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.
Related ZDNet coverage
- The HTC One is the best smartphone I have ever used (review)
- Verizon HTC One vs Motorola Droid Maxx: I still prefer the One
- T-Mobile HTC One: World's best smartphone on US best value major carrier
- HTC One Car Kit brings its sleek design and functionality to the road: Review
- Mophie Juice Pack for HTC One provides protection and 2,500mAh: Gallery