HTC One XL Review – When ‘X’ And ‘L’ Combine

Courtesy: InformalMente

HTC One X has had an excellent outing following its release in February. Its successor, HTC One XL almost immediately gives one the impression that we have a bigger phone at hand. Does XL really equal bigger?

Not really. Instead, HTC decided to take the gorgeous HTC One X and add 4G to an already tantalizing recipe. While the outlook of HTC One XL remains virtually the same, HTC added a few extra specs to interest buyers.

HTC One XL is targeted at the die-hard fans of HTC and especially those who fancy blazing speeds with 4G. Whether HTC One XL lives up to the hype, that is the question. Allow us to enlighten you with our HTC One XL Review – When ‘X’ And ‘L’ Combine.


Design – The Best An HTC Can Get (So Far)

Don’t we all love the look and feel of HTC smartphones? The HTC One XL remains true to its roots. Hence, it packs that premium feel to it that most HTC fans have come to expect of the HTC brand.

Since most of the difference lies inside the device, the HTC One XL does not look different from its namesake (HTC One X). Inevitably, if you had been a fan of the HTC One X you will not have trouble falling in love with the HTC One XL at first sight.

HTC One XL does not feel too heavy in the hand. The phone weighs 129 grams, which is comfortably light for a smartphone of its stature. The use of a rubberized polycarbonate on the body ensures firm grip which contributes to the premium feel. All the rest remains the same as the HTC One X. Having said that, you shall be pardoned if you are fooled into thinking you are holding an HTC One X in your hands.


Display – The Best On An Android

HTC persisted with the same Super IPS display on the HTC One XL that its twin already sports. Without  doubt, this is one clever decision on part of HTC. Super IPS LCD2 is easily the best display on an Android device. Of course, we do not want our Apple friends to feel offended by saying it is THE best on a smartphone.

A healthy pixel density of 332 ppi adds a significant bit of detail to colours and brightness on the screen. Clearly, the results are crisp and smooth.  The balance between whites and blacks on the display is quite appreciable. Even though it is not perfect by any means, we feel we don’t need to moan about the imperfection all that much.

The only gripe that users might have with the display is its average sunlight legibility. You might want to consider staying indoors with your phone rather than taking it out in the sun.  Text and photos begin to fade as soon as the screen is exposed to direct sunlight.


Operating System – No Jelly Bean But Still A Success

Ofcourse, everybody would have loved an HTC One XL smartphone with a Jelly Bean update. However, we must admit that not all fantasies translate into reality. So let us just face it, HTC One XL runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

Interestingly, the new smartphone does a brilliant job of handling the OS with its limited processing power. The excellent multi-purpose lockscreen remains a trademark for HTC phones and it has been retained here.

Overall, we are pleased to report that Android users will find themselves in a familiar playground as they explore the UI. The entire experience remains gracefully smooth and a pleasure to play with.


Performance – Not So XL Afterall

Quite frankly, this is where one notices a divorce between HTC One X and HTC One XL. While the two phones seem awfully similar, they are quite remarkably different in regards to performance. This is mainly attributed to HTC’s decision to introduce 4G to the device.

This inclusion has meant that the Quad core processor is downgraded to a Dual core 1.5 GHz Krait processor. HTC justifies this as a move to accommodate the LTE radio functionality which isn’t functional with a Quad core processor in place.

The downgrade does result in a slightly choppier performance when playing a game or swiping images. Surely, this will make some of us absolutely hate manufacturers for not being able to sort other ways of making things work. However, this has to suffice for now and you must learn to stay calm and move on.


Camera – A Pleasingly Familiar Sight

Thankfully, nothing much has changed about the camera. The 8 megapixels snapper is as sharp as we have witnessed on the HTC One X. We have recently seen Nokia Lumia 920 make inroads in the camera department but it would be rather unfair to put this in the same league.

In bright light, the camera produces some really nice results with good clarity. As always, it is only in dim lighting that the camera struggles to keep up with the brilliance that it is capable of. However, we feel that the illuminated sensor on the rear helps HTC One XL achieve good enough results even in dimly lit surroundings.

We are also pleased by a nice camera interface that the HTC One XL supports. Afterall, it is good to know that the phone offers many more features compared to what the stock camera app for Android does.


Web Browsing – A Flavour Of Its Own With 4G

So HTC traded off a Quad core processor for 4G connectivity, right? It better have good results to support its decision, one might think. Guess what, HTC is somewhat vindicated in its decision.

4G boats blazing speeds on the HTC One XL and ensures high speed even in areas where normal internet coverage might not be possible. Such is the power of 4G.

Ironically, HTC One XL proves as a better smartphone than the predecessor in this regard. Now we know why it is termed an XL.