HTC One S review

Reviews 25 Apr, 2012

This 4.3in Android Ice Cream Sandwich handset comes with a 1.5GHz dual-core processor and lightweight chassis, but it's the all-day battery life which is the outstanding feature.

5
Price: 
£415
SIM-free
Verdict: 
The One S is the best 4.3in Android device on the market when it comes to features, battery life and design. HTC Sense is simply the best pre-installed overlay available from a manufacturer.

HTC is known from providing an excellent user experience through its Sense overlay for Android devices. However, the Taiwanese manufacturer hasn't always been generous when it comes to hardware and battery life has been a persistent problem, leading to many business users opting for the Samsung Galaxy S II or Apple iPhone 4S.

The firm has set about remedying this with the One S. There are many impressive features on this handset, including the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich OS with Sense 4 overlay, the dual-core Qualcomm 1.5GHz processor and 8-megapixel camera, but it's the battery life which is the stand-out feature.

Despite coming with a 4.3in screen, the One S weighs just 119.5g

Battery

Many HTC devices such as the Desire HD promised much in terms of usability, but were a major letdown when it came to battery life.

The main question is whether the 1650mAh battery inside the One S is able to last a 12-hour working day. In our real-world usage test, we carried out numerous timed activities in an attempt to stretch the battery. Tests such as web browsing and phone calls were repeated and we also played Angry Birds and watched a 40 minute episode of a TV show.

We had our corporate email, Gmail and Twitter accounts set to push content through from the start of the day. Brightness was cranked up to the maximum level, Wi-Fi remained off and no measures were taken to prolong the battery.

With the battery fully charged at 8am, the One S made it through the working day. The battery was down to 23 per cent by 5:30pm and the handset finally shut itself off at 7:20pm, just before we reached home. This gave it a respectable time of 11 hours and 20 mins.

The screen was responsible for the majority of the drainage – using 60 per cent of the power. The display is always going to be the biggest culprit when it comes sucking power, but it is possible to stretch battery life further by tinkering with the settings.

We recommend sticking with the automatic brightness feature and whenever you do find yourself running low on juice, the best thing to do is manually lower the brightness to conserve power.

Disappointingly, it is not possible to swap out the battery. Sealed-in batteries have been popularised by Apple and are becoming common place with high-end devices so it looks like something we will have to get used to.

Specifications: 

OS: Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich with HTC Sense 4

Processor: Qualcomm MSM8260A Snapdragon(1.5GHz)

Storage: 1GB RAM; 16GB internal

Screen: 4.3in (540 x 960) Super AMOLED

Connectivity: 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, DLNA, micro-USB, DLNA, 3.5mm headphone socket

Other: Gyroscope, proximity sensor, ambient light sensor, digital compass, Beats Audio

Bands: GSM/GPRS/EDGE 850/900/1800/1900 MHz; UMTS HSPA 850/900/2100 MHz

Camera: 8MP rear with LED flash and autofocus; VGA front

Battery: 1650mAh

Size: 130 x 65 x 7.8 mm

Weight: 119.5g

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