hi tech computers (hTC ) played the die of its fate with shrinking market share and declining market revenue and marginal profits by launching its ONE series smartphones in the market. The one series from hTC is by far the most exceptional performing and gorgeous looking phones with superior built quality and extraordinary performance. And hTC One S adds to this brilliance. The first look at the phone will really make you think what does it takes to make an outstanding phone by hTC which is renowned for its quality of products.
1. Built quality
The HTC One S C2( codenamed as Ville C2) is elegantly built phone with stunning body with dimensions 130.9 mm tall, 65 mm wide and astonishingly just 7.8 mm thick, moreover the phone weighs just 119.5 grams. The phone is has a unibody design with a non-removable battery and ability to open top cover and insert a micro sim card. The body is built with unibody aluminium body with 2 plastic body caps at the back, in the front you have a 4.3 inch display protected with gorilla glass and infinity flow type curved pattern which makes a feel that display is flowing right to the edges which is eloquent. The body is colored with gradient metal aluminium body which may not be as tough as micro arc oxidised black hTC One S but still is more durable than any other plastic body.
The HTC One S boasts a 1.7 GHz dual core S3 generation Qualcomm MSM8260Scorpion processor with adreno 220 GPU. This has no comparison to internationally launched HTC One S with 1.5GHz dual core on krait architecture with adreno 225 GPU which is 2 times faster than former. The phone has a 1GB RAM and 16GB of internal memory (non-expandable) out of which 2.21 GB for apps and 9.9 GB for user as storage. The touch screen is 5 point touch screen i.e. it can sense and react to 5 fingers simultaneously. The phone is loaded with Gyro sensor, G-Sensor, Digital compass, Proximity sensor, Ambient light sensor. It has a 3.5 mm audio jack, micro usb 2.0 port at left side with mobile high-definition video link (MHL) for USB or HDMI connection. The phone is DLNA certified with network HSPDA/WCDMA: Europe/Asia: 850/900/2100 MHz; GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz The phone has Bluetooth 4.0 with aptX enabled.
The phone has a 4.3 inch Super Amoled display which has a pixel density 240 ppi with pen tile pixel effect. The pen tile matrix provides more pixels but text becomes hazy sometimes because of less pixel density. The screen is visible in bright day light and has good contrast and colour saturation.
4. Storage and memory
hTC has provided 16GB memory on-board which is unfortunately non expandable. The partition has been given as 2.21GB for apps as internal memory and 9.9GB for user as external storage. The OS itself takes 4 GB which is inaccessible. 1GB RAM is sufficient to handle the sense UI and running apps. I didn’t face any lag other than the inherited lag from Google’s android OS when opening apps when compared to lag less IOS. For sure we can expect something better in jelly bean update.
5. Camera performance
To be frank hTC One S is having one of the best camera all because of the dedicated image chip. The 8MP rear camera with auto focus, led support and F2.0 aperture and 28mm lens captures some of the best and fastest shots and even performs well in low light conditions due to BSI sensor. hTC has provided some amusing features like ability to take slow motion videos, HDR mode along with panorama and smile shot. The camera can shoot videos at 1080pi simultaneously taking photos at 8M resolution. The shutter lag is almost zero and focus is instant.
6. User interface and software
The phone comes preinstalled with 4.0.3 ICS version of Android with a nice blend of hTC sense 4.0. The good news is that 4.0.4 update is already available via OTA with hTC sense 4.1 and phone is on its way to receive jellybean 4.1 anytime in first quarter of 2013. While hTC one S (ville) international version already upgrading to android 4.1 we can expect a lot from hTC to offer to hTC One S C2 users. Sense 4.1 is almost lag less when it comes to switching the screens, the widget animations are smooth, and memory is also optimised with respect to background apps. This consequently improves battery life but jellybean is expected to add more features. hTC has provided ability for you to tweak the menu button to adapt to your choice, switching between apps is greeted by nice 3D style flip launcher.
The tiles type back ground texture is just fun to play with, background is kept white so as to be more visible when you are in day light. The level of customizability hTC provides is more than any other stock launcher from stock phones. You can change scenes, skins, change the lock screen styles. The clock app has a 3D view of earth and the weather app is as usual flawless from hTC, same is true for hTC stocks. The people app from hTC allows you to sync all the information from friends from social accounts. The music app allows you to update cover art from grace note which provides nice album art. The music controls can be accessed from lock screen, even the music app can be accessed from lock screen. The music app can also be used to purchase music using 7 digital. The gallery app be can be used to show the photos form your online accounts like Picasa and flicker. hTC has provided the notes which can be used to take voice or text notes and can be synced with ever note account.
The phone has tight integration with Drop Box and you get free 25 GB of space for first 2 years which by far is the most useful cloud service by hTC. hTC has included hTC car which useful while travelling with your car, just put the phone on the dock and start the app and your phone turns to a navigator. hTC locations app comes with navigation and offline storage of maps and can be alternative to Google maps.
