On Apple iPhone 5s launch day, I bought a Verizon blue HTC One

On Apple iPhone 5s launch day, I bought a Verizon blue HTC One

Summary: My Verizon line was due for an upgrade and today I made my decision after careful consideration. While I did stand in line, it wasn't for the new Apple iPhone 5s.

On Apple iPhone 5s launch day, I bought a Verizon blue HTC One

Regular readers know I am a huge fan of the HTC One and continue to believe it is the best smartphone I have ever owned. I recently sold my Verizon iPhone 5 and have been looking for a device to replace it. After reading all of the iPhone 5s reviews and considering several other options, I went to my local Best Buy and walked out with a new blue HTC One for $50 (actually $38 with taxes after using $15 in reward certificates).

Other devices under consideration

My list of devices that I was considering for Verizon included the following, with thoughts on why I was considering them, and why I went elsewhere:

  • Motorola Droid Maxx - Why: cool software features from the Moto X, long battery life, wireless charging, solid construction. Why not: rather high price, questionable camera quality, lack of IR.
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3 - Why: large display, removable battery and storage, cool software features. Why not: not yet available, rarely used S Pen on Note II, not very pocketable, too many software features.
  • LG G2 - Why: Great performer, solid camera performance, nice size, Qi wireless charging. Why not: LG has too much going on with software, plastic back took away from premium feel.
  • Apple iPhone 5s - Why: latest iPhone with iOS 7, improved camera, always gets latest apps and services. Why not: expensive, no OIS, small display, not enough improvement over iPhone 5.

Sometimes, the subsidized price is indeed right and if you are on Verizon, AT&T, or Sprint then I do recommend you upgrade your phone every two years since you are paying for it with your monthly fees anyway. It's just how it now works in the US and you might as well make it work to your benefit.


Thus, paying just $50 for an HTC One on contract versus $300, plus sales tax, for a Droid Maxx or 32GB iPhone 5s is a major consideration and a factor in my purchase decision. With my two available Best Buy Rewards certificates, I ended up paying just $38 with tax today for the blue HTC One.

Why do I still find the HTC One compelling?

Earlier this week I wrote about five things missing from iOS that Android provides and then readers sent in even more great thoughts. It turns out I am personally much more of an Android guy and even more of an HTC One guy for the following reasons:

  • Sense 5: I know many Android fans don't like Sense, but I find so many aspects of it useful, including BlinkFeed (I really do use it daily), the enhanced Exchange client (better than every other Android device I have tested), available HTC widgets and more.
  • Highlight Videos: It's pretty amazing with all of the newest technology in smartphones that no one has yet been able to do what HTC has done with Highlight Videos being created automatically on the phone. I love sharing experiences that include still images, Zoes, and video clips with family and friends. It is so much more enjoyable than just sharing a single photo.
  • Infrared port: I hate searching for remote controls around the house and as a regular traveler the hotel remote is one of the nastiest things around. I use the IR port all the time on my HTC One and will not buy another phone without it.
  • Amazing design and quality: Our smartphones are with us all the time and a phone has to feel good and fit well with your usage. I still have not found another phone as well designed as the HTC One and when people hold it they don't want to put it down. The blue One is even more striking than the silver model and looks absolutely fantastic. The quality is amazing and the One truly does feel like an expensive piece of jewelry worth thousands of dollars.
  • NFC: I know many don't yet "get" NFC, but I use it to check the status on my commuter card, to toggle radios on and off with a single tap, and to initiate sharing with other phones. It is useful, despite what Apple implies.
  • HTC One car kit and accesories: T-Mobile gave me a free HTC One Car Kit when I bought my HTC One and it is extremely useful. Since many of us use our phones for navigation, this accessory is perfect and works like a champ. I will be able to use it with my blue HTC One now and am saving money on buying more accessories. I also already have a Mophie Juice Pack for the HTC One.

