After a rough year of plunging profits, HTC is focused on fewer, better phones.
HTC’s One line is the first result of that effort, including the HTC One X on AT&T, the One S on T-Mobile and the Evo 4G LTE on Sprint. Though the names are different, all three phones are cut from the same cloth, with slim designs, the latest version of Android and similar tech specs. They’ll all cost $200 with a two-year contract, too.
While each phone’s slight variations are great for wireless carriers, who aren’t stuck selling the exact same phones as their competitors, they can also be confusing for customers. So let’s break down HTC’s One phones by category to see how they compare:
Size, Shape and Screen
Sprint’s Evo and AT&T’s One X are nearly identical in size, with 4.7-inch 720p displays and thicknesses of 0.35 inches. T-Mobile’s HTC One S is the smallest and slimmest of the bunch, with a 4.3-inch, 960-by-540 resolution display and a thickness of 0.3-inches–or 0.35 inches if you count the hump near the rear camera. But T-Mobile’s version has one big drawback: It uses a PenTile pixel arrangement, which results in jagged edges on text, images and icons when looking closely at the screen.
All three phones use 1.5-GHz, dual-core Snapdragon S4 processors, which are currently among the best mobile processors on the market. Benchmarks by Anandtech even show the dual-core S4 outperforming Nvidia’s quad-core Tegra 3. That chip, combined with 1 GB of RAM, ensures that all of HTC’s One phones will be plenty fast.
All three phones have 8-megapixel rear cameras with HTC’s ImageChip, a dedicated signal processor that can snap a shot in 0.7 seconds and enhance the picture in adverse conditions, such as low lighting or bright backlighting. The HTC One X on AT&T has the best front-facing camera–a 1.3-megapixel shooter with support for 720p video–while the other two phones have inferior VGA cameras, with resolutions of 640-by-480.
AT&T and Sprint will both offer 4G LTE for their respective phones, but AT&T’s network is much farther along. Currently, it’s available in 26 markets, while Sprint’s LTE network hasn’t even launched yet. T-Mobile’s HSPA+ network is slower than LTE, but still respectable with theoretical speeds of up to 42 Mbps.
Aside from whatever bloatware the wireless carriers load on their respective phones, the software experience should be nearly identical across all three phones. They all run Android 4.0, or Ice Cream Sandwich, with HTC’s Sense interface on top. Sense 4.0 is simpler than previous versions, and lighter on UI elements that previously slowed HTC’s phones down.
The Evo 4G LTE has one. The other phones don’t. Advantage: Sprint.