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Hands on with HTC One X, now in the UK

The flagship quad-core Ice Cream Sandwich smartphone has gone on sale alongside its smaller brother the HTC One S, going up against Android, iOS and Windows Phone rivals — including the Galaxy S II
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By Ben Woods on
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1 of 6 Ben Woods/ZDNet UK

HTC One X from the front

HTC's latest additions to its flagship smartphone range, the One X and One S, finally went on sale in the UK on Thursday.

The One X is the better specced of the two handsets, but not by much: the main difference between them is that the One X has a larger display and more internal storage. Both run Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

The quad-core Android handsets made their debut on February at Mobile World Congress, alongside the One XL and One V, which have yet to arrive in any country.

Vodafone, Three, O2, Orange and T-Mobile are offering the phones on a range of different contracts, varying by operator. They can also be bought from retailers SIM-free, priced from around £480.

In the UK, the smartphones face stiff competition from top-performing Android rivals such as the Samsung Galaxy S II — widely recognised as one of the best-selling Android handsets of the last 12 months — as well as Apple's iPhone 4S. The Nokia Lumia 900, which is set to launch in May, is a potential rival from the Windows Phone camp.

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2 of 6 Ben Woods/ZDNet UK

HTC One X flat

The One X comes with a quad-core 1.5GHz processor and a 4.7-inch, 720p HD full-touchscreen display. 

In ZDNet UK's testing, the combination of the quad-core processor and 1GB RAM made the handset one of the most responsive Android devices to date, with no lag in opening apps or quickly swiping between home screens. It was also free of animation jitters, which are present on some Android devices.  

Naturally for a top-of-the-range handset, it comes with all the usual smartphone staples of HSPA, Bluetooth 4.0 and Wi-Fi connectivity. On-board storage is limited to 32GB, but the phone comes with 25GB of free Dropbox storage, integrated into HTC Sense, for two years.

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3 of 6 Ben Woods/ZDNet UK

HTC One X camera

The camera on the One X is better specified than the average smartphone, with an 8-megapixel sensor, 'smart' auto-flash that detects the distance from the subject, and an f2.0 aperture and 28mm lens. It is capable of capturing 1080p HD video using the rear camera.

There is also a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera capable of 720p video chat.

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4 of 6 Ben Woods/ZDNet UK

The HTC One X vs the Nokia Lumia 800

The One X (above, right) measures 134.36mm by 69.9mm face-on, and is just 8.9 mm thick. This makes it a little slimmer than the 9.3mm-deep iPhone 4S, but slightly chunkier than the Samsung Galaxy S II, which has an 8.5mm chassis.

HTC's phone, which weighs just 130g, is a fair amount thinner than the 12.1mm-deep Nokia Lumia 800 (above, left). 

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5 of 6 Ben Woods/ZDNet UK

HTC One X browser

The One X and One S ship with the most recent version of HTC's Sense 4.0 user interface. This has recently been updated to declutter the home screen — removing the 3D animated carousel, for example. A dedicated hardware button provides quick access to recently used apps, and the home screen has had a few other minor tweaks.

It also brings Sense-only features like ImageSense to add extra camera functions and comes with the full complement of Android apps included with ICS.

The One X and One S are Beats Audio-branded devices, meaning they should deliver better sound quality than other phones and have additional software audio features.

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6 of 6 HTC

HTC One S

The HTC One S is slightly lower specced than its bigger brother but still provides many of the same features and performance.

The key differences between the two are that the One S has a 4.3-inch qHD resolution display and has only half as much internal storage, with 16GB. It also has a VGA standard forward-facing camera, rather than a 1.3-megapixel component. Its more modest specs are reflected in slightly cheaper contract pricing from most operators.

However, it comes with the same 1.5GHz quad-core processor and 1GB of RAM. It is also a little thinner and lighter than the One X, measuring 7.8mm thick and weighing just under 120g.

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