HTC One S Review

HTC One SReleased on April 2012, the HTC One S is a fairly small sized smartphone with decent specs. It contains a dual-core, 1.5-GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 chipset that is coupled with an Adreno 225 GPU.

The phone is fairly fast for day to day usage due to its chipset and 1 GB of RAM. During every day usage, the phone should perform fine as it is certainly more than capable of carrying out normal tasks, however when it comes to more demanding games, then the HTC One S really starts to show its lack of power. This phone is about a year and a half old. When it was released, it wasn’t a really high end phone.

Operating System and Software

With the addition of HTC’s Sense UI 4+, the HTC One S has some occasional lag. The HTC Sense UI is a skin like Touch Wiz and changes the overall look of Android into a unique experience. Unfortunately, HTC has discontinued updating HTC Sense for the HTC One S, therefore it is not running the latest version of Sense UI (Sense UI 5.0).

Not only is the HTC One S not running the latest HTC Sense UI, but it lacks the latest Android OS update (4.3). Currently, the latest version of Android released for the cell phone is Android 4.1.1 (Jelly Bean). It can be expected that the HTC One S will not get any updates which is very disappointing. However, some brave users can try to root their phone and flash a newer version of Android. By doing so you will remove Sense UI and the pre-installed apps.

Depending on what carrier you use, the phone comes with different pre-installed apps such as Bell TV and other apps from different companies. The phone comes equipped with a Beats audio equalizer, which boosts the sound quality when listening to music using headphones. The Beats audio equalizer increases the bass and adds richness to the music. Speaking of music, unfortunately, the phone does not come with headphones. In the box, there is the phone, a standard microUSB charger, and the owner’s manual. Before the release of the phone, there was speculation that HTC would throw in Beats headphones with the phone. However, Beats headphones were not included during the cell phone’s release.

Battery and Display Screen

Another drawback of the HTC One S is that it does not contain a removable battery. Instead, the phone contains a non-removable Li-Po 1650 mAh battery. The 1650 mAh battery proves to be more than enough and the HTC One S can easily last throughout the day. This is partly because the phone’s screen is a 4.3 inch Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen. A benefit of having an AMOLED screen is that instead of the phone displaying a black pixel for black images, it turns off certain pixels. This results in greater contrast ratios, beautiful images, and saves battery. However, the screen lacks the high pixel density that other phones in the market currently contain. At 540 x 960 pixels (about 256 ppi), the pixels really seem evident when looking at the phone’s screen from a close range. In general, even though the screen produces great colors, the screen does not look very sharp and it is a major drawback of the phone.

Storage and Camera

Furthermore, the phone lacks expandable storage and comes with only one storage option, which is a 16 GB model. The phone is equipped with an 8 MP rear facing camera and a VGA front camera. The HTC One S can take images very quickly which can be very useful. However, the camera cannot focus on images quickly and leads to lower quality photos. The phone comes equipped with an LED flash which is very useful in low light conditions.


Overall, the HTC One S is a decent phone for someone who is not really crazy about putting it through rigorous usage. Compared to other phones on the market, the smartphone really is a weakling. Coming in at about $250, it is quite expensive for a one and a half year old phone that lacks many things. The phone lacks the latest Android and HTC updates, LTE capability, HD screen, removable battery, and expandable storage. However, there is a lot about the HTC One S that is commendable. The smart phone has great build quality and good battery life. Finally, the display produces fantastic, rich colors (although it is not an HD screen).


  • Good battery life, bright LED flash, great build quality and design, AMOLED screen produces vivid colors, and Beats audio


  • Lack of LTE, no expandable storage, non-removable battery, no headphones included, lack of power compared to 2013 smartphones

Rating: 3/5 stars

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