Sunday, June 2, 2013

HTC One (M7) - my 3rd smartphone

4 years ago, I bought my 1st smartphone running on Symbian OS. It is a Sony Ericsson P1i with physical QWERTY keypad, 208 MHz ARM9 PNX4008 processor, 128 MB RAM, 256 MB ROM, 160 MB internal storage, 2.6" touch screen, 240x320 TFT display, Wi-Fi 802.11b, 950 mAh battery, and a stylus. It is a 3G phone.

2 years ago, I bought my 2nd smartphone running on Android OS. It is an HTC Incredible S with 1 GHz Qualcomm MSM8255 Snapdragon Scorpion processor, Adreno 205 GPU, 768 MB RAM, 1.1 GB ROM, 8 GB internal storage, 4" multi-touch screen, 480x800 WVGA display, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, 1450 mAh battery. It is a 3G phone supporting HSUPA/HSDPA/HSPA+ connection. I have just upgraded it to Nik ROM with Sense 4.1 Lite and Sense 5 visual.

Recently, I bought my 3rd smartphone, also running on Android OS. It is an HTC One (a.k.a. M7) with quad-core 1.7 GHz Qualcomm Krait 300 processor, Adreno 320 GPU, 2GB LPDDR2 RAM, 29.8 GB ROM, 32 GB internal memory, 4.7" multi-touch screen, 1920x1080p HD display, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/ac/b/g/n, 2300 mAh battery. It is an LTE 4G phone.

From the specs of the 3 smartphones that I have, you can probably see the evolution in smartphone  over the past 4 years period. By the time I purchased those smartphones, they were the topliner in the market at that particular time period. The One is currently the flagship phone of HTC.

The speaker sound of HTC smartphones had be criticized for being too soft until they finally made significant improvement with Beats Audio from the Sensation series onwards (Sensation was the successor of my Incredible S). Now the HTC One comes with dual front-facing stereo speakers with built-in amplifiers and Beats Audio enhancement (they call it the BoomSound) is a real breakthrough. The sound quality is really good, loud and clear.

There are lots of comparison made among the HTC Ultrapixel camera with F2.0 aperture with HTC Zoe features and the camera of Samsung Galaxy S4, Apple iPhone 5, Nokia Lumia 925, Sony Xperia Z, etc. The camera quality in smartphones has been improved a lot especially over the past 1 year, which is a good competition. Perhaps sooner or later, the photo quality developed by smartphone cameras will be comparable to those taken by my Canon PowerShot S95.

One thing I noticed is you can launch the camera from lock screen directly by pulling its icon up, bypassing the security checking (password/pattern/etc.). This enables us not to miss the precious moment by having quick access to the camera and make it ready to shoot photo soonest possible.

I don't quite like the BlinkFeed on the default home screen. A lot of people find it annoying especially when linked with Facebook. I have unlinked it with my Facebook feed too. The BlinkFeed news photos can only be fed with a handful of predefined websites. It would be more favourable if the user can self define the feeds from the web.

The HTC TV Remote works well with my LCD TV, Astro B.yond STB and Panasonic hi-fi system. I am able to get the Astro TV guide too. However, I am not able to configure it to work with my UniFi HyppTV STB.

The NFC function well, able to detect the Touch 'n Go chips embedded in Zing card as well as MyKad.

Google Now is accessible by long press the Home button (double tap the Home button will open the Recent Apps screen). When Google Now is off, it will show a normal Google Search screen. If you are unable to find Google Now there, try switching your system language to another, such as "English (Singapore)". At the moment there is nothing much available in Google Now for Malaysia user yet. It will show the weather information, estimated travelling time to home, to work, and to other user-defined places.

I use the Metal-Slim transparent hard case to cover the phone. The case provides protection to the phone while keeping its nice full metal body unhide. However, it makes the phone heavier and bulkier. I am thinking of getting the Mophie Juice Pack, but its price is a bit high, especially after adding in the shipping fee.

I have been searching for the DestraShield nanoliquid screen protector that I applied on my HTC Incredible S before, but it seems that this product has disappeared from the market. I ended up applying the Kristall nanoliquid screen protector on my HTC One. They seems to function the same, except Kristall is cheaper but doesn't have Ag+ anti-bacteria formula in it.


Peter Yew said... Reply To This Comment

Thank you for your commentary on the HTC1. Pity you either don't have many readership or readers fail to comment your excellent reviews. I find your articles very well written and in depth as well as objective. I am looking for another smartphone to replace my 2 year old Galaxy Ace and which is very laggy and is seriously considering HTC1 but being an iPad user for around the same time am tempted to look at iPhone5 too which doesn't require me to learn new skills. Would you be able to advise what you find negative about the HTC1? How is the speed in term of loading up and shutting down different apps? Battery usage? Price? Workmanship and ease of handling? Thank you in advance. If you prefer you may reply to my email

Voyager8 said... Reply To This Comment

@Peter Yew

The HTC One is a fantastic phone. One common problem is its top and/or bottom part may have small gap between the plastic part and the aluminium main body frame. Just need to check carefully before carrying away the phone from the seller.

Respond speed is generally faster than iPhone 5 and Galaxy S4. It has quad-core processor compared with iPhone 5 dual-core processor, but the Galaxy S4 has theoretically even better processor. Its full HD high ppi display is better than Retina Display. It also supports more WiFi option than iPhone 5. Its screen is bigger than iPhone 5 but smaller than Galaxy S4.

One key consideration in choosing a smartphone is the applications available in the market. Previously, iPhone market has more and better apps than Android, which I think from this year or next year onwards, it could be the other way round.

There is a "battery saving" mode in HTC One. If turned on, my phone will used up about 60%-70% of the battery for 24 hours of normal usage. More battery will be consumed when the screen is on.

Price is cheaper than iPhone 5 32MB and also cheaper than Galaxy S4 LTE edition.

The SIM card needs special tool to access (poke with a pin to open the slot).

Drawbacks: its battery is non-removable, and it doesn't support SD card storage expansion. Its 32MB/64MB storage is more than enough for normal users, though.

Peter Yew said... Reply To This Comment

Thank you for your feedback. I'm choosing between One and iPhone 5 after getting other feedbacks and reviewing a physical unit.

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