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  • michael2k - Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - link

    How is the coming on 10 months old iPhone 4S still getting some of the best battery life?

    What is going on in Android land?
    Reply
  • GrizzledYoungMan - Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - link

    Faster processors + LTE.

    Next.
    Reply
  • ltcommanderdata - Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - link

    I don't think it's that simple. Yes these recent Android phones have newer, faster Krait SoC which could draw more power compared to the Cortex A9 based Apple A5 in the iPhone 4S, however Krait has the advantage of the latest 28nm process to offset this while the A5 is still on the now more than 3 years old Samsung 45nm process. While the CPU portion of newer SoCs is faster than the A5, the A5's GPU is still faster than the GPUs in every other SoC except the recent Exynos 4412. The A5 is also known to be a large die, high transistor design, which won't do it any favours in reducing power consumption. I don't see a faster processor as being a clear disadvantage to battery life in recent Android phones compared to the iPhone 4S.

    LTE's contribution also probably isn't huge considering these battery tests are specifically done on 3G and WiFi allowing the LTE portion of the baseband to remain idle and power-gate. While hardware choice contributes, I do think software plays a role since Apple can spend all their time optimizing for one specific hardware configuration whereas Android manufacturers don't really have that luxury.
    Reply
  • OCedHrt - Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - link

    GPU's are power gated when you're not gaming. A powerful GPU doesn't kill battery life unless all you do is gaming.

    LTE kills battery life whether you use it or not. Just look at those 4 hour LTE phones from last year. The reason is because the LTE radio is a separate chip - it isn't controlled by the SoC and likely cannot be power gated.

    The current generation of 28 nm w/ LTE on chip does have much better battery life - however with Android's multitasking, background syncing, Android simply isn't going to get longer battery life than iPhone 4s unless you turn it all off - and you can turn it off.

    Then, as many iPhone 4s users will tell you, many of them also get shitty battery life - it probably depends even more so on how you use it.
    Reply
  • amdwilliam1985 - Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - link

    "Then, as many iPhone 4s users will tell you, many of them also get shitty battery life - it probably depends even more so on how you use it."

    Totally agreed, a coworker here with iPhone 4 has battery drained from ~85% to ~55% overnight in "standby" mode.

    My SGS2 can go through 2 normal days easily now that I enabled wifi calling and using edge(~10k/s, it's more than enough for texting and syncing).
    Reply
  • OCedHrt - Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - link

    My One S's wifi calling drains more battery than 3G with strong signal. Reply
  • leexgx - Wednesday, July 18, 2012 - link

    what stands out is how can the Motorola Droid RAZR Maxx have such poor web 3G browsing (unless the USA version test was done with LTE then i would cida under stand then) and Wifi Hotspot Battery time

    that seems impossible with the 3200mha bat at its disposal i cant see how them results are correct for that phone

    what also surprises me is How you manage to get most of these phones to last more then 4-5hrs of constant use (that lacks an secondary Clip on battery like i just got for my HTC One X or an bigger battery like i had for my HTC Desire phone) any phone i see cant seem to last the day of Light use half an day if used in the day unless power is supplied in the day

    one thing i hate about the HTC one X an little is Power button really could do with been on the side like the Samsung S3 (phone is to long for 1 hand power button at the top) not sure if its me but phone seems to have been made for Left handed users, the answer and hangup icons have been switched (answer should be on the left and hang up should be on the right) sure that's how my HTC desire had it (guess i should turn on on before i look dumb :) )

    other thing as well WiFi and Data go into Forced power saving mode after midnight to about 8am (it turns Wifi off and data Off Even if its Plugged into power after 15 mins screen off, comes back on screen comes on)
    Reply
  • OCedHrt - Wednesday, July 18, 2012 - link

    I easily get 5+ hours of constant use on my One S. The screen uses up most of the battery, and the on time is always over 5 hours. Sometimes more than 6. Reply
  • name99 - Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - link

    Was the coworker using Skype?
    Skype is notorious for draining the battery rapidly, even while in the background. It's one of the few apps that CAN do so because it's a VoIP app so gets background time (and it basically proves Apple's point that if you allow background apps time, they WILL be written by crappy engineers and they WILL do a crappy job.)

