HTC One S Android phone
HTC One S review: The HTC One S is a superbly built phone with slick software
- Thin and stylish design
- Excellent performance
- Great camera software
- Display can't match some rivals
- No memory expansion
- Inconsistent Sense UI
The HTC One S certainly doesn't look or feel inferior to the flagship One X. A lower resolution display is the main differentiator, but the One S makes up for that with a design that's more comfortable to hold and better battery life. If the One X's size is too much for you to handle, then you should definitely check out the One S.
The One X may be HTC's flagship Android phone of 2012, but the One S certainly doesn't look or feel any less classy. It's constructed from a unibody aluminium frame that's just 7.6mm thick and boasts many of the same features as its more expensive counterpart.
Note: Our review model of the HTC One S was supplied by online mobile phone store MobiCity.
A superb design
The HTC One S is constructed from a unibody aluminium design that is now almost synonymous with HTC smartphones. However, this isn't the same old tired HTC design — the black variant of the One S has been toughened using a technique called plasma electrolytic oxidation. HTC says the coating should ensure it isn't scratched or marked during the rigours of daily use. The result is an impressive ceramic like finish that feels superbly constructed. The "gradient anodised" model we reviewed, however, doesn't get the same microarc oxidation treatment. The Australian model is only available in this grey colour.
At just 7.6mm, the HTC One S is one of the thinnest phones on the market today. Like both the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and HTC's own One X, the One S has a slightly curved profile that makes it distinctive and comfortable to hold. This curvature is elegant yet subtle — it's hard to notice if you look at the phone front on. A smaller 4.3in screen also means the One S has better ergonomics — its still a large phone but smaller dimensions make it easier to hold and more comfortable to use single-handedly than the One X.
The One S may be HTC's mid-range model, but the company's attention to detail once again deserves to be commended. The earpiece and rear speaker grill holes are individually laser drilled into the aluminium. There is no annoying flap covering the micro-USB port. The power and volume buttons are perfectly positioned and provide excellent tactility. We also love the way the edges of the handset curve in towards the display on the front.
In striving for a thin design, HTC has made the battery on the One S non-removable. There's also no microSD card slot for extra storage and the phone uses a micro-SIM rather than a full-sized SIM card, accessed by removing a small backplate on the top rear of the handset. The One S only has 16GB of internal memory, which is disappointing.
The HTC One S has a 4.3in Super AMOLED display with a qHD resolution of 960x540. It displays a clear and bright image, good colours and has excellent viewing angles. However, it is difficult to see in direct sunlight and obviously can't match the sharpness of the 720p displays seen on the One X and the Galaxy Nexus, for example. Text is less crisp in apps like the browser, while there is a noticeable blue tinge when looking at the screen from an angle. It also has a lower pixel density of 256ppi, putting well behind the iPhone 4S (326ppi) and the One X (312ppi).
Next page: Software, performance, camera and more
Join the PC World newsletter!
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Lexar® Portable SSD
Acer Swift 7
Google Daydream VR headset
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Huawei Mate 9
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Surface Pro 4
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- 2 ZTE Axon 7 review: Is ZTE dumping old stock on Australia?
- 3 Oppo R9s smartphone full review
- 4 Huawei Nova Plus smartphone review
- 5 Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: Phones just got smarter
Latest News Articles
- Android's next destination: Untethered VR headsets with Snapdragon 835
- MWC 17: What's coming, what's not, and what we really want to see
- Xiaomi planning second version of its revolutionary Mi Mix ‘bezel-less’ phone
- 5G progress at Ericsson could help enterprises work worldwide
- Apple smartphones outsold Samsung's in Q4
PCW Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- Time to ditch Foxtel and the iQ3: How to replace Foxtel packages with cheaper alternatives
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTInfrastructure Solution ArchitectSA
- FTSupport and Operations Team LeadNSW
- CCNetwork Engineer/ Network AdministratorQLD
- CCSalesforce DeveloperNSW
- CCSQL Database Administrator (DBA)NSW
- TPMid-Level Java DeveloperNSW
- TPSenior Applications Support OfficerQLD
- FTSenior C++ EngineerACT
- FTSolutions Software DeveloperVIC
- CCTest AnalystWA
- FTSenior Software Engineer x 2 - Positive Vetting, NV2 or NV1 required!!!!SA
- TPSenior Analyst Programmer - ContractQLD
- TPMicrosoft Analyst ProgrammerSA
- CCIT Procurement OfficerNSW
- CCADABAS Natural DeveloperNSW
- FTDatabase DeveloperACT
- CCData Migration Consultant - LeadNSW
- CCSenior System AdministratorVIC
- FT.Net DeveloperVIC
- FTJunior Software Engineer - Positive Vetting, NV2 or NV1 requiredSA
- TPImplementation Business Partner - Business ModernisationNSW
- CCDesktop Engineer l WollongongNSW
- TPBI & Report Developer (SQL Developer)QLD
- CCSQL Server BI DeveloperQLD
- FT.net Developer (Front and Back end)QLD