After a week with my new HTC One

I had my iPhone 4S for almost two years. It was decent enough though I had wanted a larger screen two years ago. Before buying the iPhone 4S I had bought a Droid Bionic. I liked the screen size but the camera was awful. So I returned it and upgraded my iPhone 3s for a 4s. Fast forward two years and I wanted a bigger screen again. The current iPhone 5 screen size was disappointing (along with how it felt light and cheap). While it is not exactly reliable to believe in Apple rumors, the consensus so far for the next iPhone is that the screen size will not increase with the next iteration. When I started looking at alternatives, the no brainier was the Samsung Galaxy S4. As I read reviews for it, a lot if people were comparing it to the HTC One. Up until that point I hadn’t even heard of the HTC One. The common theme from the reviews was that as good as the Galaxy S4 was, it felt cheap due to all the plastic. The HTC One felt much better.

HTC One Thin

Before deciding to change platforms (iOS to Android) I compared the top ten apps I used on my iPhone. Surprisingly 8 out of 10 were on both platforms. If they had data it was for the most part easy to connect to the cloud. I also banked on the fact that I would be using my iPad Mini a lot with my Android device so I wouldn’t miss much on the iOS side. I was planning to use my new phone as a hotspot for my wifi iPad mini so mobility was going to be easy.

Apps I Use: iOS vs Android

After reading the reviews, comparing what apps I would be able to transfer it was time to look at the phones. Within two seconds of holding the Galaxy S4 and the HTC One it became clear which one I was going to get. I also opened each device up to see how the work flows. I think the biggest error in all the reviews of both devices was the operating system. Sure it’s important but most popular apps on the surface ignore the pre-designed software. For example email, I don’t really care how Samsung or HTC deal with it. I’m going to use the Gmail app.

If you’ve made it thus far with my review it’s kind of obvious that I bought the HTC One. I’ve used it for a couple weeks now so I thought it would be worth mentioning some of my workflows with this device. First off, I have no regrets with this phone. I really love using it. It’s not perfect but the benefits make up for any imperfections. This is basically the iPhone that Apple should have released a year ago. My best guesstimate is that in two years the might get to the ergonomics of this one.

HTC One Hand Home

The way that I’ve organized my apps mirrors my workflow for the most part.

(on my dashboard outside of a folder)
• Pocket
• Instagram
• Twitter
• Gmail
• Snapseed
• Wunderlist

• Amazon Kindle
• Score Center
• Feedly

• Strava Cycling
• Seamless
• Yelp
• LinkedIn

• Maps
• Chrome
• Calendar
• YouTube

• Messages
• Talk
• Phone

• Dropbox
• Drive

• Spotify
• TuneIn Radio
• SoundCloud

• Weatherbug
• The Weathernetwork

There’s a couple apps working in the background such as Flickr and Facebook. I rarely open them but use them to share content from other services that are above.

HTC One Pocket

I basically wanted a bigger screen so I could read. I save a lot of content to Pocket thanks to the easy workflow from twitter and desktop. A majority of ebooks I read come from Kindle. The screen does a great job of letting me read. The text reads as sharp as any retina device I have. At this point I couldn’t ask for anything more when it comes to reading. Actually there’s one issue with reading, it really needs to be done in the shade. It’s pretty impossible in direct sunlight.

HTC One Snapseed

I shoot a lot of photos. I shot one every day as I walk to work. I also take a lot when I’m out and about. I find that I use Snapseed to shot and tweak the image. From there Ill share it on Flickr and Instagram. The process feels pretty smooth. As for the camera I think it’s ok. It’s not great but good enough that I can hide some of the sensor issues with Snapseed’s filters. If there’s one complaint with the photo flow, it’s how the images are saved to folders. It’s confusing going into the gallery feature as there seems to be no order in how the images are organized. While it is confusing its not a big deal since any photo worth having for me is saved on Flickr.

HTC One Spotify

Along with reading and shooting images I listen to a lot of music. I use Spotify for the most part so my flow stays the same as with my iPhone. The added bonus is that the music sounds amazing whether I use headphone or not. The earbuds are great and the speakers on their own sound high end as they can for a tiny device. I also like how I can advance songs with a locked screen.

All of these workflows take battery power to pull off. I don’t know the amount of hours a charge can last in empirical terms. The test that I did do is keep it unplugged for a normal full day 8am – 12am. The charge kept with some battery power to spare. Keep in mind that the phone wasn’t on all day so results will vary on use.

My biggest issue has to do with notifications when my phone is locked. I hear the alert but nothing shows on my screen. It kills me that I have to turn on my phone every time to see what I got notified on. I really, really wish I could see them the same way iOS does.

How does it scroll? At times it does feel a bit clunky. The clunkiness differs from app to app so it’s hard to judge if its the operating system or how the app was optimized for Android. With that said its not that noticeable and doesn’t get in the way for using my apps.

So far I have no misgivings about changing from an iPhone to the HTC One. In a year ask me the same question and we’ll have to see how the phone holds up. It’s hard to guess at this point. But as something I will probably keep for two years I feel more confident betting on this than an upgraded iPhone that will be delivered later this fall.

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  • deaniewilliams

    Thanks for this article; it’s helped me to crystallise that I’m going to get the One myself.
    I’m not going to ditch my iPhone completely, but you’re right when you say that it does depend on personal workflow. I think that the One will serve most of my needs, but there will be some things that iOS will be better at doing.