    Without wanting to make a big deal about it, I'd point out that under normal circumstances (ie Skype NOT running in the background) my iPhone4 drains by around 5% or less overnight. With Skype running it will drain by 30% or so --- which basically matches what your co-worker was seeing.
    Reply
  • OCedHrt - Wednesday, July 18, 2012 - link

    Skype is pretty crappy, but there are other, better, VoIP apps available on Android. Reply
  • metafor - Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - link

    The screens on just about every Android phone of recent has been at least ~40% larger. Add to that the fact that a bunch of them are AMOLED and you pretty much have your answer. Reply
  • sigmatau - Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - link

    Bingo, the biggest contribution to battery life is a function of the size.

    The iphone having the smallest screen of all smartphones on the list should have great battery life. They should be up there with the razr.

    Do people really think that their 15" monitor uses the same amount of power as a 55" LCD TV? There is a huge difference.
    Reply
  • name99 - Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - link

    "Do people really think that their 15" monitor uses the same amount of power as a 55" LCD TV? There is a huge difference.
    "

    Don't be too sure of this without checking.
    I have a (new) 46" LCD TV and a (four years old or so) 20" monitor, both 1080p. The monitor very clearly runs a lot hotter than the TV, and the specs say it has a higher power draw.

    Point is --- engineering details still makes a big difference.
    Reply
  • Death666Angel - Thursday, July 19, 2012 - link

    You are most likely comparing CCFL vs LED. These phones all have the same background light when they use LCDs. Reply
  • lilmoe - Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - link

    it's not only about hardware. iOS isn't as powerful as android, nor does it support full multi-tasking like Android does. when you're browsing on iOS, for example, everything else is in "sleep-mode", while in android, everything else is still running.

    Android VS WP7 show a clear picture. the Lumia 900 lasts longer than any Android phone using the same SoC, even with LTE turned on.

    Android is a double edged sword, it's powerful, yet it can be very power consuming, because of all the processes that work in the background.
    Reply
  • Samus - Wednesday, July 18, 2012 - link

    1) The iPhone is still a 3G (not even 3.5G) device
    2) The iPhone has a 3.5" screen, opposed to most Android phones having 4"+ screens.

    Obviously iPhone is going to have better battery life.
    Reply
  • IKeelU - Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - link

    The main differentiator is actually the software. Android devices will always have a very hard time catching up simply because iOS is ridiculously optimized compared to Android. Reply
  • amdwilliam1985 - Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - link

    You mean ridiculously limited right? Reply
  • shaolin95 - Wednesday, July 18, 2012 - link

    Indeed!
    apple fanboys have their own replacement words as you noticed :D
    Reply
  • Connoisseur - Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - link

    Umm... 3.5" screen versus >4" screen? LCD vs SAMOLED? I'm assuming the major differences in battery really just come down to the type and size of screen used. The only way they could do an apples to apples comparison was if someone made a 3.5" LCD Android 4.0 smartphone with a comparable battery to the Iphone 4S.

    These phones also have DC-HSPA/LTE built in which are probably more power hungry than the 4S HSPA+ baseband.

    In short - Higher performance = higher power consumption
    Reply
  • ltcommanderdata - Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - link

    To go with the smallest screen size for a modern smartphone, the iPhone 4S also has the smallest battery as shown on the first chart on page 2. It'd be interesting o find out how display power consumption scales with screen size to see if they are scaling battery size fast enough to fully compensate, but big phones with big screens do tend to have big batteries so big screens shouldn't automatically mean bad battery life. Reply
  • Penti - Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - link

    4S doesn't have HSPA+ baseband only 14.0 Cat 10 HSDPA. I.e. 14Mbit "4G-branding". In short small batteries, large screens, fast processors and gpus and power hungry baseband is what drains these devices. You need a significant larger battery to have a better battery life here. For most devices that isn't a priority. For example the iPad 3 gen has a larger battery then MBAir 11. Reply
  • amdwilliam1985 - Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - link

    Please explain the 4G part to a friend of mine.
    She claims her 4G iPhone 4s with iOS 5.1.1 on AT&T network can't go through a day with moderate usage.
    Reply
  • Penti - Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - link

    What, it's just a 3G WCDMA baseband, no other radio or tech it shouldn't draw more power just because the icon says 4G in this 3.75G device. No smartphone survives more then a day with moderate usage, calls and what not. An 4s is spec'd at 8 hours talk time and 6 hours of internet use over 3G respectively. Play a game and the device is pretty much dead half day. Using apps that pull data over the wireless cellular network, talk for a few hours and play a game for 15 minutes and it should be pretty drained. If there is nothing wrong with the device then it is the usage that has to change to accommodate more battery life. If you need to talk for hours a day and be connected to chat, surf the web, use apps that leverage the internet and all that over the network you would need some solution to charge the phone over the day not matter what device you run.

