HTC One Phone Review

The Nortec team have never been as excited over a phone as they were about the HTC One.

From the moment the box was opened, there was a definite WOW factor. Superbly designed: it looks FANTASTIC with its full metal body – giving it that industrial look. And don’t let its size fool you! It is much lighter than the smaller phone it replaced, the HTC Incredible S

I won’t spend too much time going over the technical specifications of the HTC One as there are plenty of websites with this information … but I can say, that things have definitely moved on quite significantly in the world of both phones and Android in the last two years.

The standout features of this phone include a 4.7” 1080p screen, 2GB Ram – and our model being the 32GB version means we are definitely putting it through its paces with some outstanding performance results.

Let’s take a look at the rear camera. You may be thinking, well its only 4MP – this is certainly a big risk HTC has taken for their new flagship phone. But don’t let this fool you. The HTC One uses a dedicated image chip and Ultrapixel technology to ensure that the most avid photographer can create fantastic shots. Coupled with Zoe technology, the user is able to take a short video and multiple photos at once, allowing you to select the best shots with a touch of a button.

But perhaps one of the most impressive innovations is the set of Beats audio speakers located on the front of the phone. These speakers rock. They are LOUD and crystal clear even when the volume is maximised. I’m running Spotify on my phone and the sound reproduction is just superb. I’m amazed no-one had thought about doing this before.

… And let’s not forget about the IR Blaster which allows you to control your TV. The default only does Free-To-Air TV, but I found an app to do my Foxtel, Amp and even my office projector!

Now let’s talk about my experience personalising and setting up the HTC One.

It is fairly simple because the phone guides you step by step, enabling you to connect to a wireless access point; migrate your data from another phone; set up a Google account, and even connect to a bunch of other services you may have previously used on your old phone. This is a great feature, especially for those who are ‘not so’ technically minded.

The wireless connectivity was a breeze. It found our office Wi-Fi and connected in seconds. The phone also gave me a few options for migrating the existing data from my previous HTC to this ‘new’ model. By instructing me to install some migration software from the Google Play Store on my previous phone – the process of transferring our data to the HTC One was relatively smooth.

In fact, between the two phones, a private network was set up and all my contacts, photos, music and other data was migrated within 30 minutes – but this time will vary for each user depending on how much data you have. It did a reasonable job in performing this task, although I did find that a number of my contacts were not transferred. This only became evident when an immediate family member called me and it appeared on my screen as an unknown number.

Another feature of this phone is its ability to synchronise with our business Microsoft Exchange server. This again was a painless process, but you do need to know your external mail server address, domain name, username and password – and don’t forget to tick the secure SSL box!

By default, it will download the last 3 days of mail, but this is adjustable up to 30 days – and if you want to download all your mail, it can do this too.

In the past, I have found it frustrating that the font size of my emails are small – and I am constantly reaching for my glasses just to read them on my phone. HTC have resolved this issue by offering four font size settings. The default is medium but by setting this to extra-large, I can now read my emails with ease.

And don’t worry about losing those important text messages, contacts or other data as the HTC One automatically backs up this information as well.

Now, we all know how important security is on your phone especially in this day and age. So security-wise I was somewhat surprised that the lock screen, which was standard on my previous mobile, has now become a component you need to activate. But, in saying this, you do have the option of using facial recognition, pattern or pin as your preferred security options.

The locale feature is probably of most benefit to those of us who misplace their phone on a regular basis. The locale feature enables the owner to flag the phone’s location on a map and make it ring loudly, even if it is on silent. Even more beneficial is that the phone can be remotely locked and/or wiped if it is lost or stolen.

I suggest if you use this phone for business or pleasure, these security features are set up. It will only take a few moments – and it is relatively easy to do.

The HTC One will also synchronise with apps such as Dropbox, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Dropbox gave me an extra 25GB as a HTC One user. This was a nice surprise … and convenient, as the phone can automatically back up any photos I have taken straight into Dropbox.

However, I did encounter an odd thing with the synchronisation. Synchronising my phone with Facebook was fine. It was only when I set up my LinkedIn account that I encountered some glitches. Firstly, it used the HTC’s version for integration into Blinkfeed: a new feature HTC have incorporated on the phone to stream live news and social media updates on your main screen.

Secondly, on setup, I answered ‘yes’ to synchronise of all my accounts. This was a mistake. The HTC One went out to match contact information between my Microsoft Exchange and Facebook accounts, then sent out a bunch of LinkedIn requests to anyone it could match. So if you received a LinkedIn request from me and wondered why – I give you my sincerest apologies. You were most likely listed in my Microsoft Exchange account.

… Just in regards to Blinkfeed, I have some mixed feelings about this feature. It’s not for everyone, and for those who are not familiar with it – it looks like Windows Live Tile or the Flipboard app.

My preference was to delegate it to a screen which is only a swipe away. It is a great source of information and I do find myself going back to it to get a quick news, Facebook or LinkedIn update. But ultimately, it’s all about personal choice and what you like to see on your main screen.

For me, one of the major benefits of the HTC One, is that due to its big screen and adjustable font size I am reaching for my IPad a lot less. I have also installed most of the apps I regularly use on my IPad onto this phone.

The HTC One does come preinstalled with Polaris Office, so it can open Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents easily. I would recommend this more for viewing files, rather than editing. For me, it’s not really practical editing documents on a phone.

I also installed Microsoft OneNote to synchronise my notes between my laptop, IPad and my phone. This works without any problems and enables me to make notes on my phone. The versatility of having a bigger screen makes reading and typing a whole lot easier

The HTC One also incorporates the use of Google Now (Voice). This technology has definitely come a long way in a few years. For example, I asked my phone the question, “Do I need an umbrella tomorrow?” The response was, “No rain is expected tomorrow. It will be sunny and 29 degrees”. It then displays the weather forecast for the next week.

I also asked the phone to find local Thai restaurants, to which it replied, “Here are the closest Thai restaurants within 20kms”. It then listed them closest to furthest.

I have also been using Google Now (Voice) to send text messages and even phone people. It performs this task with ease.

Now for those people who regularly use a Tom Tom or Navman, the HTC One has a car mode too!

It uses Google Maps navigation and has all the usual GPS options on it. I must admit, I haven’t spent a lot of time on this, but it did manage to get me from home to work. It is important to remember, you will need to use your phones data plan when using this function.

What more can I say?  I have only had this phone for a week and am fairly impressed with its capabilities – and I have already stopped carrying my IPad around with me!

I have, however, forgotten to mention one thing …

…. battery life. On a day to day basis I can be doing an array of tasks: reading and responding to emails, taking notes on MS OneNote, viewing documents and PDF’s; using apps such as Flipboard, LinkedIn, Dropbox, Facebook and Spotify – and guess what? Despite playing with the phone continually throughout the day, I found that I still had 30% battery life at 10pm on my first day of using this little beauty.

Detailed information on the HTC One can be found HERE at HTC’s website.

It does help if you have a good service provider too, like the Telstra 4G account I use and recommend to all our clients. Nortec is a Telstra dealer, so if you’re not happy with your current service or plan – why not give us a call, or even fax or email a copy of your mobile phone bill to discover what offer or benefits are available … And perhaps we can even hook you up with these amazing HTC phones. All the Nortec engineers have one of these phones – so ask them for a demonstration.

Tags

Comments are closed