The One has only two hardware buttons on the front of the handset: a back button and a Home button. HTC has eliminated the menu button, which other Android handsets use to bring up a variety of settings or options within applications. HTC hopes that this will be less confusing for consumers, but I can see this being more confusing for seasoned Android users who are used to navigating the interface with three buttons. Heck, I had a difficult time with the adjustment—I kept accidentally hitting the HTC logo to get to the home screen. Also, apps that require the menu key use the lower part of the screen for a virtual menu button, which completely negates the purpose of having hardware buttons in the first place. It feels like HTC is attempting to do good by starting a two-button trend, but because Google hasn't standardized it across Android handsets, it’s mostly a minor annoyance.
The One features dual speakers on both the top and bottom of the front side, and they produce a very powerful sound, due in part to the handset’s inclusion of Beats technology and an onboard amplifier. It’s nice to see handset speakers actually on the front side of the device and not tucked away on the back; the device doesn’t have to be laid face-down to stream NPR or to listen to a Spotify playlist. While Beats audio has typically been criticized for being nothing more than a marketing gimmick, I give HTC credit for incorporating a stereo-like sound in a device this size.
At 4.7-inches and 468 pixels per inch (ppi), the HTC One’s Super LCD 3 1080p display is vibrant, bright, and easy to read. Its IPS display incorporates SoLux technology, which is said to help improve viewing angles, picture quality, and outdoor visibility. Our side-by-side comparison of the One and the Galaxy S 4 displaying the same photo showed softer colors on the One, but the S 4 produced a more pure black because of the nature of the AMOLED display.
Overall, videos were a pleasure to watch on the One and...
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