HTC One XL review

Extra large and extra fast

Just like the One X, only faster

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It's no coincidence that the 4.7-inch screen on the One XL has a 720p resolution - it's the perfect ratio for watching HD video.

Unfortunately, the One XL is just like the One X in that it lacks an expandable memory option. Given there's only 32GB on offer, it's a bit of an issue - once you've loaded the phone up with a few apps and some music, you'll rapidly run out of space for HD video.

HTC One XL review

Drag and drop will let you get your files from either a PC or Mac onto the device via an included USB cable. It's not the fastest process in the world, but it does work.

Alternatively, you can download HTC's iTunes rival, HTC Sync Manager for Windows, which lets you sync iTunes libraries en masse. It works, but just like Samsung's Kies effort, drag and drop is a much more reliable solution, especially for video.


HTC crams its Beats audio brand into almost all its smartphones these days, and the One XL is no exception. While you don't need a pair of Beats headphones to take advantage of the audio advancements, the effect is more noticeable if you do.

Not all audio fans will appreciate the difference the Beats equalising brings to music playback - boosting bass at the expense of detail in the high end. But those who like their music with thumping bass will enjoy the effect.

HTC One XL review

The music folder on the phone comes preloaded with the phone's music app, as well as TuneIn radio and a link to BigPond Music's top ten tracks. Downloading new music apps like Spotify automatically places them in the Music folder as well, which is welcome for organisation freaks.

The music app itself has a wide range of file support, including AAC, AMR, OGG, M4A, MID, MP3, WAV and WMA. Navigationg through a music collection is simple, and an included home screen widget allows you to control tunes without having to even launch the app.


For all its Sense, HTC still hasn't managed to make the process of watching videos on their devices simple. Instead of offering a dedicated video app, instead clips are stored in the Gallery app.

You are then presented with a range of video thumbnails. No file names, or descriptors. If you have a lot of videos, discerning which clip you want to watch can be an arduous task.

For movies, you can easily bypass this issue by downloading the Google Movies app. While it's designed around the rental and purchase of films from the Google Play store, it also offers a way to navigate personal videos as well, and is a vastly superior option to HTC's offering.

HTC has also bundled its HTC Watch app as an alternative for renting and purchasing movies. The interface is friendly and easy to navigate, although it requires you to setup another account to watch the films purchased or rented through the service.

FM Radio

HTC One XL review

With TuneIn radio pre-installed, there's a questionable need for an FM tuner on board, but the One XL provides it anyway. Scanning for stations is fairly fast, although you need the headphones plugged in to make it work.

You can save your favourite stations for quick access, and the app has a clean interface to make it easy to use, but it's far from exciting.


The Gallery app that manages video on the HTC device also manages photos, which does make a lot more sense.

Pictures can be organised by album, or "events", which is a fancy word for date. The app also includes a shortcut to Google Maps to view where pics where taken from, and another link back to the camera app.

In addition to the phone's own gallery, the Gallery menu also includes links to social photo sharing services like Facebook, Flickr, Picasa and DropBox.

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.