4G Midrange Android 4.1.1 Smartphone

HTC One XL review

Our rating

Now discontinued

Just as Samsung have taken to naming all their android phones 'Galaxy', HTC seem to have adopted the word 'One' for all their current offerings. You may find all this a little confusing so let's take a look at what is on offer here in our HTC One XL review

The HTC One XL is, as the name might suggest to you, a step up from the HTC One X to take advantage of the new 4G networks. This is made more apparent because it looks exactly the same as the X. That's not a bad thing though.

Solid casing

The solid unibody casing is a work of art in the smartphone world and quite frankly makes the Samsung Galaxy S3 look - and feel - almost cheap and nasty in comparison. Despite the large screen it's 8.9mm depth with gently curved edges ensure that it feels very easy in the hand, helped by the matte finish. The 129 gram weight means that the quality feels as good as it looks too. We have stated in other reviews that this little extra "heft" does away with the flimsy feeling of some handsets and in practice it is much less likely to take an unwanted downward trip to the pavement.

4.7 inch HD screen

The huge 4.7 inch 1280x720 screen is retained from the HTC One X which is excellent news because it is a truly fantastic display. The design, dubbed Super IPS LCD 2 by the Taiwanese manufacturers, displays sharp and bright but not garish colours and photos and video in particular look true to life.

We also like the 3 android buttons which are built in to the contoured Gorilla Glass at the bottom of the screen instead of three physical buttons, and it's a layout which works very well in practice.

4G superfast connectivity

The big change is the inclusion of 4G LTE connectivity for lightning fast browsing and download speeds, made possible by a switch from quad-core to dual-core processor. If this seems like a step down, the new Qualcomm Snapdragon processor is a more advanced unit that is actually considerably faster than the previous Tegra 3 device. It also means that battery life is improved which will be important for those of you who like to surf the web.

Superb 8 megapixel camera

The 8 megapixel camera seen in the HTC One X is present here, which starts up incredibly quickly and it really is a superb camera producing sharp, bright pictures with true to life colour. Video is recorded in HD too at 720p and Dropbox is again included. This is a file sharing app with which you use as a local folder offline as well as online, so you can instantly share your pictures and files and view them on any device anywhere. A very generous 25GB of storage is included too, complimenting the 32GB inbuilt storage. There's no memory card slot but then you won't need one with all this storage space on tap.

HTC Sense UI

HTC's tweak of the android operating system, called Sense UI, is also on view here and it's one we have always taken a shine to. HTC have enhanced the interface rather than changed it beyond all recognition and it works really well. The now almost famous HTC flip clock is still there and looks more realistic than ever, and you can now add apps to the lock screen which makes them instantly accessible after a quick swipe to unlock the screen.

Top quality audio

Beats Audio is included too which improves the quality of your music or video soundtracks quite considerably. This is best listened to through headphones and the same excellent set seen in the box of the HTC One X is included here too. You can of course use your own favourite set as a standard 3.5mm audio jack is included.

Full range of connectivity

Connectivity includes stereo Bluetooth so you can use a stereo cordless headset too. Wi-Fi, NFC, GPS and USB are all present and correct so you will have no problem keeping in touch just about any way you choose.

Our summary

The HTC One XL then is the HTC One X with 4G capabilities. If it proves one point it is that you really can't have too much of a good thing! This is one of the best premium smartphones on the market without a doubt and will leave you with that deeply pleased feeling you get when a new phone lives up to your expectations

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