My Daily Driver – Six Months Later

Hello freakazoids, I’ll be writing on my daily driver and the platform on which it runs and why i use it. I suppose the last item there is what you really want to know. I’ve been using my daily driver for about 6 months now and I tell you it’s been the best decision ever, well that comes after my experience with a ‘Fat’, Ugly and simply put distasteful looking phone from uncle Sam that i truly cant remember why i bought it in the first place. Anyway that aside, I had to go for what I determined was the best option for me. This device is beautifully crafted and runs on one of the most popular and well built OS we have on planet earth currently.

Ladies and mentlegen…. Oops!!! Ladies and Gentlemen, may I please intorduce you to the one and only….. wait for it…….

The HTC One…. Yay!!!

Yes of course what did you think it was? So for those of you who do not know this in my opinion and in the opinion of many others around the globe this is as a matter of fact, the BEST LOOKING MOBILE DEVICE in the market. No only is it the best looking, it’s got an awesome software that ya’ll probably don’t know about because you’ve probably been busy dipping your heads in some other bloated software or ROM (for techies). So lemme break this down;

Quick Summary

The HTC One offers HTC Sense 5, Beats Audio and BoomSound, NFC capable, mobile hotspot, Infrared (IR), DLNA, HTC BlinkFeed, which allows a user to build a stream of social media updates, UltraPixel camera, HTC Zoe which allows users to “shoot high-res photos that come to life in three-second snippets and can be edited together with different cuts, transitions, effects and music and then shared through social networks or email.
  • Data: Edge, 4G, GPRS, LTE
  • Design: Bar
  • Keyboard/Buttons: Touchscreen
  • Type: Smartphone
  • Touch Screen: Yes – capacitive
  • Camera Features: 1080p full HD video recording on both cameras, 2.1MP front-facing camera with 88-degree wide angle lens, HTC UltraPixel rear camera with 1080p video capture, 360 degree panorama, optical image stabilization and object removal, Wide-angle front facing shooter with 1080p video recording and optical image stabilization
  • Bluetooth: Yes, v4.0 with aptX™ enabled Supported Profiles: HSP 1.2, HFP 1.6, OPP, FTP, PBA, A2DP 1.2, AVRC 1.3, HID, PAN, MAP
  • Operating System: Google Android
  • Wi-Fi: Yes
  • 2,300 mAh battery

First Impressions

When i got the HTC One back in August 2013 after days of reviews and reading about the phone, I was really impressed with the phone when i took it out of the box.

Build Quality & Design

With its aluminum body and sleek, clean lines, the HTC One holds up to the company’s reputation of excellent build quality, and it’s slogan of ‘Quietly Brilliant’ really defines what the HTC One is. It’s incredibly brilliant and this makes me wonder why the Otigba boys dont even talk about it… Moving on

htc-one-speaker-grille

It’s clear that HTC spent a good deal of time thinking over the design elements of the One. The phone is a great fit in the hand. And it’s a perfect phone for one handed operation.

BoomSound is BoomSound and you can believe that. HTC heavily hyping their boomsound feature wasn’t just for talks, it’s really impressive. I don’t use earphones when i’m watching a movie on my phone, and i sometimes play music from the speaker and believe me when i say it ROCKS!!!!! Literally blew my room window open one time when i put the volume on the highest. LOL. Back to seriousness…. For music, you’ll probably still want headphones, but for movies or games, you’ll be just fine with the speakers, assuming you won’t draw the ‘beef’ of those around you by using them.

Display

At a resolution of 1920 x 1080 spread across 4.7 inches, the pixel density is a whopping 468 ppi, aka. incredibly sharp. Unless you’re looking at a low quality or low resolution source, it’s pretty much impossible for anything to look objectively bad on this screen. Text and icons show no sign of aliasing, and colors pop vividly. With Sense 5′s new text-heavy, minimalist interface, the sharpness is especially apparent.

Performance

With its Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 chipset, nobody was expecting the HTC One to be a slouch in the performance department, and benchmarks certainly didn’t provide any surprises here. Running my standard AnTuTu test, using the average of three runs, I wound up with a final score of 24,258. Epic Citadel provided similarly impressive numbers, producing framerates of 56.7 FPS in High Quality mode, and 57.9 FPS in High Performance mode. Considering that the benchmark is updating 2,073,600 pixels that many times per second, it’s fairly impressive.

Software

The HTC One runs Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean out of the box and HTC Sense 5. I’m currently on HTC Sense 5.5 and Android 4.4 Kitkat. I’m a huge fan of Sense and Blinkfeed. 

BlinkFeed is essentially a homescreen replacement that eschews the standard icons and widgets approach for news items and social media update. Strongly influenced by the likes of FlipBoard and Windows Live Tiles, its goal is to pull a wide variety of information into one easily accessible space. I can certainly imagine that there are people who are going to love this feature, but I’m also sure that there are many, like me, who would rather just open an app or two to access the same information. Right now, the sources available for BlinkFeed are somewhat limited, but it seems likely that if the new approach takes off, others will become available.

For the rest of Sense 5′s updates, it seems that the general focus was on cleaning up the interface and adding small but useful tweaks.

Camera

It’s impossible to talk about the camera in the HTC One without talking about UltraPixels. So, what are they? Well, HTC’s reasoning is that it isn’t about how many megapixels you have, it’s what you do with them. So they cut the amount of pixels per photo, but instead use a sensor that captures more light per pixel. This, theoretically at least should lead to a host of cool features like improved low-light performance.

So, how does it work? Well, HTC is right in at least one regard: low-light performance is very nice. I also noticed that in heavily contrasted, like those with a subject in front of a bright light, the resulting image was less of a blown out mess than it would be with many other cameras. Does this mean that the HTC One’s camera is the best smartphone camera ever? Well, no. Photos are definitely very nice, but I’ve seen similarly nice looking photos taken on a wide range of cameras, and those do often have a higher megapixel count. See sample photos taken with my HTC One below:

The 1080p video captured by the rear-facing camera (the front-facing camera records 1080p as well) is very much in the same boat. The video captured can be very nice, and the HTC One allows HDR video recording and 60 FPS recording, but the general image quality of the video isn’t far and away the best video I’ve ever seen.

There’s something else that it’s impossible not to mention when talking about the camera: HTC Zoe. Zoe is a novel new capture tool that simultaneously takes short videos and multiple images. In addition, when you engage Zoe mode, the HTC One starts running a constant buffer, recording in the background so that when you press the shutter button, it actually captures one second before you press the button.

In addition to all this, the HTC One features a host of different options like Sequence Shot, which uses Burst Mode to superimpose multiple images of the subject in motion on a single background, and a feature to remove unwanted guests from photos.

Battery

I have my wifi and 3G connections constantly on all through the day everyday and I can confidently say that the HTC One takes me through the day with about 20 – 30% of battery life left. And i’m talking about after really heavy usage. As at the time on this writing it’s 2:24pm and i’m at 58%. I last charged over the night and haven’t plugged into a power source.
The down side however to all this is that the battery isn’t replaceable. Batteries last longer than they used to, but it would have been good to have a replaceable battery. If you can’t live with that, you can as well get the HTC One dual sim variant which is still as awesome and also packs the ability to add expanded storage.

Conclusion

If you ever wanted a phone that could satisfy you in all ramifications (hehehe…. I finally used the word ramification… awesoooooome), you would be on the right track to pick the HTC One. It’s sleek, and it just works and i can guaranty you, you won’t be disappointed. Ask three of my colleagues… they all bought the HTC One after they saw how awesome mine was. 

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