Spoilt for choice
HTC’S latest model, the One XL, is primed for 4G, writes Jennifer Dudley- Nicholson
HTC ONE XL
Mobicity, $ 829; mobicity.com.au
HTC phone fans face a tough but exciting choice.
They’re being asked to choose between a phone with the speediest hardware and a phone with the speediest net connection.
The HTC One XL is the latter option, as it connects to Telstra’s new 4G network and delivers downloads up to five times faster than average.
It doesn’t offer the same quad- core processor as its One X rival, however, making the choice that little bit harder.
Despite their hardware differences, the HTC One X and XL are hard to physically separate.
The XL is merely 1g lighter than its rival and 0.44mm longer, ensuring you couldn’t tell them apart in a line- up. Mercifully, this first- release version, imported by MobiCity before its official Telstra launch, arrives in dark grey.
They are similar in other ways too. Despite its XL title, this phone offers the same 720p 4.7- inch touchscreen as its brother, as well as the same 8- megapixel camera with backlit sensor and LED flash, 1.3- megapixel front- facing camera and Beats Audio tweaks for delivering bass- heavy sounds. Both offer the new Android Ice Cream Sandwich software.
But the biggest benefit to owning a One XL is clearly its speedy network connection. Mobicity buyers must change a couple of settings to encourage this handset to accept Australia’s 4G ( LTE) connection but once set it roams to the speedier network automatically.
The biggest benefit to owning a One XL is clearly its speedy network connection
With just three out of five reception bars showing on this phone, it was able to hit download speeds in excess of 12 megabits per second ( Mbps) and upload speeds of 7Mbps, making photo uploads disappear in record time.
A walk through the city proved even more productive, with speeds of up to 40Mbps possible in some locations. There is a trade- off for this network speed, however. While the XL specialises in network speed, it swaps a quad- core processor for a dual- core processor to do so.
To have both in one phone may have overwhelmed its battery.
Using the Quadrant Standard app to test these phones, the One X is clearly the faster of the pair in both overall scores and particularly in CPU power, where the XL was simply outgunned.
The 1.5GHz XL is no laggard, however, and rates more than twice as fast as a Samsung Galaxy Nexus. Users are likely to be pleased with its performance, as it offers few delays and solid multi- tasking delivery.
Where the One XL does stumble a little is in battery life. In challenging network conditions, where it was forced to swap from 4G to HSPA and down to 3G often, this handset lost battery power faster.
When testing its speed in such conditions, the XL can also become quite warm; so warm it is uncomfortable to hold to an ear.
Despite the occasional battery hiccup, this phone is an overachiever. Its combination of latest software and speedier connection should please smartphone aficionados.