HTC One Unboxing and First Impression

Powering on the HTC One

In case you don’t already know, HTC One is now officially available for sale in Malaysia via the 4 major telcos (DiGi, Celcom, Maxis and U Mobile) as well as in retailer SenQ and authorised HTC dealers at an RRP of RM 2,299 for the 32GB version in Glacial Silver and Stealth Black.

See Also : HTC One Announced and What The Tech Sites Are Saying

See Also : HTC One Launched and Goes On Sale in Malaysia

In my last post here, I mentioned that I was super “kan cheong” and went out to get my hands on the new HTC One immediately as soon as it was available with Maxis, waiving my advance payment as a Maxis One Club (MOC) member while I signed up for a telco plan.

HTC One - official image

As a reminder, here’s a quick overview of the tech specs of the HTC One:-

  • 4.7″ Super LCD3 1080p Full HD display (1920 X 1080)(468 ppi)
  • 1.7 GHz quad core Snapdragon 600 processor
  • 32/64 GB internal storage (no expandable microSD, FREE 25GB Dropbox cloud storage) + 2 GB RAM
  • Powered by latest Android Jelly Bean (with new HTC Sense 5)
  • 4 megapixel HTC Ultrapixel camera, 2.1 megapixel front facing camera (1080p Full HD front & rear camera video recording)
  • 9.3 mm thin, weighing only 143 grams
  • 2,300 mAH non-removable battery
  • Connectivity : WiFi, HSPA+ / LTE, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, NFC
  • Available in Glacial Silver and Stealth Black colours

As mentioned in my previous post here, I listed out some of the cool killer features that HTC highlighted with the HTC One. As a reminder, here’s a quick recap:-

  • HTC Sense 5 – The new user interface (skin/theme) powered by Android 4.1 Jelly Bean OS (not the latest Android Jelly Bean 4.2 OS)
  • HTC Blink Feed – new home screen with Flipboard-like interface of grids to show you the latest news and updates from major news sites and your social networks (Facebook, Twitter, etc)
  • Ultrapixel camera with HTC Zoe  – A new camera lens technology that takes much better pictures in low light conditions and much sharper images. It”s not about the megapixels, but more about the picture quality. HTC Zoe allows you to take pictures and videos and stitch them into a 30 seconds highlight movie clip.
  • HTC BoomSound – Instead of speakers at the back of the phone, HTC One has 2 stereo speakers in the front of the device. With beats Audio Technology, the sound quality is crisp, loud and clear.
  • HTC Sense TV – The Power On/Off button is also an Infrared Blaster, which means you can pair your phone with your TV (any TV) to let you use your HTC One as a remote control  for your TV. This includes flipping channels and managing reminders, etc for  TV programs (including local Astro channels).
  • Zero gap metal unibody design – All metal design with a non-removable battery, with 4G / LTE enabled, gorgeous display with 468 ppi resolution (highest screen resolution in the market today).

For more information, tech specs and features of the HTC One, please check out the official HTC One SEA Product Page  at http://www.htc.com/sea/smartphones/htc-one/ or HTC Malaysia’s Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/HTCMalaysia

So, let me know walk you through an unboxing of the HTC One along with my first impression of the device.

 

Unboxing the HTC One

HTC One packaging ready for unboxing
HTC One packaging ready for unboxing

I got back to work immediately after I got my hands on the smartphone. The packaging for the HTC One is rather different from the last One series phones. The box is square (versus rectangular in previous devices).

Inside the box of the HTC One
Inside the box of the HTC One

Inside the box, you’ll find the handset resting in a cardboard base. Underneath are the essentials which includes 2 piece adapter charger of 3-pin adapter and a base with a USB slot. There’s a USB to microUSB charging / sync cable. There’s also a bundled in-ear headphones with red buds of several sizes (not beats headphones) and an assortment of user manuals and warranty cards.

Front of the 4.7" Super LCD3 1080p Full HD display. Back of zero gap, all metal unibody build
Front of the 4.7″ Super LCD3 1080p Full HD display. Back of zero gap, all metal unibody build

The display of the HTC One is a 4.7″ Super LCD3 1080p Full HD display, with a 1920 X 1080 resolution at 468 ppi, which is the highest among all smartphones in the market today. Rival Samsung Galaxy S4 sits at 441 ppi. As you can see there are 2 front facing stereo speakers, along with beats Audio Technology, forms the HTC BoomSound clear and crisp audio sounds.

See Also : Samsung Galaxy S4 Announced and What the Tech Sites Think

See Also : Samsung Galaxy S4 Goes On Sale in Malaysia

The back of the phone is where the beauty of the build quality will wow you. The zero gap construction, which apparently HTC says takes over 150 minutes to build one, showcases an all metal unibody design, just like the old HTC Legend Android smartphones years ago. The design and build quality feels and looks super luxurious and premium in your hands, with a slightly curved back just like the previous HTC Butterfly 5″ Android smartphone.

You’ll also find the new Ultrapixel camera at the back, with only 4 megapixel lens. Although HTC is educating their customers that it’s not about the megapixel count, but rather the superior performance of this new camera taking better and sharper images, especially in low light conditions. Right next to the camera with the LED flash, at the top in the groove line, you’ll see a small hole, which is a part of the HTC Sense Voice feature, which cancels the environment noise to make sure your call quality is better. More on this later in my full review.

