HTC One X+ unleashed: Hands on with the best Android phone yet
The HTC One X+ was leaked in detail last week, but just because we know it’s an insanely powered Android smartphone already, it doesn’t make it any less impressive. The new HTC flagship has just been announced, but ahead of the launch we got a sneak peek at the device: read on for all the details and our thoughts on this Samsung Galaxy S3 killer.
What’s new about the HTC One X+, we hear you cry. It looks exactly like the One X from six months ago. It does indeed, but when the polycarbonate, unibody One X looked so good to start with (Like a slimmer, slicker Nokia Lumia Windows Phone), we’re not going to complain.
Underneath the hood this time though are some improvements. There’s now a huge 64GB of internal storage for stashing all your media, a bigger 2,100mAh battery, sharper 1.6 megapixel front camera and a faster quad-core 1.7GHz processor. Yes, that’s just about as fast as phones get right now.
Physically, the HTC One X+ is a delight. It’s as comfortable and beautiful as its predecessor, although the dangerous black and red colour scheme may put some off. We’re big fans though. HTC says it’s ever so slightly thicker and can’t guarantee One X cases will all fit, but we’d be surprised if they didn’t: we held one next to the other and could discern no difference in size whatsoever.
But the big change with the One X+ however is the software. The HTC One X+ is running Android 4.1 “Jelly Bean” right out of the box, so it’s packing Google’s newest features – including Google Now intelligent search, and “Project Butter” speed improvements so you never see any lag on homescreens and app menus. (Current One X owners shouldn’t feel too left out though: HTC tells us that a 4.1 update will start rolling out in October).
As usual, HTC’s embellished Google’s stock build of Android. “Sense 4+”, as it’s called, packs in some smart new features. The clever new “Get Started” service lets you set up how you’d like your phone to look before you even buy it, through HTC’s website (Yes, even if you’ve never even owned a HTC before) – just log in when you do, and it’ll all appear for you just like that.
The camera also packs a new skill, sightseeing mode. If you’re out taking lots of shots, this will keep the camera in sleep until you tap the shutter, saving you lots of battery life. HTC Watch, HTC’s video rental service meanwhile, has been expanded: load up the app now and you’ll see it acts as a hub for other video apps, much like the Music folder does already on HTC’s Android 4.0 phones.
One curious, and disappointing aspect to the whole package though: you won’t get a 4G model in the UK, though one is being primed for the US. That’s a shame, as we would loved to have seen this sort of power paired with EE’s super fast 4G data speeds.
Otherwise though, the HTC One X+ is shaping up to be the phone of the year, easily kicking it with the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S3 and the iPhone 5. It’s out in the middle of next month – stay tuned for a full review in due course.