back to article HTC One S Android smartphone

Playing Tonto to the One X’s Lone Ranger in HTC’s new model line-up is the One S. I’ll get to Silver, the One V, when it arrives in a few weeks. For now though, we can see if HTC’s much vaunted One series makes sense from a technical, as well as a marketing perspective. HTC One S Android smartphone Tonto's talker: HTC's One …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What the hell is HTC doing, to be using 6 out of that 16 GB on the operating system? This is Android we're talking about, not Vista...

    1. N13L5

      I always liked the metal casings of HTC's phones.

      But everytime I look at HTC's phones when I need to buy one, I find them hobbled in some annoying way and I end up buying a Samsung instead.

      Having no SD card slot and no replaceable battery are my 2 key reasons why I'd never buy an iPhone. Why would HTC disqualify itself so quickly from many users' short list for their next phone?

      HTC: don't try to be like Apple, they are not your most important competitor, Samsung is.

      I actually dislike the entire NFC chip deal, it stinks of NWO, so the lack of that doesn't bother me.

      But overall, I find that 2012 is yet another year where none of HTC's phones manages to get on my short list, even though I like the company.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    When three become One

    HTC, let me explain. One does not mean three.

    Perhaps if you could count you wouldn't have lost so much money recently. Or is it because you make phones that no One wants?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      When 3 and 4 became 2 each

      Worked fine for Apple.

    2. dotdavid

      HTC Two and Three

      Not quite sure that HTC should be limiting itself to just one model, but I do agree they should be named somewhat less confusingly. There's only a letter between them.

      Can't any manufacturer use a number-based system a bit like Nokia's used to be?

      1000 is one kind of device

      2000 is the newer version of the same kind of device.

      1100 is another kind of device

      and so on.

  3. Gordon 10

    So in other words

    Probably a better alround smartphone than the X but with a nobbled memory.

  4. frank ly

    micro SIM

    Do most mobile network providers hand out a micro SIM if you ask for one, or do you have to chop your existing SIM to fit it into this phone?

    I'll wait until Christmas (or just after) to buy a used one on e-bay, as I do with all my phones and other techie stuff. I've never had a bad one yet.

    1. Anonymous Cowherder
      Thumb Up

      Re: micro SIM

      Yup, I ordered my One X over the phone then whilst waiting for it to be delivered I read about it needing a micro sim so I popped into a vodafone store and asked for one. I was handed a credit card sized piece of plastic and told to ring up vodafone when my fone arrived to activate the sim.

      One of the easiest things I've ever done.

    2. Anonymous John

      Re: micro SIM

      I upgraded from a Desire to an One X on Monday and O2 gave me a micro SIM, and the switchover took about 30 minutes.

      I have a Three Mi/fi with a Micro SD card, and something I read somewhere suggested the One X should be able to see it, but I haven't got it to work yet.

      It's a great phone though. The GPS even works indoors, which wasn't the case with the Desire.

  5. Danny 14


    10gb free and no SD slot? On my S2 I have a 32gb SD that has about 8GB free. Ive just dumped loads of films "just in case" im stuck on the train (again), plenty of music and general "crap" that I store from work (instead of lugging a USB stick around I just plug my phone into my PC). Internal SD is used purely for apps, photos and recordings, I think i'm about 50% full on that too.

    SD card is a must for me. I cannot realistically see what this brings to the table over an S2 other than a faster CPU? Better wait for the bigger brother IMHO.

    1. Ragarath

      Re: ouch

      So you have 8GB free, but do you think if your stuck on said train your going to get through all that data? The battery will die.

      On the other hand, it does give you choice to fit your mood, but I am sure that can be done with the 10GB. Then again I only play a few noddy games on mine each to their own I guess.

      1. CaptainHook

        Re: ouch

        The phone can output HDMI.

        That means you could load the phone with films and use it on holiday as a media player connected to a TV while still being plugged into an external source of power.

        The idea that the only way to access the local data is while using the limited battery life is flawed.

        1. Jerome 0

          Re: ouch

          You must stay in posher hotels than me if the TVs have HDMI ports.

          1. Geoff Campbell Silver badge

            Re: ouch

            Some of Travelodge's hotels have TVs with HDMI these days, it's not just top-end ones.


        2. En_croute

          Re: ouch

          Unfortunatly the HDMI cable requires an independent power supply, and uses the micro usb slot. Therefore your phone will only get a small proportion of the power available, so your overall battery level will drain over a few hours.

