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HTC One X+: The new Jelly Bean in town

It was only yesterday that we learnt of HTC’s new refreshed Android flagship, the HTC One X+, now it will be available SIM-free at the end of October.

This uprated HTC One X offers a faster processor, better battery life, a better front-facing camera, the latest version of HTC Sense, is the first HTC to run Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and to add to that, now has a scheduled arrival date in the UK of October 22nd, with a price tag of £474 SIM-free from Clove. 

The HTC One X was no slouch when it stepped into frame back in February at Mobile World Congress, but seven months on from its unveil, the HTC flagship is undergoing a refresh, re-emerging as the new HTC One X+.

HTC One X+ no hands head on

The One X+ is the equivalent of last year’s HTC Sensation XE to last year’s dual-core flagship, the HTC Sensation. Following our hands-on experience with the device it was apparent that it still shares a lot of DNA with the stock One X, but its Taiwanese creators have spent time injecting adrenaline into both software and hardware to make it as competitive a product as possible in the current marketplace.

 

What specifications does the HTC One X+ have?

The One X+’s biggest strengths are its faster quad-core processor, its mammoth internal storage capabilities and its higher resolution front-facing camera, but it as the standard One X was already an excellent platform with which to build on, it still offers Beats Audio integration and what is still one of the best display available on a smartphone presently.

  • Screen: 4.7-inch 720p HD LCD 2 (1280×720) with Gorilla Glass 2 and optical lamination
  • Processor: 1.7GHz Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor
  • RAM: 1GB
  • Storage: 64GB of inbuilt storage with 25GB of Dropbox cloud storage
  • Camera: 8-megapixel auto-focus rear camera with f/2.0 wide-angle lens and Full HD video recording. 1.6-megapixel front-facing camera now able to utilise image chip enhancements
  • Connectivity: 3G (also LTE but unlikely for the UK), WiFi, DLNA, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC
  • Audio: Beats Audio EQ enhancements plus additional amplifier on loud speaker
  • Battery: 2100mAh

HTC One X+ 3/4 viewHTC One X+ back 3/4 viewHTC One X+ close up red capacitive keys

What operating systems does the HTC One X+ run?

HTC have endowed the HTC One X+ with the latest version of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, this makes it the first device in HTC’s portfolio to offer Jelly Bean out of the box, with the notion that the HTC One X and S will move up from Ice Cream Sandwich in the coming months.

HTC have also improved on the One Series’ user interface; rather than sporting HTC Sense 4, the One X+ makes use of the aptly named Sense 4+. Although the additions and tweaks may be minor they don’t impede on the performance of the device as had been known to happen on the earlier One Series devices.

The homescreens once again carousel around so that the user can continually scroll across however many homescreens their One X+ has without being stopped. UI animations have also been reinstated and the camera application now has a feature known as sight-seeing mode, which gives the user the ability to leave the camera app running whilst the phone is locked, without having to relaunch the camera app each time they then unlock the phone; ideal for when your phone replaces your digital camera on trips.

HTC One X+ close up cameraHTC One X+ display appsHTC One X+ Beats Audio logo

The HTC One X+ is also one of the first HTC’s to come PlayStation Certified giving you access to Sony’s PlayStation store which you can download to the handset. The last notable feature is HTC’s new Get Started service, which although launching with the One X+ will be available on all future HTC Android devices. The service lets the user set their device up online through a web browser-based interface on their computer, before they have the phone in their possession.

What are the alternatives?

As Sony have done with the launch of the Xperia T only a few months on from the Xperia S and indeed as HTC did last year with the HTC Sensation XE, the HTC One X+ the flagship’s six-month refresh to remain competitive in a changing Android smartphone-packed market.

The Sony Xperia T serves as an excellent update handset with flagship credentials, the Samsung Galaxy S3 still holds up and with the introduction of the Samsung Galaxy Note 2, there’s also the option of a little more grunt from the Korean manufacturer. What’s more LG’s Optimus 4X HD is the affordable choice for quad-core Androids and of course Apple’s new iPhone is worth considering as well.

When will the HTC One X+ be available?

Clove, being the first retailer to offer the HTC One X+ have listed its arrival from October 22nd.

What do we think?

Despite clearly only being an update, HTC have been able to iron out some of the shortcomings of the HTC One X, primarily thanks to the addition of that larger battery. The new aesthetic of soft-touch black with red accents makes the HTC One X+ a far more attractive option than the previous black HTC One X, although the slight shift of the phone’s dimensions (namely down to the increased battery and internal storage) do mean that there’s a chance not all One X cases will fit the X+, which is worth considering if you’re moving from one device to the other.

One of the shortcomings of being first to market, as the HTC One X was with regards to quad-core Android smartphones, is that you’re also the oldest and as time goes on and newer competitors arrive on the scene, it makes it harder and harder for a device such as the One X to be a compelling sale. The refresh in the form of the HTC One X+ is a smart move, not only thanks to the bump in hardware, but the fact that the company can now boast that they offer Jelly Bean out of the box from a device, an advantage currently only held by Samsung, at least here in the UK.

 

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