HTC One Smartphone Review: Android Empowered

Design and Build Quality

When you pick up the One, you can tell HTC put some serious time and effort into designing a phone that feels solid and rich. The handset features a full-metal, zero-gap unibody design with a curved back and rounded edges. The One’s silver finish, black glossy screen, and white detailing and edges give the phone a high-end look you won’t find on many other phones. While we like the look of the One’s all metal design, we should point out that this smooth finish will slide out of your hand more easily than some of the soft rubberized finishes found on other phones.

The HTC One measures 5.4 X 2.7 X .37 inches and weighs 5 ounces, making it one of the heavier phones in today’s market. Still, it’s a nice phone to hold and if you’re used to putting one of today’s other large-screen smartphones in your pocket, you shouldn’t notice a huge difference with the One.

The One features a 4.7 inch Full HD 1080p display with 468 PPI. Above the display, you’ll find a proximity sensor, indicator LED, earpiece, and 2.1 megapixel front-facing camera. Below the display, you’ll notice Back and Home keys on either side of the HTC logo. The One’s front-facing stereo speakers with built-in amplifiers are located above and below the display.

The left edge of the One houses the SIM card tray along with an eject hole. On the right edge, you’ll find the silver volume rocker. The base of the phone houses the microUSB 2.0 port along with a microphone. A Power button and 3.5mm headset jack are housed on the top edge of the phone.

When you flip the One over, you’ll find the HTC UltraPixel Camera along with an LED Flash. This camera features a 4 megapixel sensor that HTC claims is capable of capturing 300% more light than most leading 13 megapixel cameras. This is possible because the sensor on the One actually has a larger area per pixel.  Don't be fooled into thinking the 4MP sensor on this phone is somehow lower-end than the 8MP or 13MP ones found on some other devices. The camera also features HTC's ImageChip processor, an f/2.0 aperture, and optical image stabilization technology. We’ll take a closer look at what this camera can do in the coming pages.


Although it looks and feels very nice, one of the downfalls to having a zero-gap unibody design is that you can’t replace the battery in the HTC One. You may also notice that the One lacks a microSD card slot for additional storage. These two features may not be deal breakers, but they’re definitely something you’ll want to be aware of, especially if you’re torn between the 32GB and 64GB model.

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