updated 05:06 am EST, Tue February 26, 2013
Android flagship at MWC
HTC brought its new flagship One handset to show off at Mobile World Congress, after the device was revealed last week at separate events in New York and London. Electronista stopped by the company's booth to see first-hand if the handset is as good as its specs list suggests.
We've been disappointed with the industrial design and construction of many high-end Android handsets, but HTC appears to have taken cues from Apple by focusing on a machined aluminum frame. We're not fans of the polished bezel on the iPhone 5, and unfortunately HTC also mimicked this style element, but overall the One looks and feels like a high-end smartphone should.
The 4.7-inch, 1920x1080 display is particularly spectacular, bringing a 468ppi density that leaves pixelation invisible even when the phone is inches away from the eye. Optical bonding helped reduce glare when we caught the reflection of bright lights on the Gorilla Glass panel, and the color presentation appeared to be vibrant without the oversaturation of some OLED panels.
We applaud HTC for switching down to a four-megapixel camera sensor that is designed to improve low-light performance. The tiny lenses used on smartphone cameras typically aren't good enough to take full advantage of an eight-megapixel sensor, so we are delighted that a company has made a sensible tradeoff to improve light sensitivity. The One appeared to be great at taking pictures in the dimly lit areas of HTC's booth.
We are still waiting for a company to offer the One's level of build quality, design and performance in a pure Android experience (i.e. Nexus), but HTC's new flagship is clearly a strong contender for king of the Android arena even with HTC's Sense overlay.
The first One handsets will begin arriving next month.