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

MAKE BATTERY TRAUMA A THING OF THE PAST

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...

FIT 1TB OF INTERNAL STORAGE. AND A MICROSD Slot.

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). 

Only… 

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…

Attach A BRILLIANT CAMERA

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. 

Only…

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.

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