Today wasn't the best day to visit Best Buy and I had to wait in the same 1 hour line as iPhone 5s buyers, but with the super low subsidized cost and all the great features I love about the HTC One it was worth it for me.

I now have my blue HTC One on Verizon, but am still considering the likely Nexus 5 to use with T-Mobile. I have no desire for the iPhone 5s and imagine I will be using this blue Verizon HTC One for at least the next year, which is a lifetime for me.

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Topics: Mobility, Android, Apple, HTC, iPhone, Smartphones

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  • Suckered into a contract

    That's what I got out of this. For someone that changes devices often, seems silly to have to worry about ETFs or juggling upgrades.
    • If you are happy with the service, who cares if there is a contract?

      I get amazing coverage with Verizon and plan to keep using them so why not get a contract and a low cost phone as long as I am paying the monthly fees anyway.

      I do appreciate my five family phones on T-Mobile with no contract and super low rates, but I have also been with T-Mobile for 10 years and wouldn't care if I still did have a contract with them either.
      palmsolo (aka Matthew Miller)
      • Some people can't understand basic logic

        You are going to pay EXACTLY the same amount for the monthly service fee during the duration of the contract ... with or without the new phone subsidy.

        Unless you are the kind of idiot who is constantly switching companies for no real reason or somebody with some "personal issues" and needs to have the latest and greatest (ie: needs to brag to compensate for other short comings), signing on to a contract is actually CHEAPER than not signing up for one.
        • Shill

          Only idiots would disagree with you. Wanting a new phone sans a several hundred dollar early termination fee makes a person insecure. Looks luke you're a good little drone who never dares think critically and independently. You carrier tells you to lock into a contract, so that's good enough for you. Anyone who fails to conform is [insert your pejoratives here]. You're every totalitarian’s dream. More likely trolling for carriers.
          • Early cancellation???

            If you can't pay for the service, you should not be signing up for it. It is as simple as that.
      • In my area,

        T-Mobile is a drawback... unless I want to go outside my house to make phone calls. No bars at all in my house. Fortunately, Verizon gets 4 of 4 on my Motorola RAZR MAXX.
    • I've had the HTC One for a month now

      OK, I've had this phone for a month now and I'm tired of hearing how good the specs are, here's my feedback on actually using this phone.

      1) Don't try and use it on a desk, the phone is rounded and rocks as you try and tap out a message, try to just use it in your hand

      2) Don't use the digit zero in your unlock code, you will keep hitting the emergency call button

      3) Try not to have big fingers or use the full stop in text messages, you will keep hitting the home button and exiting out of the app you're typing in

      N.B. 2 and 3 sound like I'm fat but I'm 178cm/80Kgs (5ft10/ 176pounds) and I don't have big hands

      4) Try not to use it in a work environment where policy dictates that auto-lock is on. In fact try
      not to use auto-lock at all, as you will lose the ability to get alerts pop-up on your screen. You will have to unlcok the phone first to see whether that was a meeting reminder or important text.

      5) At first you may think the phone appears to randomly get hot. However, we have discovered that collegaues phones bought months apart are heating up at the same times of the day, albeit at random times. Not sure if it's wise to keep the phone close to your body.
  • im actually considering a 5s as I payed off my note 2 already

    I already have lumia 928 which I use for home use on wifi and I just payed off my note 2 in full, but I feel IMHO that I had android twice in both tablets and in phones already and ios once so I feel I can give ios one more chance as I liked ios on my ipad retina so I think its worth getting. Would do you think of it based on reviews in general?
    • iOS7 not appealing

      The washed-out flat colors and buttons are just ugly. Windows Phone uses flat style also but the colors are bold and contrasting. Very evident if you compare the styles side by side. The iPhone dialer and calendar just looks cartoon style. The features of iOS7 are fine, but its still missing NFC and wireless charging. I would say shop around for better phones.
      Sean Foley
  • Great Price...

