updated 05:15 pm EDT, Mon April 23, 2012
HTC One X with LTE gets our early test
Canada has slightly beaten the US to the punch and is getting the 4G LTE version of the HTC One X on Rogers ahead of AT&T's May 6 date. We have our test unit on hand and have been giving it an early shakedown in advance of a fuller review. Read ahead for our initial impressions.
As you might expect, the outside is very similar to the international version we tried, but that's a good thing. We'd almost forgotten how good the polycarbonate plastic shell feels; it's not as elaborate as the micro arc oxidized aluminum of the One S, but it's smooth, looks good in white, and still feels high quality. The design is still on the big side, but the big 4.7-inch screen is actually slightly easier to reach than that of the Galaxy Nexus; we don't mind it now relative to the One S.
As a reminder, the screen itself is definitely one of the best in the industry. It's not just that it's 720p and very color accurate. The new display technique adds an extra appeal by raising the LCD closer to the surface and giving the sense of more directly touching the display.
Switching to the Snapdragon S4 processor doesn't have any effect on immediate performance, despite the larger screen. It's still glass-smooth, even with a significant number of widgets. We expect the only tangible performance deficit over the quad-core Tegra 3 version to come in gaming.
We did get to test LTE, but we suspect there's either a performance issue in the area or that the Rogers network was bogging down. Despite being connected to full 4G, we couldn't get more than about 5.5Mbps downstream from any test server, even if we got 7Mbps upstream. We'll be testing in other areas and different days to see how well it runs in practice. Tasks on Wi-Fi are very fast and a possible clue as to how well LTE will work in optimal conditions.
One important advantage: unlike some LTE-based Android phones, it's possible to force the One X's LTE off while keeping 3G, so you can extend the longevity if you either need to eke out a few hours more or are in an area where LTE comes rarely.