HTC One X and S review round-up

HTC One X and HTC One S

HTC announced earlier in the year that it would be changing its approach to the smartphone market by consolidating an overabundance of different handset offering into one, unified line of phones. There was a fair amount of skepticism in the press as to HTC’s ability to follow through on its word and deliver line of halo handset that were much better than tis past offering.

The One X and One S are now are the market, and it seems that HTC has followed through on its promise and more, with many describing the One X in particular with phrases such as “best handset on the market.”

HTC One X

The Verge: And even without any modification whatsoever, the One X isn’t just one of the best Android phones I’ve ever used — it’s one of the best mobile devices I’ve ever used, period. -Chris Ziegler

Engadget: There’s absolutely no doubt that the One X is a masterpiece of an Android device: it obliterates pretty much all of its competitors by giving even the mighty Galaxy Nexus a run for its money. HTC’s really crafted something special here, with a brilliant combination of branding, industrial design and user experience. -Myriam Joire

Android Central: Indeed, the HTC One X has set the bar high for this new generation of Android phones. That bar’s always going to inch higher as the year goes on. But for now, HTC’s back in the saddle and is riding high. -Phil Nickinson

Cnet: HTC seems to have hit all the right notes with the One X. If you’ve been waiting patiently to upgrade your Android handset, look no further.

Slash Gear: It’ll take more than good looks and a fast chip to make the One X an automatic success, but it’s is a capable phone and, perhaps more importantly, a sign that HTC has finally turned a corner in its strategy and products. -Chris Davies

HTC One S

The Verge: If all you want is the best HTC phone you can own today, the easy answer is the One X and its superlative 720p display. There’s a reason why HTC prices it at €100 more, after all. -Vlad Savov

Engadget: Sporting a thinner and lighter design, the One S doesn’t deserve to be hidden in the shadow of its pricier brother. With the latest dual-core Snapdragon S4 and noticeable improvements to HTC’s Sense UI, as well as Android 4.0 and a potent camera, this phone is likely to play a large part of the manufacturer’s renewed efforts after a shaky 2011. -Mat Smith

Android Central (preview): It feels better in the hand than HTC One X, mainly because it can actually fit in your hand. We didn’t think we’d be calling a 4.3-inch phone “smaller,” but in this case, it’s true. -Phil Nickinson

Official site

Ting introduces contract-free mobile service, built on Sprint’s network

Mobile service providers have long been the scourge of smartphone users with exorbitant fees and lengthy contracts. Ting, the new mobile service from Tucows, is set introduce an a la carte model that is purely month-to-month in nature.

Ting plan matrix

Built on Sprint’s 4G wireless network, Ting looks to take a lot of the frustration, extra fees and contract agreements out of mobile service plans. The plans are broken up into a classic subset of services– talk minutes, text messages, and data –and the base plan prices start at $3, so frugal user can get a full suite of wireless service for as little as $9/month (see chart). That breaks down to 100 talk minutes, 100 text messages, and 100 Mb of data. Ting presents a more reasonable example plan at a total of $50 with 500 talk minutes ($9), 4000 text messages ($11), 1Gb of data ($24), and a $6 per device charge.

The plan subsets max-out at 3000 talk minutes ($52), 6000 text messages ($14), and 3Gb of data ($60), but another user-friendly part of Ting’s service is that any overages will simply bump users up to the next tier until the top is reached. There are also a host of freebies included with all plans including basics like voicemail, media messaging, 3-way calling, and caller ID, but unlike almost every other service provider in the States, tethering and personal hotspot support are also included for all.

One unavoidable downside to non-contract service is that all phones will have to be purchased outright with no subsidies. Six smartphones are initially available including the Sanyo Zio ($105), LG Optimus S ($155), Samsung Transform ($245), Samsung Conquer 4G ($295), HTC Detail ($395), and Motorola Photon 4G ($545). Two feature phone will also be available, the Samsung Reclaim ($45) and M360 ($65).

Source: Ting | Via: Engadget

HTC falling back to ‘hero’ device strategy, putting tablets on the back burner

In an interview with Mobile Magazine, HTC UK Chief Phil Roberson talked about the Taiwanese company’s strategy for the next year. Rather than pepper the marketplace with multiple SKUs serving overlapping demographics, HTC will slim down its product offerings in favor of larger performance leaps and tightly focused marketing.

In addition, Roberson said that his company will attempt to spread out their devices more evenly throughout the year instead of focusing squarely on the fourth quarter. These parallel strategies will likely stretch HTC’s limited marketing dollars (at least compared to behemoths like Apple and Samsung) much more effectively than sporadic bursts of attention. Roberson also noted that HTC will be reducing their focus on the tablet market, which may be a wise decision with Samsung redoubling efforts and PC hardware makers like Asus and Acer bringing heavy-hitters to the fold.

Source: Mobile Magazine

AT&T reconfigures data plan pricing scheme

Due to an ever-increasing demand for data on smartphones, AT&T is introducing a new set of data plan capacities and prices. In essence, both have been slightly bumped from the previous status quo, which was $15 for 200mb, $25 for 2gb, and $45 for 4GB + tethering. For a somewhat small increase of $5 per tier, AT&T will be increasing caps to 300MB, 3GB, and 5GB. Of course, current customers will retain their current rates of subscription (even the ancient unlimited plans) unless they voluntarily choose to switch over to these new rates. Also, tablet owners will have access to the latter tiers at the same prices in addition to the special tablet-only 250MB plan at $15.

Source: AT&T