    Great price for those who do not want to give up their unlimited data plan, right? Just get another line and cancel it. If the HTC One is $50 + taxes $50-$60 (they tax you on the full price) + cancellation fee $350 = then it would be around $450-$460 in lieu of full price $699 + tax $50-$60 = $750-$760.
    • No you tell me :)

      I was trying to figure a way to keep my grandfathered unlimited data without having to pay $700 plus nearly 10% in sales tax, but didn't think of this method you mentioned.

      I went back through my bill history and have only been using about 1.2GB per month for the last year so figured 2GB was fine and unlimited text is nice to have.
      palmsolo (aka Matthew Miller)
    • I picked up an iPhone 5s

      for $129 today. I got the "Space Gray" 32 GB version, and once I figure out everything it will, or won't do, then I'll make a judgement. Best part is Apple paid me $170, for my used iPhone 4s, which paid for over 1/2 of the upgrade. I just caught it right, they happened to get a shipment while I was checking out a display unit. It only took 10 minutes to buy, and set up the phone, and another 7 minutes to get the latest iOS update (7.0.1 "11A470a")
      I hate trolls
  • You Get What You Pay For!

    When I buy a piece of kit I try to buy the best. Especially when it's a tool that I use every day. As fas as cell phones go it's the iPhone. We all pay the same for service each month regardless of the phone we buy so I choose to get the best. Why pay for service from a carrier and put a cheap phone in the mix? Not for me.
    • cheap?

      Did you tried the HTC one ? Its not cheap and doesn't feel cheap neither....
    • Explain what the iPhone is best at

      Maps? Camera? Services? Screen sizes? Choices? Battery?

      While the iPhone is a nice device, it struggles to be best at anything.
      • Facts?

        So you know this how, by reading dribble articles about android, samdung, and google who has your information and gives it to virtually everyone? Android is full of gimmicky items that bore people after a while. Google? Just plain unsafe, too open, untrustworthy.
        • so basically, you can't answer the question either.

          Attacking me doesn't make the question go away. What makes the iPhone the best at anything? What killer features does it have over any other phone? What does it do that other phones don't?

          I think people don't answer the question, because they can't.

          I notice you didn't attack craigship for making claims that the iphone was the best and everything else was cheap. Why is that?

          Its ok to like apple, but you do pay more and get less.
          • Le Sigh

            You set a bear trap and get miffed when people walk around it. You wanted someone to say "iPhone does X best" and then you would say "But Y has [specs], so you're wrong."

            Even the paper clip repairers would find that the most tedious activity imaginable.

            Were there a point at which the iPhone is best (oh, say using a 64 bit processor or having fingerprint unlocking), it will be temporary. Besides, maybe the better phone is the one that is #2 or #3 at everything one needs, while other phones have one #1 and a lot of #10s.

            The iPhone isn't your thing. Cool. Having the best thing (and I guess paying more because the bests keep changing in consumer electronics) is yours. Double cool.

            The iPhone will be my next phone. Because it's the "best?" Well, no. I have one, I'm happy, I'm not constantly looking for the greener grass somewhere else.

            You are ever vigilant and stalwart in seeking out excellence. I spend my time doing other things. These are facts, not virtues.

            But playing spec gunfighter on the streets of ZDNet Deadwood is unbecoming and would seem a waste of your talents.
          • Still

            DIDNT answer Emacho's questions...;-)
          • iPhone is better at...

            I just turned in my iPhone 5 for an LG G2... however, to actually answer this question in regards to what iPhone is best at, here's my take:

            The App Store is its killer feature. I know most top apps are available for Android as well, but Apple has over 900K apps, and many developers go to iOS first. When I worked at Apple, they told us to position the App Store first when selling iPhone.

            Secondly, I'd say texting on it is smooth and easy. It's a nice experience.

            For me, I left iPhone because I wanted a bigger screen, better camera and better battery life. My LG G2 is giving me all those, but at some point in the future I'm sure I'll have another iPhone.
            Brandon Carson