The HTC One X+ has a lot to live up to. Its predecessor, the HTC One X, set a new benchmark for smartphones when it appeared in February 2012.
Apple’s iPhone might have been ratcheting up the sales but the One X was the highest-specified phone on the market at its release and, as we said in our review at the time, “the most exciting product in tech”.
A five-star review followed – as did a cavalcade of Android handsets to take it on, led, of course, by the Samsung Galaxy S3. The new One X+ is again looking to challenge for top smartphone billing.
HTC One X+ review: specs
As you might imagine from the model name, this HTC phone has had a spec boost rather than a complete overhaul.
The original was one of the first quad-core phones on the market and the One X+ keeps the four cores but throws in a more powerful 1.7GHz processor.
There’s a bigger 2100 mAh battery, too (the original’s wasn’t great) and double the storage capacity, now sitting pretty at a comfortable 64GB. HTC’s tie-in with Dropbox can get you up to 25GB of cloud storage for free, too.
HTC One X+ review: build
The screen remains a 4.7in Super LCD with a 1280 x 720 resolution, and while originally we were unsure of the size, such big screens are now the norm rather than the exception.
The dimensions are bang-on identical, though the One X+ is a fraction heavier – we’re looking at the battery – but at 135g is par for the course.
In the hand it feels great – more rigid than its predecessor, slim, curved and easy to grip thanks to the polycarbonate unibody finish. It looks built to last and, finished in black with red ‘Beats’ trim, pretty sleek too.
Moving around the One X+ is intuitive and fast. The five screens scroll nicely by with a simple swipe, and the volume controls on the top right, previously easy to knock, are now more tightly tucked in to the body of the phone, though the power/screen on/off button at the top of the device is a bit of a stretch.
HTC One X+ review: sound and video quality
Browsing the web, the screen is sharp and bright. Whites are clean, colours realistic and subtle. This carries over to video content, too, which looks good.
Again, there’s a natural feel to colours, good detail and smooth motion, though perhaps not quite the clarity of the best.
In terms of sound quality, the One X+ does well. Listening to The Weeknd’s House of Balloons there’s tight, punchy bass underneath clean vocals.
Plenty of bass weight means no brightness, even at high volume, while Radiohead’s Reckoner shows good dynamics and scale.
Call quality is clear and reliable, while the camera is good, if missing a little sharpness. Battery life is better than before but still no great shakes, just about making it through a day of consistent use.
HTC One X+ review: Verdict
This is a fine phone to use, watch and listen to. It’s an upgrade rather than an overhaul but a job nicely done to make the HTC One X+ a very competitive smartphone.
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