See Also : HTC Butterfly User Review

Hardware overview of the HTC One
Hardware overview of the HTC One

(Top Left) At the top of the front of the smartphone, you’ll see the top speaker in the middle with the notification light and ambient sensors on the left of it, and the 2.1 megapixel front facing camera, which also shoots videos in 1080p Full HD).

(Top Right) Top of the device is the Power On/Off button which also doubles as an Infrared blaster, that works with HTC Sense TV as a remote control for your TV.

(Centre Left) Bottom of the device with a single micro USB charging and syncing port and a tiny microphone hole.

(Centre Right) The slim device at 9.3mm thin, with a volume rocker on the right side.

(Bottom Left) Clean left side of the device where the microSIM slot sits, with a pinhole (pin provided in box) to access the microSIM tray with a nice white band around the sides of the metal front and back of the smartphone.

(Bottom Right) Bottom of the front of the phone is also the stereo speaker grill. At the top of it, just below the display, is the HTC logo branding in the middle (not a capacitive button) with the capacitive soft button for “Back” key and “Home” key. No hardware buttons here.

Open the micrSIM slot with pin provided
Open the micrSIM slot with pin provided

The HTC One uses microSIM just like all recent smartphones released today. There’s a pin provided in the box, or you can use a safety pin or equivalent, to access the microSIM tray to insert your microSIM card.

Powering on the HTC One
Powering on the HTC One

When you power on the HTC One for the first time, you’ll be greeted with the Quick Setup menu to guide you through setting up your Android smartphone for the first time. This will be helpful to those new to HTC Sense 5 (the new user interface with the HTC One) or even if you’re new to HTC phones or Android phones.

 

First Impression of the HTC One

After setting up my accounts and personalising the smartphone, I got to experience the new interface of the HTC Sense 5 – which is a skin on top of the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean  OS underneath. The new HTC Sense 5 is lighter, simpler, smoother and looks a lot more pleasing to the eye.

The hardware of the phone, specifically the build quality is simply amazing. I loved the old HTC Legend because of the metal unibody. Repeating the excellent metal build again, the HTC One is another gorgeous device externally, and definitely draws looks in public. It feels very good in your hand too, with a slightly curved back, like the HTC Butterfly before this.

New App Drawer of the HTC One
New App Drawer of the HTC One

The clock widget is a simple and minimalist design of the time, with the date, location and weather information and animation in black and white. Simple organisation of your apps can be done if you just press, hold and drag one app icon on top of another.

HTC BlinkFeed customised for news feeds and Social Media stories
HTC BlinkFeed customised for news feeds and Social Media stories

I’ve also customised my HTC Blink Feed, which is their new home screen with live updates of news and social media stories. This new homescreen can be useful or annoying, depending how you use your phone. You can turn off news and just keep this for social media updates, to be less annoying. But you can’t fully turn off BlinkFeed. Another alternative, is to set another homescreen panel as your Home page, instead of BlinkFeed, so when you tap on the capacitive “Home” button, you don’t see BlinkFeed.

There are many little navigational and personalisation functions that I’m getting used to with the new HTC Sense 5 on the HTC One. Although it’s very similar to my previous HTC One X, there are slight difference, so I’m still getting used to some of them. Nevertheless, navigation is not that tough, as there’s always a “Tips & Help” icon in the App Drawer to guide you through using the phone.

In case you didn’t know, the phone also supports 4G ? LTE connection. That’s much faster than your traditional 3G / HSPA+ connection. Fast speed is good, and both Celcom and Maxis have the LTE speeds in selected locations in Klang Valley. I had it turned on by default in the HTC One and noted that I locked on to a 4G connection (shown in the notification bar) near my office.

Over 17 hours battery life, with occasional 4G connections
Over 17 hours battery life, with occasional 4G connections

With 4G connection in some area, occasionally dropping back to HSPA+ or 3G connection, I managed a good average of 17 hours (or more) in a day with moderate to heavy usage. Once your battery hit below 15%, the phone automatically turn your Power Saver option on, which dims your display, turns your phone on standby or display off faster and other power saving functions. Smart!

 

Accessory shopping for the HTC One

As a crazy case lady, as soon as the weekends came, I went out to Sungei Wang Plaza and Low Yat Plaza with my girlfriend, who also got the HTC One on the same day with me, but signing up for a Celcom plan instead.

Official HTC One accessories and cases are either not available in shops yet, or sold out very fast. Thankfully, shops in town have started stocking up on cases. There’s not as much options as the iPhone 5 or Samsung Galaxy S4, but there are quite some good selection of silicon cases, hard back case or flip book type cases. if you follow me on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook, you’ll know that I went a little crazy with cases, as usual.

Went crazy to buy 6 cases for my HTC One
Went crazy to buy 6 cases for my HTC One

Like that wasn’t enough, I decided to dabble into some jewelry for my HTC One, too.

"Earrings" for my phone - Bling Bling headphone jack covers
“Earrings” for my phone – Bling Bling headphone jack covers

I got “earrings” for my phone. Haha. Basically, they’re headphone jack covers to stop dusts from getting into your headphone jack. I got a bling bling red diamante accessory. Not usually my type of thing, but I’m growing to like it. Hahaha.

 

I will be using the HTC One as my primary phone, in my usual moderate to heavy usage for the next 2 weeks, testing every feature, function, camera, etc and report back to you with a full user review of the HTC One. If there’s anything that you’d like to know about the phone, let me know in the comments down below.

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