    Why some people whine about early LTE phones is because they had bad dual baseband chips and about half the talk time. Pretty bad battery life surfing on LTE etc.
    Reply
  • Spoelie - Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - link

    I'm wondering if the battery tests have ever been redone following iOS updates. In my experience, the battery life gets progressively worse with every new update. In this case, doing the tests once on release day and reusing the numbers for months on end may not be the best approach. Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - link

    I'll take the blame for this one. Notice the revamp of our tablet and OS X battery life tests? The smartphone web browsing test is in need of an update there as well. iOS has gotten a little too "good" at what we're doing there, at least in the web browsing test. The call and tethering tests are still great cross-platform indications of battery life. Reply
  • rd_nest - Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - link

    I think we should also look at multimedia playback times. Run high profile video files to check battery rundown time. It's an important parameter as far mobile usage is concerned.

    The SGS3 (International) is getting pretty good numbers compared to US SGS3 models.
    Reply
  • yvizel - Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - link

    Saying 3.5'' vs. 4.3'' is not an accurate argument.

    If you come to think of it, the iphone is a smaller device, therefore packs a smaller battery (as you can see in the Battery Capacity chart).
    Also, I would rather have a "slower" processor and more battery juice than have an octa-core @ 4GHz on a smartphone with 1 hour of usage!

    Not all of us use smartphone for gaming or whatever. I guess that the more common usage is web, email, GPS and other basic stuff. So again, no need for zillion cores on a smartphone.

    Oh, and great review! looks like a great device!
    Reply
  • Connoisseur - Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - link

    My point is that it's extremely difficult to compare phones of different size, resolution, screen type, OS and capacity. Even if you remove the OS out of the mix (so you can compare OS "efficiency"), the only comparison you can really make between two different devices is hours/battery capacity efficiency.

    At least when comparing laptops, you have some basis for comparison (comparable hardware or form factor for example).
    Reply
  • amdwilliam1985 - Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - link

    We can do the following 2 tests.

    1) Hack and put iOS on an Android device and run the same test against iPhone 4s.
    2) Hack both device and put a custom OS on both and run the test.

    This way we can see if it's software or hardware that's affecting the battery life.
    Reply
  • Zoomer - Thursday, July 19, 2012 - link

    One could also take apart the phones, hook the logic boards/screens to seperate specialized lab power supplies, and then conduct the tests that way.

    Possible? Yes. Realistic? No - unless you are Intel and want a competitive advantage.
    Reply
  • amdwilliam1985 - Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - link

    On my SGS2, I enabled wifi-calling and limited radio to edge speed(10k/s), I can go through 2 days with normal usage at no problem.
    Android device got the power but doesn't mean you need to run it at maximum speed all the time. I run at "slower" speed most of the time, and ramp up the speed only when I "needed".

    e.g. How fast can your car drive at? How fast do you normally drive at?
    Reply
  • tipoo - Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - link

    Screen size, processor clock speed. Reply
  • amdwilliam1985 - Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - link

    Puny screen that doesn't show much for anyone to see. Reply
  • TareX - Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - link

    Also, AMOLED consumes close to twice more power when displaying the predominantly white screen of web browsers compared to LCDs. Reply
  • Aslund - Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - link

    I have recently recommended this phone to my mother, which she also bought. Initially I also thought the screen would be a huge let down, but after viewing it in real life I was pretty impressed. Sense 4 gave a good impression and the sleek feeling compared the Motorola Razr Maxx makes this phone, in my opinion, the best within its size range. Reply
  • hurrakan - Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - link

    The "Display Mate" website advises NOT to set a black background on OLED screens:

    "Because of differential aging, setting your wallpaper to all Black is most likely a bad idea because the fixed arrangement of Home Screen icons may eventually affect screen uniformity, so ghost images of the icons might become noticeable."

    http://www.displaymate.com/OLED_Galaxy_S123_ShootO...
    Reply
  • Brian Klug - Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - link

    I suppose it depends on what tradeoff you're willing to make. If you go through phones like I do, you'll be onto the next device long before aging effects start to burn in (and remember, it's also a function of what brightness you're driving, too).

