My dilemma was 2 fold - the non removable battery for self replacement and the absence of external memory slot. My consolation about the battery is it is the latest lithium-polymer type which is long lasting with low memory fade. The external storage I'm not too concern. I believe it is trendy and the future direction of all multimedia device manufacturers to get their users to move data storage into the cloud, not just to make them available from anywhere Internet is connectable but also secured from accidental erasure, corruption or loss. Apple has been doing it with iPhones and users have come to term with it. Even users of their 16Gb model were able to survive without additional externally attached SD cards. After all, music and videos can be streamed right into the devices. My take is soon more new smartphones will come without external cards.
Putting aside these 2 issues I welcomed my latest addition 2 days ago. It was the silver LTE version. First thing first, I immediately updated the Android OS to the Jelly Bean 4.2.2 version which was made available to Malaysian owners of the One last weekend. The process was painless and easily done over my home wifi connection. Following that was the importation of my Google contacts and feeling the features. I like the BlinkFeed. Some users complain that it cannot be disabled but I guess HTC have a reason. Just as we use the phone to connect to our families and friends, the BlinkFeed connects us to the world via a choice of news feeds that are customizable but sadly not editable to add on those users like. The Sense 5 user interface differentiates HTC from other Android smartphone manufacturers. I call it innovative and progressive. HTC decided to do a skin job that even other Android phone users will find it refreshingly different. I confess this IS the main reason why I dumped the iPhone 5 and the Galaxy S4. Their interfaces are too predictable and mmmm boring. However the One is not perfect. The power button on the top left is too recessed to make pushing it harder after I've covered the device with a protective back case. The other missing feature is a key to display recently opened apps. But HTC offer it now by double tapping the home key to reveal a set of 9 recently used apps. I had to instal 3rd party widgets to manage my sound volume, screen brightness, etc. There will be other disappointments but I believe they will be minor.
The screen display is very sharp, crispy and invigorating and I like the choice of font for naming the apps. Most of all the speed of the processor in loading the apps. I've had the micro-SIM card installed and my phone number activated on it and have been able to use it as a phone. But as all smartphone users will attest we spend more time texting, face booking, twittering, checking what's happening on the net, playing games, watching videos and movies, taking and sharing pictures, listening to music and showing off our latest gadget than having a telephone conversation. The designers at HTC having anticipated the new use for smartphones cleverly designed the One to make it more than a phone. This is why it can take on the Goliaths of the smartphone industry, Samsung and Apple.