The Internals: Snapdragon 600 On-Board

At the core of the HTC One is a Snapdragon 600 (APQ8064Pro) SoC at 1.7 GHz. This is quad core Krait 300 (as opposed to 200 in MSM8960 or APQ8064) which brings a 15 percent increase in IPC as well as higher clocks (from 1.5 to 1.7 GHz), for about 20–30 percent higher overall CPU performance. This is still built on a 28nm LP process, and is analogous to the MSM8960Pro change from Krait 200 to 300, but for APQ8064. HTC One includes 2 GB of LPDDR2 RAM on a PoP in a 2x32 configuration. For storage, there’s no microSD card slot, but instead 32 or 64 GB of internal memory with no option for lesser 16 GB configurations. For connectivity the HTC One uses the same MDM9x15 baseband we’ve seen in Fusion 3 phones and in other places, and as expected the HTC One will come in LTE-enabled flavors for the appropriate operators. There’s still no magical single SKU that will do every region, but the most important band combinations are supported. On the WiFi side the HTC One is the first device I’m aware of to include 802.11ac support as well, alongside the usual a/b/g/n, this is provided by Broadcom’s latest combo, BCM4335.

The One continues to use the pyramidal internal stacking of display, then battery, then PCB which started with earlier designs. As a result the One includes an internal 2300 mAh 3.8V (8.74 Whr) battery which should be more than adequate in conjunction with Snapdragon 600 to provide good battery life.

HTC One Specifications
Device HTC One
SoC 1.7 GHz Snapdragon 600
(APQ8064Pro - 4 x Krait 300 CPU, Adreno 320 GPU)
RAM/NAND/Expansion 2GB LPDDR2, 32/64 GB NAND
Display 4.7-inch SLCD3 1080p, 468 ppi
Network 2G / 3G / 4G LTE (Qualcomm MDM9x15 UE Category 3 LTE)
Dimensions 137.4 x 68.2 x 9.3mm max / 4mm min, 143 grams
Camera 4.0 MP (2688 × 1520) Rear Facing with 2.0 µm pixels, 1/3" CMOS size, F/2.0, 28mm (35mm effective), 2.1 MP front facing
Battery 2300 mAh (8.74 Whr)
OS Android 4.1.2 with Sense 5
Connectivity 802.11ac/a/b/g/n + BT 4.0, USB2.0, GPS/GNSS, MHL, DLNA, NFC
Misc Dual front facing speakers, HDR dual microphones, 2.55V headphone amplifier


Abandoning the Megapixel Race and Shooting for Quality

I’ve buried it a bit, but one of the biggest headlining features of the HTC One is inclusion of a camera system that definitely goes against the prevailing industry smartphone imaging trend, in a very positive way. The trend has been smaller and smaller pixels on a smartphone CMOS for some time now, and as generations have marched on we’ve seen pixel sizes shrink from around 2 microns, to 1.65, to 1.4, to 1.1 which seems poised as the flavor of the year. More of smaller pixels lets an OEM sell a phone with more megapixels, but it’s fairly obvious that beyond 8 MP there’s not much sense in going way higher. In fact, even with the best possible diffraction limited optics operating under the constraints of a smartphone package, it’s impossible to resolve pixels that small. For so long megapixels has been the only figure of merit presented to consumers, and continually increasing that number, at the expense of other things arguably might not make sense. In a world increasingly dominated by photo sharing services which downscale images aggressively instagram (600 x 600) or pic.twitter (1024 x 2048 for the first party image sharing target) or Facebook, does 13 MP make sense?

HTC made camera a big emphasis with the previous One X, S, V, and other One series cameras with the first F/2.0 optical system which was shared across all devices. With the new HTC One has taken a huge risk and gone against the trend by keeping CMOS sensor size the same (1/3"), and moving to bigger 2.0 micron pixels, with the same F/2.0, 28mm (35 mm effective) optical system. The result is a camera that trades resolution we arguably can’t realize to begin with for dramatically better sensitivity in low light and better dynamic range. In addition, the HTC One includes optical image stabilization (OIS) with +/- 1 degree of accommodation in pitch and yaw to enable even longer exposures without hand shake, as well as for stable video. On the video side, the HTC One also includes HDR video capture at 720p30, normal dynamic range video at 720p60 or 1080p30, and this time video is encoded using the full capabilities of the SoC (high profile, 20 Mbps).

