Spec: 8MP camera, f/2 aperture lens, HDMI, Bluetooth, USB, NFC
The HTC One X will be replaced in this group test by the nHTC One, which features an new take on the cameraphone to use UltraPixels on a 4MP sensor - we'll update the test as soon as we've finished our full review.
Of roughly the exact same proportions as the Nokia 808 and Samsung Galaxy S3 - which while being much narrower in depth means it's both wider and taller than most comparative compact cameras - this Android 4.0-operated 1.5GHz quad-core powered HTC handset offers an 8 megapixel camera ring at the back.
The HTC One X's internal sensor is once again a back-side illuminated variety (BSI) for better low light capture, a feat supported by the bright f/2 aperture 28mm wide-angle lens on the back. The user friendly and approachable HTC has the further benefit of compatibility with a removable microSD card for storing and transferring all those photos and videos.
There's the ability to take a snap mid-video recording too, with shots composed and reviewed via a whopping 4.7-inch scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass display boasting the standard issue 1280 x 720 HD resolution.
With 32GB total storage, and a camera start-up time of less than a second promised, plus a rapid-fire continuous shooting option - with the ability to select a 'best shot' from a machine gun like burst - plus LED auto flash, the HTC One X proves itself as no slouch.
Like the Sony Xperia S, there's also a 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera offering 720p quality video too.
Tap the HTC's on-screen camera icon and here whatever's in front of the lens fills the display. Buttons and controls are overlaid, rather than provided as bars cropping or framing a central portion, as on the Samsung Galaxy S3.
There is also a much more comprehensive array of shooting controls built into the phone than on the much revered iPhone. Sure, we get the usual panorama, High Dynamic Range (HDR) and auto shooting options found on others, but also a wide array of effects filters too.
These include the hall of mirrors-like distortion filter, the corner shading, pin-hole camera-like vignette filter, the interesting ability to go for a DSLR-aping shallow depth of field effect, by choosing which portion of your image you want sharp and blurring the rest. You can also render your image as a series of halftone-like dots, desaturate the colours with the aid of a sliding colour bar, go for various warm or cold vintage effects, or apply negative and solarising effects.
In all, it's quite a fun selection that offers a point of difference between HTC and (most of) the rest.
Like a 'real' camera, the HTC One X also provides a built-in self-timer, and the ability to chose from a range of image resolutions rather than automatically defaulting to maximum 8MP resolution. We can also manually adjust ISO light sensitivity, which runs from ISO 100 to a so-so ISO 800, as well as white balance. Flash options are once again restricted to flash on/off/auto flash.
The bright f/2 lens serves the HTC One X well when shooting indoors using natural light as our ISO test shots testified, but twinned with the HDR feature when shooting outdoors under strong light it can conversely lead to some occasionally washed out results and weird colours.
Switch HDR off, however, and colours are vivid without being crazily so, which gives the HTC's shots a degree of added punch missing from many of its rivals here that would conversely benefit from an adjustment of brightness and contrast in Photoshop.
Full ISO 100 image, see the cropped (100%) versions below.
Auto ISO (125) (Click here to see the full resolution image)
Pros: Funky in-camera effects filters plus manual control over white balance and ISO makes the camera on the HTC One X feel a bit more like the real deal. Well saturated colours are the norm, as is shot to shot consistency if avoiding the HDR mode.
Cons: One of the physically larger handsets - but the trade off is a larger screen too.
Read our full HTC One X review