Three months in, here's why I can't sell my HTC One


The HTC One’s 2300mAh battery drains from 100% charge to 3% in 183 seconds flat, even with the screen off (it says in this trolling forum post, complete with accompanying, heavily photoshopped screenshots). Which is odd, because mine ends the working day with a healthy 65% charge.

htc one battery

The fanatical end of the Android community, of which there are many, will tell you that flagship handsets either die in minutes or months - with nothing in between. And they have endless fake screenshots to prove it. 

The inconvenient truth, from some years of owning various Android handsets, is that tweaking application settings will do more than any amount of brightness adjustment or quasi-mystical battery manipulation to extend battery life. 

My One lasts a whole day, with charge showing between 50-70% by midnight (and I leave the house at 6.30am). I could go for two days as a survival test, but I can’t see why I would bother with the exercise: like most of the smartphone-owning human race now, I plug my phone in at night. But then, I don’t post dodgy screenshots showing my battery lasting 8 days and 11 hours.

In case you’re wondering, those tweaked application settings that can save your battery usually include turning off Google+ notifications (sorry Google, but it has murdered every handset I’ve ever owned), working your way through Google’s maze of location settings and to turn most of them off, and not leaving the background sync on for every app I install (again, Google+ Auto Backup turns vampire at the drop of a hat). 

Oh, and if your battery’s still causing alarm, you can lose half an hour trying to stop Facebook’s fantabulous app from constantly sucking juice in the background: if you ever do find out how to do this, do share - 2bn Android users worldwide will buy you drinks and hero hats.

How to out-One the One? Fit your newly designed handset with a 4060mAh monster,  then create a custom screen that hand picks the on/off settings for the worst-offending apps. You’ll sell billions.

More after the break...


The HTC One has no microSD card slot. Why have you gone so quiet all of a sudden?

HTC One tray sketch

MicroSD cards are sold in their trillions to smartphone owners, and every one of those trillions of little storage cards is operating at 99% capacity. This must be true, because the world’s forums and comment sections are packed with prospective Android smartphone buyers who demand that any new Android handset MUST have a microSD slot. 

Just look at the Galaxy S4: include a microSD slot, and you get instant acclaim (even though the ‘budget’ S4 only comes with 16GB of onboard space, half of which is eaten by Samsung’s ambitiously plump software). 


I’ve never come within 30% of filling my HTC One’s humble 32GB internal storage. I’ve tried, don’t get me wrong. I’ve pulled tons of obscure, never-referenced music and photo files from the cloud into the damned thing. And then I realised that I wasn’t listening to all of the music, and I lost 72 hours of my life just trying to look at all of the pictures. Then I tried to harm myself, but that’s another story.

Perhaps it would be different if my daily commute was a two-hour train ride, when suddenly a couple of offline flicks a day may come in handy. But then in the real world, I’m not sure I’d use an HTC One for that job, 1080p or no 1080p. An iPad, maybe? No, that would be just too wildly appropriate.

How to out-One the One? Always-on access to your tunes and photographic excursions through the cloud. Oh, hold on a minute…


Ah, you got me - the One’s only true achilles’ heel.

HTC One camera sketch

The HTC One came to market on a wave of discussion about its rejection of the smartphone megapixel arms race. HTC defied expecations, arguing that real-world quality was more important than stratospheric (and, they argued, meaningless) megapixel counts.

So, Ultrapixel was born, using a smaller sensor (4MP) but larger pixels. In theory, you get better pictures in low light conditions. 


I do not love the pictures I have taken using my HTC One. For a while, I took to constantly checking the lens, often rubbing it with a cloth. I was trying to remove the layer of film that was making my snaps look… well, filmy. Except that the lens was squeaky clean. Eventually, I resigned myself to middling snaps: no Bailey-esque public showcase Flickr wall for me.

As for Zoe, the HTC feature that creates mini-moviettes of your goofy life, I think I’ve used it once. And when I did, I discovered that it uploaded the results to my Google+ as a megaton of stills. Google and HTC - I’m happy to make an introduction, when you’re ready.

