So you’ve already read about the iPhone-beating HTC One X – but what if you don’t fancy its palm-straining 4.8in screen? Let’s see how its smaller, thinner and cheaper sibling fares…

HTC One S review – danger high voltage

The One S looks and feels great. It’s available in two styles – a black version that’s treated to 10,000 volts of electricity to create a super-tough ceramic finish, and a grey/blue affair that misses out on the shock therapy but is very hardy nonetheless. Build quality is excellent on either.

HTC One S review – skinny AMOLED goodness

The One S is HTC’s thinnest ever phone at 7.8mm and also has a more manageable 4.3in screen; good news for those with dinky digits. The display is a Super AMOLED rather than LCD affair, which means deeper blacks instead of brighter whites, but its 960x540 resolution falls a little short of the very best.

HTC One S review – 8MP camera, standard

The One S packs the same 8MP camera as the One X, with equally impressive results. Photos are snapped in the blink of an eye, a bright flash ensures decent low-light performance and there’s a nifty 99-shot burst mode. Its full HD video is good, not perfect – footage is smooth, but a touch noisy.

HTC One S review – versus HTC One X's power and performance

The S has the same excellent implementation of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich as the X, but lacks its Tegra 3 quad-core silicon. Don’t be put off, though – the dual-core 1.5GHz processor in the S comfortably keeps pace with the One X for everyday tasks, and outside of Tegra 3-specific titles it’s just as fast for gaming.

The One S might have a weedier battery than that in the One X, but thanks to its smaller, less power-hungry screen and more efficient processor, you’ll get an extra hour or two of use from it. Unless you spend most of your time gaming or filming and editing HD video, it’ll keep going for at least 14 hours.

HTC One S review – versus HTC One V

The most affordable member of HTC’s One range offers very sturdy build quality and Ice Cream Sandwich out of the box, albeit in a smaller, slightly chubbier package. If you’re not fussed about graphical grunt or a fancy camera, the One V is the way to go – at $398 (so half the price of the One S) it’s certainly one of the best budget phones around right now.

UPDATE: The HTC One S has lost a star now that we've been dazzled by the $668 Google Nexus 4

Review by Esat Dedezade

Stuff says... 

HTC One S review

The One S is ideal for those who can’t stretch their hands (or wallets) around the One X