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First Impressions of the HTC One S Android Smartphone

by Retired Blogger ‎05-29-2012 12:47 PM - edited ‎06-26-2012 09:24 PM

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After spending too short an amount of time a few months ago with a pre-production HTC One S, I have finally got my hands on the final version of this super-slim Android 4.0 smartphone. It was released a few weeks ago, on multiple carriers (Future Shop currently has the Telus, SaskTel and Fido versions available), and is the third HTC One series phone to be released in Canada. I have spent a week with it so far, and while I am not ready to deliver my final verdict on the phone yet, I have been quite enjoying my time with it. You can read my first impressions of the phone, and check out more pictures of it after the jump.


Unlike the HTC One X and HTC One V, both of which are phones designed to appeal to smaller niches (the very high-end and the very entry-level, respectively), the One S is the smartphone that HTC hopes will return them to their former glory in the Android smartphone market. Compared to its current non-HTC Android competition, the One S really shines, with a beautiful screen, fast processor, and an ultra-svelte all-metal unibody build (at 7.9mm it is one of the thinnest smartphones on the market). I’d even go so far as to say that its closest competition isn’t even an Android phone - the HTC One S reminds me very much of the iPhone 4S. It isn’t a giant screened phone-geek's dream device (such as the Galaxy Note), but more of an elegantly designed, powerful, pocketable, and practical smartphone that will have a wide appeal, just like the iPhone 4S.


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The screen on the HTC One S is a 4.3” 960 x 540 QHD AMOLED display, that isn’t perhaps as crisp as the smaller iPhone 4S Retina display, or the giant 720p display of the HTC One X, but still has the deep blacks and rich colours AMOLED screens are known for. The pixels on the screen are pushed around by a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 dual-core processor, the same that is found in the HTC One X. While it’s not a quad-core, and benchmarks have shown that the S4 dual-core is as fast, if not faster, than most quad-core chips. I found that when powering the lower-resolution screen on One S, this chip made the phone feel even snappier than its big brother, the One X.

The camera is another stand-out feature of this phone. The combination of top-notch hardware (an F2.0 28mm lens with a BSI sensor), and HTC’s Image Sense software, makes the HTC One S, hands-down, the best smartphone camera I have ever used. It focuses fast and accurately, has great resolution and colour reproduction, and captures images in an instant after I press the on-screen shutter. The only minus on the camera front is the lack of a dedicated hardware shutter button, a worrying trend that I see on too many new smartphones.


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Perhaps the phones only weak spot is the HTC Sense 4.0 UI, that runs over-top the Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) OS. While Sense 4.0 is a vast improvement over previous versions found on older HTC phones, I do still think that HTC is guilty of making changes for the sake of change to the stock Ice Cream Sandwich OS. It won’t be a huge issue for most, especially if you haven’t used a stock ICS phone, such as the Galaxy Nexus, but it still frustrated me at times.


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Check back soon for my full review of the HTC One S. You can also check out the official ‘HTC One S First Look’ video below, and some more pictures of this gorgeous phone at the end of the post.



You can buy the HTC One S on a 3-year term from Telus, SaskTel and Fido at your local Future Shop Cellshop now.



  • Operating System: Android 4.0 (ICS) + HTC Sense

  • Processor: 1.5 GHz Dual Core Qualcomm MSM8260A

  • Memory RAM: 1 GB DDR2

  • Memory Storage: 16 GB onboard storage

  • Display: 4.3" qHD Super AMOLED 960 x 540

  • Network: HSPA 42 Mbps

  • Wi-Fi: 802.11b/g/n

  • Battery: 1650 mAh, Embedded

  • Camera (Main): 8 MP, f/2.0, BSI, Single LED - Smart Flash, ImageChip 1080p HD Video with Stereo Sound

  • Camera (Front): VGA (640 x 480)

  • Audio: Universal Beats Audio

  • Dimensions: 130.9 x 65 x 7.8mm, (8.9mm for bump area)



SKU: 10203323

The "S" in the HTC One S could stand for "social,", "speedy," or maybe just "spectacular." This amazing smartphone features a powerful Instant Capture camera with zero shutter delay, making it easier and quicker than ever to capture that perfect shot and share it with all your friends. You'll even get 25GB of space on Dropbox, free for two years, to help store all your photos and videos.



SKU: 10205595

The "S" in the HTC One S could stand for "social,", "speedy," or maybe just "spectacular." This amazing smartphone features a powerful 8MP Instant Capture camera with zero shutter delay, making it easier and quicker than ever to capture that perfect shot and share it with all your friends. The fast 1.5GHz dual core processor and Android 4.0 operating system make it easy and fun to use.



SKU: 10205909

The HTC One S was designed to give you the best in entertainment with incredible visuals and second-to-none sound. It's equipped with a 4.3-inch qHD Super AMOLED display, Beats Audio, and an 8MP HD camera. And, powered by Android 4.0 with HTC sense and a Dual Core 1.5GHz Qualcomm processor, it offers a smooth user experience with blazing fast performance.



Additional pictures of the HTC One S


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All pictures © Alex Davies 

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