    -Brian
    Reply
  • nitram_tpr - Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - link

    Nice review Brian, looks like a good phone. It's still a bit too big for my liking, I have the SE Xperia Ray and it (for me) is almost the perfect size. I'd love to see Samsong, HTC, LG etc come out with a sub 4" screen sized phone with a good high resolution.
    Size isn't everything you know?!?!

    As for battery life, the 4s is thicker than this phone and alot that are out there so will have a bigger capacity battery. It also has a less powerful CPU/GPU than the newr phones to cope with.
    Reply
  • MadMan007 - Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - link

    For this SIM-only plan "(the magical $30/mo prepaid one with unlimited SMS, 5 GB of full speed data, and 100 minutes)", can 'anyone' (not a major tech site journalist) get the SIM through T-Mobile site or Wal-Mart without buying one of the matching phones? Reply
  • A5 - Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - link

    http://prepaid-phones.t-mobile.com/prepaid-phone/T...

    I'm not exactly sure how to set-up the plan (I assume it's through the website after you activate the SIM), but getting the SIM is very easy.
    Reply
  • MadMan007 - Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - link

    Oh, I know getting the SIM is easy. The issue is actually getting a decent phone from T-Mobile to go along with it, that's what I meant by 'getting one of the matching phones (aka crappy phones)' that they have list options for those plans. If I want to pay full price for an HTC One S or a SGS3 there doesn't seem to be a way to do that through T-Mobile's site. They won't allow you to checkout with one of those 'good' phones without a contract plan - there is no 'full price' option.

    Perhaps you have to call to order to do that or go to a store, or get the phone unlocked from a third party source. T-Mobile does not make it easy to get a good phone with those plans.

    Those plans have one caveat though - the coverage is not equivalent to contract plans. Like other low cost plans that MVNO's resell, you can use the T-Mobile network *only*. It might work for some people but it's an important difference between the 'Value Packages' (same as contract coverage) http://www.t-mobile.com/shop/Packages/ValuePackage... and the 'Monthly4G Prepaid Plans' (T-Mobile network coverage only) http://prepaid-phones.t-mobile.com/monthly-4g-plan...
    Reply
  • MadMan007 - Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - link

    Coverage maps to see the difference (this is similar to the way all MVNO versus contract plans are - T-Mobile just happens to be their own MVNO in this case for the 'Monthly4G Prepaid Plans', so to speak):

    'Classic Plans/Value Packages'
    http://www.t-mobile.com/coverage/pcc.aspx

    'Monthly4G Prepaid Plans'
    http://prepaid-phones.t-mobile.com/prepaid-coverag...
    Reply
  • OCedHrt - Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - link

    You can get the phone in store at full price, no contract. You can probably also get the phone by itself on their website at full price as well. T-Mobile has one of the dumbest marketing strategies I've seen - you often cannot buy a particular combo on their website. Reply
  • Zoomer - Thursday, July 19, 2012 - link

    Buy it off someone who is keeping the contract anyway but doesn't need/want a new phone. Win - Win - Win!

    It's unfortunate they call it the TMobile version instead of the US version. The One S is great, hits all the features (except uSD and its use of uSim). I would consider buying this. There is a concern about timely/any software updates, developer community, but that is the same for all devices other than the Nexus.
    Reply
  • antef - Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - link

    Yes! Use it with any phone you like. The $350 Galaxy Nexus is a great choice. Find all the details you need here:

    http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1...
    Reply
  • MadMan007 - Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - link

    Yeah, just have to source the phone somewhere other than T-Mobile's website I guess. But I've rejected those plans (and other MVNO plans) because, despite the nice savings, the coverage for the Monthly 4G Prepaid Plans sucks. It's worth it imo to pay more for at least good voice coverage in places where you're more likely to need it - outside of major highways and towns. Reply
  • OCedHrt - Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - link

    Why not just get their value plans? It's like $20 more per month with full coverage and a lot more minutes? Reply
  • dagamer34 - Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - link

    Who makes phone calls anymore? Reply
  • antef - Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - link

    Yes, you can get the value plans for 50 bucks a month as OCedHrt said, but they require a contract, or you can do something like Straight Talk which is $45/month, no contract, and offers AT&T coverage. Getting the phone from somewhere else is not hard - Google sells the Galaxy Nexus directly for $349: https://play.google.com/store/devices/details?id=g... Reply
  • antef - Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - link

    Remove the period from the end of that URL. Reply
  • Zoomer - Thursday, July 19, 2012 - link

    Truphone lets you go on both TMobile and ATT networks. Reply
  • Brian Klug - Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - link

    Anyone can do it, what I did was just buy a SIM activation kit from T-Mobile (this one, or any other, it doesn't matter: http://www.amazon.com/T-Mobile-Tmobile-Mobile-Prep... ), then just select the appropriate plan when provisioning the line. :)

    -Brian
    Reply
  • pookguy88 - Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - link

    I have it on pretty good authority that the Canadian One S is Pentaband, i.e. works on AT&T and T-Mobile... checking on it now but pretty sure this is the case Reply
  • Zoomer - Thursday, July 19, 2012 - link

    The US version should work on ATT too, band II, V.

