Having already said it’s going to scale back the number of phones it releases from now on, HTC’s putting a lot of faith in its trio of MWC offerings, the One X, One S and One V. Running Ice Cream Sandwich and the folder-tastic latest version of the Sense UI, the quad and dual-core phones are HTC’s fastest (and sleekest) yet, with completely-overhauled cameras, and made from brand new materials last seen on racing cars and satellites. Satellites!
The one that will get most of you wet is the One X (above), a 4.7-inch unibody polycarbonate behemoth that HTC’s crammed a quad-core chipset into. The use of polycarbonate is a first for HTC, helping keep weight down while retaining its durability. A soft-touch back makes it noticeably HTC-in-design, and the micro-grills drilled into the frame for speakers is an example of the new direction HTC’s taking with its phones – supposedly it lessens speaker vibrations, which makes this a phone for audio enthusiasts who fall for Beats Audio-integration.
Available in both white and grey, the 4.7-inch screen has a 720p resolution, and inside, there’s 32GB of internal storage and NFC technology.
Let’s talk about the camera briefly, which is something worth marvelling about. It’s an 8-megapixel VSI sensor, but HTC has completely overhauled it, and the image chip which helps colour correct photos before converting them to jpegs. Boot-up time for the camera is 0.7 seconds, which should be a noticeable change for anyone previously frustrated with the lag. Auto-focusing has also been quickened to something HTC is calling “faster than a blink of the eye,” at 0.2 seconds (supposedly we blink our eyes at 0.3 second speeds).
The flash has also been improved, checking for distance between it and the subject, with up to seven different levels of flash brightness. A burst mode snaps up to 99 shots, just by holding the shutter button down. And excitingly, you can now also shoot photos while filming video.
HTC’s also generously signing its customers up with 25GB Dropbox accounts, for storing photos and other media in, such as music. Speaking of music, all music-related apps downloaded from the Market are now stored in a music “hub”, with everything Beats Audio-compatible now.
But back to the hardware, and the One S (above), which has a 4.3-inch AMOLED screen and runs off a 1.5GHz dual-core chipset. It’s 7.6mm thick, and has a 1620mAh battery. Created using a process only normally used with racing cars and satellites, the unibody shell is crafted from micro-arc-oxidising metal, and then bathed in a plasma field and electrocuted, carbonising it. This process makes it five times stronger than anodisation alone, according to HTC.
The third phone, the One V, harks back to the original HTC Legend design which everyone loved so much, with HTC saying “we got a lot of praise when we launched the Legend, so we thought it was about time we brought that design back, and into 2012.” Measuring 3.7-inches (so, larger than the Legend then), the One V is extremely thin at 6.7mm, and runs on a 1GHz dual-core processor. It comes in just one colour, metal grey — not quite as nice as the silvery Legend, and the addition of the exposed display (noticeable when you run your finger over it) makes for more underwhelming design, if I’m honest.
All three phones are said to be launching in the next two months (early April, then?), and will be joined with several accessories, the Media Link HD (which mirror-modes videos, Skype calls or media from your phone to the TV, by sliding three fingers up the screen), and the car stereo clip, which is a 3.5mm Bluetooth dongle that plugs into cars for easier navigation, internet radio and calling options.