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Old March 29th, 2013, 03:36 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Here's my review after six days of ownership. This is a tweaked and updated version that has been based on my review on this page just above. Some of the info has remained the same but I have added in a lot of new info based on my experience of the phone during my first week of ownership.

Please remember where I make a statement below like 'x is better than y' it is purely my subjective opinion and I understand and realise others will not echo my thoughts.

This is my first HTC phone, having currently got an iPhone 5 and a Samsung Galaxy S2 which has been replaced by the HTC. I did have a Galaxy S3 but thought it was a POS.

Wow, i'm impressed. I ran it alongside my iPhone 5 and both had emails pushed to it at the same time. I received and replied to about five sms messages on the iPhone and about fifteen on the HTC and had maybe twenty emails to both devices over that time. I took them both off charge on Monday morning at about midday and the iPhone died at 11pm on the Tuesday night. The HTC didn't die until approximately 5pm on the Wednesday although it did have power saver on for the last fifteen percent. I am a light to moderate user of any phone and I am truly impressed that the battery on the HTC is a real stormer. For instance, I took the phone off charge at about 20:00 hours on Wednesday and it is now 20:30 on Friday and the phone is still alive without power-save on at 7%. This battery is way better than my iPhone and that was impressive in itself. I couod not be happier with this result. I don't care what any of the reviews say, for me this battery is brilliant and that's what matters.

Build materials and Build quality
It's spot on. No gaps, no dead pixels, no dents, dings or scratches. Perfect. It feels great in the hand, has a pleasing weight to it; not too light, not too heavy. It looks and feels a million dollars. The aluminium is beautifully designed and the volume buttons sit flush with the side of the phone and have been cut in a concentric circle pattern, which is one of those little touches that shows that someone has really thought about this phone when they designed it. Sometimes I miss the power button with my huge spade-claw hands but that is more to do with me getting used to the power button being on that side (remember, I am an iPhone user so the power button on the top is perfectly natural to me).

Dear god! The best screen I have ever seen on a smartphone! No ghosting, no bleed, no tears and videos are crisp, clear and extremely high quality. I am very very impressed with the screen. The finger glide action is crystal smooth and the viewing angles are actually very good indeed. At the moment, colours seem vivid. I gather from other reviews that the screen colours look slightly washed out against other phones. If that is the case, you will not notice unless you are looking for it. For me, they are perfectly fine. Darks are dark and lights are light and all the colours in between seem rich and vivid; so I can't complain.

Beats Audio
Loud or what? Incredibly clear and distortion-free no matter whether you are playing Mussorgsky or Megadeth (I tried). Forget about booting up that phone in a quiet room like a bedroom at night or a library though! Try as I might, I couldn't get it to distort at all, no matter what I played through it. Definitely the loudest phone I have ever heard and has made me jump a few times because of this.

Sense 5
Very good indeed. Easily better than my experiences with stock Touchwiz on my Samsung S3 and S2. Very smooth scrolling and the icons look sharp and have obviously had a rework for the new high-def screen. I thought I would dislike the vertically scrolling App drawer but it feels fine to use. I wish I could put more icons on my homescreen though but that will require a launcher. Maybe i'll do that in the not too distant future. Blinkfeed was interesting for a while but I found it very cluttered so I have removed all feeds from it. I will try it out again in a few days once the initial small-child-at-Christmas feeling has subsided a bit. As I mentioned in another post somewhere, Blinkfeed would be miles better if we could add in our own feeds or mail accounts. I would have no issues in having that as my home screen then. Until that time, it has been relegated to another screen and emptied of feeds.

The stock UI has some great touches and the various inbuilt apps are lovely and uncluttered to use. There isn't the sense that HTC have tried to cram as much in whether it will fit or not. Again, to me it looks like real thought has been given to the apps they have in the UI and they haven't tried to dazzle users with a function that looks cool but will never practically be used by 95% of the populace (i'm looking at you Samsung 'Popup Play' feature).

I am not David Bailey, so I don't care if my photos are not the best in the world. I have an expensive DSLR if I want to take exceptional quality pictures anyway. The camera on the HTC is perfectly adequate for my needs. It's not the best out there for a smartphone, sure, but it is perfectly serviceable and it is far from the worst. Low light photos are great and they easily capture more light than my naked eye can see. Zoe is fun to use and I have already found it useful for capturing 'that perfect shot' and discarding the rest. The time from tapping the camera app icon to taking an auto-focus shot is approximately one second, which is astonishing and way quicker than I was expecting.

Afterthoughts: - HTC Sync Manager
I'm new to the HTC and found this to be a very crappy piece of software that tries to be smart and immediately started trying to add in over twelve terabytes of movies and music (yes you read right). I imagine I would probably have had to come back sometime late next week once it had finished. I dislike the way it tries to intelligently scan for all your media. I have a lot of media across my RAID and NAS and so I have had to manually delete everything from HTC Sync Manager as there was no easy way that I could find to do it en masse. It does however allow you to port an iPhone backup straight to your HTC which for me was an absolute godsend.
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