It certainly took long enough. After five months of waiting, the HTC One is finally available on Verizon Wireless, after appearing on the other three major U.S. carriers first. The HTC One is still an impressive phone, thanks to its beautiful 4.7-inch 1080p display, quad-core processor, and top-notch UltraPixel camera. The problem is that it’s less impressive almost half a year later, as is often the case with Verizon phones—and, coming just days before Apple’s next iPhone announcement, it doesn’t have a lot of time to win over customers.
Design, Screen, and Call Quality
For full details, read our Sprint HTC One review, where we go into much more detail on the UltraPixel camera and software features. Here, I’ll do a quick recap first, and then tackle what’s special about the Verizon Wireless handset.
The HTC One measures 5.41 by 2.69 by 0.37 inches (HWD) and weighs 5.04 ounces. It’s fashioned in a rich-feeling aluminum with a thin white plastic strip around the edges. The 4.7-inch, 1,920-by-1,080-pixel Super LCD 3 display is beautiful and bright, although it trades the Samsung Galaxy S4′s black levels and color vibrancy for a more accurate, if not quite as striking appearance. Instead of a hardware Home button, all HTC Ones feature a pair of capacitive Back and Home buttons, and there’s no direct Menu button, which I continue to find annoying when using Android. Most users have long since gotten used to it, though.
The Verizon Wireless HTC One is a true world phone, with quad-band EDGE (850/900/1800/1900 MHz), dual-band EV-DO Rev. A (850/1900 MHz), dual-band UMTS (1900/2100 MHz), and LTE support; it runs at 4G speeds here in the U.S. and 3G speeds overseas in most countries. I saw poor results outside in midtown Manhattan, on the order of 1.5 to 3Mbps down and 1.5Mbps up. But my own iPhone 5 on Verizon was notching the same numbers; either something was up on test day, or Verizon’s LTE network is getting really crowded here in New York City.
Note: The slideshow below is of the AT&T HTC One, which is identical except for the Verizon Wireless logo on the back.
Otherwise, voices sound crisp in the earpiece, with plenty of volume, although the Galaxy S4 continues to sound the best thanks to its adaptive EQ software. I heard a little static through the mic on the other end of the call, but my voice was easily intelligible. The speakerphone is excellent, thanks to the integrated Beats Audio (more on that later). We’re still testing battery life and will update this review as soon as we have a result.
Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean is on board, along with a quad-core 1.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor, 2GB RAM, NFC, and Bluetooth 4.0 support. HTC Sense 5 looks the same here as it does on the other HTC Ones. HTC BlinkFeed aggregates news and social media updates in a somewhat inflexible interface; you can disable it, but to do so, you must set a different home screen as the default; there’s no way to remove it the way you can other widgets. Creating home screen shortcuts also takes an extra drag step, and HTC’s vertical scrolling is bizarre but works well once you get used to it.
Verizon adds the usual bloatware, but it’s not nearly as bad as what AT&T packs in, and it’s all neatly stored in a shortcut icon on the home page. You can’t remove the individual apps, though.
Multimedia, Camera, and Conclusions
HTC and Beats may be drifting apart, but the HTC One still benefits from Beats Audio. A pair of stereo, front-facing speakers sit at the top and bottom of the front panel; they deliver clear, crisp sound that gets fairly loud, but they still lack bass. It’s a completely different story with earphones: The supplied wired earbuds and Beats Audio software deliver bass that’s capable of dislodging the fillings from your teeth. HTC adds its own music player, and you still get access to Google Music, Spotify, and a number of other music streaming services.
The UltraPixel camera is quite effective, if not exactly class leading. It’s very fast to start and shoot, and takes beautiful, colorful photos outdoors and surprisingly well-lit ones indoors, thanks to the built-in hardware processing. HTC Zoe is the company’s Vine competitor; it snaps three-second videos you can’t do much of anything with. There’s also a 2.1-megapixel front-facing camera for self-portraits and video chats.
Our favorite phone on Verizon Wireless is the Samsung Galaxy S4, thanks to its larger display, removable battery, and all-important memory card slot. The Moto X and Droid Mini by Motorola are two additional compelling options; the Moto X offers a beautiful UI and excellent voice activation software, while the Droid Mini follows in the footsteps of earlier Droids with software but is smaller and saves you $100. The Apple iPhone 5 is also clad in aluminum, is the lightest of all, and has the best app catalog in the business, but its 4-inch display is much lower resolution, and the HTC One just has fresher hardware and specs overall. All told, the HTC One is a beautiful smartphone, but now that there are a handful of top-notch smartphone options on Verizon, HTC’s job to ensnare consumers is a lot tougher than it would have been back in April.
|Phone Capability / Network||GSM, CDMA, UMTS, LTE|
|Screen Resolution||1920 x 1080 pixels|
|Dimensions||5.41 x 2.69 x 0.37 inches|
|Video Camera Resolution||1080p Rear|
|Processor Speed||1.7 GHz|
|CPU||Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 Quad-Core|
|Service Provider||Verizon Wireless|
|Total Integrated Storage||32 GB|
|Screen Size||4.7 inches|
|High-Speed Data||EDGE, UMTS, EVDO Rev A, LTE|
|Screen Type||Super LCD 3|
|Bands||850, 900, 1800, 1900, 2100, 700|
|Camera Resolution||4 MP Rear|
|2.1 MP Front-Facing|
|Screen Pixels Per Inch||468|
|Form Factor||Candy Bar|
Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc