TmoNews Reviews The HTC One S

There is little question that HTC has been criticized for releasing too many phones that all seemed to be too much like each other. HTC was putting out the newest and best phone once a month, every month, for as long as we can remember. Arguably, these “superphones” helped launch Android into the stratosphere but, as a company, HTC was doing itself more harm than good. As HTC recognized a change in direction was necessary and that quality over quantity had to be the new emphasis, they came up with “One”. Three new smartphones, the HTC One X, HTC One S and HTC One V, make up the core of HTC’s 2012 launches thus far. There is little hope in beating around the bush so we’ll just come right out and say, all things considered, the HTC One X is HTC’s top-of-the-line model. That being said, the HTC One S is no slouch and it’s dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor is ready to stand its ground against the HTC One X. The HTC One has gorgeous hardware, a beautiful display, a powerful set of features and it is T-Mobile’s newest Android hero phone. So how did I like it? Read on and find out.

Specifications: 

  • 4.3” qHD Super AMOLED 960 x 540 display
  • Android 4.0 + HTC Sense 4
  • 8 megapixel rear camera with flash
  • VGA front-facing camera
  • 1.5GHZ dual-core, Qualcomm MSM8260A processor
  • 1GB RAM
  • 16GB onboard storage
  • 1650mAh battery
  • HSPA+ 42Mbps compatible
  • Beats Audio
  • 5.15” x 2.56” 0.31”
  • 7.88mm thin
  • HTC ImageChip technology
  • 1080p HD video
  • 10.5 hour talk time, 13.2 days standby

Pros: 

  • Sexy hardware
  • Beautiful screen
  • HSPA+ 42 speed
  • Very good battery life
  • Superb camera quality

Cons: 

  • HTC Sense is love it/hate it
  • Non-removable battery
  • Pentile display isn’t everyone’s favorite
  • Pre-installed bloatware
  • Will it stand out against Galaxy S III?

Hardware: 

The HTC One S can only be introduced as thin, like I want to caress-this-in-my-hands-thin thin. Your first impression of the phone will almost certainly be a little bit of wonderment around its the slim profile. While it may anger a small percentage of users, HTC was partially able to accomplish the sleek profile by making the battery of the HTC One S non-removable. That’s not always a plus, especially when a hard rest is required due to a lingering issue disrupting your smartphone workday. Also, there is no Micro-SD slot. Instead, HTC opted to include 16GB of onboard storage which can be paired with 25GB of Dropbox storage. The only removable part of the phone is the top cover on the rear of the device which hides the microSIM. Yup, you read that right, I said microSIM.

As for the rest of the outside of the device, on the top lies the Power button and 3.5mm headphone jack. The microUSB port is located on the left side, and on the opposite side you’ll find the volume rocker. It’s a pretty standard smartphone configuration and HTC didn’t try anything radical with the hardware button placement. The One S is going to appeal to many users, partially due to the beauty of its 4.3” Super AMOLED qHD display. However, there are some potential One S owners who will be turned off by the Pentile display. So what does Pentile display mean? In layman’s terms, when viewed up close, the sub-pixel matrix of a Pentile display will make lines look jagged meaning the edges of text and graphics don’t appear smooth. If you’re looking at the display at any distance farther than 18 inches or so, you’d be hard pressed to detect any difference between a Pentile and non-Pentile display. The qHD display has 540 x 960 resolution, which is better than the Galaxy S II, but less so than say the iPhone’s retina display or even the screen on the Galaxy Nexus. Will any of this matter to you? To a very small sub-set of users who swear off Pentile display, yes. To the layman, no, you will likely never notice as the display is still beautiful.

The aluminum body of the HTC One S has to impress you. It’s seriously just that thin, that sleek and that sharp. T-Mobile opted against the micro arc oxidation treatment HTC has been giving international versions of the HTC One X and One S, providing it with a smoother finish. Not having tried the international version, we make our own fair comparison, but for those that have, there seems to be agreement that T-Mobile made the right choice. Most important, the HTC One S will not show fingerprints, at least not on the aluminum parts of the phone.

There is little question that HTC has compiled a powerful phone. The reigning benchmark champ on T-Mobile, the Galaxy S II, puts up a Quadrant benchmark score right around the low-mid 3000’s. The HTC One S? Every Quadrant score I attempted on the One S scored over 4800+. I know, benchmarks mean little in the real world and that’s very true, but you can’t set aside just how powerful the HTC One S really is. Gorilla glass screen, 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor and 1GB of RAM — they all give the One S the goods to perform.

Software: 

I’ll go out on a limb right away and say that HTC Sense 4 combined with Ice Cream Sandwich is the best-looking Android overlay currently on the market. Like all Android overlays, they exist in a love it or hate it world and that’s very fair to say. I’ve seen and read enough of your feedback to know that there are clear battle lines drawn in the TouchWiz vs. Sense war.

The One S packs a punch with graphical widgets, but with less 3D effects than we’ve seen in previous iterations of Sense. The iconic HTC clock and weather widget greet you as soon as you’ve finished booting the device, and they are joined by the internet and gallery apps, as well as the Google search widget. Google Play is surprisingly relegated to a second homescreen, just one screen flip to the right. Enter the main app screen and you’re immediately greeted with far too much pre-installed T-Mobile bloatware. Say hello to 411 & More, Amazon, Game Base, Lookout security, T-Mobile Hotspot, More for Me, My T-Mobile, Polaris Office, Slacker, T-Mobile Mall, T-Mobile Name ID, T-Mobile TV, Where’s My Water and Zinio. There is a pretty good argument for including apps like T-Mobile Hotspot and My T-Mobile, but less so for Lookout security, Polaris Office Slacker and the like. How about this? Just stop installing bloatware all together. None of this accounts for the apps HTC has pre-loaded but we won’t get into those. Needless to say, there is — like all Android smarpthones these days — far too much preloaded.

On a side-note, for all of those who have asked recently, Wi-Fi calling is pre-installed.

Sense 4 is seemingly redesigned to mirror Android 4.0 and it’s safe to say that Android 4.0 has its own set of pretty large design changes. Upon starting up the phone, you’ll be prompted to work through HTC’s start up process and it’s easy. You’ll choose your data connection, HTC account options, Dropbox account options, privacy policy and so on. My biggest issue with Android 4.0 and Sense 4 is the lack of a menu button. It simply doesn’t exist. To help counter the lack of the button, HTC has added a black bar that pops up with three vertical small dots that stand for menu. How they stand for menu and how you are supposed to know that the first time they pop up is beyond me. They do appear anywhere there isn’t a designated menu option and that’s good, but it’s inconsistent at best and you may find yourself looking for that menu button more often than you think during your first few days with the phone. Sometimes though, apps that haven’t been updated for Android 4.0 have the bar but no options, but, hopefully, this will resolve itself as more apps are updated for Android 4.0 compatibility.

When it comes down to it, Sense 4 is easily removed. I spent the last few days playing around with Apex and Nova launchers and while I won’t get into which you should choose, they are both great for getting rid of any real noticeable inclusion of Sense 4 on the device. That’s not to say that getting rid of Sense 4 was a deal-breaker for me. I stand by my opinion that Sense 4 is “better” than TouchWiz. For all the customization Android has to offer, I had more fun playing around with launchers. For the every person, Sense 4 is intuitive and most of the lingering issues regarding apps should be rectified as they update.

Camera: 

Camera quality is the meat, the goods and one of the critical advantages HTC tried to lay out for the One series of devices. HTC has included their new ImageSense or ImageChip processor which is said to provide nearly instantaneous shutter speed. At 0.7 seconds, it’s pretty instantaneous as far as I was concerned. There is no question this is the best camera HTC has ever produced on a smartphone, but that’s not to say the included 8 megapixel camera is so perfect you can throw out your DSLR. I still have to give Apple and Nokia the edge for camera quality as they’ve really gotten it right. However, if you’re coming from an older HTC product or even an older Samsung, LG or alternate Android manufacturer, you’re going to be impressed. I’d be interested to see how HTC Amaze 4G owners compare the camera quality. That’s where the real change could or should be noticed.

HTC has included an 8 megapixel f/2.0 back side illuminated camera capable of 180p and 60fps HD video recording. HTC included features like a 0.2 second autofocus, high-speed burst, and the ability to take pictures while recording among other less marketable features. There’s even a few filters if you just can’t wait to run the picture through Instagram before uploading to Facebook. 

Overall, pictures were good and certainly better than 90% of the smartphones out there, but that’s not to say they were perfect. I often saw over-saturation of brighter colors, which wasn’t such an issue in low-light settings but there was enough noise on some of the images to make me retake the photo. Part of that could be lighting, focus or just user error, but there was more than one occasion I wanted to re-snap the picture just to see if I would get the same results. Sometimes I did, sometimes I didn’t.

I would have to say that I would still rank the iPhone 4S as the most solid camera in my stable of smartphones, but HTC comes close. It’s just not “there.” I will say that the ability to take a picture while recording video is just so awesome I could celebrate it all on its own. Video itself was very good, but not perfect. I feel like I should stop and say that while it may sound like I didn’t really care for the camera on the One S, that wouldn’t be true. I did like it and I found it more than useful for everyday shots. I think the problem is that we’ve come to expect more from our smartphone cameras as we tend to live our days more and more by the “the best camera is the one you have with you” mantra. For so many of us, our expectations grow as the manufacturers tell us how awesome x feature is and how great y feature will be in low-light. It’s a sales pitch and we know it, but it creates impossible expectations that can’t be lived up to. The bottom line is that One S camera is absolutely good enough for your every day life. If you spot Bigfoot, you’ll get a great shot of him with the One S. If you’re looking to capture your wedding with the One S, you should look elsewhere.

Speed: 

In my preview of the One S, I noted that I was experiencing slower than usual HSPA+ 42 speeds because T-Mobile had not yet provisioned our hardware for the network. That’s something that happens from time to time when phones go out before they are ready for sale. It’s not uncommon that, as a reviewer, we received pre-production hardware or early versions of the final software. Almost 24 hours after my preview was posted, T-Mobile activated HSPA+ 42 on my One S and the difference was more than noticeable.

