[REVIEW] HTC One S and Ice Cream Sandwich

Recently I decided to make the jump over to Android, leaving my iPhone 4 to the storage bin that is the zip pocket in my satchel. As someone who loves pretty much everything Apple, I was hesitant about making the leap. However, I was pleasantly surprised by my changeover. The HTC One S is part of a range of One phones, including the larger brother the X and the smaller V. I opted for the S as besides the screen size and resolution, there isn’t a huge amount of difference to the X, and I prefer a smaller, slimmer phone.

HTC One S

HTC One S

 

Hardware

The HTC One on first glance is a good-looking device. Made of a light aluminum, this handset is slim and surprisingly light weighing a mere 119 grams. So light, you’d almost forget it’s in your pocket. The screen is also a nice big 4.3” display, which offers a crisp AMOLED viewing. While lower resolution than the iPhone, it’s still respectable and colours appear strong and vibrant, while HD videos are as sharp as you’d expect.

The battery, like the iPhone is fixed. The user can’t get at it, and nor should they try. Offering a strong battery life, the handset could easily go for twice as long as the iPhone, depending on usage. There is a removable section for the Micro SIM at the top, which can feel a tad flimsy.

My main concern is scratches; the back of the phone can pick up a few without you even noticing, which can be an annoyance for a high-end handset. Also, the weight and slimness of the handset can lead to some accidents when slipping it into your pocket.

On the inside, the HTC One S shines, with a dual core Snapdragon processor, RAM of 1GB and storage of 16GB, the phone offers roughly the same storage of the basic iPhone 4 with twice the processing power. Apps and commands are well and truly, as the name suggests, snappy.  The 8MP camera, with 1080p HD video is a nice touch, proving clear and crisp while the Beats Audio really gives you some good quality sound when listening to music.

If you’re looking for expandable memory, it might be worth checking out another Android, this handset is 16GB, period. It does however offer 25GB free Dropbox space, which is handy for quick cloud backups.

Software

This is what I was really excited about; Ice Cream Sandwich. Google released this OS not too long ago, and as an iPhone user I smirked that it had taken so long to get an OS right. ICS is a good OS, there’s no doubt about it. Fluid, simple and highly adaptable, this OS plays nicely with other devices, allowing photo, video and music sharing easily. If you own a Mac, it’s not as simple but as Apple say, there’s an app for that. DoubleTwist allows you to connect your Mac to Android, wirelessly.

Some things which instantly impressed me about ICS was the syncing with my iPhone over Bluetooth, the live wallpaper, very interactive interface and a smooth scrolling which made moving around the phone nice and easy. While the iPhone is something you can pick up and use, with it’s logical OS structure, the Android is definitely takes a little bit of time, but makes for a more comfortable, personalized experience.

There’s no doubt that there’s a few gimmicks, like Face Unlocking, but overall it’s a fantastic OS and as a native Apple user, I found the interface refreshing and adaptable, really showing off what it can do to impress.

To wrap up, the HTC One S is a great phone. There are some drawbacks to it, but Ice Cream Sandwich is a fantastic OS, and the slim, sleek design makes the phone an absolute delight to have in your hand.

4.5/5

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