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
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  • bernstein - Tuesday, February 19, 2013 - link

    yeah sure a nexus 7 in a jeans pocket... that must be one of those kids wearing the jeans below the butt... Reply
  • amdwilliam1985 - Tuesday, February 19, 2013 - link

    Nexus 7 fits in my work trouser and my Levis "regular" fit jeans. Reply
  • andrewaggb - Tuesday, February 19, 2013 - link

    I fit the note2 in my jeans rear pocket easily. I tried a 7" kindle once just to be funny and it did fit but the top stuck out a bit.

    I generally carry the phone inside my coat pocket, but... I live in the frozen north so I always have a coat :-)
    Reply
  • Belard - Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - link

    Maybe others don't have pants as huge as yours?

    My 4.5" screen Motorola is as big as I care for.... I wish the body was a bit smaller like its slightly younger sister Droid model (but it has low-resolution) that is no wider than an iPhone.
    Reply
  • pmbellis - Friday, February 22, 2013 - link

    I routinely have my HTC Desire HD in one front pocket and my HTC Flyer (7" !) in another front pocket. And I'm not big or tall ... just wear loose clothes with big pockets. Reply
  • phoenix_rizzen - Tuesday, February 19, 2013 - link

    How small are your pockets/jeans?

    I'm only 5'9", and an Optimus G (4.67" screen, roughly 5" in height) fits into the front pocket of all my jeans (low-rise and regular) without issues. Doesn't jam up when I sit. Doesn't slip out when I walk. Slides in and out of the pocket nice and easy, even when sitting.

    Unless you're 5'0", wearing skin-tight "jeans", a 5" phone will fit in your jeans without issues.
    Reply
  • kezeka - Tuesday, February 19, 2013 - link

    6' tall and I wear boot cut jeans that are not skin tight nor skinny jeans. Don't know what to tell you, this is my experience with a 4.3" HTC phone. It fit in my pockets in that I could slide it in. It did not allow me anywhere near what I would consider a normal range of mobility. While it could fit in most of my pants/shorts there were at least two pair that I was more than a little afraid that it would fall out of the shallow pockets.

    That was my experience with that particular phone. Your's may obviously vary.
    Reply
  • bigboxes - Tuesday, February 19, 2013 - link

    You didn't say what model and how old that model was. I have the EVO 4G LTE and I too had the same fear(s). It would be too big; like holding a brick too my head. Wrong. It is a lot thinner than my older (and smaller) phones. It slides easily into my pants front pockets and I am able to sit down with no problem. Outside of a plastic cover at the top back of the phone (around the camera lens) the whole phone is a piece of machined aluminum. Awesome phone. Great form factor.

    I like that HTC is just tweaking their line. Improvements in the video/processor/camera is what we are all looking for. Speakers front facing is smart. Improved front facing camera is expected. Now, if they just improve the battery life we have a home run. My EVOLTE does have a miniSD slot while the One X varients do not. I don't see why HTC is not putting this option on their phones. There is a demand for this feature.
    Reply
  • iamezza - Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - link

    not sure if serious?

    4.7" is not bad to carry in a pocket at all. 99% of the time you wouldn't even notice that it is there.
    Most men carry wallets in their pockets that are WAY more bulky then any smartphone.
    Reply
  • zorxd - Tuesday, February 19, 2013 - link

    Stupid marketing.
    So now the HTC One is better than the HTC One X. Go figure. Will their next phone be called the HTC One Minus? Or the HTC Zero?
    Reply

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