    I'm assuming the phone support bands I, II IV, V. Probably not IX, X.
    Reply
  • geniekid - Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - link

    I think it all comes down to whether you can use the phone effectively using one hand. Given that the processing abilities are pretty much the same between the One S and the SGS3, and both have adequate battery life (arguable), the trade-off you're making is between display size and ease of one handed use.

    For some people watching shows while on the train is more important than texting while walking. For some people it's the opposite. I'm glad there are phones out there like the iPhone 4S, the HTC Incredible 4G, the One S and the Galaxy S3 that make my buying decisions so hard.
    Reply
  • geniekid - Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - link

    This review is so late it's starting to lose relevance, which is unfortunate because it's the best review for the One S I've read. I hope, Mr. Klug, with absolute sincerity, that your life is finally calming down after the move. Reply
  • Brian Klug - Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - link

    It finally has, I have a big backlog, so there might be a few other phones that have lost some relevance to get through here, but then it's back to being on top of things hopefully :)

    -Brian
    Reply
  • Impulses - Wednesday, July 18, 2012 - link

    Your reviews really are unparalleled, but Anand should seriously consider hiring someone to do some of the more mundane testing for you or something! It's a real shame that the best smartphone reviews on the web often tend to come out months after the phone's release. Reply
  • Impulses - Wednesday, July 18, 2012 - link

    Oh and thanks for adding some of the testing data for unreviewed phones within current reviews, it helps. Reply
  • dgingeri - Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - link

    as a One S owner for the last few months, I'm happy to say it's the best phone I've ever had. I'm thoroughly impressed with it. The only issues I have with it is that it's kind of hard to hold on to at times. I have dropped mine twice because the back surface is a bit slippery.

    I hadn't seen the cases, though. those look nice. I think I'll get one to offset that slippery back problem.
    Reply
  • mgl888 - Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - link

    Is there manual aperture control available for the camera? I don't see it in the GUI screen shots. Reply
  • Brian Klug - Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - link

    No sadly, although no smartphones I'm aware of have variable apertures. Nokia gets closest by implementing an ND (neutral density) filter that attenuates light, but the aperture is fixed.

    -Brian
    Reply
  • Zoomer - Thursday, July 19, 2012 - link

    To be honest, the FOV difference is so small on the tiny lens. Reply
  • OCedHrt - Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - link

    I've had a T-Mobile One S for about a month now and...

    1. I hate the USB port on the left - this makes the phone unusable as an incar GPS device because the USB cable is on the driver side.

    2. Having just enough USB length for my previous phone with a USB port on the bottom, there just isn't enough left over reach with the USB port on the left.

    3. Having the USB port just opposite of the volume buttons mean it's unavoidable you mess with the volume when plugging in the USB port with the screen on - such as when you're on the phone and try to plug it in only to find you've muted yourself.

    4. HTC's marketing on this phone is very misleading - up until this article I did not know that T-Mobile's version did not have micro-arcing and I already have scuffs on metal back of the device.

    5. The USB port also chips when trying to plug in the USB cable, as reported by many other owners. There is supposedly a revised version with a tapered USB port to fix this, but it seems not all carriers get it.

    6. The power button on top is also not very accessible. As much as I prefer a HTC device over Samsung's, I still prefer power on one side with volume on the opposite. The usb power port on the bottom has not gotten in the way of me using the phone.

    7. Finally, HTC seems to have silently swapped many One S's with higher clocked S3 instead of S4 due to shortages - this has created a bit of PR backlash in the affected markets.
    Reply
  • Belard - Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - link

    USB placement is never a perfect science... you are not holding it right :)

    Hence the only thing throwing me off of HTC phones is the power button on TOP and the vol rockers on the right side. Makes for 1 finger control I think. But for me and these HUGE phones, I didn't like. Samsung sticks its vol buttons on the left side, so they put their USB ports on the bottom, but they DID put them on the TOP for a while.

