HTC ONE X: The Best Android Phone You Can Buy On AT&T [REVIEW]

I’ll save you a lot of trouble.

The new HTC One X is the best Android phone you can buy on AT&T. In fact, the only other phone on AT&T that can hold a candle to the One X is the iPhone.

It’s that good. There are even a few features in the One X that I wish my iPhone had.

There’s a lot to unpack with the HTC One X, but I’m going to stick to the big key features you need to know about.

Or you can click here for the quick and easy photo tour of the HTC One X >

HTC definitely took its time designing the One X. It shows. The body is made from a single piece of curved polycarbonate plastic, which makes the phone feel light yet incredibly durable. 

htc one x AT&T

Photo: Steve Kovach, Business Insider

At 4.7 inches, the display is absolutely massive compared to many other phones, but it doesn’t feel like it’s oversized. HTC was able to cram a lot of screen on the face of the One X. There’s almost no bezel, so the screen feels like it stretches from edge to edge. 

My only complaint with the design is that the volume rocker on the side is nearly flush with the rest of the body, making it a bit difficult to adjust the sound.

Most people are going to get a kick out of the One X’s camera. The camera software is much more advanced than what Apple has on the iPhone. You get a ton of options including Instagram-like filters, capturing still shots while simultaneously shooting video, and taking several rapid fire photos at once.

It’s the latter feature that I enjoyed the most. By tapping and holding down the shutter button, you can take a bunch of photos in one go. The photos appear in a ribbon at the bottom of your screen. You can then save your single “best shot” and delete the others or save them all to your phone.

htc one x AT&T

Photo: Steve Kovach, Business Insider

Advanced users will find a ton of other options and modes in the camera app such as white balance, resolution control, HDR, and slow motion video. The list goes on. Normally you’d have to buy a separate app to get all those goodies. 

Even if you don’t care about all those extras, the camera is easy enough for anyone to pick up and casually snap a few photos.

Like most other Android manufacturers, HTC likes to modify Android with its own “skin.” HTC’s newest skin is called Sense 4.0 and runs on top of the latest version of Android called Ice Cream Sandwich. 

In addition to a handful of widgets and design tweaks, HTC added one of the best ways to manage your apps that I’ve seen on a smartphone so far.

When you tap the multitasking button at the bottom right of the One X, you get a 3D slideshow view of all your running apps. It sort of looks like the album art “CoverFlow” in iTunes. You can tap to reopen an app or just swipe up to close it for good.

htc one x AT&T

Photo: Steve Kovach, Business Insider

The One X is the latest smartphone to run on AT&T’s LTE network. That means you’ll get download speeds a lot faster than 3G. Although performance can vary based on location and number of people on the network, I usually got around 10 Mbps in New York. That’s about as fast as your cable modem.

But not everyone can get those speeds. AT&T only offers LTE in 35 markets right now. Everyone else will still be stuck with AT&T’s HSPA+ network, which is a bit faster than 3G, but still a lot slower than LTE. Make sure you ask if LTE is available in your town before you buy.

I have just a few minor complaints with the One X, but none of them are a dealbreaker. 

First of all, like all Android phones, you run into the issue of fragmentation. Not all apps are guaranteed to work with every model of an Android phone. For example, Hulu doesn’t support the One X (yet). Developers also tend to make the hottest and newest apps for iPhone first. 

AT&T also added a lot of its own proprietary apps that your really don’t need. They just junk up your home screen. Even worse, you can’t uninstall them from your phone without hacking.

Also, you should be aware that HTC doesn’t have the best record for upgrading its phones to the latest versions of Android. There’s a very good chance you’ll have to wait several months for a major software update after Google releases the next version of Android, if you even get it at all.

It’s also tough to get good content on the One X. HTC has its own media store for movies and TV shows, but it’s nowhere near as robust as Apple’s iTunes store. You can also buy some music and video from Google’s official Play Store, but again, the selection isn’t that great.

Should You Buy It?

The One X is by far the best Android phone in AT&T’s lineup. If you don’t want an iPhone or Windows Phone, consider the HTC One X your only option. You can get it for a very reasonable $200 with a two-year contract.

The One X is encased in a single piece of polycarbonate plastic.

There are three function keys at the bottom of the phone.

The volume rocker is almost flush with the rest of the body, making it tough to control the sound.

But the sleep button sticks out well enough.

There's a USB port for charging or syncing to your computer.

The One X is a lot bigger than the iPhone

But it's pretty much just as thin.

The screen is large and gorgeous. It can display 720p HD video too.

This widget shows all your photos in a neat tile display. The tiles flip around every once in a while to show off new photos.

The HTC Watch widget helps you pick out new TV shows and movies to download.

The latest version of Android also lets you use Google's new Chrome browser for smartphones and tablets.

HTC's music app acts as a hub for all your other music apps like Spotify, Pandora, and SoundHound.

AT&T's 4G LTE data speeds are pretty good. This speed test is actually a bit slower than normal though. (But that upload speed is amazing!)

Like all new HTC phones, you'll get Beats Audio integration. This supposedly makes your music sound better. (We don't notice much of a difference though)

The One X's 8 MP camera is one of our favourite features on the phone. It takes amazing photos.

Here's the default view in the camera app.

You can also add several Instagram-like filters.

When you hold down the shutter button, the One X snaps a bunch of photos at once. You can then view them all in the ribbon at the bottom of your screen.

Multitasking is a delight on the One X. You get this cool iTunes-like view. Tap an app to reopen it, or swipe up to close it for good.

Here's another iPhone alternative on AT&T...

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.