I performed two sets of final speed tests, one from April 23rd, the day after my HSPA+ network was activated, and yesterday, April 29th. Out of the last seven speed tests I performed, four saw download speeds of more than 20Mbps, and none were lower than 10. I’d call those speeds pretty good and more than acceptable for browsing, downloading and posting on your Facebook wall.

I still have to give the Samsung Galaxy S Blaze 4G the crown as the fastest phone on T-Mobile’s network. I performed the same set of speed tests in the same area as the One S and saw a more consistent set of results on the Blaze 4G. I still have to give an asterisk here due to the lack of HSPA+ network provisioning in early speed test trials. The bottom line here is that T-Mobile’s network still performed admirably on the One S and it’s an easy recommendation on their HSPA+ 42Mbps network.

Call Quality and Battery: 

Overall, I found call quality on the HTC One S to be great. The speaker was loud, the earpiece was loud and I really had no complaints using the phone the past two weeks. All in all, I’d have to say this was one of the better performing handsets I’ve used recently on T-Mobile’s network. Considering I’ve used just about all them, that’s high praise. I maintained a 4G network connection in all but one notorious dead zone location for T-Mobile near my home. No T-Mobile phone has ever survived the “4G” test there. It’s apparently an EDGE for life location.

The 1650mAh battery got me through an entire day of browsing, emailing, texting, tweeting, tweeting some more and checking my usual ton of daily emails. In my 12 days of fully charged overnight battery, only one saw me needing a charge and that was around 5pm, so late enough in the day when I consider a second recharge acceptable based on my usual smartphone habits. That I got through most days without needing any extra charge was impressive. I really think the One S performs admirably on battery life and it’s definitely a phone I would recommend to a smartphone warrior.

Conclusion: 

There is little in mind that would have me say the HTC One isn’t one of the first smartphones you should look at on your next venture to your local T-Mobile store. The incredibly sexy hardware, screen, camera and video quality, and Sense 4 all scream “hey, look at me, I’m awesome”. The HTC One is truly an awesome device and the only hiccups on the One S aren’t likely to bother most smartphone buyers. The non-removable battery, Pentile display and lack of expandable storage is something that will likely rile up hardcore Android fans, but for most buyers, 16GB of storage with a promising 25GB of extra storage from Dropbox provides more than enough memory capacity for doing everything you want on your One S and more. Is removable battery really a non-starter? For some, yes, but I really have to say these are all nit-picky reasons not to choose the One S that affect less than a very small percentage of possible buyers. It may even only be one percent . Still, if those little things nag at you, look elsewhere than the One S.

If you’re looking for the best smartphone T-Mobile currently has to offer, the One S makes a very compelling argument. For those of you strictly in the Samsung camp, the Galaxy S II is absolutely a true competitor, though the Benchmark scores tell somewhat of a different story. HTC would also have you believe that ImageSense technology is another major differentiator between HTC and Samsung, but our real-world results tell us it’s not as big a deal as they may want us to believe.

The real decision may come down to the HTC One S and Samsung Galaxy S III/3 if and when it’s announced for T-Mobile in the US. Based on rumored specs, it’s going to arguably be the best Android phone ever but that doesn’t mean it’ll be the right phone for you. For Android fans who need the very latest, the extra few days wait is worth checking out the specs (and availability) on the Galaxy S III. Do you want to know what the best smartphone is on T-Mobile right now? The HTC One S will make a very compelling argument.

 

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  • http://www.youtube.com/user/mrjlwilliams?feature=mhee I’m Pro Samsung (Click here)

    When I used this device, I was not impressed. HTC sense just destroys the phone.

  • god of houston

    trash fake sensation and amaze

    • randomnerd_number38

      trash fake comment not really from texas
       

  • Jaygqitalia

    My amaze takes better photos then this phone if you do a side by side comparison. Alot of the reviews I have read say the camera is not that great. So David, based on your review, would you call this phone better then the HTC Amaze? Since that was the last HTC phone on T-mobile, maybe you can give some insight, instead of just against the Galaxy S2

    • http://tmonews.com David

      Would I call it better, yes…for someone who doesn’t own the Amaze. If you own the Amaze, I wouldn’t be in a rush to upgrade, especially if you’ve already rooted and/or can wait till June and Ice Cream Sandwich.

      • Jaygqitalia

        Thank you. I might just hold on to the phone then. I am still in buyers remorse and was thinking about going to get the ONE s instead. I actually had some slight screen bleed and wanted a new amaze sent to me, but The Amaze is out of stock right now! For the past 4 days. Not to mention they lowered the price to 449.99 after I financed for 549.99 10 days ago. Since they dont have the Amaze, they said they would send the ONE S instead and they would pay the difference for the down payment. Meh well see

        • Deon Davis

          In that case get the One S, always tried up when you can!

        • Jody Smith

          If you are paying the off contact price return it while you still can and buy get a GSM Galaxy Nexus for $399 from the google play store. The one s may be a little faster than the nexus with the stock nexus rom, but the nexus has a display almost as nice as the ONE X for $150 less than you paid for the Amaze.