    With this arrangement, thumb controls vol and index is more comfortable for the power.

    For me, I think the top mounted USB makes a bit most sense, but doesn't look as good and in more danger of rain damage. With it on top, the phone can be oriented right when charging or is plugged into USB speakers. Mostly takes care of the GPS issue in the car... so top or bottom makes the most sense for a phone.

    Again... thou, it still depends on the person.

    PS: Hate rubber covers over the ports on phones, so its a fight to unplug those 1-3 times a day. Samsung used to use a plastic sliding door on the Galaxy S1.
    Reply
  • OCedHrt - Wednesday, July 18, 2012 - link

    It depends on how you use your phone. If you use your phone while it is plugged in, USB on top is also a bad idea. The only place where USB get's less in the way is on the side, or on the bottom. The problem with the left side is that is the driver side for most of us. This can be remedied by getting a car dock for the phone.

    Having buttons on the opposite side of the USB connector is also a bad idea, because you will push them while plugging in the cable.

    The power button on top is okay, but it is hard to reach with one hand. For the Nexus S with the power on the right, and volume on the left, I never had any issues using the phone with one hand.
    Reply
  • Reikon - Wednesday, July 18, 2012 - link

    If your USB cable isn't long enough, just get a new one? They're like $3.

    And I've never had an issue pressing the volume buttons while plugging in USB. I've always held the phone on its bottom right (like how I normally hold the phone) while plugging in USB.

    I do agree with the power button on the top being undesirable, though because being on top means it sometimes accidentally gets pressed while in my pocket, which brings me to another problem I have: the audio jack being on top.

    I see no advantage to basically all phones having it on top. Having it on the bottom makes it so the cable doesn't potentially cover the screen and makes phones easier to pocket. When pocketing a phone directly from using it, you're naturally going to put it upside down, and headphones would get in the way for phones with the audio jack on top.
    Reply
  • millerduck - Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - link

    Massive problems with WiFi calling dropouts as well as poor performance in 1-2 bar cell areas. The HTC One S seems great in well-covered areas but on the edges it fails miserably. Other Android (MyTouch series) phones cope and can handle WiFi calling to supplement.

    On a network not known for consistent blanket coverage, this was the wrong handset!

    MD
    Reply
  • OCedHrt - Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - link

    I have the same wifi problems - I've been trying to get it exchanged.
    And call static at times - not sure if correlated with signal yet.
    Reply
  • Brian Klug - Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - link

    I have to admit I didn't try WiFI Calling, partly because on my prepaid plan WiFi calling is unsupported. I haven't had issues with WiFi in general, but then again WiFi calling does require a different QoS to be pleasant than the typical web browsing use case I stress on WiFi.

    -Brian
    Reply
  • millerduck - Wednesday, July 18, 2012 - link

    Thanks for the reply Brian.

    I have exchanged this phone once and have also been pushed the OTA update without any change in performance. I am hoping another update may be in the works to resolve the issues.

    WiFi itself does seem to work fine. If there is a way to add WiFi calling tests to these reviews that would be very helpful as it is a huge selling point on the T-Mobile network.

    MD
    Reply
  • Zoomer - Thursday, July 19, 2012 - link

    What does WiFi calling have to do with the carrier?

    It's just data to your favorite sip provider, no?
    Reply
  • BoloMKXXVIII - Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - link

    I find the trend of omiting a microSD card slot disturbing. I have about 8 months left on my current contract and I am hoping there are some quality phones left that still have a microSD card slot by the time I am ready to replace my current phone (HTC Inspire 4G). Reply
  • Johnmcl7 - Wednesday, July 18, 2012 - link

    I very much agree and I'm baffled as to why reviewers seem ok with it, I think it's a bit of a joke to have a very powerful phone capable of HD video recording, HD screen and capable of increasingly fancy games with a measly 16GB of a memory and no expansion. I thought it was poor that the slot was removed on the Galaxy Nexus but assumed it would get hammered for it in reviews so no-one else would follow suit but that slipped past and now HTC are at it which again seems fine in this review - I view it as a big plus that the S3 still has micro SD yet that doesn't even get a mention in the verdict. What is the point of having all this fancy hardware if it's crippled by a lack of memory? 16GB is really nothing by the time you've loaded a few games, HD films, music and started taking advantage of the HD recording. Yes you can stream data but data caps seem to be getting increasingly tight at the moment, you need decent reception and it uses considerably more batterypower plus a device with a micro SD card slot can do all that as well if needed.

