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HTC One S for T-Mobile Review

Tony Hannides Jul 12, 2012 0
3.5 out of 5 Rating

One of the most anticipated phones for T-Mobile is now available. Back at MWC (Mobile World Congress) 2012, HTC announced their “hero” line and T-Mobile got the HTC One S. While this phone might be shadowed by the new Samsung Galaxy S III, the One S is still a great choice for a smartphone. We got the chance to play with the phone over the last few weeks and it was definitely a treat. While the phone isn’t extremely revolutionary, it has a few features and specs that are stunning.

Unboxing and Contents

The box was similar to another T-Mobile/HTC product, the HTC Radar, a Windows Phone 7 device. Inside, you had the phone, wall adapter with removable USB cable, a quick start guide and a Micro-SIM. That’s it. No battery nor an additional free microSD card. That was the first thing I noticed to be a little different. Then, when I attempted to look at the battery, I couldn’t. The back door only opens enough to slide in the Micro-SIM. It looks like there WAS a spot to add a microSD slot but they decided against it.

The phone itself is beautiful looking. It’s a super slim unibody design that is only 7.95mm thin. The only physical buttons are the on/off switch and the volume rocker. On the front, the 3 standard buttons to control the phone are capacitive; right underneath the 4.3″ Super AMOLED qHD screen. Under the hood, you’ll find the latest Android 4.0 with HTC Sense 4.0, 4G HSPA+42 radios, a dual-core Snapdragon S4 1.5GHz processor, 16GB of internal storage, Beats audio integration, 2 amazing cameras and support’s T-Mobile’s WiFi calling feature.

Ease of Use

Because of Android 4.0, the Ice Cream Sandwich features like facial unlock, drag-and-drop folders and swipe to ignore notifications are all there. With the Task Manager button at the bottom of the phone, you can view your recently viewed apps by swiping left to right rather than up and down; swipe the app up to exit out of it. By holding down the Home button, you can see all your homescreens at a bird’s eye view and remove panels at will. The Back button is pretty self explanatory; you go back one step.  In this version of Sense 4.0, the homescreen is not a 360 carousel; this means you won’t accidentally swipe all the way back to where you started. Finally, if you swipe down to see the notification bar, it’s an easy way to get to the phone’s Settings menu.


One amazing feature on this phone is the camera. First of all, the rear camera is 8MP with f/2.0 and HTC ImageSense technology. You have the ability to edit and modify the photo before you send it off into your email, social networks and other sharing services. Another benefit is the ability to take video and still shots simultaneously. That came in handy when I would video my son while he was skateboarding. The video itself can be shot in 60 fps and 1080p resolution. There’s even an onboard Movie Editor to edit videos and photos you taken.

Unfortunately, there wasn’t much else feature-wise that made this phone stick out. Sure it has DLNA and HDMI/MHL out but most phone’s have that now.

Look and Feel

The phone is super thin and the metal body feels very smooth. Because of this, I recommend a case. Otherwise, if you like small and thin phones, be extra careful but this is the one for you. It’s very light and won’t weigh down your pockets


The phone’s 4G HSPA+42 is available where I live, but it sure isn’t true 4G; can’t wait til T-Mobile finally launches 4GLTE. The speed of the phone itself is snappy. Because of the processor, you could be listening to music, swiping through websites and all without buffering or slowing down the phone’s system.


This phone is pretty nice, but it lacks some wow factors. Other than the physical look of the phone, the features are somewhat lacking. I am a huge fan of what HTC has done in the past, but the HTC One S is just not doing it for me. Everything is stable, the phone works fine and the battery lasts a good amount of the day. It’s more than just an average Android device. But in this day and age, manufactures need to compete on a feature level and the One S versus the Galaxy S III, there’s no competition. However, if you’re bound to the HTC brand and you like what Sense has been innovating for Android and its users, you might be very happy with this phone.

Buy it? Try it? Trash it?

I would recommend you try out all the features you want on the phone and see if this has it or if it’s any better than your current phone. If it’s not, don’t bother.