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Thread: Our HTC One X+ review: One X plus 64GB

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    Our HTC One X+ review: One X plus 64GB

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    One of the best phones for 2012 was the HTC One X. It was almost the total package. It was fast and had an amazing display. The camera was a blast to use. The only problem with it was that it only came with 16GB of storage. It’s like a sports car that can only seat one person. It’s a blast to use but it’s not very practical.

    Thankfully, we now have the One X+. It’s similar to the One X but ups the storage to a much more useful 64GB of storage. You also get a quad-core processor, a slightly bigger battery, and Android 4.1.

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    The One X’s Super LCD was well known for being one of the best displays of any mobile phone. It has super-wide viewing angles, nice colours, it’s bright and it works really well in outdoors. The One X+ appears to have the exact same display.

    Did I mention it’s bright? When I forget to turn on auto-brightness it actually hurts when I look at it at night! It’s truly an awesome display.

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    volume buttons

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    headphone jack, power button, microphone

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    microUSB

    While the X+ has a polycarbonate body like the original X, the X+’s is covered with rubberized paint. The One X is a slippery phone so the new finish is a welcome change.

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    I wish HTC would have put better volume and power buttons on the X+. They don’t stick out enough and feel cheap when you press them. It’s like they were a design afterthought.

    Both the X and X+ have beats logos on them, however, HTC has clearly done some work on the X+ in the headphone department. The X+’s headphone out is much, much louder than the X. It’s not as loud as the 8X I just reviewed but it’s clearly louder than the X. It’s loud enough that you might need to get new headphones if you want to your listen to music at maximum volume.

    I admit, the headphone out of the X+ is a bit intoxicating. Just be careful, the X+ is loud enough to seriously damage your hearing in a short period of time. Like I said before, someday a bunch of deaf teenagers are going to sue HTC.

    Camera:

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    Burst mode has been beefed up. On the One X I got burst rates of around 4.5 frames per seconds. With X+ it averages around 5.5+ fps. Good stuff!

    I’m glad HTC kept the same camera interface. It’s definitely one of my favorites. Both the camera shutter and record buttons are on the same page. You don't have to switch between camcorder and camera mode.

    There’s a new scene button which lets you choose between normal mode, HDR and panorama. There’s also a slow motion video mode which captures at 120 frames a second at a resolution of 768x432. Neat!

    I’m not sure if the X and the X+ have the same camera sensor. They do both look quite similar though. I’ll have to snap some more shots before I can say for certain.

    At a glance, pictures are kind of noisy but that’s not necessarily a bad thing since you can always remove the noise yourself. Some cameras like the Lumia 920 remove too much noise and in the process, remove a lot of detail.

    Video quality is decent but I was disappointed that the microphone picks up a lot of handling noise.

    It excels at letting you take lots of pictures very quickly. It starts up fast and just feels much faster than most phones save for the GS3/Note II/iPhone 4s/5. The speed makes the X+ very intuitive to use.

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    Software:

    While the One X will get a Android 4.1 Jellybean upgrade from HTC eventually, right now it’s still stuck on Ice Cream Sandwich; Android 4.0. The X+ ships with Jellybean. Since the One X+ has HTC Sense and is pretty heavily customized it can be hard to notice the difference between the 2 versions. Then again, even on a Nexus device the difference isn’t that big.

    One of Jellybean’s main features is Google now. It’s sort of an automated personal assistant. I don’t see it anywhere on the X+.

    The other main feature is smoother transitions. It’s hard to tell but I think the One X+ is a little smoother than the X.

    There’s HTC Media Link HD support. It’s just a dongle that you can connect to your TV to display pictures, videos, presentations from the One X+ to a TV. I’m not sure if it’s just DLNA, Miracast or something proprietary.

    Otherwise, there are a few small changes here and there. I noticed that when you connect the X+ to your computer there’s no longer an option to mount it as an USB storage device plus it comes with Chrome in addition to the regular browser.

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    Performance:

    Peacemaker:

    While I normally use SunSpider as one of my cross-platform browser performance benchmarks, I’ve decided to give PeaceMaker from Futuremark a try instead. Like SunSpider it’s cross-platform so we can compared Apples to Androids but it’s bit more comprehensive.