      • Jim

        If the One S were a 10 on the 10 point scale, what would S II be?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1586820069 steadymobb

      My friend just got this phone so I’ve played around with both…it’s really much better from a  design standpoint than the Amaze, but I never really tested out the camera…however Engadget’s review says it’s the best Android camera phone along with the One X

  • Adam

    I still don’t understand how this is a big “change in direction” for HTC. Let’s compare it to the HTC Sensation. In looks, the form is not a huge “change in direction.” Also, while the camera and the screen are improved, they are nothing revolutionary. In terms of software, sense 4 is nothing crazy different from sense 3.5. I am a fan of android and I have nothing against HTC, I just would like to see things that are truly different from what is being pushed out every month.

    • Deon Davis

      How much different can you go really on a slab phone?

      • Adam

        I don’t really have an answer for that. I just hate the claims that they are changing a direction when they are still going down the same generic road with slight spec improvements.

    • kalel

       Read the article again.  The change is not releasing a dozen or more phones in a year but keeping the line to 3 different ones.  The change was a on the manufacturing, not the phone itself.

  • Deon Davis

    The One S is very nice a top tier phone indeed! I’m so happy with the One S that I think people who don’t like it. A. Have never used the phone or B. Are hating just to be hating.

  • Inaudy69

    Love it so far no complaints of any kind thanks htc ohh very fast

  • Deon Davis

    How much different can you go really on a slab phone?

  • Androidaddict

    Just to let you know, the Micro Arc Oxidation version is coming to TMO in June…

  • Sirivn

    David

    I need to know why the HTC one x isn’t available for Tmobile USA and available
    at Tmobile UK.
    That’s right u heard me.
    Tmobile UK has the HTC one x for their customers. On contract or pay as u go.
    I wanted this particular phone and im pissed off that Tmobile USA doesnt offer it. More pissed to see that Tmobile UK has it.
    David what is wrong with Tmobile USA?
    Why they keep screwing us over?
    This is HTC flagship phone.
    Im done.

    • http://tmonews.com David

      The whole T-Mobile UK, T-Mobile US argument really doesn’t hold any water. They are two separate bodies working for the same head, faulting one company for not carrying something the other does isn’t really helpful. In any case, I can understand why everyone will want the One X, but it’s not like the One S is a slouch. It’s still a great phone and if not, grab a One X and hope the refarm comes to your area soon!

      • Reaper.

        As an englishman living in usa I feel the need to clarify to american users that tmobile UK merged with orange to become a company known as EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE. While DT owns a major stake they do not get a say in the running if the company. In the uk they didnt want DT having a monopoly in the industry, pretty much what would if happened here if the att merger had gone through.They are completely different companies, on different continents which have to abide by different laws etc. you can’t really complain as 4g hasn’t even been released over the pond. If you weren’t complaining about this side you would be comparing about another side of the story.

    • http://de-kart.com Wagonist

      TMo UK and Tmo USA are on different continents and thus do not operate on the same network….

    • Roswell_V

      The same reason T-Mobile UK has the iPhone and has had the Galaxy S2 since release.

  • calico_kj

    OK…here’s an HTC with wi-fi calling and ICS…where are the Sensation and Amaze upgrades? :)

    • Jaygqitalia

      They have Wifi calling already, thoes updates as of now are June 16th. 

    • pops87

      My Amaze had wifi calling pre-installed. ICS is supposed to go live for it and the Sensation in mid-June.

  • Sam

    Overall the phone has a very slick design and a perfectly comfortable size for an average smartphone user. However the pentile display, despite the Super AMOLED color and contrast, is just killing the entire experience. Using the One S for a little while, then switching back to my Galaxy S II feels like a night and day, in terms of the display. The benchmark results are impressive, but the performance is upped to deal with higher hardware requirements of the ICS. I didn’t feel a significant realistic user experience difference. Camera is okay, but has some noise and frame rate problems in video mode. I am still surprised that phone manufacturers are so lazy that, despite their marketing claims, can’t never achieve true advertised 30 fps very smooth even 720p video. One S isn’t an exception. It’s even worse then Galaxy, by the way. I remember the days when Nokia N95 was out, with it’s 640×480 resolution, it was able to provide REAL 30 fps silky smooth video. It’s bee 5 years since then, and the hardware evolved so significantly, however it’s really disappointing to see a degradation in certain aspects. If anyone can agree with me, low frame rates absolutely kill the video to me, however at least, that’s what I think. Very nice and informative review, Tmonews. The phone indeed represents the fastest smartphone on Tmobile, despite some of it’s shortcomings. 

  • http://twitter.com/ElmerYanes Elmer Yanes

    I hate the on screen menu, takes too much space.

  • Eddie

    I still want a One X.

  • Roswell_V

    Returned and went back to Galaxy Nexus. Display is garbage and Sense does ics no justice.

    • s10shane

      its funny u say that. i wanted to try out the one s but i also have i galaxy nexus running on tmobiles network. its hard to even think of letting go stock ics with fast updates vs the one s with slow updates and tmobile having to approve them lol.

      • Jody Smith

        How are the speedtest download speeds on the galaxy nexus compared to the ONE S for you on T-mobile?  I am tempted to pick up the HTC One S and try it out for a few days.  If I can accept the screen vs. the GNEX 4.65″ then cool, if not it goes on ebay and should sell for more than enough to pick up a gsm nexus from the google play store.  I want the Nexus screen size and vanilla android, but I also sort of like sense and want the DL speed.  However, between work and home I am on wifi more often than not.

