The HTC One X, a Senseless disaster

The HTC One X comes in Black Tie or White Tails, your pick

HTC recently released their flagship device, the One X, internationally, with a US release soon to follow. The device has a 4.7″ Super LCD 2 display at 720p, Tegra 3 innards, HSDPA+ modems and 32GB ROM (1GB RAM). The US version replaces the Tegra 3 with a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 to complement the included LTE modem. But where HTC and its designers have created a real winner is in how it looks and feels. The DROID RAZR was undeniably the coolest phone I have ever looked at. It is sleek and industrial, and just looks like a winner. The Droid RAZR didn’t feel great in your hand. I’ve also been playing with the Galaxy Nexus lately, the smooth curves settle nicely in your hand and feel good. But the One X looks like a happy symbiosis of the two (albeit with one exception). It is smooth, sleek and curved. It settles into your hand for a great feel. However, the lens sticks out like non-other. It protrudes, and no matter how hard you try to protect it, you can’t.
But a phone is more than its looks, and the One X is extremely good in most aspects. It does have one hideously, over the top, out of control glaring weakness – Sense. HTC’s skin (Sense) is their launcher that goes over the top of Android. However, unlikely a normal launcher, it does a lot more than just go over the top, it really defines your interaction, and I HATE IT. Android 4.0 (and AOKP) have made Android Ice Cream Sandwich a dream to use. You can customize to your heart’s content. HTC’s Sense takes that away, while it tries to simplify the interaction, it left me wanting more (AOKP!). But that’s just about all you can gig this marvelous little device one. It is definitely smaller, thinner and lighter than the Galaxy Nexus (however you cannot change the battery ARGH). The screen is almost TOO bright (needed the wonderful app Screen Filter for this). And the last thing, these stupid capacitive buttons. I don’t use the recents button nearly as much as Android wants me to. I need my menu button and I love my search button. These actions allow ME to get the most out of my Android device (and I’m not the only one). The best ROM I’ve found for the One X thus far transfers the recents to the menu, which is a nice step (but no search…isn’t Google all about search? WEIRD).

Hardware-wise, the One X stacks up to anything, but I can't condone the use of the Sense skin

The One X is a really cool looking (and acting) phone. With some customizations (Nova Launcher, ICS Browser+) and SwitchPro Plus you can get a screamingly fast Android 4.0 experience on a phone with quality construction and battery life. If you’re a light to heavy user, you can easily get through a day, while having the slickest Android device out there right now.
I personally went with the International edition because I am really sick of American Telecoms hamstringing phones for the LTE. Having moved to GSM only phones, I feel HSDPA+ is the perfect mix of power and performance (CDMA is just plain garbage). The Tegra 3 chip delivers beautiful graphics with no slow downs or anything. When I finally get some AOKP on my One X, she’ll be the best Android device I’ve used to date (well at least until the SGSIII is released).

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About Ryan Kamauff

Ryan Kamauff is a senior analyst with Crucial Point LLC. He produces technology focused content for CTOvision.com and reports on analytical megatrends at the new analysis focused Analyst One.