HTC One XL review

Extra large and extra fast

Just like the One X, only faster

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With all that screen real estate and 4G connectivity, the One XL is practically designed for connecting to the Internet. With that in mind, it's no surprise that the phone comes pre-loaded with two browsers.

HTC One XL review

Both the standard Android Internet browser and Google Chrome are preloaded on the device. While choice is good, it also helps to set one as a default to avoid having non-stop popups asking you which one you want to use whenever you click a link.

While both apps are well serviced, our testing tended to show that Google Chrome was slightly quicker than the stock browser. Of course, when you're blistering along at 25Mbps on Telstra's 4G network, those fractions of a second differences are hardly worth mentioning.

As we've seen with previous HTC handsets like the One X+, the stock browser comes complete with a Reader mode that pulls out all the images and advertising, to make a web page easy to read. It's a similar function to what's available on Safari on the iPhone, although unlike Safari it's not as obvious - you need to find and press the square icon on the left of the url to activate it.

HTC One XL review

Scrolling around a website and zooming is natural and quick on the One XL, with text automatically resizing to make reading simple, no matter how close you zoom in.

There's also the option of saving pages to be read later offline, which is handy for commuters with unreliable reception. Pages can be shared via social networks or email via the share button in either browser's menu.

Both browsers also offer the ability to login with your Google account to give you immediate access to all your bookmarks and favourites stored on Chrome on your PC or Mac. This more than any other feature makes browsing on your mobile a somewhat enjoyable experience. Although the 4.7-inch screen does help a lot.

Of course, the best thing about browsing on the One XL is the 4G speeds from Telstra's LTE network. While the network's footprint isn't ubiquitous, it's still the largest in Australia. And the speeds on offer while browsing help make the One XL a very desirable handset.

Having spent the past decade editing some of Australia's leading technology publications, Nick's passion for the latest gadgetry is matched only by his love of watching Australia beat England in the rugby.