At a Glance
HTCPrice: $200 (32GB w/two-year contract at Sprint or AT&T), $300 (64GB w/two-year contract at AT&T)Pros: Premium, metal-centric build; striking design; stunning 1080p display; superb performance; excellent front-facing stereo speakers; outstanding low-light camera capabilitiesCons: Messy and needlessly convoluted user interface; dated and problematic button configuration; camera not designed for detailed high-resolution images; no SD card support; nonremovable battery
Between HTC and the carriers, the One also has a mess of bloatware, ranging from apps like Lookout and SoundHound to -- on the Sprint device -- the ever-popular Sprint Zone and Sprint TV. (Some of these will obviously vary from one carrier to the next.) Several of the apps can be hidden and disabled, while others are set to remain permanently in place.
The HTC One is one of the best made smartphones you can buy today. The phone has high-quality hardware and a beautiful, premium build. It has a stunning 1080p display, great-sounding stereo speakers, and a camera with outstanding low-light capabilities and interesting (if somewhat overwhelming) software features. If all of that's not enough, it's also one of the fastest devices around, with top-notch performance that won't let you down.
The One does, however, have some drawbacks. Its camera isn't designed for detailed high-resolution images, its button configuration is far from ideal and elements of its user interface are needlessly convoluted and confusing.
For folks in the know -- and if you're reading this, there's a good chance you're one of them -- a custom Android launcher can cover up many of the software-related issues. The camera limitations won't be relevant for the majority of smartphone users. And the buttons, while irritating, are something you'll get used to after a while.
So all considered, the HTC One's strengths certainly outweigh its weaknesses. Ultimately, you'll have to decide how much the phone's quirks matter to you -- but warts and all, the One is an exceptional device that easily earns a place among the Android elite.