    The S3 keeping its micro SD slot is a good sign and I hope that's the way Samsung stay despite others removing the micro SD slot. I also hope they keep the removable battery as that's also something I find increasingly handy, my phone's battery life is pretty good on idle but games and web browsing quickly hammer it but I don't need to worry about that because if I kill the battery I can swap it straight over to a fully charged one without issue rather than the fiddle of trying to charge it on the move with a portable battery charger.

    John
    Reply
  • OCedHrt - Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - link

    The One S's stock browser has an inverted browsing mode - however things I've read on forums (XDA etc) seem to indicate this doesn't really improve battery life. Reply
  • JFish222 - Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - link

    I, like so many, am trying to decide between the S3 vs One/Evo/etc (I'm on Sprint.)

    I prefer the HTC's in hand feel but am looking for other ways to differentiate (that damn 2GB of RAM on the S3 makes it so much hard to go w/ the HTC!)

    Can you please include the S3's in the speaker volume tests?

    Great Article!
    Reply
  • Impulses - Wednesday, July 18, 2012 - link

    2GB RAM on the SGS3 and a removable battery

    Vs

    Physical camera button, kickstand, and a slightly better display on the EVO LTE

    I opted for the latter because I prefer Sense over Touchwiz and I rarely used the extra batteries I had in the past (with both previous flagship EVOs), they were nice to have when traveling but an external USB battery pack has it's own advantages (no rebooting to slap the battery in) and works well for traveling purposes (throw phone in bag and let it charge while I sleep/move between gates).

    The kickstand and camera button are just things I'll get much more use out of. Had the Sprint SGS3 bring able to roam globally like Verizon's version I might've gone the other way tho.

    This might be my first two year phone in a while I think, barring any uptick in my travel plans. :p (or a massive failure on Sprint's part to stick to their Network Vision & LTE deployment schedule in Puerto Rico)
    Reply
  • TareX - Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - link

    Also, AMOLED consumes close to twice more power when displaying the predominantly white screen of web browsers compared to LCDs. Reply
  • Mumrik - Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - link

    We're calling 4.3" device diminutive now?
    What the hell? Let's get real - that's a pretty massive phone. 4" is already biggish.
    Reply
  • Death666Angel - Thursday, July 19, 2012 - link

    4.3" is my normal. 4.0" is really the smallest I could imagine going. iPhones 3.5" is just unacceptable for my usage case and hands. The Note was not that bad, though I only tried it in the shop. 4.6"/4.7" will probably replace my SGS2 in a year or so. Reply
  • ausaras - Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - link

    I seriously doubt the AMOLED screen in One S is from SAMSUNG, not after SAMSUNG screwed HTC over.

    I have read news in Taiwan several months ago that AUO is working on AMOLED screens. After reading this article, I Googled a bit and found several sources (in English and Chinese) that AUO indeed is shipping AMOLED screens at the second half of 2012, to HTC and Sony.

    If any reader here is from Taiwan, it should be apparent that the Asian IT industry is in the mist of change. Taiwanese and Japanese companies are forming alliances against the SAMSUNG juggernaut. Another reason why I doubt the AMOLED screen in One S is from SAMSUNG.
    Reply
  • tynopik - Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - link

    when i saw the pic out of the corner of my eye, i thought it was some sort weird combo phone that joined two regular phones with some metal scaffolding Reply
  • Johnmcl7 - Wednesday, July 18, 2012 - link

    I'm glad it wasn't just me, I was trying to figure out what on earth the phone was as it looked like some sort of strange double phone attached with a metal hinge from the picture.

    John
    Reply
  • dishayu - Wednesday, July 18, 2012 - link

    I love this phone. It's perfect for me. I was waiting for 3 months to be able to buy it, but then all of a sudden, HTC decided to bait and switch and now India has a One S with 1.7 Ghz Scorpion processor, unlike the krait in international version. VERY disappointed. Reply
  • Zoomer - Thursday, July 19, 2012 - link

    They pulled a Samsung? Damn. Reply
  • M0rky - Wednesday, July 18, 2012 - link

    What countries is this One S international sold in? The version sold in Europe and Asia has a S3 cpu running at 1.7Ghz. I can´t find a single review of this version and as far as I can tell the S4 version is only sold in America. Reply
  • pikahatonjon - Wednesday, July 18, 2012 - link

    is the screen in the galaxy nexus and the galaxy s 3 the exact same?