    Peacemaker benchmark (higher is better)
    Apple iPhone 5: 807
    Samsung Galaxy Note II: 749
    HTC One X+: 662
    LG Optimus G: 505
    Sony Xperia T: 502
    Motorola RAZR HD LTE (chrome): 500
    Samsung Galaxy S III: 476
    Huawei D Quad XL: 433
    HTC One X (Tegra 3): 264

    The newer Tegra chip in the One X+ does well here, it scores higher than the Optimus G and is around 250% faster than the original X.

    Vellamo:

    Vellamo is a suite of browser benchmarks. It’s only available on Android so we’re only able to compare the T with other Android phones here.

    HTML 5 (higher is better):
    HTC One X+: 1852
    Samsung Galaxy Note II: 1841
    Sony Xperia T: 1786
    LG Optimus G: 1713
    Motorola RAZR HD LTE: 1632
    Samsung Galaxy S III: 1630
    HTC One X (Tegra 3): 1608
    Huawei D Quad XL: 1447

    Another good showing though it’s not that much higher than it’s predecessor.

    Metal (higher is better):
    LG Optimus G: 643
    Samsung Galaxy Note II: 628
    Samsung Galaxy S III: 580
    Sony Xperia T: 567
    Motorola RAZR HD LTE: 553
    HTC One X+: 526
    HTC One X (Tegra 3): 492
    Huawei D Quad XL: 398

    Here the X+ is only slightly faster than the original.

    GL Benchmark 2.5 (higher is better):
    LG Optimus G: 4221
    Motorola RAZR HD LTE: 2504
    Sony Xperia T: 2431
    Huawei D Quad XL: 2347
    Samsung Galaxy S III: 2335
    HTC One X+: 2042
    Samsung Galaxy Note II: 1960
    HTC One X (Tegra 3): 1650

    I was pretty disappointed here. The X didn’t do so well in GL Benchmark so I was hoping for a huge increase in performance. When I think about nVidia I think about 3D performance. So it’s funny that their Tegra chips generally have inferior 3D performance to their competitors.

    Battery:

    I’m still testing the X+’s battery. I’ll update this section in a few days.

    As a phone:

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    I was pleasantly surprised that the earpiece maximum volume is similar to my iPhone 5.

    I compared the X+’s RF performance with the HTC 8X. The 8X was noticeably better at hanging onto and using a weak LTE signal. The X+ is average in this regard.

    Sound quality is pretty good. It’s clean with minimal hiss.

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    The built-in speaker is not very loud. It’s ironic that it’s located right below the beats logo.

    Conclusion:

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    I guess it’s no surprise that the One X+ is a great phone given it’s heritage. You get the same great screen, slightly more processing power, a much needed bump in capacity, a minor upgrade in software and a few other things.

    It’s a great phone but I am a disappointed that HTC kept it at 1GB of RAM. Such a great phone deserves more. I’d also like to see a little more from HTC Sense. It feels a little dated compared to some of its competitors.

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    X or X+?

    HTC markets the X+ as being faster than the original X. While the X+ does score higher than the X the difference isn’t big. I tried surfing the web with both the original quad-core X and the X+ side-by-side and there is really no noticeable difference. Sometimes the X+ is faster and sometimes the X is faster. So don’t get the X+ if you simply want a faster phone.

    I’m still doing my battery testing so it remains to be seen if the slightly bigger 2100mAh vs 1800mAh makes a difference.

    The screen are about the same and aside from a few bits of new software, the cameras are similar. The real story here is the improved headphone amp volume and the 64GB of storage.

    I’d argue that the headphone volume isn’t a valid point because I don’t advise anyone to listen to it at maximum volume for more than a few minutes. The 64GB of storage however is huge. The version of the X that’s available here only comes with 16GB of storage and of that, only 11GB is available for use. The X and X+ are both really powerful phones with great cameras so it’s really easy to fill up 11GB. Take some pictures and videos, download a couple of games and boom, you’re of space. So the 64GB is welcome upgrade.

    So, if you own a One X and are happy with the amount of storage then skip the One X+.

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    Galaxy S III:

    When it comes to GS3 or One X+ it’s a tough choice. Based on my observations, both are about the same speed, their about the same size and their cameras are similar. At 64GB the One X+ has a lot more built-in storage but, since the GS3 has a microSD card slot it’s easy to add a 64GB card to it (that’s what I do).

    Where the One X+ shines is its display. It just beats the GS3 at pretty much everything except for black levels. It’s better in the sun, it’s brighter and it’s less grainy.

