View Full Version : HTC Superphone beta review

05-07-2013, 06:37 AM
HTC has gotten serious about the whole long lasting eco electronics thing.

Really liking the One V. Not the old One V (as in Vee). Roman numerals- One Five.
It comes after the One X, One XL and One S models.

The frame is machined from a solid piece of aluminum. Shell is only trivially different and many components are retained from the old one v.
I have dropped it on rough stone from more than a meter more times than I can bother counting without a protective case.
Minor cosmetic damage.

Components inserted through the chin can logically be removed as such. The chin is metal, coated in plastic, and is removable without any tools but is in there good.
The whole component tray slides out for complete access like an old desktop computer.
The hard stuff at the base looks slightly different, a dark translucent plastic with a matte finish.
The "One" has 32 gb internal, the One 5 has a slot for a 32 gb micro sd card, and this concealed underneath the chin.
The card can be used for more than mere closet space, Apps can be booted from there as a second hard drive using Sam Lu's AppMgr III.

Computer inside is a Snapdragon 820 hyperparallel RAM Marshaling supercomputer.
Many hundreds of laptops worth of computing power. Details here.

The screen is in two layers. The outer layer is merely a rugged but transparent capacitive touch sensor. It extends well beyond the image to form the three control buttons. Underneath on the main tray as a separate structure is a conventional display. WVGA but that is all that is really needed for a 3.7 inch screen.

The camera makers realized that 1.4 uM pixels are of no use when a camera lens can't resolve 1000 lines per inch much less per 1000 lines per mm.
They gave it a bigger sensor than the 8 mp camera bearing 5 megapixels.
The sensor is the next step after the back illuminated CMOS.
Optically like a cephalopod eye, wired like an avian eye.
With the F2.8 lens it uses you get low light performance exceeds that of the night adjusted human eye in normal color.
Clicking somewhere on the touchscreen will make the camera focus on that point. The results are swift but glitchy at present. There is no noticeable shutter lag, even for starting video recording. Normal horizontal videos may be taken when held vertical or horizontal at the cost of no wide angle in HD when held upright.
Digital zoom is done smartly and exploits the fact there are 5 million pixels on the sensor and .3 million on an SD television.
The preinstalled camera app can interface with many social networking and it can also auto upload to online storage apps.

The GPS is really excellent in speed accuracy and foul weather.
It is a big improvement over almost all $200+ standalone units I have ever seen.
I have so far had mostly good results with ViewRanger.

It charges through the USB port instead of a proprietary plug.
The included charger has a removable cable to plug into a computer.
Once connected to a laptop or desktop it can charge, synch by two methods, or the SD card and internal storage both be mounted as a "generic USB device".

As for OS it uses an advanced version of android ice cream sandwich.
4.0.1 is replaced with 4.0.3 combined with HTC Sense.
Jellybean (4.1.x) is not used because of backwards compatibility issues. Namely the Cisco multiple wireless router webs used by many universities (including my own, trying to do something all last year, no solution) and businesses are entirely incapable of providing internet to jellybean.

It comes super-rooted out of the box.
You don't just get superuser privileges, you get device developer controls.

Great phone for darknetting.
Bittorrent (organization) offers the best darknet client I can find.
My report here:

Otterbox makes a compatible hardcase.
Compared to their iPhone cases this one is inside out. The rubber is between a hard but bendy outer case and the metal housing of the phone.
Pieces of the inner rubber liner fold over the USB Port and buttons are under rubber. Splash proof but not intended to be waterproof even to less than 1 meter.
Only two cons are it is hard to get the phone out and it isn't sleek looking. But remember this case is armor not decoration.

I got some screen protectors from greatshield.
Pros: They are true to name a great shield. The touch screen is still very sensitive. No glue or residue, reusable.
Cons: Bubbles are not fun or easy to deal with. Almost have to put it on in a cleanroom. They have a little square cutout that the One 5 doesn't need.

Main complaint is firmware glitches. Dialing when I am not telling it to call anyone. Ringing or attempting to make calls in airplane mode.
Google Play Music is just plain whacko, literally disobeys me. It moves songs to albums they don't belong in. It has given me nothing but trouble with synching and downloading.
Shame audio is so messed up the occasions it is working correctly it sounds like vinyl or a good stationary CD player.