    because i heard reports that the galaxy s 3 one is a bit more bright, but with franco's custom kernel and with the trinity kernal for the galaxy nexus, i can get it really bright. perhaps brighter than the 200 nits that you mentioned in this review. could you possible investigate?

    http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=22579...
    Reply
  • azntwboy - Wednesday, July 18, 2012 - link

    So, according to your measurements, this screen has a color gamut of something like 130% sRGB? How does that actually look? Are the colors super saturated? How does it compare with the HTC X and the Google Nexus 7? Can you please provide a graphic with the color gamuts overlaid so it's easier to compare?

    One issue I have with all new phones is that they don't have replaceable batteries. I use my phone for both displaying photos for work, and GPS navigation for hiking, so I need to be able to run it for 8 days at a time. I have a HTC desire and I take 8 batteries with me for a week long hike. I wonder if a solar panel charger is something I could use instead of replaceable batteries.
    Reply
  • dishayu - Wednesday, July 18, 2012 - link

    There are 12000 mAH USB battery packs on the market selling for around 60$ that you can carry along. IMO it's much more convinient than carrying 8 batteries and also a lot more versatile because you can use any USB chargable device with them.

    But i do agree, user replacable battery is one option i'd like to have as well, because ultimately when the battery performance starts to detoriate after months of usage, there's no other way.
    Reply
  • flashbacck - Wednesday, July 18, 2012 - link

    I have a T-mobile One S. I've noticed (and would be interested in hearing what other people have experienced) that battery life is destroyed if you turn on the "best wi-fi performance" setting in the wi-fi > menu > advanced menu. Reply
  • Zoomer - Thursday, July 19, 2012 - link

    That should be the settings that leaves wifi on all the time (disables sleep). That would destroy battery life for any device. Reply
  • Death666Angel - Thursday, July 19, 2012 - link

    My SGS2 runs with that I always get comfortably through a day of medium to heavy use. Since my 2000mAh battery upgrade, I could maybe approach 2 days but why bother? :D Reply
  • dxkj - Wednesday, July 18, 2012 - link

    It pulls ahead for "some reason". I believe that reason is the quad core is on the international version and the 2 core is on the US version Reply
  • sunsetsam - Friday, July 27, 2012 - link

    Article says "sealed battery", chart shows "Removable". Pretty sure it's sealed, and if so, that's a deal killer. Really like my Sensation and was looking to upgrade, but sealed battery, no deal. Reply
  • Tomsgate - Monday, September 10, 2012 - link

    Generally a nice device, but be aware that many times many users, including myself, are experiencing a SERIOUS ISSUE whenever carrier signal is weak: The capacitive Home Touch Button then tends to press itself. When in an app or on the home screen with or without the finger near the home button it seems to spaz out as if the home button gets pressed in quick time succession.
    Basically, you then completely loose control over your phone. Just google "HTC one S touch home button issue" and you'll see plenty of posts and videos about it.
    This issue has been reported to HTC by many users for several months now, but no patch or update has been released now as to address the problem. So keep this in mind if you want to purchase this device... You have been warned.
    HTC, please take position and FIX THIS ISSUE! Thank you...

    Other issues on this phone (personal experience):
    - HTC Task widget duplicates tasks by itself, up to X times
    - Connectivity issues, phone suddenly switches between 3G and HSPDA permanently, resulting in extremely slow data connection
    - Sync issues with contacts (ICS issue)
    Reported issues:
    - Black metal coating chipping off on black edition
    Reply
  • Karl1 - Thursday, September 13, 2012 - link

    HOME SCREEN BUTTON ISSUE!

    In many ways this phone is excellent, but it has a huge design flaw and becomes almost useless in areas with poor reception.

    No point describing it in detail here, just google 'home screen button issue'. There are hundreds of people reporting the problem and receiving precisely zero support from HTC.

    Obviously not every handset seems to be affected, but I have had two that were (replaced the first one), and the spreadsheet listing those affected is growing daily. Worse, the problem seems to take a few weeks to develop (so you will be outside your cooling-off period and will not be able to return it), then becomes increasingly bad after that.

    Seriously, think twice before buying this phone. If I knew what I know now I would not even consider it. I certainly will never buy an HTC again.
    Reply

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