HTC One X review

New flagship brings quad core power - but is that enough to boost the brand?

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Media on the HTC One X is, predictably, a great experience. We've moaned about certain aspects of the music and video player before, and while they've not all been addressed, we're still happy that they've at least been evolved.

We'll get a big problem out of the way first though: there's no expandable memory card slot on offer here, with HTC ramming in 32GB of storage to compensate. This will probably be enough for most people, but there are those that really love to pack their devices with media, and hate the thought of having to pick and choose because of storage limitations.

Also, don't forget that HD screen now supports HD movies now - with Google Play now supporting HD rentals and movie purchases, you'll quite quickly fill up the internal memory if you're not careful.


The music player on the HTC One X is improved massively from the standard offering on the likes of the HTC Hero from just three years ago - there's a new and re-tooled option to play with here, and it comes with high resolution album art and SoundHound integration.

HTC One X review

The latter feature is a particularly good addition, as it allows you seemingly unlimited amounts of songs you can have listened to and get information back on. Simply tag the icon at the top of each song and you'll be able to get lyric information, local gigs from the artist and info on the album if you fancy buying it.

However, and this seems like a massively missed trick again, you can't have the album information ported to the file you're listening to. When you consider that many people have a horrendously mis-managed MP3 collection, this would have been a godsend.

While we're on that, there's a wide range of format for playback on offer: AAC, AMR, OGG, M4A, MID, MP3, WAV and WMA if you're interested.

Let's get onto the better stuff though: the music player itself, boosted by Beats Audio integration. The interface is still very simple, which is important to many. There's a home screen widget that lets you see which songs you've listened to recently, but even if you've bothered to update all your album art, this seems like more of a gimmick than anything else.

HTC One X review

We weren't given any Beats Audio headphones on our review HTC One X sample, but we're told they will be coming to the final retail version. We luckily had a set kicking around and the difference between Beats Audio boosting being on and off was startling.

We've heard many opinions on whether the service is really as good as the likes of Dolby for improving sound, or whether it just makes everything sound very bass-heavy. We think it's somewhere in between: You'll notice a massive difference in sound quality when it comes to having the enhancement on and off, and that goes for mid-range and treble, not just bass.

HTC One X review

However, it does tend to make songs sound overly complex at times, so it really comes down to personal preference as to whether Beats Audio is a real plus - but in our eyes, it very much is.

It's apparently been "updated" in the new software update to make Beats Audio all the more improved - but we've no idea what's been changed as to our ears it's pretty similar.

The Beats Audio booster is also now pervasive throughout the phone too, so other apps, like Spotify or the video player, will get to use the upgrade in sound quality.

The main music player home page is much more of a hub than ever before, with the addition of 7 Digital, SoundHound and TuneIn radio all designed to make it much more of a media experience.

Curiously, you can also add other apps in here, and not just those around music - for instance, a link to your favorite game or the Google Play Movie portal.

The effect is a little overwhelming at the start - it's certainly a mile away from the simplicity of iOS or Windows Phone. However, if you're into choice and music hubs when it comes to deciding how you're going to get some tunes inside your brain, this is going to rock your world.


HTC has been annoying us for years with the way it presents its videos, and while this has been slightly upgraded, it's still just rubbish.

You enter the Gallery (no video player as a standalone app here) and you're faced with any video folders you've created (that's the update)… but no filenames, only large thumbnails.

That's fine if you've got a hugely diverse video collection that looks radically different for each movie, but if you're watching a series it gives you no information at all.

HTC One X review

We recommend you download a new application immediately (mVideoPlayer is our pick thanks to an excellent bookmarking system) and improve your HTC One X post-haste.

Thankfully the movie playback experience is a lot, lot better than the one for trying to find the right file. Firstly, the video quality looks superb on the HTC One X screen, with a sharp definition to everything you want to watch.

