HTC One S Android phone

HTC One S review: The HTC One S is a superbly built phone with slick software

  • Review
  • Specs
  • Images
  • User Reviews
  • Buy Now
HTC One S
  • HTC One S
  • HTC One S
  • HTC One S
  • Expert Rating

    4.25 / 5

Pros

  • Thin and stylish design
  • Excellent performance
  • Great camera software

Cons

  • Display can't match some rivals
  • No memory expansion
  • Inconsistent Sense UI

Bottom Line

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.

Would you buy this?

  • Price

    TBA (AUD)

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

Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

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.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?