          I tried a cradle with a power & USb Port - phone did not like it - stuttering screen - too much power!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: ouch

      You 'lug around' a USB stick?? Is it really that much of a burden?

      I lugged one around for a week recently because I couldn't feel it in my pocket.

  6. Arctic fox

    "Liù to the One X’s Turandot."?

    There I was thinking that the only references to opera I would see here at 'Reg would be to a certain Norwegian browser!

    1. Matt K

      Re: "Liù to the One X’s Turandot."?

      With that, the Lone Ranger and Panther tanks I think he was getting paid by the metaphor.

      1. Al Taylor

        Re: "Liù to the One X’s Turandot."?

        I wish

  7. James 51


    My N900 has 32Gb built in and can take another 32Gb mirco SD card. The only other phone I have seen that matches that is the N9 (64 Gb model). Before people start asking what you need that kind of space for, 20Gb of music then movies and episodes of tv programmes. Being able to plug it into a tv to keep the little ones entertained no matter where you are is very useful.

  8. Hnk0

    No SD expansion = no sale

    that is all

  9. batfastad

    No SD card slot?

    Is that some sort of joke? Yes internal storage is ample and they probably intend me to use some sort of proprietory half-finished cloud offering instead of my own server. But no SD card slot = no sale for me I'm afraid.

    My HTC Desire has gone bananas and refused to boot a couple of times now. The solution was to return it to O2 who repaired it quick enough but had to wipe the internal storage in the process to re-flash the OS.

    Fortunately all my important stuff is stored on a micro SD card! Also had Nandroid backups made through recovery console stored on the SD card. If Nandroid was storing the backups on the internal memory, that would have been bad!

    It might a problem that only occurs once in 600 days of ownership of the device but even just for that one ocasion having an SD card is invaluable. It's such a shame that Android doesn't store *all* user data on external storage by default.

    1. Arctic fox
      Thumb Up

      @batfastad Re:"Fortunately all my important stuff is stored on a micro SD card"

      Absolutely. My back-up mob has no expansion and had begun to "do nonsense". Sent it in and they re-flashed the os as part of the repairs and of course it came back with the os and nothing else. Fortunately I do not keep much on that one so it was not a big deal. However, one does not have to have humungous storage needs for an expansion slot to be very convenient.

    2. CraigW

      Re: No SD card slot?

      Actually, the internal storage is NOT ample. You can only put 2Gb of apps on there.

      Android really needs to sort that shit out and make ALL INTERNAL PHONE STORAGE AVAILABLE FOR INSTALLING APPS. It's one thing apple has got right.

      1. APA

        Re: No SD card slot?

        ...which you can do as of Honeycomb.

  10. Robert Caldecott

    Internal storage is faster than SD, but...

    ...not having an SD slot is hopeless IMHO and more and more Android manufacturers seem to be heading down this path. I have 18GB of music on my arc S - it's my primary music player. 10GB isn't going to cut it - especially when you start filling up that space with 1080p videos! Anything less than 32GB isn't going to make my short list.

  11. ross 15

    What a disaster

    I was definitely going to get this phone for the missus until I realised it only had 16Gb of storage and no expansion. What a disaster, a complete train wreck - and so annoyingly, frustratingly avoidable.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Review Scale

    Does this make my Galaxy Note a Mouse, and the Iphone a PzIII?

    I vote yes for more Historically based review scales, we could have laptops compared to Naval vessels, and printers to vintage fighters.

    I'll get me coat.

  13. Christopher Rogers

    Sensation XE

    I agree that 4.3" is the sweet spot for screen size. On that basis, The Sensation is still a better handset - Dual core 1.5, less internal memory but has SD slot, same cameras, same ppi density, replaceable battery.....

    HTC really should have ensured the One range is better across the board than anything else they have produced. The S does not make me want to change up to it.

    1. Afflicted.John

      Re: Sensation XE

      Technically yes, but have you put these phones side by side? The Sensation loses on ergonomics alone. It's a Brando-esque fat pig in comparison.

      Sacrifices have been made to make the One series very, very svelte and that will appeal to many more people than those who care about expansion. Both the One X and One S are utterly, utterly sexy phones. And I positively hate my Galaxy Note since seeing the X.

      1. Christopher Rogers

        Re: Sensation XE

        I'll give you that, however the Sensation XE still holds its own. And frankly HTC need it top be kicked to the kerb by the One Series.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Ive read reports that there are already problems with the Camera lens scratching inadvertently due to shape on the back AND Networks/HTC are replacing - no questions asked, to avoid adverse publicity.