        • s10shane

          idk how it compares to the one s since i didnt buy one. i just checked it out at t-mobile and played with it a bit. the guy at t-mobile was surprised i had a galaxy nexus running on there network lol. he liked my phone a lot. but for me its hard to give up a pure google phone for a phone that takes much longer to get updates. i enjoy stock ics over anything ive used. im coming from a galaxy s2 for t-mobile and that was a good device but laggy at times. i use wifi a lot though. t-mobiles data sucks where i live. i cant even get 1mbps download speed and i get about 1mbps upload speed. so my upload speed is much better then my download speed. lol.

  • elarella

    I was waiting for the One X, but when I saw that the One S outperformed the One X in benchmark tests, that was the deal breaker for me. The Tegra 3 processor in the One X is a beast, but the Snapdragon Krait processor along with the Adreno 225 GPU in the One S is very fast and efficient. Everyone wants the bigger screen, but with a bigger screen comes slower processing and less battery life. The 4.3″ screen in the One S with the Super AMOLED qHD screen is a perfect match for the Snapdragon processor which is possibly one of the reasons it is faster than the One X. I feel sorry for those on AT&T that is getting the One X next month with the dual-core processor.  Not that it is a bad processor, but there’s a lot of real estate on that screen to process. 

    • JMccovery

       The At&t One X will have the S4, just like the T-mo One S. Only the international One X (and the At&t One XL) have Tegra 3. In a nutshell the At&t One X is a bigger One S (same 16GB internal memory too).

      • sidog

        I think what he was trying to say that the bigger screen on the ONE X will make it slower compared to the ONE S, since they both have the same processor, that’s all

  • 21stNow

    One thing that HTC got right was moving the charging port higher on the left side of the phone.  As someone who almost always uses the phone in portrait mode, having the charging port on the lower left side (like the Sensation) was a pain!

    • http://twitter.com/SParKlngCyaNide SparklingCyanide

       testify!  I agree, have always wanted it higher on my Sensation as well.

    • http://twitter.com/ingram1225 William Ingram

      i’d rather see it on the bottom or right side. now i can’t rest my phone on it’s side propped up against something when i want to watch a movie. 

      • 21stNow

         Does the screen not rotate to landscape on the right side, as well as the left side?  Or is it the video viewer app that you use to watch movies that doesn’t rotate?

        The bottom or the top would be better, but it seems like Samsung and Apple does the bottom and Nokia does the top.  Maybe HTC thinks that the left side offers product differentiation.

        I commented on this move because I called HTC about the charging port placement when I had the Sensation.  I’m happy that HTC actually listens to their customers.

  • 21stNow

    Is it me, or is it ironic that there are three different phones called the “One”?

    Suggested edits:  First paragraph of “Hardware”-hard rest s/b hard reset.  Second paragraph of “Software”- comma needed between Polaris Office and Slacker.

    • http://twitter.com/ingram1225 William Ingram

      it’s just you

  • Chaser Racer

    HTC… Quit sandbagging, once again same shell/bones/structure….FEW improvements and I’m suppose to believe this is a game changer… Ok… Suure… LOL

  • Dhanych

    If you cannot remove the battery, how do you do a “hard” reset to fix freezes?

    • guest

       holding power button for around 8 sec, capacitive lights flash 5 times, reset.

  • Dhanych

    Most reviews suggest that having a microSIM card is a negative. Why is this?

    • Lionangel1

      Slows the phone down!! Thats what i heard but im not sure!!

      • randomnerd_number38

        Whoever you heard that from, slap them upside the head.

        • Bleacherbums1

          Or two or three lol

    • exeot

      the inconvenience of changing sim cards even though the old one is fine means you can’t switch between phones without losing stored contacts and going through the headache of getting it set up.

      • 21stNow

         I’ve been dealing with microSIM cards since the iPhone 4.  The SIM card adapters come in handy and are inexpensive.  Once you order one and get over the initial wait for it to come, you’re back to phone switching paradise.  I don’t know why the adapters aren’t sold in stores, though.

  • Dhanych

    If you had to pick between the HTC One S and the Samsung Blaze, which would you pick as the better phone? 

    • Lionangel1

      One S

  • Encino Stan

    So, who is buying Margarita mixes at Target?

  • Awgd8

    Ok guys, I have been playing with my new HTC One S for a couple of days now and It seems like i do prefer my old Samsung Galaxy S2 interface.

    I also like the screen quality pictures of the Galaxy2. It seems sharper than the One S.

    So far I do not see any lag issue with the One S. The only thing I do not like about the One S, is when you hit home button, it reloads you back to the home button and take about 2-3 secs to get there. Unlike the Galaxy2 that does it instantly.

  • Mattpen3

    What about the Beats Audio programing?

    • Awgd8

      I connected my bose earphone and I would say Awesome sound coming from this little device! I love it!

    • http://twitter.com/ingram1225 William Ingram

      not sure… my skullcandy headphones suck. HOWEVER, streaming via bluetooth… with beats audio… is night and day compared to my old Motorola Defy. I have a 10 speaker bose system in my 2010 mazda3. I will admit though, disabling beats audio… there was just a slight notice in drop of sound quality. 

