So it's time for a review of the recently available HTC One. I have had the past few days to go over the device extensively and here are my thoughts. I will break it down by screen quality, responsiveness, ease of use, build quality, text input, camera quality, call quality, batter quality, and features.
Screen Quality: The screen on this thing was nice to view and natural looking when viewed in the dark and indoors. However once outdoors it was visible but not nearly as much as some other phones I have used, such as the DNA or iPhone 5. Also I had a of what I am sure was a quality control issue and received a new out of box One with a dead pixel on the screen. Barely noticeable unless you were viewing emails or light colored screens but still shouldn't be on a brand new phone like this. Viewing angles were pretty good while indoors but outdoors you might as well forget it unless it's overcast out. As far as the picture clarity goes the pictures are sharp and look great but a bit too cold for my liking. In the end I still was very impressed with the actual clarity and quality of the screen aside from the small imperfections.
Responsiveness: Well as far as I could gather this thing didn't have any hiccups at all with the exception of dropping wifi a few times while trying to watch videos on youtube. It did seem to render a bit slower than normal for youtube watching but I think it was due to the internet connectivity issues. As far as running memory intensive apps it worked very well. I played Horn and it didn't stutter a bit. Web pages loaded fast as well and it even gave me the option to load web pages with flash. I did have some issues watching some videos online however due to enabling flash but not too many. Swiping between screens and going from different applications was fine and had no lag at all. Definitely a great phone and can handle itself even under a load.
Ease Of Use: The new home page section integrates your social networks such as Facebook rather well but not entirely too sure it is needed. It however can be disabled, sort of, to where you can have the typical Android homepage experience. I didn't mind the actual home page integration itself and it reminded me of a live tile experience but a very limited one. Not a bad thing but not something that is much needed either. Making phone calls was simple and quick and the setup was rather nice too. Once you get used to the lack of the menu button everything was much simpler. Opening and closing apps was a breeze as well yet a menu button would be nice.
Build Quality: The phones design aesthetics are certainly one of the best I have seen on an Android device in a very long time, possibly ever. It had a sturdy feel and wasn't too terribly heavy in the hand without a case attached to it. As for the screen it did seem to not be exactly flush with the bezel. Part of it was or seemed to be above the metal bezel at the top of the phone and more flush at the bottom. This could just be a quality control issue though and not an actual design flaw. I also received a new in the box unit that had a dead pixel on the screen right out of the box so it could of been just a dud. When holding the device it felt rather comfortable but if you have small hands it might not be the phone for you as its actually slightly larger than a Galaxy S3. Overall I enjoyed the feel and build quality of the phone.
Text Input: This one I was a bit uneasy about mainly because I felt that even though the responsiveness of the phone was great the keyboard was not laid out very well and felt cramped and unresponsive so I opted to use Swiftkey instead as it has better predictive input and feels less cramped overall. The built in emotions were kind of a cool perk but nothing that made the keyboard feel top notch.
Camera Quality: This is where I left most disappointed. The camera on this thing was/is supposed to be not just good but great and though indoor shots were good they weren't great and it became worse as the day progressed. The outdoor night shots just didn't seem nearly as crisp and sharp as the SGS3 or the iPhone 5 and at the clubs you might as well forget it. I tried hdr, night shot, and auto, night shot was the best one I got but you had to stay still and the processing time took way too long to get a sub-par picture. Maybe I was doing something wrong but I just didn't come home at the end of the night impressed with the shots. However Zoe is extremely intuitive and useful and made a lot of my sub-par photos come out to be acceptable.
Call Quality: Call quality was great, when I actually had service, I used Sprint and well it's really hit and miss with them. Voices sounded clear and very audible even at a low volume setting. Also the speakerphone was loud and clear and didn't distort at all with my calls. As far as dropping calls I didn't at all but some calls faded in and out and this was clearly due to the network the phone was on and not a quality issue with the phone in my opinion. All in all it was more than acceptable.
Battery: I got about 8 hours of usage on the phone without having to recharge. The usual email checking, text messaging, Pandora Streaming Bluetooth, and movie watching was not at a high but moderate level and it seemed to work fine. I did however leave the phone uncharged for a day and at night when I went to bed it was about 3/4 full and went to less than half during my sleep which I am not sure if that was due to the wifi connectivity dropping or not. I do think the phone if being used on LTE would of put a more severe battery drain on it as I was strictly on 3G and WiFi during my time with it.
Feautures: Zoe, The Amazingly Loud Speakers with Beats Audio, were great and definitely make this phone a top contender and worth getting but I am weary about the overall camera quality still and if you are a photo hobbyist I might say wait and see what else comes out in the next few months. However I have to applaud the speaker build and quality of this thing. The sound will fill a quiet room and make it sound like you have a radio playing. It's just that good.
Conclusion: Would I recommend this phone to a friend on T-Mobile, AT&T, or Sprint? Most definitely I would if you don't have small hands and sub-par picture quality. Overall the phone is amazing and I think stands a good chance of doing well against Samsung's upcoming SIV and possibly other new flagship phones coming this year. If they got their camera right and possibly the keyboard a revamp I'd give this thing a 9.3 but I am settling with a 8.75 due the small yet significant shortcomings.