When the HTC One X came out last year, it was hailed as one of the must-have Android phones on the market. A solidly built phone with decent specs that was marred by occasional lags and an average battery life. Of course more high-end Android phones have come out since then, so in an attempt to remind users about the One X, HTC have released the One X+ with a refreshed battery and sporting the latest version of Android.
Build quality & design
The One X+ looks exactly like the One X, with the exception of the color. The One X+ comes in a sleek black body that’s been treated in a soft plastic that feels a little rubbery. It makes it a bit easier to hold in your hand, but I did find at times the phone almost slipped out of my hand because it was so smooth.
Similar to the One X, the One X+ features very few physical buttons, with the exception of the power button at the top and a volume rocker on the side. There’s a small slot at the top which you have to eject with a paper clip in order to insert your SIM card, which is great if you have something to eject it with in the first place. At the back is the 8MP camera and LED flash, as well as the HTC and beats audio logos.
Spec-wise, the One X+ is a minor upgrade from the One X. The phone sports a 1.7GHz quad-core chip, 64GB of internal storage and a supposedly improved battery. While the upgrades may seem minor, it’s clearly evident when using the phone and in benchmarks what a marked improvement these new specs are.
Benchmarks & Performance
When it comes down to performance, the One X+ pretty much eliminates the lag that we experienced in the original One X. Applications launch pretty much instantly, and there was zero problems with running multiple apps in the background. The phone runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean flawlessly, and no matter what app your throw at it, the One X+ is able to hold its own.
Screen and Touch Interface
The 4.7-inch screen is certainly large and crisp, but might be a bit cumbersome for some to use with one hand (hello Galaxy Note!). The 1,280 x 720 resolution is the same from the One X, and while not as high-res as other Android phones on the market, it still is great for watching video content.
As this is an HTC phone, the standard Android interface has been replaced by HTC’s Sense UI, which features plenty of smooth transitions and a handful of widgets to help you navigate around the phone. There are also HTC apps for streaming media with compatible hardware such as HTC Media Link HD. There’s the Friend Stream app for keeping up to date with your social media networks, as well as Dropbox and even a curious Mirror app.
The camera on the HTC One X+ is as good as the original, taking pictures in a fraction of a second. While there’s no hardware button for the camera, it’s deliciously simple to just tap the screen to take a barrage of photos in a blink of an eye. Photos came out crisp and clear, with plenty of detail, and you can customize various elements of your photos such as sharpness and contrast. You can also shoot video in full HD in 30fps, and even the front-facing camera has had a slight boost to 1.6MP instead of 1.3MP.
Sound and Call quality
Audio on the One X+ is great, and with headphones the beats audio really brings music alive. There were hardly any dropped calls, and both parties could be heard clearly at all times. The speakerphone on the One X+ is also quite loud, though I have to note that music takes a bit of a hit as the beats audio only works if you’ve got headphones plugged in.
Battery Life & Heat Levels
The battery life of the original One X was one of concern – many users reported that halfway through the day they were running for their phone chargers. Sadly, it seems that even though the battery has been beefed up slightly in the One X+, it still faces battery issues seen in the original because of the amped up processor. With a full charge at 8am, I was seeing a red battery indicator by about 6pm, and with no charger in sight I had to sadly see the phone die right in front of me.
Heat levels is another area of concern for the One X+. When playing Dead Space, I first noticed the unit getting slightly warm, but after just 10 minutes of playing the game, the back of the phone got uncomfortably hot and I had to quit playing. With everyday usage the phone won’t get too warm, but if you start pushing the processor, prepare to have some rather toasty fingers.
So does the HTC One X+ warrant your attention? It’s certainly not as snazzy as say the Google Nexus 4 or any of the recent Samsung lineup, but it’s still a decent Android phone that looks good and works fairly well. It’s not worth upgrading if you currently own the HTC One X, but apart from that it’s a decent Android phone that offers a great Jelly Bean experience.