  • Awgd8

    Last thing I need to expose here, is the camera on the One S sucked! Maybe just the unit that I have.
    But if you have the this phone, please check if the camera nails the focus right. I am having getting a sharp focus everytime I take a picture. It focus well if taking a landscape picture, but once youmtry to focus on specific spot, it going to be a hit and miss thing…

    • http://twitter.com/ingram1225 William Ingram

      you can touch the screen where you want to the phone to focus. Plus it has smile detection and face detection… all of which are disabled out of the box (at least the smile detection was). Also, video is not set to HD by default. 

  • nerdlust

    The s4 processor has my eyes wide open. My sensation runs so smooth and fast and this is a lot faster , I’m interested. The one x in the US will have the same processor and the international version of one x has the slower quad core. Far as screen resolution when I tested my buds iPhone and my sensation most vids and pics looked great on both.

    • Darvondd

      I ran test on both yesterday at a tmobile store and my sensation was right there with the one s.on some test my sensation actually pulled up apps quicker than one s.I would say its a lil overrated.good still the same

      • http://twitter.com/Serotheo Simon Yu

        Is Your Sensation rooted though?

        And the One S probably pulls in much better battery while being clocked lower.

      • http://twitter.com/ingram1225 William Ingram

        not buying it… the sensation quadrant score is the worse out of the latest HTC phones including the mytouch4g slide… Sensation got around 1900, myTouch4g Slide (my wifes) got 2200, Amaze gets around 2800, and my One S gets 5077 (average 48-4900)

  • Awgd8

    Ok i finally confirmed the problem with pictures being out of focus. Strange to me that when I snap a picture the display freeze so you can view the picture. This initial viewing after capturing tend to look out of focus at all. Then when you review the picture from gallery, it is focused…. Why can they make. It simpler? What you snapped is what you get…..

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Adam-Goldstein/751305972 Adam Goldstein

    Why the drop in screen resolution? For what reason would anyone want this display when they could get a 720 one?  That and no microsd just ruins this phone for me. Cloud is nice but what if i’m camping or somewhere without great service?  Phones need to have microsd.

    • http://twitter.com/ingram1225 William Ingram

      I can honestly say I have never removed an SD card except when I upgraded my last smartphone to a 8gb… which I never did fill up all the way. You DO get a USB cable… and if you have wifi at home you can transfer files super fast with dropbox. 

      • Anonymous

         Clearly, since you don’t use more than 8gb, no one else does.

    • Jody Smith

      If you are camping somewhere and cant live with just 10gb of music storage then you aren’t really camping

    • evereste

      But why? The micro sd and battery exchange makes every phone, awkward and ugly… Does anyone really need 10,000 songs and 5 million pics on internal? 25 gigs of drop box and another multi gig from google will exhaust all neurotics…

  • Rob

    It seems like tmobile gets the worst of the phones. I want a screen size like that new lg strategy or whatever on an HTC for tmobile.

  • Cyberw

    Why did tmobile choose not to carry the One X????

    • Mike in FL

      Because T-Mobile always settles for less.

  • TMoFan

    People, if you hold any credence to the G4x rumor you will be just as excited as I am. at&t’s one X is going to be gimped but according to the rumor, which you can find here on tmonews, G4x will come stock ICS with Tegra 3.

    Not to put down the One S though. It looks and performs nicely (and those are some nice 4G speeds there). Definitely not a phone to look down on. Great review David, thanks.

    • http://twitter.com/Serotheo Simon Yu

      If the G4x dropped before the GSIII, that’s if the G4x is the One X, It’d be a really hard call for which device I’d pick, when its down to that I think it’d be down to the design since specs would be so close.

    • http://twitter.com/ingram1225 William Ingram

      I thought long and hard about the G4X but decided that I didnt want a phone that big. I think the One S is just the right size. 

      • http://toddmarshall.livejournal.com/ tommy

         I definitely want a phone that big.

      • evereste

        I agree entirely, the phones are getting to large… I’ll take my one S an Kindle on road trips…

  • Noodlhead

    mine will be here tomorrow! I’m so excited.

  • Lani

    I must say that the screen took me a minute to adjust to. My eyes kept thinking it was looking at a 3D mobile screen.

  • now_onTMO

    nice review…

  • now_onTMO

    why are htc phones too narrow? they look too long

    • melon3531

      It’s not that narrow…actually if it was any wider I wouldn’t be able to hold it very well.

      • http://twitter.com/ingram1225 William Ingram

        because HTC didnt want to be another 5inch x 5inch phone like the SGII 

        It actually feels better in the hand and I have no problems using my thumb to touch the screen wherever I want. Remember… it’s all about ONE :~) 

        • http://toddmarshall.livejournal.com/ tommy

           I love the 16×9 Aspect ratio, I would choose that over the fat one any time! That said, the HTC phone has a shorter length. Why do they restrict the size to be exactly the same as the Amaze? …. I think HTC judgement is faulty, but that’s MY opinion.  I like Samsung judgement but I wish they used 16×9 but you caint have everything!

    • jaZzyjeff

      They keep that 16:9 aspect ratio for the screen.

