Early this year, HTC announced the availability of its most high-end smartphone the HTC One X. Less than ten months on, the company has released a successor to what was touted as the company’s super-smartphone for months on end.

The HTC One X+ is just shy of the 5-inch displays that the big-screen bosses, LG Optimus Vu and the Samsung Galaxy Note II sport. The 4.7-inch screen somehow doesn’t come across as being massive though, when I used the smartphones. The white body fits quite nicely in the palm, and is only a stretch when I try typing with only one hand.

Virtual buttons that take you directly to Calls, Emails, Messages and Camera are accessible at the bottom of any homescreen. As is the launch button for all the applications that you have stored or downloaded on to the smartphone. The screen is a Super IPS LCD touchscreen with a resolution of 720 x 1280 pixels. However, it doesn’t take away from the quintessential smartphone experience at all.

While HTC does impress with most of its well-designed panels, the one on the HTC One X+ doesn’t really stand out. The only thing that does is the Beats Audio logo at the rear.

Typing

The messaging client on the HTC One X+ wasn’t without its share of glitches at first. However, I did get used to the dimensions and was able to keep typos at bay. The keyboard wasn’t cramped either, although personally it’s just so much simpler to type messages in the landscape mode.

Snaps

The pics taken on the 8-megapixel camera were a mixed bag, something I’ve come to expect of any regular 8-megger in the market. While colour saturation suffered even under fairly bright light, the images taken without any effects weren’t too grainy and were well-focused.

As far as in-app settings go, you get to tweak exposure levels, contrast, saturation as well as the sharpness of the image before you click it. Now, these options are accessed through a drop-down menu which takes up a lot of screen space. So, even though HTC offers a live-view of the frame while you adjust the settings, most of my subject was just masked by the in-app menu. Tweaking contrast and saturation levels made the images a little blurry as well as grainy. HTC has thrown in a couple of scene modes that includes an HDR option. The shots taken with the HDF filter on weren’t dramatically different from the ones taken without the filter. The Macro mode seems to work well too except the camera overall results in slightly noisy images.

The smartphone has a mode similar to the one I had tried out on the HTC Desire X – continuous shooting. After capturing a bunch of shots back to back, the camera prompts you to choose the best one among them and lets you discard the rst.

User interface

HTC One X+ runs on Android 4.1 and features an HTC Sense 4+ overlay. HTC Sense retains some of the direct-access icons from the lock screen. So you can drag any of these four icons – Phone, Mail, Messages and Camera – on to HTC’s trademark lock ring and it’ll take you directly to the desired application. Also, HTC still leverages its motion sensor to quieten the volume once you pick the phone off your table, or switch on the speakerphone if you keep it upside down while on a call. Quite handy especially at the workplace or in a meeting if you’ve forgotten to switch to the silent mode.

Battery and performance

The HTC One X+ is powered by a quad-core 1.7 GHz processor, one of the most powerful ones in the market. I constantly flipped through Flipboard, obsessively checked Gmail as well as Facebook and there weren’t any hiccoughs even once. Thanks to all the core-power packed in, the HTC One X+ shot way ahead of competitors in the Quadrant Standard Benchmarking Test, with about 5,869 points. It left the likes of Samsung Galaxy S III and the LG Optimus Vu behind.

The HTC One X+ comes with a 2,100 mAh battery and despite the screen being a fairly big one; the handset did manage to last just for more than a working day. I was mostly on mobile GPRS connectivity and attended about 10 voice calls, some occasional browsing, gaming and messaging and the indicator was yet to turn red before the end of the day.

The HTC One X+ comes with a powerful processor and delivers decent battery life for a super-smartphone. The only downside to it might be the fact that it doesn’t exude the power it packs in.

Rs 40,190

Love – Super-fast smartphone, long battery life

Hate – Unimpressive design, average clicker

mahananda.bohidar@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on December 11, 2012)
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