HTC One for Sprint – Everything Your Phone Isn’t [Review]

Pretty ballsy of HTC to market their new flagship device as EVERYTHING your phone isn’t. Considering that prior to its official release the HTC One was as elusive and hard to get your hands on as a picture of Sasquatch. Did that maybe add to the hype and make us want it a bit more? Maybe. The better question is, is it really everything my other phones weren’t? Let’s break it down and see:

Hardware Basics

Housed in its 5.4”x2.7”x.37” unibody frame donning a crisp 4.7” display protected by Corning Gorilla Glass display you’ll find:

  • Full 1080p HD, 1920×1080 Screen Resolution and 468 PPI
  • Gyro, Accelerometer, Proximity and Ambient Light Sensors
  • 2300 mAh battery – depending on your network can give you up to 27 hour talk time
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 1.7GHz quad-core processor
  • 32GB or 64GB internal memory.

Design and Style

It goes without saying the HTC One is a gorgeous slab of aluminum. Granted a lot of people state it’s too “iPhone-y” in it’s unibody design but being a fellow iPhone abuser myself – this doesn’t bother me in the least. It’s very sleek and lightweight yet not nearly as fragile feeling as my iPhone 5. The curved back makes it fit very comfortably in the palm of my hand and there’s just enough girth to make it feel sturdy enough to feel comfortable toting it around sans case, but with the growing availability of cases popping up I don’t necessarily have to.

HTC seems partial to 4.7″ screens – I guess if it ain’t broke, right? I must say I’m glad they didn’t decide to go to the baby tablet route with the size because I think any larger would make one handed operation a struggle for me.

Hear Ye, Hear Ye

Music is as essential as breathing to me and I’ve never been one of those people that used my phone as my primary music player. Sure it’s great with apps like iHeartradio or Spotify but I’ve never been able to stream sans earphones of some kind without a Bluetooth speaker mostly to boost the sound. With the One – no additional gadget is necessary. With the 2 front facing speakers the sound permeates throughout my room and I’m able to unplug my earphones and finish whatever song I’m listening too without missing a beat.

I’ve tried the One with a few different headphones and none added any real “benefit” to the already incredible speakers – until I paired them with a pair of Beats by Dre Solo HD’s. Admittedly I am not a huge Beats by Dre fan and always felt they were over hyped BUT when you combine that with the beats audio boost on the One – A MAH Zing is the only word I can use to describe.

Another kewl feature I enjoyed is the “karaoke” feature. When using the stock music player I can enable grace note by pressing the music note icon on the upper right hand corner and it gives you a great light show and populates the lyrics to the song. I wasn’t able to get the lyrics for every song I played but if the song is main stream and played on the radio the lyrics are available.

HTC ONE_MusicPlayer

My World in a Blink

It took me a bit to come to love Blink Feed. I have to admit I wasn’t crazy about not being able to choose which content provider got streamed across my feed. I could either choose from a short list of contributors for certain topics or pick a topic and let them randomly stream from different sources. I could also choose to pepper in some things from my Facebook and Twitter feeds but I’ve come to love it. I am one of those people if you don’t tell me to look at Facebook I will never see your status update, but with Blink Feed I see interesting status updates and tweets and I find I actually interact more on these social networks. HTC One

Some initial downers for me with Blink Feed was not being able to remove it, inability to choose from any content provider I want and not being able to edit and size the tiles how I want them to appear. Every refresh seems to change the layout a bit and I was hoping to be able to get more of a Windows Phone Live Tile experience. Blink Feed has since grown on me I am able to select the topics I want to be updated on and throughout the day and actually my palette is now more open to content sources I wasn’t previously familiar with. Blink Feed has actually turned out to be one of the best Social Networking tools that I never knew I needed.

I am anxious to see how BlinkFeed grows going forward. Now that we’re pretty familiar with it and this is only version 1.0 I can only imagine how HTC will improve it going forward.

Lag Surfin?

My mobile carrier is Sprint and my area still hasn’t been updated with LTE network. That being said the HTC One is very snappy even in 3G areas. I spent a weekend in NYC with consistent LTE coverage and I was afraid that when I came back home my phone would lag and I’d notice a huge disappointing difference.

I have to say that hasn’t happened. The only issues I’ve had with speeds are definitely carrier specific and the expansion into my area of LTE is causing more outages in certain areas than should be legal. My iPhone 5 and my HTC One are both on the Sprint Network and I must say the issues in my area has rendered my iPhone in most cases useless but my HTC One has been able to perform roughly 70% of the time in areas where service is actually out. When I’ve been unable to connect a call or render a webpage on my iPhone I’ve been able to accomplish both with the HTC One. Again, this is strictly a carrier issue.

Believe the Hype

I can go on and on about all the cool things this phone does and even debate the iOS vs Android issue, but that’s already been done and you can read that anywhere. I have to say the BEST feature for me is the TV Remote. The power button does double duty as a IR Blaster – basically a sensor that can connect to your tv. In a few simple steps I was able sync both my television (Sylvania) and my cable box (Scientific Atlanta) and control them both seamlessly.

It may seem like no big deal to you but when you lose remotes like I do it’s a GodSend. I don’t like to wear my glasses in bed but I struggle to read the on screen guide. Thankfully, the TV app also gives you the option of picking shows by clicking on pictures. Yes, it shows me what’s on now, whats coming on next and even if the episode is new – you can then click on the picture and the television will go straight to the show. You can filter it by TV Shows, Movie, Sports; etc. I also love that if you leave the phone on the Remote app and the phone goes to sleep when I grab my phone to see whats on it automatically wakes up.

What I will say is while I think it’s too early in the year to crown any phone the best of 2013 – I will say HTC One is #winning. As with any device there are little things that some may find to be deal breakers like not being able to add an SD card to increase storage or the fact that I can’t remove my battery. Honestly I haven’t swapped batteries since my Samsung Instinct and with 32GB of storage I think I can manage. Also, the HTC Sync Manager let me transfer all my contacts and images from my other devices – yes, including my iPhone 5. I’m not a huge picture taker, never have been and the Ultrapixel camera really being 4MP doesn’t really bother me. I have actually been taking more pictures with it than any other phone I’ve had and love that I’m able to add cool effects and filters without having to use any additional apps. I’ve rather enjoyed it and the quality of the pictures I’ve taken have been IG gold. Let’s face it that’s where the smartphone pics end up so who needs professional photography quality in a smartphone? Not this girl.

The battery lasts my entire work day 7am to 7pm and when I plug it up for the night around 10 PM I still have about 30% battery left. This is after texting, refreshing Blink Feed every 15 minutes and streaming music all day.

In Conclusion

If you know anything about me you know a few things: I carry at least 4 to 5 phones any given day and I tend to fall out of love with gadgets pretty quickly. So it’s been almost 3 full weeks with my new HTC One – does it live up to the hype? Better yet can it make me phone monogamous ? Yes, as with any thing it takes some getting used to because a lot of the features have never been done before (Zoe, Boom Sound; etc). After a brief learning curve and a forced iPhone 5 break – I was actually able to survive solely on my HTC One. End of the day it honestly boils down to personal preference. I love iOS and Android and the updated HTC Sense UI is a definite upgrade so for me I will still carry both phones. If they make an Android app for Injustice … I just might be monogamous.

HTC One is available on Sprint, AT&T and T-Mobile in both Silver or Black with a choice of 32GB or 64 GB storage. Pricing ranges from $99 – $199 with new accounts or upgrade – see your specific carrier for details. The device used for this review is not a review unit. It’s my actual personal Smartphone :)