    • Anonymous

       possibly because they wanted to keep the 16:9 ratio that most movies end up being. That way, when you watch movies, the movies will fill in the entire screen and there won’t be those annoying black bars on the top and bottom like on my ipad and 16:10 monitor

    • MarcusDW

      I hate all these screens going 16:9.  I wish the GS3 had a 800×1280 HD resolution like the Note.  That is another thing I love about my GS2 is it’s 16:10 resolution and that plays a factor in my next purchase.

  • extacy1375

    Glad to hear it has gorilla glass!!  Assistant at tmo store said it did not.

    Can anyone tell me how to STOP or ERASE facebook pictures & numbers from showing up in my contacts??  (I have disabled the sync, but it still continues)

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000248799459 Jamar Eccleston

      go to facebook app settings and remove sync of contacts 

      • extacy1375

        I have the Don’t Sync option set, on the bottom under other settings.  I still have it.

        • jaZzyjeff

          Go to Contacts and choose which contacts to display. On the top left where it says Phonebook there is a drop down menu and just uncheck Facebook.

    • anon

      you have to go to your contacts, menu, display options… something like that. uncheck facebook contacts

    • evereste

      Go to source… Google I guess, and remove from there…

  • Going_home

    Why cant someone do a dog fight between the Amaze and the One S ?
    Do one now while the Amaze still has Gingerbread, and another one after it gets Ice Cream Sandwich .
    I really believe it would be a real eye opener to people.
    The phones specs are virtually the same, which leads me to believe the Amaze would not get beaten by the One S.

    • http://twitter.com/ingram1225 William Ingram

      the specs are not the same. The amaze4g gets a quadrant score of around 2800 where as I was able to get a score of 5077 on my One S. Big difference. FYI: my wife’s myTouch4g got a score of around 2300

      • Getsome

        Go Ducks!

        • http://twitter.com/ingram1225 William Ingram

          quack quack quack!

      • Jaygqitalia

        Quadrant scores mean crap. Dont base a phone on it. 

      • Going_home

         They both have 1.5ghz processors.
        But actually you are right, the Amazes specs are better.
        +NFC, +SD slot, +removable battery, +better screen

        :-D

    • Jaygqitalia

      I have the Amaze and the screen alone up close is better then the One S. Add the little things like the sd slot, removable battery, ICS in june, NFC, 2mp front facing camera, and no pentile display, then you have the amaze, minus the processer. Also, from everything I have read and seen, the pictures on the amaze are better then the one S. Cept for low light

      • Csaba1

        It nice from you to try convince beople that you think the amaze is better than the one s ,but those who had both it would not work simple the one s is waaay better in every way than the amaze!
        Just except it!

        • Anonymous

           doubt it. Most of the people that appear to want the phone are not amaze owners. The amaze was an extremely underrated phone that was plagued with battery and weight/size issues.

          However, It was largely brushed off because they launched it along with the much more popular galaxy 2.. which took away any hype the amaze had. Since my co worker got a galaxy 2 and needed to know how to use it, I was able to play with the amaze and galaxy 2 at the same time. the galaxy 2 felt like a kids toy with it’s comically large and low res display. Frustrating touchwhiz (worst interface ever).

          I think if the amaze had launched separately, it would have done a lot better.

        • Vim

          It also didn’t help that the Amaze’s initial price was $30 higher than the GS2′s, and that the GS2′s super amoled plus display has such vivid colors. Many people don’t realize at first that the GS2′s colors are oversaturated and unrealistic, only that they’re highly attractive to the eye.  And a lot of those who do know simply don’t care.  So most people went with the cheaper phone that had the more eye-catching display, even if it also looked and felt a bit cheaper in the hand. The Amaze’s price has since come down, but not before the GS2 firmly established its reputation as top dog. 

      • Anonymous

         I think that other than the thickness, “aged” processor, slower camera, and battery life, the amaze is better in every other way

        I would have kept mine if the battery could get my through a day without charging, but in my case, it couldn’t. It went back to tmobile in less than 2 weeks)

        • Vim

          The Amaze has terrible battery life. It’s my biggest gripe by far with the phone.  Thankfully spare batteries are dirt cheap and easily carried in even a small pocket.  I thus never leave home without one or two spares. 

          One of the advantages of the newer processor in the One S is its greater power efficiency.  The increasing amount of black in Android’s newer default themes also favors super amoleds since they turn off pixels to get black.    Thus by all accounts the One S does last a few hours longer on a single charge than the Amaze.  On the other hand if you are a heavy user or forget to charge your phone overnight, the inability to quickly and easily swap the battery out for a spare means you’ll be tied to your charger and an AC outlet which is potentially even more restrictive.  HTC gives with one hand and takes away with the other…

  • Roger

    One thing I like about the One S is that they changed the bar display to a possible 5 bars instead of the usual 4 T-mobile phones get stuck with.(This makes almost no difference but for some reason it looks better to me. Purely aesthetic.)

  • chumlee

    No review on the Beats Audio? You know, only the most advertised feature of the phone….

    • Anonymous

       and probably the most over-hyped useless feature the phone has?

