HTC One S review

A top of the range cameraphone with an emphasis on pictures, music and connectivity. Is the One S the One to have?

HTC One S review
The definitive HTC One S review

Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.

We thoroughly enjoyed using the HTC One S. We expected it to be a poor man's One X but were really pleasantly surprised. Rather than being a cheaper alternative, it compliments the larger device and, in another world, this could have been the flagship handset.

It's more of an evolution of the HTC Sensation range: slimmed down, nicer finish and far more feature rich.

We liked

HTC has clearly been watching how other manufacturers implement media and has been taking detailed notes on how to improve on them. It's an excellent solution as is the class-leading way it looks after your contacts.

Call quality was excellent and things like being able to backup your important SMS messages go a long way. Plus, the browser is top notch and small touches like the camera taking photos at the same time as video and Beats Audio integration really put a smile on our face.

We disliked

Don't get us wrong, the design is beautiful. But the HTC One S is just asking to be dropped, which may worry some. Freezing out Mac users is never a good idea either.

And don't get us started on that 16GB limited memory or we'll end up simply losing the plot. It's good HTC has packed this to the rafters with decent media ability, but to then mock us with so little storage (and no larger option on the horizon) really ruins a great phone.

Sure, it might be enough for a large portion of users, but those that appreciate media at all will find themselves hamstrung by this phone.


There are few phones we play with where we think that we have the complete package and would happily give five stars. The HTC One S would have had five stars had it not been for the 16GB memory cap and non-HD screen.

We'd have even settled for 32GB in the absence of an expansion card slot. If you're a music lover, you may be better hanging about for the yet-to-be-announced-but-we-all-know-it's-coming Samsung Galaxy S3.

Or check out the HTC One X if you've got shovel-sized hands. And it really pains us to say that because we want to tell you this is one of the best phones we've used in recent years.

Which it is. And all that aside, if you're not bothered about a massive memory, you probably can't do much better now. The HTC One S is a beautiful handset blessed with beautiful capabilities and is already available at very palatable price points.