Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: In your head.
Device(s): HTC One, Samsung Galaxy S3, Evo 4G rooted using as Wifi homephone/GPS.
Carrier: Sadly, Sprint.
Thanked 80 Times in 46 Posts
Ok, so I've had this phone for almost two weeks and figured what the heck, I'll give a review.
The battery life on this thing is great. I'm a moderate to heave user and the battery lasts anywhere from 8 hours to 20 hours with powersave on (it would probably last longer if I didn't use data...but hey, it's a smart phone.) Even if it did have a removable battery I would not get an extended battery for it because I use dual layer cases on my phones and you can't use extended batteries with those. As for the life of the battery as a unit, it's a LiPoly, it'll last longer than the phone, I've actually only had one battery on one phone ever need replacing, and that was my wife's POS Motorola Crazr, infact, my last phone, and HTC Evo 4G is still running on the original battery serving as a home phone, and I know somebody with a 3 year old HTC phone that is still running on the original battery, I foresee no problems here. (My only issue with having a non-removable battery is, what if you need to do a hard restart by pulling the battery? Iv;e had to do this with every android I have rooted (and that would be four of them) at some point during the process because the phone locked up. Hopefully that won't be an issue once devs find a way to get S-off on this beast. ) I was just informed that a simulated battery pull can be done by pressing the volume down button and the power button at the same time, hopefully this works if the phone does lock up.
Build materials and Build quality
Aluminum phone = premium feeling build, period. I have mine in a case, but for the few moments I had it out of the case I was impressed with the aluminum back, as a machinist I know the work they went through to make this phone as aesthetically pleasing as it is from a single block of aluminum. as far as fit and finish on my phone, I would give it an 7 out of 10. Many people have had perfect phones, many have had less than perfect phones, right now it's a crap shoot. I hope HTC tightens down on QC. My complains are that the plastic bezel on either side of the screen had small dents in it, the back has a small dent in it, the plastic by the charge port is warped outwards, and there is a .0055 gap between said plastic and the aluminum speaker grill (measured it!), the power putton is very close to being flush with the phone casing, but was not difficult to get used to, even with my Trident Aegis case on the phone, the chamfer around the phone looked a little ratty (as in, I could have, and do, get a better finish with a sharp high speed steel chamfer tool on a daily basis) which tells me their diamond tool was either dull, not running fast enough, or they weren't using proper coolant (Nasa used a diamond tip and kerosene as a coolant when they turned the aluminum mirrors for the Hubble telescope) but unless you really study it, you don't notice. The finish on the back is pleasing both to the eye, and the touch. The plastic sides also have a sort of bead-blasted texture feel to them just like the back. The camera lens (actually the plastic cover over the lens, but for all intents and purposes I'll just say lens) located almost flush with the back is a double edge sword. One one hand, it's easy to keep clean, you don't have an issue with lint and crap getting onto the lens, on the other hand, I can see it getting scratched far too easily. The volume buttons are right where I am used to them being, but the power button is on the opposite side of the phone, it was kinda hard to get used to, but I did manage. Also, the elimination of the menu button, and the fact that home and back buttons are swapped were also hard to get used to.
Simply amazing. It's so crystal clear, colors are so vibrant, it really does beat everything else out there, pixel density is even greater than Apple's "Retina" display, which is huge!
Let me first make it clear, I HATE Beats Audio headphones, they sound like crap. I've A/B-ed them against a $20.00 set of Sony headphones and found the BA's to be severely lacking. My take on the front speakers, they are loud, but not as loud as everybody was making them out to be. They do have a lot of low end with beats audio turned on, and sound light years better than any other cell phone (or laptop speakers) I have ever heard, however, they can be hard to listen to because at times they sound far too compressed. You can turn off BA, at which point they sound like loud cell phone speakers. The stock headphones that came with the phone are weighted towards bass leaving the mids and highs a little under-powered (it's tolerable), leaving Beats Audio on further exasperates this issue to the point where they make a regular set of Beats Audio speakers sound "sweet". In the end, you can't beat Beats Audio on for the external speakers, but leave it off if you plan on using headphones.
Awesome, a bit gimmicky, but has real potential. With it I can control my TV, surround sound, and to a limited degree Xbox 360 (found under the cable box section as "Microsoft" when setting up the remote.) I end up switching between MS smartglass and HTC remote for this. I can't control my bluray player, but hopefully that will come in a later update. Using the power button as an IR blaster was a stroke of genius, why waste space on the top of the phone when you can use an existing feature for it? I suspect more phones will be coming out with IR blasters which meant that even if HTC doesn't upgrade the functionality, there will likely be apps in the future. Since there are no physical buttons, until you "learn" the remote, you will spend a lot of time looking at the screen. I've only used it a handful of times, and already I can perform button presses without looking at the phone.
I don't really use phone cameras for picture taking unless in a pinch, but from what little I've seen it's not too impressive. low light is better, and file sizes are smaller, on the downside, you can't enlarge the picture up to poster size (but then, why would you want to?) I do like the fact that HTC has done away with the megapixle race and actually focused on things that matter in picture taking, I hope this sparks a new race, the size of the sensor and the size of the megapixles in it. Sadly, I think most of the general public will not understand this since megapixle misconception is so rampant.
I haven't used this yet, but it seems like it could be very handy, I'll be ordering some NFC tags in the near future to play with.
Daddy likes! It's a very clean but functional UI. I'm coming from a sense 1.0/2.0 hybrid on my old Evo 4G and as expected, sense delivers again. It's a very user friendly UI, not too cluttered, very intuitive, and it just makes sense (hence the name?) I like the launch to app or folder feature, that was something sense 1.0 never had, but I did have that in the hybrid I was running, and I liked it a lot. Being able to launch to my flashlight, phone, or camera is great for those moments when you need one of those right away. I never had the radio toggles in the status bar pulldown, and quite frankly, don't care about them because I keep toggle widgets on the left hand "homescreen" while that my be a big deal to some, I don't care, and wouldn't use them even if they were there. As for blinkfeed...well, I haven't used it, I put it as my far left, never visited, "homescreen". Some people my like it, I don't need or want it. I never used "friend feed" and won't ever use blinkfeed. I am very annoyed that I can't nuke it from my homescreens (or the clock/weather widget that is right above it for that matter). Since there is no hard key menu button the addition of software menu buttons in each app are welcome, it can be annoying at times, but is something you just get used to.
All in all, I like this phone, so to sum this up.
Pros: Great battery life, Sense 5.0, IR blaster, NFC antenna, no lag, fast, beautiful phone both hardware and software wise, large screen, amazing picture quality (talking about the screen)
Cons: No removable SD card, no menu button (you get used to it, but it's still annoying), spotty build quality (hopefully this gets better with the next batch, although this won't affect me in any way)
All in all I give this phone, a [strike]9.2[/strike] 9.6 out of 10