    The GS3’s strength is its software. While Touchwiz isn’t perfect it feels more advanced than Sense. I’m talking the pop-up video, the ability to change settings from the pull down, etc. It also has 2GB of RAM which makes a huge difference when it comes to multitasking. The GS3 does a really great job of juggling lots of programs at once.

    LG Optimus G:

    The Optimus G is another close call. Again the One X+ has a better display and more storage. Unlike the GS3, the G comes with 32GB of non-expandable storage. Still, 32GB should be enough for most people. The G’s camera actually takes really good pictures but the camera is much slower which makes it feel less intuitive to use.

    The G’s graphics processor is a lot faster than the X+. If you game a lot, you might notice this sort of difference soon as games get more complex. Like the GS3, the G also has 2GB of storage and is adept at handling a lot of programs at once.

    I also find the G’s software more interesting though it only ships with Android 4.0.

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    Pros:

    • less slippery
    • display looks amazing
    • camera
    • headphone amp


    Cons:

    • only 1GB of RAM
    • Sense is starting to feel kind of dated
    Last edited by howard; 11-23-2012 at 02:30 PM.

    New Infinity Blade character

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    Small clarification - it has 64GB of storage!

    By 1GB, do you mean RAM vs the OneXL (S4/LTE Version of OneX) ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by thawkth View Post
    Small clarification - it has 64GB of storage!

    By 1GB, do you mean RAM vs the OneXL (S4/LTE Version of OneX) ?
    Where did I say it has anything but 64GB of storage?

    It has 1GB of RAM. Yeah I'm talking about the One XL (we just call it the One X here).

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    Quote Originally Posted by howard View Post
    Where did I say it has anything but 64GB of storage?

    It has 1GB of RAM. Yeah I'm talking about the One XL (we just call it the One X here).
    Cons:

    only 1GB of storage
    Sense is starting to feel kind of dated

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    Opps, my bad!

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    It is simply stupid to buy this if u have a one x .. Except for the memory i dont find anything EXTRA!!

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    Having used a iphone 5, if I was to change to droid this would the device I would buy. The screen is one of the best and is fairly easily view-able in direct sunlight. Also I prefer the top power button of it versus all other droid devices with the side button. Earpiece audio quality is almost as good as iphone 5 and external speaker is decently loud for speakerphone use although it sounds a little cheap. Better battery life and the rubber feel would be enough for me to upgrade to it over the one x. It's nice that Telus didn't add any bloatware but I wish the sense didn't mess with the settings of vanilla droid.

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    Quote Originally Posted by carsmovies View Post
    It's nice that Telus didn't add any bloatware but I wish the sense didn't mess with the settings of vanilla droid.
    Can you elaborate some more? A lot of the SENSE stuff adds vast improvements -- the email app for example is bar none the best Android email client myself and several others have used, from a business perspective.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WorldIRC View Post
    Can you elaborate some more? A lot of the SENSE stuff adds vast improvements -- the email app for example is bar none the best Android email client myself and several others have used, from a business perspective.
    I don't use or care about the email client since I only use a gmail account. One example is the stupid power saver indicator in the drop down notifications. I just prefer the look of vanilla droid settings. I do however prefer the dialer of sense over vanilla droid which sucks. Another thing I like about the one x+ is the right amount of brightness with the auto brightness setting on. Far too low for me on other droid devices especially from Samsung and even the nexus 4.

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    Quote Originally Posted by carsmovies View Post
    I don't use or care about the email client since I only use a gmail account. One example is the stupid power saver indicator in the drop down notifications. I just prefer the look of vanilla droid settings. I do however prefer the dialer of sense over vanilla droid which sucks. Another thing I like about the one x+ is the right amount of brightness with the auto brightness setting on. Far too low for me on other droid devices especially from Samsung and even the nexus 4.
    I agree - Auto Brightness on stock GNII is garbage -- always too dark, even in low light.
    Have you ever tried Lux? People seem to be a fan...

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    I've tried Lux but I didn't think it was any better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by carsmovies View Post
    I don't use or care about the email client since I only use a gmail account. One example is the stupid power saver indicator in the drop down notifications.
    If you are rooted, you can remove that from notifications using Titanium Backup Pro. Just look in the apps list for Power 1.0.2220222957.473386.472844 and freeze it. (This is for the AT&T version, but I think it will be the same for the Telus version if that's what you're on.

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    I want me a phone like that

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    Thanks for the review howard. Are both phones the same dimensions? Just wondering if I can use my HOX case for the HOX+.

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    Yes, they are identical in all dimensions.

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