Gadget Review - The HTC One

Dr Richard Harkness compares the HTC One smartphone with some of the other recent releases.

My previous gadget review featured the Samsung Galaxy S4, a brand many people recognise, which attracts plenty of interest.

There is, however, an Android phone that is just as good as the Samsung, arguably better: the HTC One. Like the S4, the HTC One runs Android with its own overlay, HTC Sense. This provides several additional functions, but if pure Android is your preference, it is also available in this format (although it might be more difficult to find in shops).

The details

For more information about the HTC One, visit www.htc.com/uk/smartphones/htc-one/

GP rating 5 OUT OF 5.

The HTC One has a crisp 4.7 inch, 468 pixels per inch resolution display, is very quick to use and comes with 4G as standard.

You are given 32Gb of storage but, like the iPhone 5, this is a sealed unit so cannot be upgraded. Unlike the iPhone, the HTC One provides 25Gb of Dropbox online storage free for the first two years.

Where I believe the HTC One stands apart from the Samsung is in its build quality.

Until this phone was developed, no manufacturer had come close to Apple's build quality. The HTC One, however, has an all-aluminium shell with almost edge-to-edge glass, which looks stunning and gives the phone a premium feel.

Blinkfeed is the HTC One's home screen, designed to present you with the information you require without needing to use apps. It is presented in a tiles format and looks good, displaying images from Twitter, Facebook and news feeds.

The phone's call quality is excellent thanks to its noise cancelling mics and earpiece that can go much louder than other smartphones I've heard. The built-in speakers are pretty effective for a phone - helpful when taking calls on speakerphone.

In my view, HTC has come out 'all guns blazing' to produce a premium product anyone would feel proud to own that rivals recent releases by Apple and Samsung.

Is it better than the S4? I think so. Can it challenge the iPhone 5? Both are brilliantly engineered, although Apple has the edge on the software: ease of use and simplicity of design make the iPhone a huge success.

However, if you are not planning to invest in an iPhone 5, this would be the first phone I would recommend as an alternative, even if the sales team try to push the (similarly priced, at about £500 SIM-free) S4 on you.

  • Dr Harkness is a GP in Durham

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