HTC One X review

Lower-light scenes aren't the best if we're honest though, and that's where the Super LCD technology seems to struggle. It's not rubbish, and much better than a lot of the phones on the market, but for your darker movies the Samsung Galaxy S2 is still the phone we'd turn to every time.

The main video player app also allows you to stream out to a smart TV or computer thanks to the inbuilt DLNA (the same system can be used to connect up to a Wi-Fi device or Bluetooth speaker in the Music app) which makes watching a film on the train then instantly popping it up to a large screen TV when you walk through the door an ace experience.

HTC's not quite managed to live up to its promise of supported file types though, as while we managed to drop MP4 and 3GP file types onto the device without a problem, AVI files refused to play despite being listed as compatible.

In terms of getting content onto the HTC One X, that's a little trickier, as you're limited to Google Play Movies, or the HTC Watch service. The former is good in that it allows you to download HD films; however, the selection is limited and the cost is nearly $8 just to RENT one of them, let alone buy it.

HTC One X review

HTC Watch is slightly better, in that it's better integrated into the phone already (with a much nicer widget to use) and has special offers that allow you to rent films from as little as 8 cents on occasion. However, the selection is lower and there's no HD content on there yet.

The HTC One X is a great device for video playback, with rich colors, an excellent frame rate to minimize blur, and Beats Audio providing pretty rich sound (although we'd have preferred a spot of Dolby Mobile in there too.)

However, the navigation system needs to be sorted out somewhat, and the opportunity to get content on there needs to be boosted as well.

FM radio

We couldn't jump through the media section without a nod to the FM radio - sure it's a little archaic these days, but it's a pretty good rendition on the HTC One X.

HTC One X review

A simple scan found 12 stations in less than 10 seconds, which we consider to be pretty speedy considering we've watched the process take minutes. The One X doesn't save them under their names (despite RDS being included) and there's no opportunity to record radio or transmit the sounds via FM to a car stereo.

However, it's a visual treat and holds stations very well through Beats Audio headphones, so if you're into radio on the go, you'll like this a lot.


Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen
Wireless LANYes
Contract TypeSIM-free
Built-in Memory32 GB
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotNo
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyGPRS, EDGE, HSUPA, HSDPA
SAR Value0.68 W/kg
GPS ReceiverYes
Multi-SIM SupportedNo
Near Field CommunicationYes
Integrated TV TunerNo
Product FamilyOne X
Cellular Generation3G
Cellular Network SupportedWCDMA 850, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 1900, WCDMA 2100, GSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Rear Camera Resolution8 Megapixel
Number of SIM Card Supported1
Front CameraYes
Phone StyleBar
Operating SystemAndroid
Brand NameHTC
Screen Size11.9 cm (4.7")
Screen Resolution1280 x 720
Touchscreen TypeCapacitive
Weight (Approximate)130 g
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Processor ManufacturerNVIDIA
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 4.0
Operating System VersionAndroid 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging
USB StandardUSB 2.0
Pixel Density312 ppi
Height134.4 mm
Width69.9 mm
Depth8.9 mm
Radio TunerYes
ManufacturerHigh Tech Computer Corp
Product NameOne X
Processor Speed1.50 GHz
Processor TypeTegra 3
Product LineOne X
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeGyro Sensor, Ambient Light Sensor, G-sensor, Accelerometer, Proximity Sensor, Digital Compass
Manufacturer Part Number99HRL001-00
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

Camera Never miss a shot. A speedy one second start-up, rapid-fire continuous shooting, simultaneous 1080HD video and imaging, and an 8MP camera. And with HTC ImageChip get great shots regardless of lighting and movement.

Sound The HTC One series all come with Beats Audio™ so everything you hear on your phone-from music and videos to games and YouTube-is rich and authentic.

Design The 4.7-inch Gorilla Glass screen is both durable and scratch-resistant. And the minimalist design includes curved glass, a piano gloss sidewall, and an iconic camera ring on the back.

Limited Warranty1 Year