To say these last two weeks have been intense would be a harsh understatement. My LG Optimus G Pro review went live last Monday, followed by my full HTC First review this Monday. And Michael’s epic, in-depth and awesome review of the Galaxy S 4, along with a ton of comparisons and other S4 footage went live on Wednesday.
Since it’s been a full week since many of you picked up your HTC One, we want to hear how the device is holding up for you, the early adopters.
There is always a sudden rush and revitalized hype around a brand new phone, a reality distortion field in which everything about it is amazing and great. You gush when it vibrates or chimes, you use the phone much more than you normally would and the newness hasn’t even began to wear off.
After a few days, though, the newness sometimes begins to fade. And less-than-stellar aspects begin to stick out like a sore thumb. Maybe you’ve began to realize the camera isn’t as great as you were hoping. Or maybe the idiosyncrasies of Sense 5 are beginning to drive you nuts. Better yet, the device might already be showing signs of wear and tear.
I’ve been dying to get my hands on a One since the announcement event. The anticipation was killing me, especially after Brandon and Anton received review units. But the One arrived at my place yesterday morning, towards the end of the Pocketnow Weekly podcast. And I’ve barely put it down in the 13 hours (at the time of this writing) since.
I have caught myself doing what I do best ever since I first tore open the box: digging through all the deepest Settings menus and toggling various features off and on, testing, playing, tinkering. And although I’ve only had 13 hours of hands-on with the One, I have quite a few takeaways.
First, I absolutely love the build quality and the design. Of any phone I’ve ever held and used, the One feels the best … by a very wide margin. It sits in the hand perfectly, and it feels more likened to a finely machined piece of art than smartphone.
But already, I’m reminded why aluminum – while it feels superb in the hand – is a poor choice for a device that’s only going to get tossed around. Resilience … or a lack thereof. Brandon had this device before me, and I don’t know if he used it casually, babying it as if it were a day-old firstborn or if he wiped it with piece of sandpaper and took a hammer to it before bed each night. Frankly, I don’t care. There are two noticeable gashes in the chamfered edge, scratches on the back, as well as a noticeable dent.
I can’t say I didn’t see this coming. My iPhone took a beating, even though I babied it, too. But that’s the price to pay for a superior in-hand feel and appearance.
The display is, hands down, the best smartphone display I’ve laid eyes on. It’s beautiful, bright, crisp and vibrant. Blacks are relatively dark and viewing angles are extremely wide. And I haven’t had a ton of time to play with the camera, but so far, I’m not hating it, which is a start. Between the samples I’ve seen from Brandon, Tony and Michael and the few shots I’ve taken, I’m sure I’ll manage. Heck, it’s definitely not worse than the Galaxy Nexus or Nexus 4.
Sense 5 has taken some getting used to after using pure stock Android for weeks on end. I haven’t touched Sense … since the One X. Sense 5 is an improvement, but there are a ton of things that are different and backwards from stock Android, things that seem unnecessary and over-complicated. Adding an icon to the home screen from within the app drawer requires you to drag the icon to the top of the page (to the Shortcut button) and then place it where you want it on the home screen. And changing the wallpaper can only be done from within the Gallery application Settings menu under Personalize.
The battery life has been questionable so far, even with Power saver enabled. And the power button is as awful as it is awesome. The placement and tactility is simply terrible. Oddly enough, I would have much rather preferred the DROID DNA’s power button placement to the left of the top edge. But it’s impossible to hate it, if only for the fact that it doubles as an IR blaster (which I’ve had a lot of fun with already).
Lastly, as much as I thought I’d love the silver and white model, the white trim is absolutely driving me up the wall. It has a matte finish and attracts all sorts of dirt and grime. Unless my eyes are playing tricks on me, it has a yellowish tint to it now.
This is my process, though. When I get a new phone, I don’t revel in its awesomeness. I immediately start critiquing every little aspect of the device – hardware and software – and see which complaints stick around. No device is perfect, and I’m determined to uncover the worst aspects of every new device in the first few days of use.
We’re interested, though, readers. How is your One treating you? Are you loving it? Are there all sorts of quirks that are driving you to hate the device and wish you had held out for an S4 instead? And, after a week, how is it holding up in terms of durability? Are you already seeing signs of wear and tear?
You know the drill. Sound off in the comments section below and tell us how you’re liking your HTC One after some time with it.