    If this goes on, one should be able to pick up for £ 200 ish soon.

    1. Anonymous Coward 101

      Re: Problems

      Customer service from HTC? There can be no veracity to those reports.

  15. Piro Silver badge

    Oh dear, HTC

    This is the right phone, specs wise, size wise. Nobody wants a 4.7" beast, and Tegra 3 is a worse performer than Krait in this phone, so specs wise, this one has it on the money: 4.3", 1.5GHz Dual core Krait.

    But then, what's this? Small battery? No microSD slot? Oh dear, that means this an entirely uninteresting handset.

    More manufacturers need to look at the Motorola RAZR MAXX. Huge battery yet still incredibly thin, and oh look, it still manages to have a microSD slot.

    1. Andy80

      Re: Oh dear, HTC

      Yes, the MAXX is looking good.

      No SD card is not a great idea. For those people who like flashing different ROMs on their phone i think an SD card is essential.

      Hands up who's tried various ROMs on their phones and has the back ups saved to the SD card..

  16. squilookle

    Lack of MicroSD isn't necessarily a deal breaker for me, but if I were choosing a new phone (I will be in February) I would take a similarly specced/priced phone with MicroSD if available.

    I don't need to use an SD card, I have one in my current phone and have not come close to filling it. I don't take it out to transfer files to other devices - I use Dropbox for that. However, I like the idea that, if the phone fails, I can just take the card out and I have all my files.

  17. Rob

    Not for me...

    ... but then this phone clearly isn't being built for a heavy user, this sort of phone would be fine for someone like my missus who doesn't care whether it has SD Card slot or not (she gets a new phone and immediately hands it to me to sort out and put all of her stuff on).

  18. the-it-slayer

    An iPhone wannabe which doesn't even touch the wannabe status

    Urgh. another average Android phone which is marked too highly by the El Reg. Will be interesting to see if the phone runs fast in 3 months time once a user has abused it with the limited resources and bottom-line spec for Fandroid 4.0.

    Anything over 3.5" is just an overkill for a touchscreen phone. I mean, I don't want to have to extend my thumbs just to reach over the screen and then crap it in later life with some sort of evil pain.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: An iPhone wannabe which doesn't even touch the wannabe status

      So to paraphrase:

      "Waaaaah! Somebody other than my beloved Apple built a phone!"

      Will keep a note of this comment and compare it to whatever BS you use to justify the increased screen size on the next iPhone.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Re: An iPhone wannabe which doesn't even touch the wannabe status

      the-it-slayer: "Anything over 3.5" is just an overkill for a touchscreen phone."

      Yeah, but only until Apple release a 4"+ screen phone. Then it'll be magical, revolutionary, and absolutely essential. Right?

    3. SkippyBing

      Re: An iPhone wannabe which doesn't even touch the wannabe status

      Seriously, how stubby are your thumbs?!

  19. Thomas 4

    "The One S is the Panther tank to the One X’s Königstiger."

    Someone's been playing Company of Heroes too much....;)

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The trouble with fixed batteries... what do you do when your phone locks up hard, as my HTC Desire does occasionally?

    Do you just have to wait for the battery to discharge itself?

  21. This post has been deleted by its author

  22. Dave Lawton

    Simple - vote with your feet

    If this and the X are flops, maybe they'll think twice before making stupid decisions like non-removable battery, micro sim & no micro SD slot.

    The V would appear to be a completely different phone, more like a Desire.

    So I've gone with a Galaxy S II to replace my Desire, & will watch with interest over the next 2 years until my next renewal.

    1. corrodedmonkee

      Re: Simple - vote with your feet

      To be utterly fair the HTC One X is a thoroughly excellent phone, specially after the latest firmware.

      The screen alone is nothing short of amazing, and it does a good job with the battery. Specially if you are just listening to music with the screen off. Beats stuff, though not the bundled headphones is excellent too.

      Makes the Desire look like a real piece of shit, which it really wasn't.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If the One X didn’t exist I bet the One S would have these features.

    Exactly. This is something that Apple do right, Its about time that phone makers took a leaf out of apples book, and made just ONE (irony?) phone, that does everything (It would be fine to produce different cases for it)..

    It's stupid to produce so many variants, and then never bother to update them. I bought Galaxy Nexus in order to cut out the manufacturer and carrier update requirement all together.

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