As you may or may not be aware, I picked up an HTC One X last week. I wanted an Android phone to compliment my iPhone 4S. Not to replace it, but to offer something different to the iOS life I have lived almost exclusively for the last few years. Basically, I fancied a change without giving up the iPhone that I have grown to love, but also grown a little tired of. Variety is the spice of life, after all!
The handset I chose was the HTC One X in white. Whether you like white handsets or not, you have to admit that the phone itself does look absolutely gorgeous. The curved chassis makes the screen appear curved too, even though it isn’t. It’s an optical illusion that really stands out with the white casing, and I still say white is the color to choose, especially given the fact the only other choice is a rather dull grey, not black. I’m sure which color is best will be argued for some time, though.
After a week of use I have almost come to terms with that huge 4.7-inch screen. I have hands the size of an small 5 year old, so reaching the top corners can take a little work, but I get there eventually. The more I have used the phone the more comfortable it has become to use. Picking my iPhone 4S up, with its 3.5-inch screen, I find myself wondering how Apple has kept the same size device over the years. Perhaps October will see a new, larger iPhone announced. We’ll have to wait and see.
My biggest problem with Android the last time I used it – just after the Nexus S launch and using that device for a couple of weeks – I found the choice of apps to be lacking. What’s more, the apps that were available were simply inferior to their iPhone counterparts. Now though, that is beginning to change.
I currently have both Instapaper and Instagram on my One X which just a few weeks ago would have been something that as simply impossible. What’s more, the Instagram app in particular seems to be better on the One X than the iPhone. I’ve not yet been able to put my finger on exactly why that is, but I suspect that the larger screen suits the content better. Either way, I prefer the Instagram app on my One X to my iPhone.
The official Google apps are obviously more integrated with Android than iOS, and the Gmail app itself is a pleasure to use. There is a Gmail app for iOS now, too, but it just does not work as well as the Android version. The iOS app unfortunately feels like the web interface wrapped in an iOS shell. The Android app feels like a proper app. It’s a subtle difference for some, but it’s there nonetheless.
Due to the Tegra 3 chip inside the One X, I have been able to try some of the games that have been made specifically for the device and those of its ilk. The Google Play Store is home to a selection of games that have been tweaked to take advantage of the power offered by NVIDIA’s technology, and they look gorgeous. Playing Riptide on my iPhone and One X is a great experience on both devices, but throw in the added water effects and the like on the One X, and I have to say I am very impressed with what the Tegra 3 can do. I’m no big mobile gamer, but it was impressive regardless. Not a feature that would affect my buying decision, but a feature that is nice to have.
Possibly the best way to describe my feelings of the One X after a week’s use is this: I haven’t gone back to the iPhone yet. I expected to, I really did, but during this week I have used my iPhone for one thing and that is to listen to podcasts. Other than that, it’s been sat on my bedside table or my desk, quietly receiving push notifications that haven’t been read.
The negatives? My One X is going back for a replacement this evening because of a dead/stuck/blown pixel towards the top of the screen. After reading various forum threads across the internet it is clear that HTC is suffering from something of a quality control issue across its current lineup, which is a shame. If the company can nip such issues in the bud, it could be onto a real winner here.
I like the One X a lot, but will I be letting my iPhone 4S go? No, not a chance.