There’s a new shooting mode as well which HTC has coined Zoe mode, short for zoetrope. This simultaneously captures a few seconds of 1080p30 video while bursting still image captures at full resolution. The combination is a short video and series of photos at full size which can be shared. This then can be used with a new gallery feature called the Highlights reel which combines this media into a short, computationally edited 30 second video with other photos and videos from the same day. There are a number of different video themes to choose from, and in practice the videos that result are impressively well put together.


Design and Construction Sense & Final Words


View All Comments

  • ssnova - Tuesday, February 19, 2013 - link

    Yes only marketing, nothing else, has nothing to do with the actual product, features, performance, battery life, none of that matters one tiny bit.

    HTC and their marketing deal with BEATS audio, because people only care about marketing and that's why all the HTC BEATS audio products are awesome sellers.

  • steven75 - Tuesday, February 19, 2013 - link

    Seems like you don't understand the scale of Samsung's marketing. For instance: they spend 3x more in marketing than Apple. They outspend Coke, fer crissakes! Reply
  • ImSpartacus - Tuesday, February 19, 2013 - link

    Of course it's a mixture of marketing and actual usability.

    Most devices are good enough. The GS3 is definitely at least a good enough device. Then the marketing takes that good enough device and sells it to customers.

    The difference between a device that's an "8/10" and a "9/10" really isn't anything that most users will notice. So if you can convince your customers that your device is at least an 8/10, then they might get it. A competing device might be a 9/10, but it might as well be garbage for all the customer knows.

    And even if that superior device was marketed properly, customers likely are only convinced that the superior device is an "8/10" device. It's really difficult to convince a customer that your device is truly great with marketing alone.

    Everyone always says that Apple only sells products because they can market worth a damn. Apple products are definitely good enough, but even they can't convince customers that their products are truly great with just marketing. A customer's friend will buy an Apple device, use it and THEN convince the customer that Apple devices deserve to be thought of as great and not just good.

    Fun Fact: Old people get shitty tech (or no tech at all) because tech marketing isn't targeted to them and they are less likely to have friends with tech products. So not only do they not hold any devices as "great," they aren't even convinced about which ones are "good enough."
  • nerd1 - Tuesday, February 19, 2013 - link

    HTC simply shot themselves in the foot by non-removable battery and non-expandable memory.

    One X and GS3 are both good phones, and one X had better build and subjectively better screen, but with those two MAJOR deal brakers it's perfectly clear why they didn't do very well.
  • darwinosx - Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - link

    Hilarious. A tiny percentage of users care about sd cards and removable batteries. Very few to no phones will have either going forward. Reply
  • darwinosx - Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - link

    You must own a GS 3. Reply
  • Gunbuster - Tuesday, February 19, 2013 - link

    Is the screen and digitizer glued down? I have had to repair my HTC radar and getting the screen and digitizer separated from the chassis is brutal. I wish they would do something similar to Nokia and have a mechanism that locks the screen into the chassis so you can remove it.

    I get the feeling a HTC engineer helped make the Microsoft Surface Pro with its glued down screen.
  • kezeka - Tuesday, February 19, 2013 - link

    Honestly surprised that no one has commented on how impractical it is to have a 4.7" screen in one's pocket. I had trouble walking up stairs with a 4.3" screen in the front pocket of my jeans, I can't even begin to imagine the pain and chaffing from a phone this large. And that is assuming it will fit in one's front pocket in the first place (this wont fit in shallow pockets without risking a drop).

    I am sure these phones are great to use with their massive screens but in no way is it worth the sacrifice in portability. I have a tablet when I need the resolution or to consume media on the go. My phone should be comfortable to walk/run/jump around with in my pocket. These are not.

    I also have a massive bone to pick with HTC. I have bought two of their phones and broken my contract early to upgrade from both of them after a year and a half. They fall apart, chip, and are damaged just from day to day wear in a case. The reception sucked with both. The earpiece audio quality sucked. The fidelity of the calls sucked. The mic sucked. Both ended up enjoying high velocity aerodynamics testing after they had been replaced. Never falling for their marketing and joyous reviews of their products again.
  • neutralizer - Tuesday, February 19, 2013 - link

    You must have small pockets. Stop wearing skinny jeans. I have a Nexus 4 which fits just fine in my pocket. I know people who fit Notes and Nexus 7s in the pockets for no problem. Reply
  • aranyagag - Tuesday, February 19, 2013 - link

    I fit a galaxy tab 7 Reply

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