How to out-One the One? Steal the S4’s camera and claim it was your own.


@PabloCreep Can you go through that process again? There's no home screen style setting in my One - the most I can do is hide Blinkfeed by setting another screen as Home. 

You can turn off BlinkFeed by selecting your favourite styled Personalise button and selecting the Home Screen Style option. Job done.

Well I had a galaxy s4 and sent it back in exchange for a one which I think is far superior all round yeah the camera might let it down compared to the s4 but the new sony has the best cam out so if your buying a phone based on a camera get the Xperia 925( which does look like a nice phone) but in my opinion the s4 felt very cheap and breakable the one sits nicely in hand thanks to the curved back instead of a rectangle of cheap plastic so I think the htc one is still the best phone for at least another few weeks till another new phone comes out(seems like a new phone is launched every few weeks now and these 2 year contracts r terrible they should come up with a mobile phone swap shop like they have for games as long as its the same grade A,B,C ect...then swap over for a £5 or £10 at the most save people from being stuck with the same handset until your due an upgrade

I got an S4 and had it for about a week before I switched to the One.  I had previously had an S2 and a Note, so was entirely Samsung-friendly.

But the S4 let me down, simply because it wouldn't play nicely with MS Exchange.  It got tremendously hot, ran its battery down in just over 2 hours and used up, in the process, 145megabytes of data, without apparently doing anything at all.  

After several days spent trying to make it behave, I gave up.  I had had a similar issue with the S2 that somehow settled down in time, but with the S4 I couldn't take the risk that every time I went outside my wifi zone (or off the electricity grid) I'd be stuffed.  I was reminded that when I got the S2 it had to be exchanged 3 times before I got one that behaved.  I was so disappointed with Samsung.  I feel they've concentrated too hard on gimmicks, and not taken enough care to make the really important stuff work properly.

In contrast, the One has been superb. Not a sniff of trouble with anything, including Exchange, and superb battery life.  Plus, of course, it is beautiful.  And I rather like Blinkfeed - I have it set up to view my Flickr account and it works beautifully.  I still have a Note 2, but as the comment above says ... if HTC would produce a One Mega with a stylus, I'd take it like a shot.  

There is no doubt that the HTC ONE is an excellent phone and most of your comments are correct.

However, your comments on size are the most important I believe. You say half your household thought it perfect and half thought it too big. Now here comes HTC MINI. So a perfect situation you would think. I am not so sure.

In my office, mobile phones have become critical tools for the sales staff and over a period of six months .We started with a mixture of HTC ONES , IPHONE 4S AND 5S , GALAXY S3 (later some S4s ) and GALAXY NOTE 3S. The migration to the GALAXY NOTE 3 by the others has been amazing.

The office is nearly all GALAXY NOTES now. Reasons? Screen size is just right for data sheets, sales reports, emails, attachments ... and u get used to the size in a couple of days. S.PEN means we can quickly send each other sketches and examples.

Point is that going forward the split in your household will surely mirror the split in the marketplace. I bet you would find it real difficult going back to a smaller phone now. Now if HTC brought out a HTC ONE MAXI with a pen function...

I agree and disagree, somewhat. Yes, the HTC One is gorgeous to look at, and a great design. But where did you get lag from an S4? Are sure it was not a S2 you were using? I have a S4, and its far from laggy. My only complaint is the plasticky back if they made all aluminium like the One, it would be just beautiful.

Then on the One side the camera is not all that. The One is a good camera phone, and good the price and the whole package is justified. 

But without being biased, the tech on the S4 is far superior - hence why the S4 is a top seller. 

But well done, HTC, I nearly got one, as i was very impressed overall. But the S4 just had a few more bells and whistles to make it my winner.

Wouldn't disagree: if HTC would just fit the One with the S4's camera, it'd be perfect.

sad to see HTC aren't making enough money, its such a nice product! Although if you're an obsessive photo taker the s4 is probably better for you. 

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