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As you can see in just a few of my posts about the HTC One below, I am a huge fan of this device and still consider it the best smartphone I have ever used. I've been using the HTC One Google Edition for the last few days and have compared it side-by-side to my T-Mobile HTC One with my belief that the HTC One with Sense 5 is still the much better smartphone for many reasons that I will explain below and show in the following screenshots.
Enthusiasts have been asking for more pure Google experiences on hardware better than what we see on Nexus devices and so far HTC and Samsung have responded. My MoTR podcast co-host, Kevin Tofel, may soon be one of those people buying a Google Edition HTC One. I personally am sticking with my T-Mobile Sense 5 model and cannot wait for the additional features and improvements coming in the Android 4.2.2 update that looks to fill in a few of the holes that the Google Edition revealed.
The following is a list of the areas I compared on both phones, along with my experience with each area. I show a few screenshots from most of these areas in the gallery, captured from each device.
- Phone utility: I know many people don't care about making phone calls with their smartphones, but one of the most obvious advantages the Sense 5 version of the One has over the Google Edition is in the dialer and phone utility. The Sense One supports smart dialing, shows related communications with the selected contact, and shows that contact's latest social network status. Smart dialing lets you start to spell someone's name while filtering your contact list. The Google Edition has a basic dialer and basic contact application.
- Exchange email client: As an Exchange user at my small company I have always loved that HTC has focused on this area and led with an excellent Exchange email client. Google has come far over the years, but HTC still leads with the ability to access all local folders while both Google and Samsung limit your access. You will experience a better user interface, the ability to set peak and off-peak syncing periods, and have access to more specific settings.
- Calendar: I give the nod to the Google Edition when it comes to the calendar and actually use the Google one on my HTC One. HTC's looks decent, but I don't seem to have as much control over the layout of my calendar.
- Camera software: While photo sphere is an interesting experiment and I do like the slide around usability of the Google camera app, Sense blows it away. You get the ability to capture 3-second Zoes, experience advanced editing functions, capture HDR video, apply image filters as you line up your shot, and more. The camera is one reason I use my HTC One so much and if imaging is important then you should get the Sense version of the One.
- Calculator: I know you can get 3rd party calculators, but the advanced one on the Sense One is so much more usable.
- Lock screen: You can setup a Google widget on the Google Edition, but there are more advanced lock screen options for the Sense One.
- Media Link HD support: I personally like to share my photos and videos with family and friends on my HD TV using the Media Link HD, but I haven't found any utility to get this working with the Google Edition.
- BlinkFeed: There is no BlinkFeed support on the Google Edition and this is a utility I actually use many times a day on my HTC One. I thought at first it would be a newbie function, but I enjoy catching up on news in this manner.
- Task switcher: The HTC Sense model only shows you your nine most recent apps while the Google Edition uses the standard Android task switcher interface with more recent apps available.
- Backup: I have never had much success with the limited backups supported by Google. HTC has a backup solution that you sync through an HTC account and this has worked very well for me. Only the Sense version supports HTC backup though.
The settings are quite a bit different on both devices with my preference for the Sense settings. Both have Beats Audio support with a toggle to disable it if you like. There seem to be many more default accounts supported on the Sense One, but as you install apps the list expands too. There are likely other differences I haven't found yet, but these are the ones I was able to discover and test this weekend.
The HTC One is probably the best smartphone hardware you will ever handle so if you just can't stand Sense then you can pick up the Google Edition for a very reasonable $599. I personally recommend the Sense model that offers you an experience optimized for this device that gives you so much more. With the upcoming 4.2.2 update the Sense model is going to get even better.
Related ZDNet HTC One articles
- Android 4.2.2 rolling out for HTC One, raising the bar even higher
- HTC One camera utility beats out Nokia Smart Camera app (Gallery)
- An HTC One without Sense is not an HTC One
- T-Mobile HTC One: World's best smartphone on US best value major carrier
- HTC One review
- HTC One uses Windows Phone panorama UI in an elegant way
- HTC One: Zoes and highlight videos may be best HTC innovation ever (videos)
- HTC Sense 5 includes BlinkFeed, Zoe, and TV (screenshot gallery)
- Mophie Juice Pack for HTC One provides protection and 2,500mAh: Gallery
- HTC One Car Kit brings its sleek design and functionality to the road: Review
- Get Started with the HTC One; easy phone setup from your computer