Little sister earns her converts
HTC's One S quickly makes up for any perceived inferiority to the One X
The HTC One S is the kid sister of the firm's flagship One X Android-based smart phone. It's got similarly impressive features but a less-powerful processor and a smaller screen.
It's still powerful, though, and the 4.3-inch Super Amoled screen is really bright and colourful compared to the 4.7-inch Super LCD 2 screen.
Best of all, it retains the same terrific camera features - an eight-megapixel camera powered by HTC ImageChip with a very bright lens of f/2.0 and sensitive BSI (backside-illuminated) sensor. Capturing pictures in most light environments is effortless. You can also take Full HD 1080p video.
Everything's packaged in a sleek aluminium frame that's 7.8mm slim.
In my test the phone's menus were responsive and scrolling was fast and smooth. The One S draws its power from a 1.7GHz dual-core processor as well, a jump beyond the One X's 1.5GHz quad-core processor. The colourful screen is easier to read outdoors and the processor is powerful enough to handle most smart-phone tasks.
The Android OS 4.0.3 includes the HTC Sense 4.0 user-interface, which adds more power and features, including the ability to shoot up to 60 shots continuously at four frames per second, and to captures stills while shooting video. The camera is ready for the first shot in less than a second. In the test the One S grabbed clean, sharp shots in most light conditions.
You can tap into 3G connections in HSPA protocol, both 850 and 900MHz, so I could use my TrueMove H account conveniently. I had no problem checking mail and updating Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare.
Downloading and updating Android applications was also fast. I could speedily take photos and attach them to mail or upload them to my Facebook and Instagram accounts.
The One S can double as a fine portable music player thanks to the built-in, custom-tuned Beats Audio technology. The authentic Beats Audio sound is activated when using the HTC Music application to play MP3 tracks, or you can use equaliser settings of your choice.
I tested the music function with my Sony premium in-ear earphones and was impressed with the sound clarity and ample bass.
The One S comes with 1GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage. HTC One users are eligible for 25GB of online storage at Dropbox for two years - the Dropbox application is preloaded, ready for your photos and videos.
The HTC One S suggested retail price is Bt17,900.
_ CPU: 1.7GHz dual core
_ Platform: HTC Sense 4.0 with Android 4 (ICS)
_ Network: HSPA/UMTS Tri-band: 850/900/2100MHz; GSM/GPRS/EDGE Quad-band: 850/900/1800/1900MHz
_ Camera: Eight-megapixel with f2.0, 28mm lens with BSI sensor
_ SIM card type: MicroSIM
_ Memory: Total storage 16GB
_ RAM: 1GB
_ Display: 4.3-inch qHD Super Amoled touch screen with 540x960 resolution
_ Connectivity: 3.5mm stereo audio jack, Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi, DLNA, micro-USB port
_ Battery: 1650mAh built-in rechargeable Li-polymer battery
_ Size: 130.9x65x7.8mm
_ Weight: 119.5 grams with battery