HTC promised better designed smartphones with increased battery life. The promise came after HTC admitted that it had a rough end of 2011 in terms of smartphone sales. The company hopes that its new vision helps reverse its course for the better in 2012.

The HTC One S figures to play a big part in that.

The One S doesn’t feature the quad-core processor or 4G LTE speeds that the HTC One X has but it does offer some things that consumers should be excited about. A thin design, a speedy dual-core processor, and a spacious Super AMOLED display make up the core features of the One S.

HTC One S Details, Review & Hands-On Video Roundup

Read: In-Depth Hands-On: HTC One X, One S, One V, and Sense 4.0 (Video).

Those features sound great on paper but how do they translate to the real world?

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Well, luckily, the first reviews of the One S have started to trickle out and that question has seemingly be answered. We’re going to dive into both the reviews and the actual phone in a second but first, just a quick note.

The phone that has been reviewed is the international version of the device. T-Mobile USA has announced that it will be carrying the One S at some point but at this point, the carrier hasn’t announced specifically when it will do so.

We think that the international device and the T-Mobile device will very similar so this should help give those interested in the T-Mobile One S a bit of a head start in terms of making a decision on whether to buy it.

What is the HTC One S?

The HTC One S represents the mid-to-upper range tier of HTC”s new One Series of smartphones. While it won’t have a Tegra 3 quad-core chip, 4G LTE connectivity, or a 720p display, it brings some solid features to the table that should intrigue those that don’t necessarily want to shell out the big bucks for a smartphone with next-generation technology.

The One S features a 4.3-inch qHD Super AMOLED touch screen which sports 540 x 960 resolution. It’s also PenTile in nature which, while helping to conserve battery life, will ultimately end up looking worse than phones that don’t use PenTile matrix.

HTC”s One S will be powered by a 1.5 GHz, dual core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor which will be capable of handling just about anything users throw at it. It’s not quad-core but it will get the job done.

It will also come loaded with Google’s latest and greatest mobile software, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. In addition, the One S, like its counterparts, will have HTC’s latest UI, HTC Sense 4.0 on board.

You can get a sense about HTC Sense 4.0 in the video below:

Read: Guide to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

Other Key Features

T-Mobile HSPA+ 42: T-Mobile’s variant of the One S will run on the carrier’s HSPA+ 42 network, a network that slightly below 4G LTE in terms of data speeds, but is far and away faster than a typical 3G network.

8.9mm Design: The HTC One Series represents the change in design philosophy over at HTC. The One S will check in at an extremely thin 8.9mm, making it one of the thinnest smartphones to date.

1080p HD video recording: HTC’s One S comes equipped with an 8MP rear camera and a VGA front-facing camera for the video chat. HTC has made some nice improvements to its cameras and the One S is the beneficiary of these strides.

Release Date

The HTC One S is already available in select markets overseas and it will be arriving more on April 5th. As for a launch in the United States, we’re still unsure about T-Mobile’s release plans.

We’ve heard April 22nd, a date that has some evidence backing it, so that’s a possibility.

We’d be surprised if T-Mobile waits beyond April to release this phone with the Samsung Galaxy S III on the way.

Review Videos

Vlad Savov of The Verge digs in and gives us a nice overview of the international version of the HTC One S.

Mat Smith of Engadget gives us a quick but informative look at HTC’s latest smartphone.

Michael Oryl of MobileBurn gives us an in-depth look at the One S in his video review.

Review Roundup

Mat Smith from Engadget:

With a tactile finish and enough power to go toe-to-toe with HTC’s quad-core entrant, it comes down to whether you’re willing to trade a technically weaker screen for a noticeable price difference and better battery life. It’s a decision we’d prefer not to make.

Vlad Savov from The Verge:

When it comes to first impressions, the HTC One S is an instant winner. It marries thinness with a subtle, exquisitely refined design, and its AMOLED display is exactly the sort of vibrant eye-catcher that attracts people in stores.

But, he also says:

Sense 4 is an improvement on the company’s previous efforts, but that’s not saying much. The skin sits like a lumpen deformity atop the sleek Ice Cream Sandwich and breaks up the otherwise quick user experience with frustrating design choices and a few instabilities all its own. The One S’ qHD screen resolution is also quickly going out of style and rather lets down the rest of the top-notch spec sheet.

Michael Oryl from MobileBurn:

It’s a fantastic phone that slots in wonderfully behind the One X, but only barely behind it. If you like the One X, but want something a little thinner, lighter, and friendlier to hold, then the One S is the perfect device for you.

Chris Davies from SlashGear:

Nonetheless, for the midrange, this is an excellent smartphone. The dual-core processor and 4.3-inch display toe a delicate balance between performance, usability and power consumption, and do so well, and there’s no escaping the high-quality hand feel.

Chris Burns from Android Community:

Here in the HTC One S we find that HTC is certainly living up to the promise that they’ll be coming in strong in 2012 with a hero series of phones. The HTC One S also reminds us that HTC was once the king of high-quality hardware for Android, and indeed here again they do regain that crown – bringing a device (and a series of devices) whose features fit together so well that they’re more than ready to take on the rest of the top-tier devices in the industry.

Specs

Processor: 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor
Operating system: Android 4.0 with HTC Sense 4.0
Display: 4.3-inch qHD Super AMOLED touch screen (540×960)
Camera: 8-megapixel camera, VGA front facing camera
Memory: 1GB RAM, 16GB of internal storage
WLAN: 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n Wi-Fi
Bluetooth: Yes
RAM 1GB
Battery: 1650mAh battery
Special features: HSPA+ 42, Beats Audio
  

Comments

  1. lexuk says

    I confess I haven’t taken much notice of comments before about pentile displays but one of the reviews makes a big deal out of it. Is it really that noticeable, or will this display still be an improvement over my current HTC Desire? (AMOLED 480×800 WVGA)

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