We took the opportunity to leverage our first encounter with the brand new HTC One to sit it side by side with another Full HD display-toting rival: the recently announced Sony Xperia Z.
Both phones share similar processors and displays, but take very different approaches to the role of a flagship Android device in 2013. Naturally the aesthetic in place on each device is the first of the most notable differences. Sony opting for their new OmniBalance design language, which aims to push as many lines of symmetry into the Xperia Z’s aesthetic as possible. The handset has an imposing stance, with the flat sizes, black metal frame and black glass reflective faces.
Meanwhile HTC spent extra care designing a bespoke milling tool in order to give the curvature to the handset’s metal back that allows it to sit so comfortably in the hand. Beyond that the One opts for a diamond polished chamfer around the display and the overall design is one of the few with an all-metal construction.
A look under the hood on each reveals that both utilise 2GB of RAM and Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processors to push things along, with the Xperia Z’s brain clocked to 1.5GHz and the HTC One’s a slightly snappier 1.7GHz. Both also use their rather potent cores to power a myriad of different components – on the Xperia Z that means a stunning 5-inch Full HD LCD panel which also employs Sony’s Mobile BRAVIA Engine 2 technology to keep the images it displays looking top notch in varying conditions as well as a 13-megapixel rear camera which shoots not only in 1080p HD video, but also HDR (high dynamic range) video; a first in the mobile space.
The camera is one of the biggest talking points on the One as well, with HTC pioneering a specially made 4.3-Ultrapixel sensor, which is said to be able to trump the likes of the sensors at work in the iPhone 5 and the Xperia Z. One also makes use of a smaller 4.7-inch Full HD screen, which twinned with the higher-clocked processor, should result in a fast overall experience. In our quick side-by-side test, both Z and One felt evenly matched in UI navigation, the Z featuring a lighter Sony skin over Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean, whilst the One debuts the rather thick HTC Android overlay: Sense 5.
The newest version of Sense has a number of interesting features which the company placed significant emphasis behind at launch; such as BlinkFeed. This feed aggregator pulls information from news sources, websites, HTC and AOL (who are new partners with HTC) curated feeds, social networks and the user’s own content. In comparison the Xperia Z does offer a limited alternative to BlinkFeed called Socialife, but it’s considered a feature on the handset by comparison to HTC’s alternative which sits front and centre by default on the homescreen.
We’ll bring you a full comparison when the HTC One arrives to market around mid-March time.