      • http://twitter.com/jjoseph502 Jason Joseph

        if it wasn’t for beast audio if would have horrible audio like all the other htc phones.

        • Guest

          beats audio is a gimmick. sure it sounds a little better but for a music enthusiast, like me, they would want a more balanced sound instead of overpowering bass making the other tracks in the song to sound muddy. That’s why I don’t buy beats headphones either. 

        • evereste

          A ‘music enthusiast” would hardly use any cell phone as a benchmark for superior audio…jes sayin’

        • evereste

          A ‘music enthusiast” would hardly use any cell phone as a benchmark for superior audio…jes sayin’

        • Anonymous

           beats audio is trash

  • jbhotnessmon

    best phone on tmobile barely just wait till the Huawei Prism comes out or just get the lg g2x  since that has gotten sooo much support from lg and tmo

    • evereste

      Please, wish no man nor beast the G2X or anything related to LG…dreadful to the enth.

  • AbdullahBakry

    The only thing the GS3 will have over the One S is (potentially) better battery life and more likely then not a higher-res Super AMOLED+++ Mega-Awesome next generation screen. The T-Mobile variant is slated to have the same Snapdragon S4 as the One S and X USA models, and as such will perform the same if not slightly lower due to the higher resolution screen.

    • anon

      *than*

  • nathan118

    Galaxy Nexus FTW!

  • Loopylogic

    #100 post

  • Sahharj

    Hey david. Correct me if I am wrong, but isn’t the 3 dot menu part of ics? I don’t think that was an HTC decision. I have it on my galaxy nexus too. Maybe I was misunderstanding.

    • nathan118

      Galaxy nexus can add the dots by the recent apps button. Phones with capacitive buttons have to add a strip along the bottom.

  • Kazuto Okayasu

    I got this on launch day, coming from a Gal S 1 3G. TouchWiz+Froyo is dramatically different than Sense4+ICS so it’s no direct comparison, but IMO there are more positives than negatives. My only major gripe is no SD slot.  4.6″+ handsets are non-starter for me, and it seems anything better than this will inevitably be a JumboPhone, so I think I made the right choice.

  • http://twitter.com/_Bones Raul

    I’m on the fence between this phone and the galaxy nexus. I wish there was a review comparing both phones on T-Mobile’s network.

    • remister

      I purchased the Galaxy Nexus over 1S (will play around with 1X, if TMobile gets it). I must say the Galaxy Nexus is awesome. It has a 4.65 SUPER AMOLED screen. I am in LA, so there isn’t signal issues here. The good thing about is Vanilla Android with no wait on carriers/manufactures for updates. Ask any other questions if you need.

      • _bones

        I know the htc one s has more raw processing power but this doesn’t bother me since roms can speed up the nexus. A few lingering questions are how fast is the network on the phone? I’m assuming the one s is much faster since it is hspa+ 42. How is the build quality? I much prefer htc’s build quality over samsung, especially since the back cover feels plastic.

  • Vim

    Nice review.  Nevertheless I’d have to disagree on giving Nokia the edge over HTC when it comes to camera quality.  Most Lumia 900 reviews have been critical of its camera.  Even the gentlest, most positive reviews note the 900′s grainy low light shots due to its lack of a backside illumination sensor.  The harsher reviews don’t stop there, but also complain about pink spots and/or washed out images.

    • Anonymous

       friend has the 900, the photo quality should not be in the top of any list

      • Vim

        Agreed. Once upon a time Nokia made the best phone cameras.  Unfortunately for them those days are no more. It’s truly sad to see how far they’ve fallen. 

  • tspx23

    I got a quadrant of 5200 on my t-mobile g2 rooted and overclocked haha.

    Benchmarks barely tell you anything these days :)

    • melon3531

      How many people are going to root and overclock though?  Very few, only real phone geeks.. ;)

      • Guest

        actually very many people..many many more than you believe

        • Anonymous

           yup, very few, vocal people

    • Therealmikebrown

      What do you think will happen when the One S is overclocked and rooted?
      It will be higher than you G2, so no one cares.

  • Eric Strebel

    Will it be possible to get a one s with micro arc with the same 4g spec at the Tmobile version, this is a deal breaker for me, I don’t want a silver and baby blue phone, I want black and red.

    • Luizx2004

       + 2 I wish TMobile news would get an official answer from tmobile it would help alot of us on our decision to buy or wait .thanks

      • http://tmonews.com David

        They’d never given an official response right now, they would never allow a sacrifice in sales for a promise that is months away. No company would do that. They want you to buy what’s on the shelf right now, even if was true, nobody will admit to it. At this point, I’d buy what’s available.

        • Luizx2004

           very true, im sure it will come…they do offer black for euro version..so i take they fixed the issues with m.arc “coating”

    • Mr Lukes

      Yeah, I want black version… I have been waiting for so long for HTC One S and I will wait one more month if needed. I made bad decision over 2 years ago (I bought Motorola Click XT) and I do not want stuck with phone that I do not like for next 2 years

  • Lani

    Has anyone seen a HTC ONE S pulled apart showing the insides?  Wondering if there is a hidden microSD card that could be changed.

    • Get_at_Me

      i know the hd7 had one…i think there was a void warranty if removed sticker over the sd car holder