HTC One (2013) Google Play edition

9.0
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Reviewed by Larry Brumback (Currently owns)

After a 4 1/2 year relationship with the iPhone (3G, 4, &4s), I decided to seek the arms of another cell phone. I knew I wanted a pure Google experience, but wanted something nicer that the Nexus 4. When the Galaxy S4 and the HTC One were introduced, I started investigating.
I have friends who had the Galaxy S3 and have was very unimpressed with it, albeit it was a carrier addition and chock full of crap. As an iPhone user, design and quality craftsmanship are important to me, so the HTC One was a natural choice.
Since the iPhone 4s is technology a couple of years old, I was expecting an upgrade in features and performance. I was not disappointed. The phone itself is gorgeous and feels like a high-quality piece of electronics, comparable to the iPhone. The screen is bright, sharp, and rich in color. The iPhone began to feel small to me, even though the retina screen was beautiful. I often found myself putting down my phone in favor of my iPad, just because the screen is so small. And my eyesight is great. The One definitely scratched that itch for me. While I can't do everything using only one hand like I could on the iPhone, that is a small price to pay.
The responsiveness of Android 4.2.2 is something to behold. LTE was a welcome addition to my life. I am on the AT&T network and the LTE reception and speeds are very satisfying in my area. But even without the increased download speeds, the operating system is just quick, fluid, and responsive. While my fingers were frequently faster than ios 6 could keep up with, I am not really able to outpace Android 4.2.2 with my tapping and flicking.
All things said, I was worried about leaving the iPhone behind. The worries were unfounded, though as the HTC One has been a great upgrade. The only knock on the phone is the camera. Now, I am an admitted photo snob. and the camera is perfectly adequate; but it does seem to be a notch below the quality of the iPhone's camera. This could be because the Google Play edition of the One does not come with HTC's photo optimization software, but I have noticed a slight reduction in photo quality. Having said that, the HTC One surpasses the iPhone 4s in every other category. My wife has the iPhone 5 and, while I haven't used it a lot, I do prefer the One to the iPhone 5.

The Breakdown

  • 1
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  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • Design 10
  • Display 10
  • Camera(s) 7
  • Reception / call quality 9
  • Performance 9
  • Software 10
  • Battery life 9
  • Ecosystem 9
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