With the One X, HTC has its first quadcore smartphone in its portfolio. In this case the manufacturer makes use of NVIDIAs Tegra 3 SoC, which doesn't "only" offer four cores. There even is an additional fifth core for improved energy efficiency. Therefore It will be for example interesting to see long the battery lasts, especially if you consider that there is also a big 4.7 inch display.
What does it look like?HTC provided the One X with a high quality chassis. The back cover for example hasn't been made from cheap plastics HTC uses polycarbonate but unfortunately the surface became quite slippery. Very practical for example is the SIM card feeder. Like with the iPhone there is a tool in the delivery, using which you can remove the feeder, place your SIM card an put it back in place.
Unfortunately the battery cannot be exchanged and also the internal memory cannot be upgraded. On the other hand you get a very stiff chassis which feel very high quality. At least there the One X comes with 32 Gigabyte memory standard. Combined with a two year free Dropbox offer with 25 Gigabyte there should be plenty of storage space for your files.
Camera, Display and ConnectivityEspecially compared to earlier smartphones HTC did a really good job on this time, when it comes to its new 8 megapixel camera. Finally one can take nice pictures with lively colors and good sharpness using an HTC smartphone. Nevertheless there is still a reddish tinge but it isn't distracting anymore. With older HTC phones this was much worse. Taking pictures in the dark, that's not want the camera has been made for. In this case you get quite poor pictures. On the other hande there is a video function which allows to shoot very decent full HD clips.
A closer look at the display specs shows that HTC uses a Super-LCD-2 panel with HD 1280 x 720 pixels. Therfore you get very good readability even if the letter on the display are tiny. Although it's not a Super AMOLED display it's colors are brilliant and lively but on the other hand it doesn't offer extra high contrast. Regarding brightness we measured 451 Candela per squaremeter, which really is a lot.
Once looking for connectivity options one can find an HDMI as well as a micro USB connector. Futhermore there is an NFC feature.
HTCs Sense on Android 4 and four coresHTC is well known to have one of the most sophisticated user interfaces. Despite the fact that the One X comes with Android 4 Ice Cream Sandwich the UI looks like Android 2.3. It lost some of ICS' coolness but on the other hand you'll get used to it really quickly if you've owned an HTC smartphone before. If so the three buttons at the bottom edge of the device aren't new to you. With one of these buttons you can open the recent apps, which lets you navigate very quickly. Touching the display for several seconds lets you place widgets of which there are plenty.
With the Tegra 3, NVIDIA has been the first manufacturer to bring a quad core SoC to the market and this exact chip can be found in the HTC One X. But basically Tegra 3 isn't a quad core SoC its more of a 4+1 core chip, where the additional core, the so called companion core, is a lower clocked one which should help saving energy. The companion core becomes active when the device is in standby and the it cannot clock higher than 500 MHz, which is only a third of what the other four cores are capable of. Once the device leave standby mode the companion core gets deactivaed and the four other cores take over, whereas their maximum clock speed is 1.5 GHz. Using this trick it's possible to have plenty of standby time with the One X. One thing which is a bit irritating is the fact, that it can take quite a few seconds until the devices' responsiveness is at "100 percent" after coming from standby. There really is room for improvement for NVIDIA when it comes to the activating/deactivating process of cores.
When we ran popular benchmarking programs we saw that it's quite difficult to estimate this chips true performance. This is because there are no smartphone benchmarks which have been optimized for quad core SoCs. Therefore the One X isn't faster than a dual core processor clocked at the same 1.5 GHz. But generally we see that the One X opens the contacts very quickly and also the browsing experience was very smooth.
Batterlife and AcousticsBatterylife is one of this smartphones strenghts. One reason is the 1800 mAh battery which offers quite a lot of capacity. Putting the device under load and the display at maximum brightness resulted in five and a half hours of battery life, which is a good result. Furhtermore it is possible to talk for more than six hours, which is also convincing. At the other end of the scale is battery life when playing games. After only one hour you'll have to recharge the battery.
We also appreciated the very good voice quality. The standard earpiece offers clear voices without distortion. On the other hand there is the speaker to talk hands free. This one is really poor and it's hard to understand every word.
ConclusionSince quite a few months HTC is under pressure. In the past quarters the company repeatedly missed the financial targets they've set themselves and the even missed analysts expectations. Therefore the company needs a good product with which they succeed in regaining market share they've lost to companies like Samsung and Apple. The One X reallyis a good product and we have to admit, we really like it. There is for example the HD ready display which, paired up with a quad core CPU, enables a very smooth browsing experience. But this point we have to mention, that these days a quad core CPU in a mobile phone is more of a prestige object then of real use. There simply are not applications for smartphones which make use of four cores and therefore there is no performance plus over a quick dual core smartphone. Altogether the One X is a really good and convincing smartphone, but it's not exactly cheap. Prices in Switzerland start at CHF 615.- (est. EUR 513.-).