Thanks to from , I got the chance to try out the new HTC one. Their new flagship phone. Yesterday was the touch&try event, so today I'm testing it a bit more. I'll give a short review of the phone.
The hardware is in one word splendid. The unibody aluminium case makes it very strong. The screen is so sharp it's unbelievable.
The camera has a flash, but I don't know why you would need it, as the lens is so great the photo quality is perfect, even in quite dark environments. The speakers are just amazing, I'd even say they're better than my laptop speakers, and they're on the front (finally!).
The antennas are also great. You might expect some problems due to the aluminium case, but this isn't the case, the WiFi reception is even better than my laptop's WiFi reception.
The speed is also great, but I guess everyone expected that from this phone.
The only hardware disadvantage I can think of is hackability. You can't open it, so it's certainly impossible to change the battery. Also, the default charger cable is 1m, a bit short to me (I like to charge it in the sofa, while playing with it). Luckily, we have other chargers with longer cables.
The also changed a lot to the software. A first thing they added is BlinkFeed. That's some collection of all things you'd want to see: mails, appointments, news, TV shows ... It's more customisable than Google Now (which also shows the things you might want to see), but it also has some minor annoyances. The search button is less handy to reach (requires a dual action), and it doesn't immediatly show web results, only results from blinkfeed resources. By default, it's on your left homescreen, so it's also a bit harder to reach. Sometimes you need to press home, and then swipe left to get it, while going to Google Now only requires a long press on the home button. I don't know if there's a good solution for this, but it's certainly worth looking at it. It also doesn't support G+ yet, but I'm sure that's coming with an update.
They also changed a lot in the camera software. With Zoe, you can take a picture, and afterwards choose the right frame you want (to even some frames before you pressed the button). This does seem to use a lot of battery, but it works great. You can also upload multiple frames to G+. The photo you see below comes from a Zoe.
They also create highlight films from your events. Those are 30 sec movies showing your best pictures from an event. You de need to take more than 13 pictures, as otherwise, I've found it will also include pictures from other events. Those highlights are awesome (right mood, good panning/zooming, moving images thanks to Zoe ...) but there seems to be a problem to share them to G+ (or it's because I haven't taken the time to enable the HTC share function) . So I can't share them yet, but I'll look into it.
I must say, their camera software improvements are really great. You can take great pictures, and you have an easy way to show them (instead of letting someone look at a boring dia show) without any extra work.
HTC TV is also something unique. The phone has an infra-red light, so it can control your TV. Combine this with a TV schedule in the app, an you have a wonderful remote control. There's only one problem with it that makes it unusable to me. But I'm also sure they'll solve it in the future. For now, you can't change the number of the channel. It's set to the cable distributor's default (f.e. TV One is on number 2, Four is on number 3, Five is on number 6), this is a bit illogical, so everyone from where we live have their TV stations rearranged (One is on 1, Four is on 5, Five is on 13, that makes a lot more sense ;). The ability to change the channel number is IMO the only missing functionality, And I believe it will be easy to add. So that will make my phone the perfect combination of TV magazine and remote control.
For the GPS, I tried it on two positions this far (Antwerp and at home), and both times I got a fix within a second or two. Even from inside. Although the GPS antenna did get some help as I was connected to a localised WiFi network in both cases, I still think this result is quite spectacular.
To do a better test (and I will), I'll have to drive to a spot out of reach of a WiFi network and try again.