HTC One (M7) review

Ultrapixels, Zoes, Blinkfeed and more: HTC is going all out

HTC One review
Editor's Choice
Yeah, but is it THE One?

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When the HTC One was first announced, there was no word or sign whether Verizon would be picking up the smartphone. At the time, the carrier mentioned that the HTC DROID DNA was still a top seller, and that it wasn't in any hurry to stock the newest flagship any time soon.

Fast forward a few months later, and it's here. The HTC One for Verizon is everything we loved about the smartphone, but now it has Verizon's rock solid network to go along with it.

HTC One Verizon review

In terms of hardware, it is no different than the AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint models, which is to be expected. The only way to tell it's a Verizon device is by its log and 4G LTE symbol on the back of the phone.

Verizon apps

Unfortunately, this smartphone is not free of carrier bloatware or apps. Luckily, we're only down to eight apps, which is nowhere near as bad as it was on smartphones just a year ago.

The first app is Accessories, and it is really annoying. It is literally no more than a shopping portal for accessories for your HTC One. You can buy cases, chargers and other accessories for your device through the app.

The next few apps are Mobile Hotspot and My Verizon Mobile. These are pretty self-explanatory. The first one takes you into the mobile hotspot settings, so it seems pretty pointless. The latter allows you to view your usage, bill and other Verizon account information.

Verizon Tones is the next one down the list, and if you had to take a wild guess as to what it does, you'd be correct. You can purchase ringtones and ringback tones (what your caller hears when they call you) from here. This would be really cool if you were a 15-year-old school girl, but probably not much concern if you're a 32-year-old man.

Video Calling is also another weird portal, as the app gives you the option to download ooVoo or Tango, both free video calling apps. If you decide to download either of those apps, as opposed to something like Skype, you can start video calling friends and loved ones.

The next two are also simple and self-explanatory: Voice Mail and VZ Navigator. Here's the problem with both of these apps: other apps do it better. One could argue that although Google Voice is better, it does require a separate number unless you port yours to Google. And Verizon's app requires you spend $2.99 a month.

For VZ Navigator, although useful, it's not quite as good as Google Maps, which already includes voice, turn-by-turn navigation capabilities. After a 30-day free trial, you are charged $4.99 a month for this feature, and we can say with confidence that it is not worth it.

Finally, there is VZ Security. If you opt for the free option, you get anti-virus detection and a feature that will warn you of risky websites. For the premium option, which will cost you $1.99 a month, you'll get an app alert for potentially malicious apps, stolen or lost device location via GPS, the ability to lock or remote wipe a device and the features included in basic security.

There are other options in terms of getting the same features as VZ Security, so you'll have to check those out and see which ones work best for your needs.

Verizon call quality and service

In San Francisco and South San Francisco, Verizon is solid. Call quality is excellent, especially on the HTC One and its great speakers. Calls sounded clear and cloud, and our friends reported the same from us. Speakerphone calls were great, too, thanks to HTC's BoomSound speakers.

HTC One Verizon review

Moreover, 4G LTE speeds were pretty good around the city. We rarely ran into any issues with connectivity, and whenever we did, it was still far faster than 3G. We saw average download and upload speeds of 18Mbps and 12Mbps, respectively, with peaks of 24Mbps down and 18Mbps up.

Overall performance on Verizon's network was great. There is nothing to complain about, really, and battery life held up well, too. On a normal day of use, we were able to unplug from the charger around 9:30 a.m. and still had about 35% battery life around 7:00 p.m.

If you've been waiting for the HTC One on Verizon, you won't be disappointed. There are newer devices on the network since the One is now a few months old, but compared to the new Droid devices and the Moto X, the HTC One does more than just hold its own. The beautiful hardware and software combined still make it one of our top picks for Big Red.

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.