A downside to the incredible number of Android smartphones is that, well, there is an incredible number of Android smartphones.
Many are all but indistinguishable from each other.
Now the manufacturer HTC, based in Taiwan, has come up with a phone that cuts through the clutter. It is called the One X and it is a beauty.
I have been using the One X for a couple of weeks. The HTC measures up well even against Apple's mighty iPhone 4S. At 130.1 grams and 0.91cm thick, it is lighter and thinner, while sporting a 11cm screen - considerably larger than the iPhone's, at 8.8cm.
The One X costs Dh2,499 (US$680) in the UAE. It is physically distinctive, thanks to its lightweight matte-finish polycarbonate body. My white test model proved something of a smudge magnet, but usually wiped clean with little effort. It does not feel as nice in the hand as an iPhone but it grew on me. Also separating the One X from the pack is HTC's proprietary interface, called Sense, which is layered over Google's Android 4.0 operating system.
I have not been a huge fan of Sense, which on previous phones often seemed to be locked in a struggle with Android over which would control the user experience. The new version is altogether calmer and smoother. The larger screen positions the One X as entertainment-centric. My results were good although not great on that score.
The screen is capable of displaying high-definition video and on the spec sheet approaches Apple's vaunted Retina Display. In actual use, it fell a little short. White backgrounds had a slightly greyish tint, although colours were rich and vivid. And while Netflix movies streamed flawlessly, even over an LTE network, my attempts to use Hulu Plus yielded an error message that "video playback on this device is not currently supported".
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