The phone does not lag while using any application, even the optimized sense UI 4.1 in updated version 4.0.4 doesn’t leave any traces of glitches while using stock hTC launcher, switching between screens is snappy, widgets perform animations well and the only lag seen is the lag while opening apps which are not running in background, the typical android lag, we can’t blame hTC because this is the inherited property of android user experience, while 1.7 GHz dual core s3 processor combined with adreno 220 GPU promises to run everything from apps to games, jellybean update keeps a hope that lag will be minimized significantly. I played Modern Combat 4 on this one and it worked flawlessly well. This phone is a good option for serious gamers. Let’s compare the hTC one S C2 with hTC one S original version using quadrant benchmarks.
The quadrant benchmarks fluctuated from 2800 to 4226 (highest I got when processor was most utilised), so it tells the processors performs well when needed. Both have some noticeable difference because the S4 krait architecture can handle memory twice efficiently than the s3 processor because of the use of dual channel memory with powerful adreno 225 GPU, rest I think was somewhat identical.
8. Battery life
The phone is backed up by a 1650mah non-removable Lithium ion polymer battery. The non-removable battery has more battery life rather than the removable one. The use of Li-Polymer technology allows the phone to maintain 7.8mm thickness making it slim. The battery may take several initial charge and discharge cycles to get to the optimum performance. That means in the beginning you might feel the battery is little bit week but after several days of usage you will get more usage and standby time. The battery life is optimized in sense 4.1 and offers you to last for a day under light or moderate usage. But if you use it continuously for hours, or you love playing games, then you might need to charge it before that, but music playback doesn’t consume too much battery only 4-7 percent after 2-3 hours of continuous playback. Browsing may consume 10-15 percent within an hour or so because of the screen and processor. The background processes more prominently called bloat wares or preinstalled apps which consume battery and processor in background are optimised by hTC sense 4.1 to give you more usage time.
9. Price factor
After the launch in India at a price of 33k, hTC has significantly dropped the price to 24k due to the use of s3 chips rather than s4 chips (which outperformed the NVidia quad core processors in some cases). The decision was because of the unavailability of s4 chips by QUALCOMM. At 24k it beats everyone in the competition.
10. Pros and cons
As nothing in this world is perfect, not even a smartphone Pros-
- Built quality. Hold it and you will love the way it gets gripped in your hand. The built quality gives premiumfeel sleek but firm grip.
- Boot speed- the phone boots in less than 10 seconds and has a option of fast boot to boot instantly when you press power button.
- Eligible for future updates- hTC one S C2 will be updated to jellybean 4.1 within couple of months and can be updated to 4.2 jellybean if company wants it to.
- Camera performance with zero shutter lag. Camera turns on instantly. Just touch and you will never notice when it’s done. The camera is blazingly fast all due to the dedicated image sense chip. While shooting video you can capture photos. Continuous shoot and slow motion video shooting are advantages of dedicated image chip.
- Processor. Though hTC One S C2 is shipped with s3 1.7GHz dual core, it is still powerful enough to blow many dual core phones in terms of performance and competition.
- Beats audio- If you like music especially the bass and vocals, then beats audio is the destination for all your hunt. The beats audio profile turns on when you plug the headphones and deliver you more depth in music, you can feel each beat and minuteness in music along with bass and vocals. Works well with any quality headphone.
- Inbuilt flash storage is faster- The inbuilt storage space is faster than the micro SD card.
- Customizability right out of box- the sense UI allows you to customise lock screen even allowing you to use camera and music app from lock screen. You can have custom lock screens and moreover skins from hTC which redesign every widget and stock launcher. There is a wide range of stock widgets and each widget shows some kind of animation when used.
- Tough gorilla glass- the screen is protected and scratch free and provides nice viewing angles along with nice contrast and visibility in day light due to the super Amoled technology.
- 25GB Drop box space: – Online cloud service by Drop box is provided by hTC, 25GB for 2 years which is useful.
- Less pixels and Pen tilematrix pixel effect- Though the phone has super Amoled but its disadvantage is what will call the characteristics of super Amoled, the pen tile effect. Rather than the normal row and column alignment of pixels, the pixels are aligned in brick wall type alignment what we see in house walls made of bricks i.e. above 2 pixels in exact middle we have one pixel. It leads to more pixels but if the screen has 240 pixels, it becomes visible with naked eyes. The screen becomes hazy or the text may seem pixelated in some occasions. But this is not you can’t live with. It leads to good contrasts when watching videos or photos. Within browser I didn’t face any difficulty in reading texts, but text is not as crispy as in super lcd or retina display.
- Less storage space- in built 16 GB storage out of which only 9.9 GB as storage (consider as inbuilt storage card) and 2.21GB for apps as internal memory. If you love playing high end games and storing multimedia content, you might have to choose what to store and what not.
- No NFC – well won’t be able to use android beam, because it doesn’t have NFC.
- Screen resolution is QHD – the screen resolution is 960X540, not 1280X720.
- Speakers gets muffled sometimes when phone is on soft surfaces like bed.
- Lack of music equalizer presets other than beats audio- If you disable beats audio, the audio profile is automatically changed to hTC sound enhancer. No other presets are present.
11. Final Verdict
To conclude the hTC One S C2 scores 8.6 /10 in our review. If you want to spend 24k on a dual core phone, you can consider this one because of its elegant built quality and strong performance, the music especially bass enthusiast will love the sound quality Beats audio provide, if you are looking for amazing camera phone, you will love shooting with this one. “This is the one you have been waiting for – hTC One S”